Wednesday, February 27, 2013

National TV Schedule for SF Giants

At the moment, the SF Giants will appear on national television eight times in 2013. Seven with FOX Sports, and one with ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. ESPN also has the right to schedule last minute Sunday games for the second half of the season, so depending how the Giants are playing, we might see an extra game or two of the Giants on ESPN.

National TV Schedule:
Saturday, April 6 (Cardinals @ Giants) FOX Sports
Saturday, April 13 (Giants @ Chicago Cubs) FOX Sports
Saturday, May 4 (Dodgers @ Giants) FOX Sports
Sunday, May 5 (Dodgers @ Giants) ESPN
Saturday, June 1 (Giants @ Cardinals) FOX Sports
Saturday, July 6 (Dodgers @ Giants) FOX Sports
Saturday, August 10 (Orioles @ Giants) FOX Sports
Saturday, August 17 (Giants @ Marlins) FOX Sports

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 SF Giants Batting Practice Cap by New Era

Hey, baseball is a major business, and one of their revenue streams is merchandising. So it shouldn't be to anyones surprise that a new batting practice cap will debut during spring training this year. According to New Era, the BP caps will have a more structured look - similar to the regular season caps. However, they're also lighter and have a breathable material unlike the regular season caps. Caps should be made available for sale in late February, so get your wallets ready!

The 2013 SF Giants Batting Practice Cap

Friday, February 08, 2013

Ranking the 2013 SF Giants Stadium Giveaways (SGA)

First, let us extend our kudos to the Giants brass for FINALLY increasing the quantity amount for the bobblehead giveaways. Not sure what took so long, but those long lines where fans would lineup hours in advance were uncalled for and absolutely ridiculous, especially for those that had little young ones inline too.

Okay, by now the true die-hards have already reviewed the 2013 Giants promotional schedule, and I'm sure most of them have even penciled in their calendar which games they must attend. So, as we did last year we're gonna rank the ones that will probably have the most appeal and demand.

The Must-Haves: Put anything with Posey's name on it, and fans will want it! A replica World Series ring will also be in high-demand, the LA Kings recently had a replica ring giveaway and those are selling on eBay for around $100!!! Yup, the rings will be huge! A snow globe in April?! Slap on the World Champions logo, and those will be in demand especially when only 20K are available. Gnomes?  Those were probably more popular last year than the bobbleheads - expect long lines for the Romo and Lincecum gnome giveaways. And for the giveaway that started all of the hype related to promo events, the bobbleheads will always be popular. Especially for first-timer Ryan Vogelsong ... Zito will have his second Giants bobblehead (first one was in 2007) hard to believe that it's taken six years for his second bobble head, but he did have a rough start with the club, but after last year's NLCS game 5 performance he's a legend now. Kudos to Zito!

  • Buster Posey NL MVP Bobblehead, First 40,000 fans (Saturday, April 6 v. Cardinals)
  • Giants World Series Replica Ring, First 40,000 fans (Sunday, April 7 v. Cardinals)
  • Giants World Champions Snow Globe, First 20,000 fans (Tuesday, April 9 v. Colorado)
  • Sergio Romo Gnome, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, May 5 v. Los Angeles)
  • Giants Announcers Bottle Stopper, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, May 11 v. Atlanta)
  • Barry Zito Bobblehead, First 40,000 fans (Sunday, May 26 v. Colorado)
  • Ryan Vogelsong Bobblehead, First 40,000 fans (Saturday, June 22 v. Florida)
  • Tim Lincecum Gnome, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, Sept. 7 v. Arizona)

Cool, I want one: These items feature some of the standard items, shirts, towels, fedora and banner. However, a few new ones are on the schedule too, such as the license plate frame, headphones, and sombrero. Again, anything with the World Champs logo will be in demand, and then the intrigue of some new giveaways will also increase demand.

  • Giants World Champions Banner, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, April 21 v. San Diego)
  • Giants World Champions License Plate Frame, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, May 4 v. Los Angeles)
  • Giants World Champions Beach Towel, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, June 23 v. Florida)
  • Giants Headphones, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, July 20 v. Arizona)
  • Angel Pagan Knit Beanie, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, July 27 v. Chicago)
  • Marco Scutaro T-Shirts, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, July 28 v. Chicago)
  • Giants Plaid Fedora, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, Aug. 24 v. Pittsburgh)
  • Giants Orange Sombrero, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, Sept. 7 v. Arizona)

Eh, I'll take one, but I won't wait in line for it: These items are standard on almost every promo schedule, the calendar, magnet schedule, adjustable cap, cards and drawstring backpack. The umbrella sounds cool, but it's probably one of those small ones that will fall apart with one strong wind gust. The charm necklace ... ehh, not for us either.

  • Opening Day Calendars, First 40,000 fans (Friday, April 5 v. St. Louis)
  • Magnet Schedule, First 20,000 fans (Monday, April 8 v. Colorado)
  • Giants World Champions Umbrella, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, April 20 v. San Diego)
  • Giants World Champions Charm Necklace, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, May 12 v. Atlanta)
  • Giants World Champions Cap, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, May 25 v. Colorado)
  • Drawstring Backpack, First 25,000 fans (Saturday, July 6 v. Los Angeles)
  • Giants Trading Cards, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, July 7 v. Los Angeles)
  • Virgin America 2-for-1 Flight Voucher, First 40,000 fans (Saturday, Aug. 10 v. Baltimore)
So there you have it ... the 2013 Giants promo schedule. We were hoping they would list another statue giveaway ... it should be Juan's turn on getting one of those. Anyways, if they're any items that seem of interest to you ... get your tickets ASAP. If 2011 was any indication, tickets will be hard to come by so don't wait to get your tickets!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Where Are They Now: Kurt Ainsworth (2001-03)

As much as we love baseball, there are times when baseball can show it's cruel side. The cruel side is when a player with a lot of talent is unable to compete because of injuries - we this happen every season. And without question, the Giants have had their share of players that showed flashes of brilliance only to be curtailed by nagging injuries. In our view, Kurt Ainsworth is on top of that list. Kurt was drafted by the club in 1999 amateur draft in the first round (24th pick) after playing collegiately at Louisiana State University. After signing, Kurt spent the '99 season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Class A Northwest League, where he started 10 games and accumulated a record of 3-3 and an ERA of 1.61.

In the 2000 season, Kurt played for the Shreveport Captains (AA) of the Texas League where he went 10-9 with an ERA of 3.30 and 130 strikeouts in 158 innings. The following year, he started with Class AAA Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League where he went 10-9, with an ERA of 5.07 in 27 games. Later that season, Kurt was called up to the Big Club and made two relief appearances.

The following year is when Kurt's physical ailment started impacting his performance. He started the season in the starting rotation and went 5-4 in 11 stars with a 3.82 ERA, but started experience inflammation in his shoulder. He was placed on the DL on June 3, and made a rehab start on June 15 but was pulled after two innings. It was later determined that his shoulder blade was broken. As the Giants were making another run to the playoffs following their disappointing World Series performance, the club traded Kurt and Damian Moss to Baltimore for Sidney Ponson. At the time of the trade, Ponson was having a Cy Young Award year, he had a record of 14-6 with a 3.77 ERA. He appeared to be the strong arm the club needed at the time, but once he arrived to the City he floundered by posting a record of 3-6 in 10 starts.

Kurt didn't fare any better once he was in Baltimore, he made only 10 appearances in a two-year span before finally retiring from the game. His last Major League appearance was on May 10, 2004 after having a heralded amateur and minor league career. What we liked about Kurt was his competitiveness on the mound, he reminded us of Orel Hershiser. Clearly, he had the stuff to succeed on the Major League level, but his body simply wouldn't allow him to compete. Several other pitchers (Jesse Foppert, Noah Lowry) from the 2003 Giants club also suffered physically that limited their careers.

Where is he now? Though Kurt is no longer playing, he's still involved with the game. In 2002, Kurt was co-founder of Marucci Sports, and has maintained a leadership position with the company following his retirement. Marucci is manufacturer of premium baseball equipment, most notably metal and wood bats. Their wooden bats with the iconic slanted "M" logo is one of the most popular bats used by Major Leaguers today. In fact, several current Giants use Marucci, and Ryan Vogelsong often wears their hat during postgame interviews.

Marucci Sports: CBS This Morning Interview

Kurt Ainsworth: 2000 Bowman Rookie Card

Kurt Ainsworth pitching at AT&T Park