Monday, September 30, 2013

2014 Opening Day Starting Lineup - Prediction

Here's it goes, our starting lineup for Opening Day in 2014. We feel it's unlikely that Belt will be moved to LF to accommodate another first baseman that hits for power. However, scanning the list of available free agents that play the outfield, we like Michael Morse. He's a legit power bat that could protect Posey and Pence in the middle of the lineup, and would probably come cheaper than Ellsbury or Choo - the other players also mentioned with the Giants.

  1. Angel Pagan, CF
  2. Marco Scutaro, 2B
  3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
  4. Buster Posey, C
  5. Hunter Pence, RF
  6. Michael Morse, LF
  7. Brandon Belt, 1B
  8. Brandon Crawford, SS
  9. Madison Bumgarner, P

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Last Weekend

Only three games remain on the 2013 schedule ... we could lament on the disappointing season, but we all know what went wrong, and where we need to improve. While we have been hard on some of the players throughout the year, now is the time to thank all of the players that wore the black and orange this season. With that said, it appears this will be the end of the line for several players, guys that will continue their professional baseball career with other clubs in 2014.

Our final good-byes:

  • Barry Zito
  • Andres Torres
  • Gregor Blanco
  • George Kontos
  • Jose Mijares
  • Tim Lincecum (we feel he will head home and join the Mariners)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Finnerty's Game Bus 2013 in Pictures

Phew, so we made it back to Cali on Sunday afternoon, and we may need a week's vacation to recover from what is THE best SF Giants road trip, the Finnerty's Game Bus event. To quickly recap, we took a redeye flight on Wednesday night, and arrived to New York on Thursday morning. We added three games to our agenda, starting with the Mets getaway game, and ending with the Saturday afternoon game versus the Yankees. So without further ado, here's the Finnerty's Game Bus 2013 trip in pictures ...

Finnerty's on 221 2nd Avenue

Pre-Game at Finnerty's before Mets game on Thursday

Each bus had one of these coolers filled with beer

The famous Shake Shack - lines were too long

A view of the field from the Finnerty's section (138)

Brian and Dieter, the two cats that own Finnerty's

Pre-game at Finnerty's on Friday before the Yankees game

A view from the Finnerty's section (434B)

The Finnerty's group on Friday night at Yankee Stadium

Pre-gaming at Finnerty's for Saturday's game

On the Saturday bus

View from Finnerty's section on Saturday

The bullpen and Monument Park off in the distance

Yankee Stadium behind home plate

The Finnerty's section

The SF Giants flag was flying above the Finnerty's section

Yankee Stadium from the CF bleachers

Another view of the Finnerty's section

Yankee fans starting the wave in the center field bleachers

The bar at Finnerty's

Finnerty's Game Bus 2013 shirt (front)

Finnerty's Game Bus 2013 shirt (back)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hunter Pence Milestones

It's funny what a month can do for one's stats, and that's certainly the case for Hunter Pence. It wasn't too long ago that it appeared that Pence was going to end up with a disappointing season at the plate, but the month of September has changed all of that. In this month alone (thru 15 games), Pence has bashed nine home runs, 25 RBI, and 24 hits while batting .421. He's already tied his single career best of 25 home runs and is 12 RBI short of tying his career best 104 RBI production from just last year. The only question is how much more damage can he do at the plate with just 12 games remaining in the season. He's in New York this week as the club faces the Mets and Yankees, then club returns home for the final homestand of the year when they square off against the Dodgers and the Padres.

We're gonna bet that he ends the season with 30 home runs, and 107 RBI while batting around .310. Ambitious? Yes. But we're talking about Pence, and what a great way to end the season while negotiating a long term deal.

Hunter Pence Launching a Home Run Against the Dodgers

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 World Series Logo

Yes, we know we're out of contention, but we still think it's kinda cool to see the 2013 World Series logo that Major League Baseball comes up with each year. So here it is ... what do you think?

UPDATED: Traveling Tips for New York

** Individuals reached out to us seeking a good place to grab some pizza in New York. So, we reached out to New York native, Jimmy P., once again for his local recommendations. See below for the go-to places for a good pie.

For those of you flying out to New York to see the Giants take on the Mets and Yankees next week, and have never been to the Big Apple, we wanted to list some tips that should make your trip more enjoyable.

We'll skip the airfare and hotel recommendations, since both are ridiculously expensive, and you probably have all of that squared away by now ... we hope.

Fans flying into Newark, we strongly recommend taking the Newark Airport Shuttle bus to midtown. Buses departs every 15 minutes, and provide non-stop service to New York City with only three stops in Manhattan. One-way fare is $16, or roundtrip is $28. Tickets must be purchased online.

Fans flying into JFK, if the thought of spending $50-75 for a cab ride is too steep. We would suggest taking the AirTrain connector to the MTA's "Jamaica" station and hop on a MTA subway train for a ride into Manhattan. It will require a transfer once you're on the island, but it's not a bad ride and much cheaper than getting a cab or a town car.

Once you're in the City, make sure to get a MTA Metro Card. Most likely, you're gonna use the subway a lot once you're in the city so load up your card. Base fares are $2.50, but if you purchase the 7-day Unlimited card it's only $30. Make sure not to lose your card since the system charges $1 for every new card issued. Therefore, just add $10-15 the first time around to get you started. Finally, familiarize yourself with the subway system map. Yes, it looks complicated and overwhelming, but it's quite simple. Also, download a NYC subway system app to your smartphone, several are available to choose from.

If this is your first visit to the Big Apple, by all means, do the touristy stuff while you're there. Go to Times Square, Broadway, Theatre District, Central Park, Guggenheim, National Museum, etc. Just get it out of your system and go visit these places. Be forewarned, you'll be surrounded by other like-minded tourists, and keep your wallets in your front pockets and keep your purses in front of you. These areas are high pick-pocket areas too, so be careful.

Okay, so this isn't your first rodeo, and you've been to NYC plenty of times and have seen all of the touristy things ... what next? First, check out the areas where the locals are. For this, we tapped the shoulder of our good friend, "Jimmy P.", a lifelong New York resident who currently resides in Manhattan. By far the best place to hangout for drinks and unpretentious food is the West Village. The list below represents Jimmy's recommendation, and the ones with an asterisk are places that we've visited too.

*Blind Tiger Ale House:  We've been here before, albeit it was six years ago, but this place is solid. Definitely the craft beer destination in the West Village. This place is really known for their beer selection. They serve food as well.

If you're looking for a typical bar establishment checkout: Half Pint, 3 Sheets, and Amity Hall. Think Pete's Tavern in San Francisco.

Wogies: A Philly sports bar known for their cheesesteaks.

Employees Only: Think Comstock Saloon in San Francisco, same kind of vibe.

Windsor: This is for high end / expensive sports bar with good looking crowd.

Wilfie & Nell, Kingswood, and Highlands: these establishments are known for their food, and are not a sports bar, but Jimmy tells us these are places are solid for great meal with good drinks.

WXOU Radio: If you're looking for a no-frills drinking establishment, this is it. A classic dive bar. Note, this is a CASH ONLY establishment.

White Horse, Corner Bistro: if you're in the mood for a great burger, Jimmy recommends these two spots. In fact, he tells us that Corner Bistro has the best burger in the City!

*Kettle of Fish: We've been here too, it's still weird to walk down some steps to a place that looks like a basement, but this place has a solid following. If you want just drinks, then this is the place. Be forewarned, this is a Green Bay Packers bar.

Please note, most bars in Manhattan closes at 4 a.m., so PACE YOURSELF.

If you haven't been to a play in NYC, then go ahead and check one out. You'll be surprised, they're actually really good. Another great spot that people are frequenting is Brooklyn. In fact, a number of folks in our group is staying out there. Two places that have been recommended are Fabbrica and Die Koelner Bierhalle. The former is kinda like a gastropub, and latter is a German themed beer hall. In fact, they start their Oktoberfest celebrations next week.


John's on Bleecker Street: is good, probably a little overrated and usually a line to wait outside as it's fairly touristy but still good. Individual slices are not sold here, you must order the whole pie.

Keste: a nice sit-down pizzeria, and across the street from John's. A bit more upscale.

Numero 28 and Joe's (on Carmine): some of the best pizza in the city, and individual slices are available.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shirts: Giants Roadtrip to New York & Finnerty's

For anyone attending the Giants games next week in New York thru the Finnerty's game bus program, if you want one of our limited edition shirts from previous years let us know. At the moment, we still have a handful of ladies tees in assorted sizes. We have one men's shirt is a size medium.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Farewell Season to Candlestick Park Starts Today

Love it or hate it, Candlestick Park will be missed. Was it perfect? Of course not. Did the traffic drive you mad? Of course it did. Regardless, it was our stadium - it was our family. New stadiums and the amenities they have to offer made the 'Stick even more irrelevant. But you can't deny the memories that old stadium has - it's priceless, it's timeless. The memories of historic moments for both the Giants and 49ers will live on forever, and for that reason we'll take a deep breadth as we enter the 'Stick today as the 49ers kickoff the 2013 season.

For you older fans, you'll remember that during this time of year, the baseball field would still be intact for a 49ers game. That ceased back in 2000, but that's one of the things we'll remember as we scan the field today.

Candlestick Park in Baseball and Football Formation

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Case for Yusmeiro Petit

Is it possible for someone that's been in professional baseball for 11 years to have finally "figured it out"? Are the baseball gods just merely toying with us by allowing Yusmeiro Petit throw an absolute gem on Friday night against Arizona? How can someone that's had his chance in the Bigs several times in his career, finally blossom at  the age of 28? In a season filled with disappointments, and with the Giants slowly marching to finish the 2013 season, we have been pleasantly surprised with the performance of Petit. In three starts, he has a 3-0 record, 2.05 ERA, 30 Ks, 0.911 WHIP, and has allowed only four walks. He's done this against some impressive lineups from Colorado and Arizona.

While looking ahead to 2014, and with the eventual departure of Barry Zito from the club and the uncertainty of Tim Lincecum's future with the club. Perhaps, Petit can be the one of the missing pieces for the starting rotation. Yes, we know, it's a huge jump in faith to hand over the keys to an 11-year journeymen, but you can't deny that he hasn't earned consideration.

Yusmeiro Petit

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Is It Time to Shutdown the Pitching Staff?

So here's a question, should the Giants shutdown the starting pitching staff? With only 3.5 weeks left in the season, should the club consider on giving Cain, Bumgarner, and Lincecum the rest of the month off? At this point, what is there to gain on sending them out every fifth day with no hope of the postseason in sight? Clearly, the club has to get ready and focused for the 2014 season and perhaps giving some of the key starters an early vacation will have them ready for next season.

Perhaps a revamped starting pitching staff of Zito, Vogelson, Petit, Moscoso, and Kickham can finish the season. It's not pretty, we know that, but this season hasn't been pretty either.