Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 23, 2013 -- Candlestick Park Pictures

Here's a pictorial on some photos we took at the last game at Candlestick Park on Monday, December 23rd, 2013.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top 10 Moments at Candlestick Park

Here it is, our list of the Top 10 moments in Candlestick Park history. Unlike other lists, we've combined the top moments for the Giants and 49ers.

10. Dave Dravecky's Comeback Game: His first start after recovering from cancer surgery, August 10, 1989

9. Brian Johnson's Home Run: A walk-off game winning home run against the Dodgers, September 18, 1997

8. One-Flap Down: Jeff Leonard's home run trot: 1987 NLCS Game 3,  October 9, 1987

7. Morgan's Home Run: Joe Morgan's home run to knock out the Dodgers from the playoffs, October 3, 1982

6. Garrison Heart's Stiff Arm: Game winning touchdown in overtime vs. NY Jets, September 6, 1998

5. The Catch III: 2012 NFC Divisional Game, January 14, 2012

4. The Comeback: 2002 NFC Wild Card Game, January 5, 2003

3. The Catch II: 1999 NFC Wild Card Game, January 3, 1999

2. The Thrill: Will Clark's game winning hit in 1989 NLCS Game 5, October 9, 1989

1. The Catch: 1982 NFC Conference Championship Game, January 10, 1982

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Proposed SF Giants Batting Lineup for 2014

After the Mike Morse signing, we were thinking on how the 2014 lineup might shape out, and we developed the lineup listed below. Yes, we know that we predicted the 2014 opening day lineup on our Sept. 30, 2013 blog post, but we're calling an audible … in the words of Colin Kaepernick, "kill, kill, kill, kill, kill."

Our philosophy is that the best hitter on the team should bat third. The strategy is based on the fact that the third batter gets up to the plate in the first inning, and he'll get at least four at-bats. However, more importantly, in the case of the Giants, opponents will be forced to pitch to the third hitter if they want to avoid the big bats that are stacked up behind him. So in this case, Posey bats third in our lineup, followed by Pence, Sandoval, Morse, Belt, and Crawford. In the three hole, Posey's career numbers includes a .346 batting average compared to .298 in the cleanup spot. He also bats .325 (with 11 HR, 68 RBI) when he appears in the first inning versus batting .302 (5 HR, 10 RBI) in the second inning. So in theory, Pence, Sandoval and Morse will also force pitchers to pitch them to avoid going to the next big bat.

We know that a lot of fans want Brandon Belt to bat third, but in this case he's not the best hitter on the team nor does he intimidate the opposition in the same way that Posey would. Assuming everyone stays healthy (knock on wood), several Giants are in for a career year - especially Pablo. This could be an exciting team to watch at the plate, maybe, just maybe this lineup could be a modern-day version of Murderer's Row ala the 1927 New York Yankees.

  1. Angel Pagan, CF
  2. Marco Scutaro, 2B
  3. Buster Posey, C
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
  6. Mike Morse, LF
  7. Brandon Belt, 1B
  8. Brandon Crawford, SS
Murderer's Row - 1927 New York Yankees

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Michael Morse by the Numbers

Well, we woke up to some pleasant news this morning when Bobby Evans announced that the club has agreed to terms (1-year deal) with Mike Morse to be our new left fielder. Morse was on our short list of free agents that the club should pursue, and we think he'll be a great fit for the club. A classic slugger, he reminds us of Giants alum - Jack Clark, he stands at 6'5 and 245 lbs and should serve as the power right-handed bat we have desperately been seeking.

Morse's best season as a big leaguer was in 2011 when he belted 31 home runs, 95 RBI, and batted .303 for the Washington Nationals. The fact that he's played in the National League will serve as a  significant bonus for the Giants. One interesting note about Morse, he's hit the majority of his career home runs after an 0-1 count (40 HR, 131 RBI)

Here are some interesting stats associated with Morse ...

Career Numbers at NL West ballparks:
AT&T Park: 1 HR, 4 RBI, .316 BA
Dodger Stadium: 1 HR, 4 RBI, .261 BA
Petco Park: 1 HR, 5 RBI, .333 BA
Chase Field: 3 HR, 9 RBI, .275 BA
Coors Field: 2 HR, 11 RBI, .500 BA

One last thing, Morse's walk-up music is "Take On Me" by A-Ha, and fans are involved in singing the song when it's played. Do you think this will catch on at AT&T Park?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ranking the 2014 SF Giants Stadium Giveaways (SGA)

Not sure where to start, but this has to be the worst promotional schedule that we’ve seen released by the Giants in years! The list is uninspiring, and only a few giveaways are must-haves that will create buzz among the faithful. Not sure what the thinking was by the Giants marketing group, but this is embarrassing. We guess missing the playoffs does that - create a promo schedule that lacks any excitement. So, as in year’s past, we’ve taken the liberty to rank the promo giveaways based on appeal and estimated demand. Here we go ...

The Must-Haves: Is the bobblehead giveaway slowly going away? Usually, the Giants are good for at least six or seven giveaways each year, but 2014 only lists four bobbleheads - only three are current players. Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford will be featured in ’14, along with Duane Kuiper. We’re surprised that Angel Pagan wasn’t included, but perhaps his stint on the DL in 2013 might have been a factor - he just didn’t play. Continuing the trend set last season, bobbleheads will be given away to the first 40,000 fans, so at least the club maintained that.

  • Hunter Pence Bobblehead, First 40,000 fans (Wednesday, April 8 vs. Arizona)
  • 1954 Giants World Series Replica Ring, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, April 26 v. Cleveland)
  • MadBum Camo Cap, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, June 14 vs. Colorado)
  • Brandon Belt or Brandon Crawford Bobblehead, First 40,000 fans (Saturday, June 28 vs. Cincinnati)

Cool, I want one: These items feature some of the standard items, shirts, towels, and fedora.

  • Giants Scarf, First 20,000 fans (Thursday, April 10 vs. Arizona)
  • Duane Kuiper Bobblehead, First 40,000 fans (Friday, April 25 vs. Cleveland)
  • Tim Lincecum Orange Friday Jersey T-Shirt, First 20,000 fans (Friday, May 16 vs. Florida)
  • Giants Fedora, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, May 17 vs. Florida)
  • Hello Kitty Giants Plush, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, June 8 vs. New York) *we’re not fond of this giveaway, but a certain demographic is extremely excited for this giveaway.

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, etc.

  • Opening Day Calendars, First 40,000 fans (Tuesday, April 8 vs. Arizona)
  • Sports Bag, First 20,000 (Saturday, April 12 vs. Colorado)
  • Magnet Schedule, First 20,000 fans (Monday, April 8 vs. Colorado)
  • Giants Cap, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, May 24 vs. Minnesota)
  • Giants BBQ Apron, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, May 25 vs. Minnesota)
  • Giants Beach Towel, First 20,000 fans (Monday, May 26 vs. Minnesota)
  • Giants Father’s Day Necktie, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, June 15 vs. Colorado)

So there you have it ... the 2014 Giants promo schedule - it's bland and boring, and we can only hope that the club will add some more creative items before the season starts.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Holiday Wish to SF Giants Fans

This holiday we want the lonely to find company; sick to gain health; sad to find levity, unemployed to find work; broken-hearted to endure; and another San Francisco Giants World Championship parade down Market Street in 2014.

Happy Holidays to you and yours. Go Giants!

The Sons of Johnnie LeMaster

Monday, December 09, 2013

Potential LF Candidates for SF Giants

Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings starts today and its no secret what the SF Giants need to do … obtain a left field that can hit. With that said, we don't expect the Giants to open up the war chest or risk losing a draft pick to one of the high-profile outfielders that are currently available. So don't expect the club to go after Shin-Soo Choo or Nelson Cruz, especially after the Jacoby Ellsbury signing.

So who are the Giants going to sign then? We don't expect a trade either, we just don't have a surplus of prospects to trade away, and the guys we do have are just a year or two away from making the club. So here's a list of free agents that could be had for a decent contract … some may be considered as high risk, but with a low base salary plus an incentive based deal, one of these guys could make sense to join the club.

  • Corey Hart: He didn't play in 2013 due to knee surgeries, yes surgeries. Both knees went under the knife this past year, so his health will be the primary concern for any club looking to sign him. But earlier indications are that he's good to go, and is moving well in off season workouts. He'll turn 32 by the time opening day starts, but his career stats can't be ignored. His yearly career average is 26 HR, 87 RBI, .276 BA. In his final year with the Brewers he earned $10M, he should expect a considerable cut in salary if he wants a multi-year deal.
  • Mike Morse: Injuries have impacted Morse throughout his career, but IF he can stay healthy, he can flat out put some monster numbers - see his 2011 season: 31 HR, 95 RBI, .303 BA. So that will be the big question, can he stay healthy? This is a situation where Sabean will need to conduct his "due diligence." In 2013, Morse earned $6.75M, so he will be affordable by club standards.
  • Tyler Colvin: A former first-round pick, Colvin has two solid seasons where he showcased why he was picked so early, but back injuries has dropped him off the Rockies. If he's healthy, he's worth signing to a minor league deal … talent never goes away, and he has plenty of it. In 2013, he earned $2.75M playing for Colorado.
  • Brennan Boesch: A 2006 third-round pick by the Detroit Tigers, he was released by Detroit in 2012, and then signed a free agent contract with the New York Yankees in 2013. He was released in July due to a bad shoulder, but has recovered nicely since then. As an everyday outfielder for three years in Detroit, he averaged 14 HR, 58 RBI. He's currently playing for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Republic in winter ball, and his Major League salary was for $1.5M.
  • Grady Sizemore: Last, but not least is Grady Sizemore. Yes, we know he hasn't played since 2011, but he's intriguing because we all know what he can do. The relative question is if he's finally healthy enough to compete for a Major League job. If his medical records check out, he's worth a look and a low-end deal.