So how is everyone doing on the day after Thanksgiving? I myself am recovering from a food-induced stupor. How can you walk away from the table when it’s all so good?? Today is officially Orange and Black Friday. No, not just a day to get all those department store bargains, but the first day to purchase Giants tickets for next season. Can you believe this?? I have to admit, it is getting me excited already. And guess who will be on-line today purchasing some of those tickets? My cousin Manny, of course, especially since they have already announced the giveaway schedule. And I personally am thrilled about this, as he has asked me if I want to attend four games with him (all bobblehead games). So I am guaranteed to attend at least four games next season already! WOOHOO! I’m also extremely excited that along with the bobblehead gang, my sister will be attending. Love my sis! We had a blast at the game we went to together last season.
Things are finally starting to heat up in the Hot Stove League. The big news was the trade of Jonathan Sanchez and minor league pitcher Ryan Verdugo (who??) to the Royals for Melky Cabrera on November 7th. What are your thoughts on this trade? I personally think it is a good deal, especially since my boys have a solid pitching group but need major help on offense. I love Sanchez, but he is so inconsistent and he walks guys a lot. Every time he pitches and he starts letting guys on base, you can just see that look of resignation on his face. Melky will be great for both our offense and defense. He batted over .300 last year with 18 homeruns and 87 RBIs and is a switch hitter. And he’s still a puppy (27) – I think it’s great to get more young blood on the team. Plus he has an awesome name (Got Melky?) and shares my initials (that must be a good sign!). I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Jonathan Sanchez as I have some great memories from the last game of the 2010 regular season where my boys won the division (got to be at AT&T Park for that one). He pitched a great game and even got a triple that day. So good luck to you in Kansas City, Jonathan, and welcome to my newest boy, Melky!
The Giants also signed outfielder Gregor Blanco to a minor league contract. He played Triple A ball for the Nationals and the Royals last season. Blanco plays center field – this (along with Melky’s signing) adds to the evidence that Torres is on his way out this year.
There have also been club rumors that Cody Ross and Pat Burrell will not be offered arbitration this year. I assumed this meant that they would definitely not be on the team next season, but my brother, Nick, educated me on Thanksgiving and said that this just means they won’t go to arbitration – they can still be offered a contract. That way the Giants control how much they make if they stay on the team. I still think this doesn’t look good for Cody. No surprise for Pat, who will probably retire due to his foot injury. I hope both have been stashing away some of their salaries for a rainy day, as the skies sure are clouding up for both.
More awards for the 2011 season have been announced since last time I blogged. The Rookies of the Year are relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves for the National League and starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson of the Tampa Bay Rays for the American League. The Cy Young winners are Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Beat LA!! – he deserves to win, but couldn’t resist!) for the National League and Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers for the American League. The MVP winners are Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers for the National League and Justin Verlander (yes, again) of the Detroit Tigers for the American League. Verlander’s MVP award stands out as this award is rarely given to a pitcher (last one was Dennis Eckersley in 1992).
Though none of my boys are on this list, some of them did receive awards from MLB.com. Pablo received the award for Giants Player of the Year, Timmy received Giants Pitcher of the Year, and Ryan Vogelsong received Giants Breakout Player of the Year (finally gets some recognition for this!). Also, the San Jose Giants received the Class A Advanced Team of the Year Award. Congrats to all of you!
There have been some concerns about the fact that Pablo is playing Winter Ball in Venezuela (his home), especially after the recent kidnapping there of Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals (thankfully, he was rescued unharmed). I’m concerned, too, but understand how much pride these guys have in their country and how important it is for them to represent that country by playing baseball for them. And baseball is a really big deal in Venezuela. Just please watch your back, Pablo! We desperately need you back here next season. Pablo has apparently also been ramping up his workout routine. He posted some pics on Twitter. The one thing I noticed was that the man boobs are coming back (sorry – they were very noticeable in one of the pics). Hopefully with this intense workout regimen, they’ll be gone by the spring.
Also of note in the baseball news is the reorganization of the MLB leagues. As of the 2013 season, the Houston Astros will be an American League team, thus evening out the two leagues at fifteen teams apiece. Each league will now have five teams per division. There will also be an additional Wild Card Game added to the playoff schedule, and interleague play will happen year round as opposed to just in June. This change sounds like it will make things more fair all around, however I feel sorry for the Astros who will have to deal with now using designated hitters as well as dealing with away games starting later (most of the teams in their new division are on the west coast). I am excited about the fact that my boys will get to play against more American League teams, better preparing them for potential World Series matches (positive thoughts, positive thoughts).
A big shout out to my husband, Dan, for helping me fix some broken links to pictures on my blog. We were able to fix everything except the link to the Family Circus cartoon that Halle sent me about spitting (that cartoon is no longer on that site). If anyone finds this cartoon anywhere, I would appreciate a heads up.
I am so looking forward to next baseball season already. The other night, we took my mom to dinner for her birthday in The City and drove by AT&T Park. I have to say that I got a little thrill. Can’t wait until I’m going back there on a regular basis. If you hear any Giants news, please let me know. Until next time, GO GIANTS!!