The Return of the Spit Count

Hey, Giants fans!  I was hoping to get back into the routine of giving informative baseball information with this blog, but this last week has been very busy for me (fun, but busy).  I’m also leaving tomorrow for my trip, so I’ll have to wait until after I get back.  I have some ideas already planned for this season, but if you have any baseball-related questions, please let me know and I’ll try to answer them in future blogs.  However, I couldn’t leave without giving you what I know you’ve all been waiting for:  the first spit counts of the season!!  There are already some surprising results.  I have spit count results from three games so far:

April 11th

Giants:

 –          Sandoval 14

–          Zito 12 (NOOOOOOO!!!)

–          Lincecum 10

–          H. Sanchez 4

–          Pagan 4

–          Groeschner 3

–          Schierholtz 3

–          Otero 2

–          Pill 2

–          Flannery 2

–          Righetti 2

–          Huff 1

–          Cabrera 1

–          Misc. Coach 1

–          Affeldt 1

–          Hensley 1

Rockies:

–          Helton 4

–          Scutaro 3

–          Fowler 2

–          Gonzalez 2

–          Tulowitzki 1

Misc.:

–          Kid in stands with purple hair 1

–          Giants fan 1

–          Ump. 1

Game Spit Master General = Sandoval at 14

That’s a total of 78 spits during a 3 hour and 40 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 2.8 minutes.

So the boys are still at it.  Right off the bat, Zito ruins his spitless season.  Granted, all his spits were due to him spitting sunflower seeds in the dugout (9 times in rapid succession at one point), but those still count since no one wants to watch that on TV.  He was probably on camera more that day since it was right after his shutout.  Timmy was credited with three of his spits even before he went out on the field!

April 14th

Giants:

–          Sandoval 12

–          Cabrera 7

–          Schierholtz 2

–          Burriss 2

–          Theriot 2

–          Zito 1

–          Bochy 1

–          H. Sanchez 1

–          Pagan 1

–          Posey 1

Pirates:

–          Cruz 6

–          McGehee 2

–          Navarro 2

–          Walker 1

–          Morton 1

–          Harrison 1

–          Tabata 1

–          Grilli 1

–          ? 1

–          Hurdle 1

Misc.:

–          Ump. 1

Game Spit Master General = Sandoval at 12

That’s a total of 48 spits during a 3 hour and 5 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.9 minutes.

April 16th

Giants:

–          Lincecum 10

–          Sandoval 4

–          Cabrera 4

–          Pagan 4

–          Burriss 3

–          Otero 2

–          Huff 1

–          Posey 1

Phillies:

–          Halladay 5

–          Rollins 2

Misc.:

–          Ump. 2

–          Giants Fan 1

Game Spit Master General = Lincecum at 10

That’s a total of 39 spits during a 2 hour and 30 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.8 minutes.

I was hoping that Hunter Pence would log at least one spit during this game so that I could list him as Under Pants (thanks, Donna – I still think that whenever I hear his name), but he was a good boy and didn’t get caught once!

There you have it!  As I guessed, Pablo is taking over Chris Stewart’s role as the spittingest guy on the team, with Timmy coming in at a close second.  And though Zito has broken my heart with his newly discovered spitting abilities, I still haven’t caught Brandon Crawford spitting.  Keep it up, Kid!  All of the other new players I’ve watched have recorded at least one spit so far except for Blanco, and I’ve seen him spit during Spring Training, so I’m not holding out hope for him.

What do you all think of Timmy’s haircut?  I think it makes him look like a girl and so much younger.  I think it might be time for a big boy haircut.  Maybe that will help him pitch more consistently.  That game on the 11th was his shortest start ever at 2 1/3 innings.  I hope he can work his way out of this rut soon.  Good luck, Timmy!

I’ve noticed that on Comcast SportsNet, they’ve been showing the players OBP instead of their batting average at the bottom of the screen when they come up to bat.  Is this stat becoming more important?  I like this as even walks count as productive at bats.

The learning continues as I watch these games.  During a game, Mike Krukow made mention of the fact that Hector Sanchez wears this special orange tape on his finger nails so that his signals to the pitcher will be more obvious.  I guess a lot of guys do this.  I think it would be cool if he just went and got a manicure with orange polish – I’m sure he could find something bright enough to work!  He’d be stylin’ then!  He could start a new Major League trend!

In major Giants news, Madison Bumgarner signed a contract for $35 million over 5 years, with a club option for the following 2 years at $24 million.  WOOHOO!  The interesting thing about this is that the Giants would have had control over his contract for the next 4 years anyway, but they are getting him at a much lower price than they probably would have if he had gone to arbitration.  Plus they will have him his first free agent year and the next two years after that if they so choose.  Madison is happy as he is only 22 and guaranteed to be a multi-millionaire.  Win win!  I was listening to KNBR the day that he signed the contract, and Eric Byrnes was interviewing him.  He alluded to the fact that Madison was just 22 years old and was about to receive a ton of money, and then he asked him what his first major purchase would be.  Madison obviously hadn’t had time to think about this yet, and he responded in his soft-spoken drawl, “I don’t know.  Probably more cows.”  Love that guy!

We got some very sad news about Brian Wilson the other day.  He saved the game on the 12th in his usual coronary-inducing fashion by loading the bases first and then walking a run in before getting the third out.  Buster noticed that he appeared to have something wrong physically, but of course, Wilson denied it and continued playing.  The next day we found out that he had injured his elbow (he actually had heard it pop – yuck!). He will be undergoing Tommy John surgery to his elbow today.  He had this same surgery once before, and apparently with each subsequent surgery, the odds of success decrease.  I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely concerned for the guy.  I hope everything works out for him because he is a very talented pitcher and awesome personality, but minimally he will be out for the season.  Sending you good vibes today, Brian.  I’m not as concerned for the team overall, though, as I think their fantastic relief team can cover for him this season.  They’ve already proven it this season.

The Giants also received sad news about one of their former staff.  Alexis Busch, daughter of former Giants Executive Vice President Corey Busch, was killed in a sailboat race accident.  She was a batgirl for the Giants when she was a kid, the first Major League batgirl ever.  She also worked on the Giants staff later in life.  The Giants mentioned her passing before the game on the 16th and had a moment of silence in her honor.  Such a sad story – she was so young (only 26).

If you hadn’t heard already, Ralph Barbieri was let go from KNBR after 28 years of working at the station.  Apparently he and the station have had a tumultuous relationship over the years.  I have to admit that I’ve had mixed feelings about this one.  I grew up hating Ralph Barbieri.  I alluded to this in one of my earliest blogs.  Every time I would get in the car with my dad, he would turn on KNBR and I would be forced to listen to the broadcasts, and inevitably it would be Ralph’s voice that I would hear.  It was so distinctive that when I would think of KNBR, I would hear his voice in my head.  The last few years, I have actually started listening to KNBR myself (as I am channeling my dad’s spirit, I think), and though I don’t always agree with his commentary, hearing his voice brings me joy as it automatically makes me think of my dad.  I happened to be listening the day that his long-time hosting partner, Tom Tolbert (Mr. T), announced that Ralph would no longer be with KNBR as he obviously held back tears.  It definitely touched me, and I have to admit that I will miss the guy, both for being so outspoken and for bringing back those memories of my dad.  I also just recently learned that he went to the same elementary school that I did.  Small world.

Thanks to my buddy, Dianna, I have my first installment of “Eli, Grizzlies Star.”  She lives near Fresno and noticed an article about him in the local paper, which she forwarded to me because she is awesome like that.  The Grizzlies’ game on the 16th was tied with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth and a guy on third.  Up to the bat came my boy, Eli Whiteside.  He fouled off the first pitch and then laid down a bunt that went right back to the pitcher.  All the pitcher had to do was throw the ball to first to get Eli out.  His attention was distracted when the guy running from third to home stopped for a second, and this distraction caused him to eventually overthrow the ball to first, allowing Eli to arrive safely and the run to score.  It was a crazy situation, but Eli is credited with winning the game.  The coach was quoted as saying, “I didn’t call (for a bunt), but it was a smart move by Whiteside to lay it down.”  Smart move by my boy!  WOOHOO!  Congrats, Eli!  I’m so happy that you had a great day.  Thanks again to Dianna for the info (which came from a Fresno Bee article by Robert Kuwada).

Have you seen the new Giants commercials?  They are pretty cool, especially the one where Buster and some fans are swinging the bat together.  But alas, I am not in any of them.  If you look really closely, though, you can see my sign (My Boys Can Do It!  Go Giants!) in the background of the Pablo one.  Oh well – at least I know I was there!

Finally, I forgot to mention in my last blog that DAVE BENZ COMMENTED ON MY BLOG AGAIN!!  It was the one about Eli being sent down to the minors.  I am so thrilled (and amazed) that he is still reading it!  Thanks, Dave.  I’m planning on baking biscotti for the next Authentic Comcast BBQ and bringing them to you in person to thank you for your support (hope you’re not allergic to almonds).

Well, I’m off on my baseball road trip with my siblings tomorrow.  We’ll be in D.C., Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.  We are going to at least one of the Giants games in Cincinnati, so look for us in the crowd (April 25th and/or 26th).  I’ll continue the blog once I get back.  I’m planning on keeping a journal while I’m on the trip so I can share some of my experiences with you when I get back.  Until then, GO GIANTS!!

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3 comments

  1. Di

    Carmie – Have a GREAT trip. Love to the sibs…can’t wait to hear (or read) all about it! I will definitely keep you updated on Eli! See you soon!

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