How about those Giants, huh??? What a fantastic start to the 2014 season this has been: Going 3 and 1 against the Diamondbacks in their house (and I personally got to be there for that crazy opener), and now 2 and 0 vs. the dreaded Dodgers. MY boys spoiled two home openers. Who coulda thunk this could happen?? Best part is all the predictions that the Dodgers were going to rock it this year. HA HA! More proof that money can’t buy you a great team. Today’s game was amazing, with everyone contributing, three homers, and a quality, amazing start from Madison. This is the kind of baseball I LOVE to watch! We’re not leaving as many guys stranded on base. And we have the best record in the league (5-1) and have the highest number of runs! WHAT???? Is this season going to be different or what??
I was able to do the first spit count of the season today. Some things never change:
– Sandoval 10
– Pagan 4
– Bumgarner 3
– Sanchez 3
– Hicks 1
– Perez 1
– Kemp 23
– Van Slyke 4
– Ellis 3
– Puig 1
– Kershaw 1
– Ethier 1
– Mattingly 1
– Wright 1
– Giants fan 1
Game Spit Master General = Kemp at 23
Giants Game Spit Master General = Sandoval at 10
That’s a total of 58 spits during a 3 hour and 40 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.8 minutes.
Kemp ran away with the title today. He has mastered the fine art of the triple spit; all but one of his spits consisted of three separate spits in rapid fire succession. Blech. And of course, Pablo was not far behind. Hicks logged his first spit as a Giant (sigh). Kershaw made an appearance in the count today and he didn’t even play (and that kid chews gum like a cow!). The one Giants fan caught spitting was simply releasing sunflower seed shells. And of course, since it was a Madison start, I did a snot rocket count. He’s still at it, too, and big time. He set a new all-time record with a total of 15 blasts today (previous record was 13). That’s one blow every 14.7 minutes! Sheesh!
During the game today, it was mentioned that the team has started a friendly competition where they get points for every good thing they do at the plate. The harder the task, the greater the points. The standings are posted each day. They won’t reveal the scale, but apparently Ryan Volgesong racked up a bunch of points for his two run single against the Dodgers last night. The prize also wasn’t revealed, but I bet it’s something fun knowing those crazy guys. The competition is the brainchild of hitting coach Hensley Meulens. He said they usual only do it during a hitting slump, but they decided to try it up front this season. Give that man a raise! Sure seems to be doing the trick!
Since I hadn’t blogged in a while because of my trip, I’ve got some old news. Near the end of Spring Training George Kontos was optioned to the Fresno Grizzlies (his last option) and Dan Runzler was reassigned to the minor leagues. Both had more than decent showings at Spring Training, but they were sent down to protect Yusmeiro Petit, David Huff, and Jean Machi who are out of options. Guess that’s a nice position to be in – so much talent that it’s tough to decide who you will lose. I posted on Kontos’ Twitter account the fact that he was only sent down to save the other guys and that he would be back soon. He favorited my tweet. Love that guy.
Pablo was offered a 3-year, $40 million contract by the Giants but turned it down. It’s a lot of money, but he’ll definitely get offered more than that, so I understand why. Wonder if the Giants will try again before the end of the season to lock him up (especially with how well he’s been playing). Would be really sad to see that guy in another uniform next season.
I know this is old news, too, but just in case you were curious, here’s the 2014 Giants 25-man roster:
Pitchers: Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Santiago Casilla, Juan Gutierrez, Tim Hudson, David Huff, Tim Lincecum, Javier Lopez, Jean Machi, Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo, Ryan Vogelsong
Catchers: Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez
Infielders: Ehire Adrianza, Joaquin Arias, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Hicks, Pablo Sandoval
Outfielders: Gregor Blanco, Michael Morse, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence, Juan Perez
Of course Dan was thrilled that Perez made the team and plans to buy a Perez jersey. I know he’s crazy, but I love the fact that he actually cares. The new kids are definitely strutting their stuff and I’m glad they are here. Seems we have a much stronger bench this season, and that lineup is looking wicked!
Another Dodgers jab: Did you hear that Yasiel Puig didn’t play in their home opener because he arrived to the field late for batting practice? And today not only did he slide into first (which has been shown to be slower than just running through), he hurt his hand in the process and had to have x-rays. Then he got picked off. HA HA!! Kid’s got a lot to learn. He also ticked off his manager in one of the Australia games for wanting to come out of the game in the ninth inning, and even one of his teammates, Adrian Gonzalez, was yelling at him after that game for his poor baserunning. Not so much of a star anymore, I guess. And probably a big distraction to the team. Couldn’t have happened to a better club.
Had a couple of fun things happen on social media recently (both on my trip). I posted a picture of the cool Giants Vans that my daughter decorated for me on the Giants twitter page, and they retweeted the picture, saying, “Look at these KICKS!” Also, I was listening to Marty Lurie on KNBR the day the Giants/As game got rained out. Marty had asked people to make predictions for the season. So I tweeted the following to him: “Prediction: Huge year for Belt. Gold Glove, .310 BA, 100 RBI, and 30 HR.” And he read it on the air, saying my name twice! My mini claims to fame. But seriously, regarding the Belt thing, I really do think this is going to be his breakout year. He’s already got three HRs in six games, 6 RBI, and he’s batting .318. And his fielding is fantastic. It could happen! I’ll do an update at the end of the season and see how close I came in this prediction. Do you have any predictions you’d like to share? On anything Giants related? Anything? Just post them in the comments section and I’ll put them in my next blog.
Finally, I forgot to link to this last time, but the new commercials are out! To me, the release of the new commercials signals the official start of the baseball season. Here’s a link to all of the new Giants commercials. There is also a new batch of Toyota commercials featuring Buster, with some voice work by Giants public address announcer, Renel. Here’s one I saw today during the game. Buster is really a natural at this! Who woulda thought that shy guy could act like that? All the commercials are fantastic. My fave is probably the one with Sergio and Buster, but they are all great. I also enjoy the one featuring Michael Morse’s bare chest (sorry – girly moment).
I promise to blog about my Spring Training and Opening Day trip to Arizona sometime this week, but the spit count took preference today. Hoping my boys can sweep the Dodgers off the planet tomorrow. Another high scoring game would be sweet! I’ll be watching. Until next time, GO GIANTS! BEAT LA!