It’s that time of year again – time for my annual spit count analysis! WOOHOO!! Actually, I’m a couple months later than usual this year. If you aren’t interested in the spit stuff, you can scroll down a bit to some other “juicy” tidbits I have for you about the boys. As usual, there were lots of surprises this year when it came to those who spat the most and those who didn’t spit at all.
I did spit counts during a total of 21 games from the Giants 2014 season. And (drumroll please) here are the results:
|# of games caught||Total # of spits||Avg. # of||Highest # of|
This is the fourth season that I’ve done this, and again we have a new overall Spit Master General. And he is a surprise as well (in fact, I had forgotten he had played for us this season!). The “winner” this time was Tyler Colvin who racked up 27 spits during the game on June 8th (All-time record = Chris Stewart in 2011 at 38). He also had the highest spit average per game at 11.1. Colvin accumulates most of his spits by spitting into each batting glove right before every pitch he sees. Spits add up quickly that way! And those spits are just as disgusting as the ones aimed at the ground. Tyler will be receiving his Spit Master General certificate in the mail as soon as the regular season starts. I hope he signs with someone (he’s a free agent right now) so I’ll know where to send it! The record for most spits in a single game by a non-Giant this season was set by Matt Kemp of the Dodgers on April 5th – 23 spits (All-time record = Chris Snyder of the Astros in 2012 at 44). The umpire who expelled the most saliva during a game this season was Marvin Hudson – he launched 7 spits during the April 12th game (All-time record = Rob Drake in 2011 at 40).
Other records that were set this season:
- Lowest spit count average – 1 spit every 12.7 minutes (July 12th the Diamondbacks – new all-time record)
- Highest spit count average – 1 spit every 2.9 minutes (May 3rd the Braves)
- Lowest total spits in a single game – 12 (August 1st the Mets – new all-time record)
- Highest total spits in a single game – 64 (June 15th the Rockies)
- Madison Bumgarner snot rockets during a single game – 15 (April 5th the Dodgers – new all-time record)
There is definitely some positive news on the spit front this season. Guys did not spit nearly as much this season as they did in previous seasons. New all-time low spit count average and total spit count records were set. Plus the highest total spits in a game last season was less than half that of the previous two years. And several of the players reduced their spit count averages from the last few seasons significantly, including Buster, Pablo, and Angel. The sad news is that MOST of the new guys are spitting up a storm (3 of them are near the top of the list), so the message isn’t getting out to the kids.
Now to the happy part of all of this – who are the guys that didn’t show up on the spitting list? Well surprisingly I have two non-spitters this season. One receives the award for the third year in a row – GREGOR BLANCO! Thanks for continuing to keep that spit where it belongs! The second was a surprise to me, and I didn’t realize it until after I had tallied all the spits. Congratulations to JOE PANIK! He’s the one kid who bucked the trend and never got caught spitting this season. Even though he didn’t start playing regularly until the end of June, he played in most of the games after that so his efforts deserve to be recognized. YAY!! All your fans thank you for your good manners, Guys! I’ll be sending both your “Thank You For Not Spitting” certificates soon.
I am also recognizing another two players for their efforts even though they showed up in my spit counts. One of those is MICHAEL MORSE! He spat a total of 3 times, but each time it was sunflower seeds. I know they do officially count, but I think I can make an exception in his case, especially since he is a promoter of Grinds, the tobacco substitute. He’s setting a great example for those kids. Thank you, Michael, and I’m sure going to miss your energy next season. And remember – I’ll be watching when the Marlins take on the Giants! Another non-spitting role model this season was MATT CAIN! The 2 spits he logged the entire season both were logged when he spat out the gum he had been chewing during the game. And I know that gum spitting is gross, too, but I’ve noticed that when guys chew gum, they spit less, and this was obvious when Matt pitched this season. His spit average has gone down every year since I’ve been doing this. And though he had a shortened season, he was the starting pitcher in 3 of the games I logged, and the pitcher is on camera an awful lot, so I think he deserves some credit. Great job, Matt! Looking forward to seeing more of you next season.
I also have to explain some of the other players who didn’t spit but who I eliminated from eligibility. Brandon Crawford was never caught spitting during my spit counts, which is commendable, but I did catch him spitting twice when I was not doing spit counts – once after he committed two errors during a game (guess he wasn’t a happy camper then) and once in one of the last games of the season. And both spits were super juicy ones. So he has been disqualified this season (sorry, Ginny). Travis Ishikawa didn’t get caught this season either, but I don’t think he played in enough games to be recognized. I’m hoping his non-spitting trend will continue next season so that he can earn a certificate. And Jake Peavy was only caught spitting once, which is pretty amazing for a pitcher, but he did not pitch in any of the games I logged, plus he came to the team late in the season, so he didn’t qualify.
Now that you’ve had your fill of the spit run-down, let’s move on to some other Giants news. Madison has received another prestigious award. He was named the AP Male Athlete of the Year. Congratulations, Kid! Anything you get is so well deserved (and is making my jersey that much more valuable!). Pitcher Mike Kickham was placed on waivers by the Giants and claimed by the Cubs. Best of luck to you, Mike aka “Superman”. I hope you have better luck in Chicago because I know you have the potential. There is a lovely video out on the relationship between Bruce Bochy and Tim Flannery. Here’s the link. They are so close, but I had no idea that they argued so much! It was nice to see them outside of baseball.
Tim Hudson had surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle, the one that he injured during the 2013 season with the Braves. The expected recovery is 8 weeks, which would have him ready to start come Opening Day. But does this scare anyone besides me?? There was talk that the Giants were looking at pitcher Dan Haren as a possible backup to the rotation in case Hudson doesn’t make it, but those talks appear to be stalled. And what about Ryan Vogelsong? Will he return next season? Will my shirt still be good? Will be interesting to see how the lineup turns out come April. At least we have Petit (thank goodness we have him!). The Giants were also rumored to be interested in Ben Zobrist from the Tampa Bay Rays as a utility man, possibly an outfielder, but he was signed by the A’s instead. Hmmm… What’s going on with Sabean? Does he think we’re fine? I’m really getting anxious about our outfield and wondering what move (if any) he’ll make before the season starts.
Only 28 more days until FanFest! Can’t wait! As Donna said, there are only two seasons: Baseball and Winter. Can’t wait for winter to be over! Until next time, GO GIANTS!!