My boys continue to rack up the awards over the break. Three of them received Silver Slugger Awards for the 2015 season. This award is given to players who stand out offensively at their position, and it’s voted on by the MLB managers and coaches. Buster won the catcher award for the third time, Madison took home the pitcher award for the second time (I pretty much figured he had it in the bag, so this was no surprise to me), and Brandon Crawford won a silver bat to go with his gold glove, winning the short stop award for the first time. The Giants were the only MLB team to take home three of these awards – just goes to show you that we no longer just have to depend on pitching and defense to win games! Congrats, Guys! In addition, Buster also won the 2015 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at catcher. Unlike the Gold Glove, this award is determined solely by statistics using sabermetrics (the award was created in 2012). Buster’s gonna have to buy a new house just to store all those trophies!
The team won its own award, being named the 2015 recipient of the MLB Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence. The Giants were recognized for the Junior Giants program. Commissioner Manfred said, “I congratulate Larry Baer, the Giants Community Fund and the entire Giants organization for the continued success of the Junior Giants program, which is a perfect example of our commitment to reaching young people both inside and outside the game. For many years, the program has used the popularity of our sport to help change thousands of young lives. The program teaches healthy habits, improves literacy and prevents bullying. I thank the Giants and all of our Clubs for their year-round efforts to reach out to their respective communities.” Nice job, Larry. Makes me proud to be a fan.
Ginny was able to breathe a sigh of relief this week as Brandon Crawford was given a 6 year, $75 million contract which includes a no trade clause. This buys out two years of arbitration and four years of free agency. So happy the Giants did this quickly – that guy is so precious to the future of this team. Love the fact that so many of my boys will be around for a while. And Ginny – the jersey’s good for at least a few years longer! Interesting that he also got a $1.2 million signing bonus that vests over the six years. When you’re making that much dough, why is that necessary?? That boy and his kids and his kids’ kids are set for life already! He mentioned in an interview that since he knows he’ll be on the team for a while, he’s looking at buying a home in the East Bay. Probably wants to be close to the folks. Very happy for the kid – definitely well deserved. Still waiting to hear what will happen with Brandon Belt, another guy who is arbitration eligible and important to the team.
In personal news, Andrew Susac got married on November 15th. Congratulations, Andrew! He’s also been one of the few being mentioned in trade rumors during the Hot Stove. Grant Brisbee mentioned in an article that Susac would be the perfect trade fodder to acquire right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller from the Braves (thanks for giving me a heads-up on this, Nick). We need pitching – they may need a catcher to start over Christian Bethancourt. Brisbee also believes Susac would not be enough, and we’d probably have to trade additional prospects. However the nice thing is we’d have Miller under control for 3 years with that trade. Giants are going to have to do something in the pitching arena. Still holding out for Greinke (I can dream!). At least he didn’t win the Cy Young this year, so maybe there’s still hope we can get him for a reasonable price (yeah, right!).
Speaking of pitching, the Giants added 8 minor league prospects to the 40-man roster today, all of them pitchers. The five right-handers are Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton, Clayton Blackburn, Ian Gardeck, and Jake Smith and the three left-handers are Steven Okert, Adalberto Mejia, and Ty Blach. Guess they’re really taking the pitching thing seriously.
In weird news, former Giant Aubrey Huff is trying to launch a comeback after being out of baseball for three years. In an interview on CSN, Huff said he left originally due to anxiety and depression issues, but he’s put that behind him and feels like a new person. He’s been working out and thinks he’s still got what it takes to play. He’s going to try to get on a Winter Ball team and hopes to try out for a team during Spring Training. My opinion on this: The guy will be 39 years old next month. He missed baseball after he left, like anyone who leaves does. I don’t see it happening. But I’ll wish him luck anyway cause he’ll always be one of my boys.
In family news, my brother and my niece went to a book signing with Amy G. They bought her book Smarty Marty’s Got Game and had her sign it. My brother said she was very gracious and spent a lot of time speaking with my niece. Love her! He also ran into one of the Comcast broadcasters there, Mindi Bach. I love her, too! He chatted with her for a long time and said she was really friendly. She lives in San Carlos and her kids attend the same school as my niece. Mindi is the one who asked Amy G. to come to the school for the event. All around awesome experience for them.
Somehow I never posted the last spit count of the season, so here you go:
- Williams 3
- Parker 3
- Noonan 2
- Meulens 2
- Byrd 2
- Cain 1
- Frandsen 1 (spat out gum)
- Pagan 1
- Hall 1
- Perez 1
- Blanco 1 (seeds)
- De Aza 1
- Tomlinson 1
- Descalso 2
- Bergman 2
- Blackmon 2
- Reyes 2
- Dickerson 2 (into batting glove)
- Parker 1
- Weiss 1
Game Spit Master General = Tie between Williams and Parker at 3
That’s a total of 32 spits during a 3 hour and 5 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 5.8 minutes (lowest spit average of the season!).
They waited until the final game of the season to back off on the spitting, logging the least amount of spits per minute of the season on this day. I’m wondering if that’s because there were so many kids playing in that game – look at that list! Whatever it was, I’ll take it. I want to give a special thank you to Jeremy Affeldt who took the gum out of his mouth with his hand instead of spitting it out onto the field during this game. A true gentleman who will be sorely missed.
Sorry I keep delaying that final spit analysis that you’ve all been waiting for, but I promise it will be out before next season! Waiting for the Hot Stove to heat up and any news whatsoever on that front. Will try to post as soon as I hear anything. Would love to know what’s going on behind closed doors right now. They sure are keeping hush hush about it. Gosh, I miss baseball. Until next time, GO GIANTS!