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Jim Furtado
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Sunday, October 04, 2015

Ode to Affeldt

Everything about that game felt flat, lifeless, colorless, like the whole scene had degenerated into black and white. I was sitting in the scout section with the Royals’ general manager at the time, Allard Baird, and we were talking about family and life and anything that came to mind to distract us from the dullness of the game itself.

And then Jeremy Affeldt entered.

Zach Posted: October 04, 2015 at 01:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeremy affeldt, retirement, royals

Friday, October 02, 2015

Dodgers-Giants game interrupted by Full House sequel taping

The Dodgers were playing their final road game of the regular season on Thursday against the Giants when both teams got to be a part of one of San Francisco’s greatest cultural cpntributions, Full House.

The game featured a slightly extended seventh inning stretch which had actress Jodie Sweetin, known to viewers as Stephanie Tanner, singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” for the upcoming reboot of the show, titled Fuller House, leaving Los Angeles starter Brett Anderson very confused, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I didn’t know what the hell that was,” Anderson said. “That was terrible. I didn’t know if that was serious or what was happening.

“I thought it was just her being awful at signing. I had to collect myself there for a second.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2015 at 12:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, full house, giants, have mercy, how rude

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Jeremy Affeldt: I’m retiring. Here are five things I won’t miss about baseball

1. The incessant showboating

Nowadays, all you hear about is how “baseball is dying,” and “the game is too slow and boring,” and “MLB just needs to let these guys have more fun.” Believe me, we players hear all of that media-driven chatter, and we’re not buying it. Yes, baseball isn’t the NFL (that’s a good thing, in my opinion), or the NBA, where fans can rock the gear and emulate the stars much more easily.

But what baseball does have, that those other sports largely do not, is tradition. And while the history of the sport has seen more than its fair share of troubling (institutional) incidents, that is precisely why the game remains so important to so many Americans. Baseball is a reflection of ourselves, our struggles and triumphs, our perseverance.

This is why the recent trend of “look at me” machismo, mostly via these elaborate, annoying and overindulgent hand signals and signs, irks me so much. Yes, let’s celebrate the game of baseball, and, if warranted, celebrate our on-field accomplishments with genuine shows of emotion. When you smack a double into the gap to take the lead in the eighth inning, by all means, pump your fist and praise your maker in the sky. But when you flash self-congratulatory signs after a meaningless first-inning single—or, even worse, a walk—you’re clowning yourself and not representing your club or your teammates very well.

Despite this, as I ride off into the sunset, I truly believe the future of baseball is in great (if not overly demonstrative) hands. Here’s hoping the game’s young stewards take time off from patting themselves on the back, though, if only to take notice of how us old guys do things.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Extra Baggs: Buster Posey experiences a foreign feeling; Posey marvels at Kershaw; a productive out with the bases empty; classy words from one Dodger, etc. - Giants Extra

Some good Giants stuff including this nugget:

There wasn’t an opportunity for Tim Lincecum to acknowledge the fans, as he had hoped. But there’s still a chance he’ll be back this weekend.

In any event, a goodbye might not be necessary. The interest is mutual and strong to re-sign Lincecum, from what I’m told. It’s more a matter of when, how much and in what form, rather than if.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 30, 2015 at 06:49 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, giants, tim lincecum

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Biggest offseason questions |

Dan O’Dowd asks some tough questions.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 02:05 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, free agency, giants, mariners, mets, orioles, white sox

The Catcher Is Watching You | FanGraphs Baseball

Buster Posey must have grown up watching Blues Clues.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 09:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, catching, defense, giants, melvin upton, jr.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How the Pirates stole Roberto Clemente from the Dodgers

Holy cow, Clemente next to Willie Mays in the outfield?

The Dodgers signed Clemente 15 months after Campanis first saw him. By then, the Giants, Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals had also expressed interest, according to David Maraniss’ biography “Clemente.” The Braves were serious bidders, reportedly offering the largest bonus ($25,000 to $35,000). But Maraniss writes that Clemente wanted to play in New York, where he had friends and relatives in the growing Puerto Rican community there. From Maraniss’ book:

That left the Giants and Dodgers. Any signing over $6,000 would designate Clemente as a bonus player, meaning a team would have to protect him on the major league roster or face losing him in a supplemental draft after his first year in the minors. The Giants, apparently concluding that Clemente needed at least a year of seasoning, kept their offer below the bonus line. Their scout, Tom Sheehan, hoped that Clemente would sign for a $4,000 bonus and begin in Class-A ball in Sioux City, Iowa.

It wasn’t enough. The Dodgers signed Clemente for a $10,000 bonus and a first-year salary of $5,000. Maraniss writes that the Dodgers had motives beyond just Clemente’s talent: They simply wanted to keep him away from the Giants, where he would team with Willie Mays in the outfield. The Dodgers knew he needed some time in the minors, as well. Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi would later say, “It was a cheap deal for us any way you figure it.” Indeed, as Maraniss notes, another reason it was cheap is that white bonus babies were receiving bonus payments six times higher on average than black and Latin players.

A’s Call Up Barry Zito

So the A’s on Wednesday called up Barry Zito, their former ace and Cy Young winner, from Triple-A Nashville. Zito, 37, had hoped for an MLB comeback this season when he signed a minor-league deal with the A’s, the team that drafted him in the first round in 1999.

Instead, Zito spent the year in the minors. He was 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA, a solid contributor but not sparkling enough to warrant a big-league call-up. Until now, that is.

This is likely an MLB farewell for Zito. The A’s — with their shared history and his popularity in the Bay Area — offered Zito the best chance to return to the big leagues. It would be a surprise if he tried again next season.

Here’s perhaps the best wrinkle in this story: Zito could very well pitch his final game when the A’s meet the San Francisco Giants next weekend and face former teammate Tim Hudson. Hudson and Zito, along with Mark Mulder, formed Oakland’s formidable (and extremely popular) trio of pitchers early in the 2000s.

Bourbon Samurai Posted: September 16, 2015 at 04:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants, moneyball

5 MLB teams with offseason holes and in-season jackpots -

Getting lucky doesn’t hurt.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2015 at 10:08 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, diamondbacks, giants, pirates, rangers

The New Kid | The Players’ Tribune

The original Matt Duffy describes his introduction to the major leagues. Casey McGehee sounds like a really great guy.

Before long, I realized that this — all of this — wasn’t just guys “being nice.” Instead, it was one of the very real secrets to the Giants’ success: That their young players adjust quickly to life in the big leagues. From rookie Buster Posey taking over the starting catcher’s job on the 2010 World Series team, to rookie Joe Panik playing unbelievably at second base in the World Series last year, to rookie pitcher Chris Heston throwing a no-hitter this year. That stuff’s not random. It’s a pattern. And patterns don’t happen by accident.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, matt duffy

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Buster Posey becomes selectively aggressive - Beyond the Box Score

Here’s a great look at Buster Posey’s season.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2015 at 12:55 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, giants, sabermetrics

Let’s look on the bright side of the Giants missing the postseason - McCovey Chronicles

Giants fans won’t have to watch Bumgarner in the playoffs!!

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2015 at 06:54 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner

Friday, September 04, 2015

Lincecum’s hip problem ends his Giants season, career up in the air - San Francisco Chronicle

How long have hip issues been a thing in MLB?

However, Lincecum’s two-year, $35 million contract expires after this season and the Giants clearly need a rotation makeover for 2016 and beyond.

Team trainer Dave Groeschner said Lincecum‘s surgery involved shaving down bone to take care of impingement and repair his labrum. Lincecum, who Groeschner expects to be ready to pitch in spring training. The pitcher will start rehabilitation Friday, staying in Colorado through weekend, then resuming his recovery in Arizona.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 04, 2015 at 07:49 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, tim lincecum

Monday, August 31, 2015

Henry Schulman’s guide to Dodgers-Giants showdown - SFGate

Big series coming up. Get the popcorn ready.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, giants

Tim Lincecum’s hip recovery stalls, and he might have thrown his last pitch as a Giant: “The bad days are outshining the good ones” - Giants Extra

Is he done at thirty-one?

While trying to throw off a mound at the Giants’ complex in Arizona last week, Lincecum’s hips locked up again.

“It’s definitely frustrating but I’ve got to find a way to move forward,” Lincecum said. “The training staff is definitely doing their best to help me out. … (The shots) aren’t taking hold the way we had hoped. I don’t know. It’s a band-aid situation. To be honest, we’re trying to explore as many options as we can.”

That includes offseason surgery, Lincecum said.

“I have my ears open to everything,” he said.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2015 at 06:35 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, tim lincecum

Monday, August 24, 2015

From field to front office, many believe chemistry still matters in baseball

Sure, numbers are fine for fantasy leagues, but if you want to truly define a player’s value, or recognize the importance significance of clubhouse culture, it’s time to wake up and embrace character, too.

“I think we’re losing part of our game because so many of these people in charge don’t have the scouting background or playing background,’’ Peavy said. “All they have is a great education and they’re really good at math. Some of these front offices crunch all of these numbers, and think they’ve got it all figured out.

“I don’t know the formula for winning, but I do know what it means when teams are inseparable, enjoy their time together, care for each other, and play for the higher cause. I’ve seen it. I’ve been part of it.

“You can have all of the education you want, and break down every number you want, but unless you get to know what’s inside a player, you really don’t know the player.’’...

“We had our Moneyball movie, and they didn’t even win,’’ Peavy said of the Oakland Athletics. “How about let’s make a movie about the good ol’ fashioned baseball people, and how they judge team chemistry, and put together guys that fit in.

“How about a movie about a team that actually wins in the end?’’


Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Giants’ new ‘Full House’ promotional video is creepy in all the right ways - McCovey Chronicles

I don’t know what to say.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 15, 2015 at 10:55 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Giants’ new ‘Full House’ promotional video is creepy in all the right ways

Have mercy!

The Giants are holding a “Full House” night on September 30, and their promotional video for it is spot on.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2015 at 12:05 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: full house, giants, promotions

Giants may be willing to pay luxury tax to pursue Phillies’ Utley | FOX Sports

The San Francisco Giants, seeking their fourth World Series title in six years, have crossed a new payroll boundary and might continue to add salary before the Aug. 31 deadline for setting postseason rosters.
For the first time, the Giants are in position to exceed the luxury-tax threshold, according to major-league sources. Yet, the team continues to explore trades for hitters such as Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, sources say.
The threshold, introduced in the 2003-06 collective-bargaining agreement, is $189 million. The Giants were about $1.5 million over that figure, including player-benefit costs, before adding Reds right-hander Mike Leake on July 30. Absorbing the remaining $3.58 million on Leake’s contract put the team about $5 million over the limit, sources say. The Giants also pursued a more expensive pitcher, then-Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, indicating that they were prepared to go even higher.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2015 at 07:47 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, luxury tax

Friday, August 07, 2015

Schwarber Homers in 2nd Straight Game, Cubs Beat Giants 5-4 - The New York Times

The Cubs are good.

“They’re a talented club,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “They’ve got a lot of young talent, got a lot of good arms. You saw the arms they’ve got out of the ‘pen — good velocity, good stuff, good lineup. They’re not going anywhere. That’s a good club.”
Maddon when asked if fans should temper their expectations with the Cubs in the playoff race for the first time in years: “I’m not into temperance, I guess.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 07, 2015 at 07:44 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, kyle schwarber

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Deadspin: Kelby Tomlinson gets his first MLB hit in front of his wife and dad.

Despite the loss, Tiffany was still overjoyed. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News caught up with Tiffany, who said she wanted to barf from excitement:

“I tried to keep it together the best I could. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I believed it until he got on deck and got ready to hit. Then it was, ‘My goodness, it’s actually going to happen.’

“I’m still in disbelief. It was all the emotions all at once. It was so exciting. I wanted to throw up. I’m just so proud of him.”

Baseball is awesome.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Bay Area Sports Guy – Madison Bumgarner isn’t racist, he’s a control freak

Some people, Baer included, apply the “racist” label too easily for my likes. It’s irresponsible.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 02, 2015 at 07:35 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner

Friday, July 31, 2015

Former Tigers pitcher Billy Pierce dies at 88

Billy Pierce, a seven-time All-Star pitcher who played in two World Series and retired after spending most of his 18 years in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, has died at the age of 88.

His family and the White Sox said Pierce died today, after a battle with gall bladder cancer.

RIP Billy. Led the league in ERA once and in complete games 3 times.  And 2 WS victories

A friend of mine at Princeton remembered him as a color man for the Chisox. He claimed he introduced himself as “Billy Pierth”

Twitter: Giants get Leake

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2015 at 06:20 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, mike leake, reds, trade rumors, trades

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Buster Posey’s Pitch Framing Makes Him A Potential MVP | FiveThirtyEight

Sounds like WAR needs to be tweaked.

No current version of WAR accounts for framing, a catcher’s art of carefully receiving the pitch in such a way as to cause the umpire to call it a strike. That happens to be Posey’s most important defensive talent. Good framers turn pitches outside of the zone into strikes and keep pitches within the zone from being called incorrectly as balls. This ability, in turn, scares opposing batters into swinging at less-optimal pitches, making the impact of good framing significant. Our best estimates put a good framer as worth up to three or four wins per year.

So far this season, Posey has racked up 11.8 runs in value from his framing, more than an entire win’s worth to add to his total and putting him within a win of Trout. Catchers who consistently earn strikes where umps usually call balls are clearly good at manipulating the umpires, but there’s some mystery as to how good framers like Posey get those calls. I wanted to understand not just what Posey does when a pitch comes in, but also what he does that other catchers don’t do.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2015 at 01:03 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, catchers, defense, giants, pitch framing, sabermetrics, war

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