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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Noble: Refreshing to see title won with fundamentals

Noble: Gelly! It’s still spongy!

Good for Jim Leyland and his guys for discounting the effect of the layoff between their sweep of the Yankees and their being steamrolled by a team with less star power but that executed in a way that would have delighted John McGraw, Branch Rickey, Gene Mauch, George Kissell and all the other fundamentalists. Leyland graciously acknowledged which team deserved to win.

It wasn’t only that the Giants did so little wrong—they committed one error, as did the Tigers—they did so many things well. What impressed me to no end was Brandon Crawford’s first-pitch sacrifice bunt in the 10th inning Sunday night. It was as critical a play as any in the 37-inning engagement, and it was flawlessly executed. Left-handed hitter vs. left-handed pitcher. Footage of it ought to be saved, duplicated and shown to every player in every Spring Training camp next year and forever more. Perhaps the stars who routinely dismiss their bunting responsibilities in daily batting practice will gain a better sense of what is occasionally essential.

Crawford’s bunt had as much to do with the Giants winning Sunday as Ryan Theriot’s 60-yard sprint and energized slide or Marco Scutaro’s final stroke of heroism. Traditional National League baseball can be as handsome as a Steve Nash assist or any catch made on any given Sunday. Sadly, Crawford’s contribution is likely to fade from baseball’s consciousness, ever to be obscured by Pablo Sandoval’s swings, all the zeros Ryan Vogelsong accumulated, Tim Lincecum’s selflessness, Zito’s renaissance and Scutaro’s two-way brilliance. It will remain with Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean, et al, though.

Repoz Posted: October 31, 2012 at 08:37 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants

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   1. BDC Posted: October 31, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4289096)
I was glad that TFA didn't start grousing about how, for the last 10 or 15 years or whatever, World Champions have been neglecting their fundamentals. Most teams that win do pretty well at that stuff; in fact, if you watch a lot of random games involving Seattle or Kansas City or whoever in the regular season, you can notice how much better a good playoff team is at basics, especially on defense, even at the ML level. The Giants definitely won by playing sharp baseball; most champions do, and they are no exception.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4289116)
Most teams that win do pretty well at that stuff; in fact, if you watch a lot of random games involving Seattle or Kansas City or whoever in the regular season, you can notice how much better a good playoff team is at basics, especially on defense, even at the ML level.


Which is what irritates me when fans or broadcasters think that a bad team can become good at fundamentals if they just work at it. Fundamentals are a skill just like hitting or pitching, and you don't necessarily get good at it just by practicing, at least not at this level. If you're a crappy baseball player, you probably suck at fundamentals too.
   3. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4289169)
Perfect practice makes perfect.
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4289202)
Look, these guys write the story beforehand, and leave the name of the winner blank. Then after the series, the put the name in. The column encompasses all outcomes
   5. Bob Tufts Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4289393)
The cameras that the Giants put on light towers to monitor and quantify defense don't exist!
   6. Walt Davis Posted: October 31, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4289483)
in fact, if you watch a lot of random games involving Seattle or Kansas City or whoever in the regular season, you can notice how much better a good playoff team is at basics, especially on defense, even at the ML level.

But also, if you look at Seattle or Kansas City only during their annual hot streak, they'll look like a pretty darn good team. Generally you don't win 7 in a row while playing bad baseball, no matter what team you are. As #4 points out, this article would have been a wee bit more impressive if it had been written a week ago.

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