Brian Wilson’s Customized Nike Cleats

Brian Wilson, was given some Nike cleats as a gift for being voted onto the National All Star team. The catch, apparently he was unaware of.

B-Weezy (does anyone call him that anymore?) was fined for being a little too orange on Tuesday night. The rule states that you have to have at least 50% of your team’s main color, which apparently if you are the Giants is…black?

brian-wilson-sharpies-his-nikes.jpgAccording to Major League Baseball it is, so Wilson spent his pre-game prepping his previously bright orange Nike Air Max Diamond Elite with a Sharpie (or a few is more like it). His penmanship seems to look alright, but it didn’t fare so well for his fastball, as Wilson was handed just his third blown save in 33 attempts on Wednesday by the Marlins, and specifically Dan Uggla, who has been connecting like he’s playing tee ball in this series.

Thankfully for Wilson, Andres Torres was on fire today, and drove in the winning run in the 10th inning. The Giants finished with 17 hits, and despite giving up a 9-2 lead, it’s one of those days where the good old saying “a win’s a win” is surely true.

When you’ve won 17 out of the last 21, sometimes those kind of wins just happen.

Outlook: Always carry a Sharpie because, as a Giants fan especially, you never know when you might receive a bright orange gift.

Check out my article on the Eastbay Blog to see what Wilson’s Nike cleats originally looked like.

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The Greatest Baseball Rivalry

Rivalries are always better when you win, so it’s easy to say after last
night’s game the San Francisco versus Los Angeles is the best in the
league. Removing the fact that I was pretty much born wearing a Giants
outfit on, and come from a religious background that emphatically
states, “love thy neighbor, unless they’re a Dodger fan,” the Giants and
Dodgers had an epic battle that only they could last night. If you saw
last night’s game you would agree, it was pure hostile warfare with so
much belligerency that every other “rivalry” in the league look like
kids in a friendly game of tug-o-war.

Half a step towards the mound, or half a second longer during one of the
glaring stares from the dugout of either side, and Tuesday’s game could
have resulted in a bench clearing brawl that would have been compared
only to that legendary and gruesome Anchor Man battle. Only in baseball,
if someone loses an arm it would be detrimental to their career.

Thankfully, for the players things didn’t get to the point of fisticuffs
and a few “accidental” bean balls and some un-pleasantries between the
squads was all that came of it.

Big Time Timmy Jim may have not been able to hit the strike zone but he
sure found it easy to hit Dodger slugger Matt Kemp with an out of
control fast ball in the 5th inning. Of course this was just a small part of the craziness that reignited the fire that will fuel these teams towards one of the most exciting playoff runs in the league this year.

Bochy once again comes up big, this time with knowledge of the rule book, by calling out Don Mattingly, the third manager in line last night, for turning back to the mound. Making it two visits in the inning, the Dodgers had to take out their closer and the Giants offense came up big. Andres Torres doubled to give the Giants the lead, and Buster Posey who is on a tear this month as I mentioned on the Eastbay Blog, added insurance with a single.

Bochy should have gained some respect from Giants fans last night, but since he was never a Giants player, nobody will give him credit. Buster Posey has upped his hit streak to 14 games. Second place is only temporary, we’re headed for first.

Outlook: There is STILL no better team to hate than the Dodgers.

Giants Pitching is Back, Will the “D-Train” Derail it?

Is the starting rotation back?

A day after Big Time Timmy Jim throws a complete game shutout against the Mets, Barry Zito goes out and tosses a two hitter. Barry’s eight innings, as usual under Bochy’s reign, ended prematurely. Zito’s night ended at 112 pitches after the eighth inning despite only giving up two hits.

With only a one run lead though, we can give Bochy credit this time for making the right decision. Besides, who doesn’t want to see Brian Wilson come in and make things exciting for the last inning.

So with back-to-back big games from the starters, the Giants pitching staff is steadily dropping their ERA this month. Although through Friday the 3.24 team ERA isn’t quite as the dominating 2.75 that started off the season in the month of April.

One peculiar note from the view of The Sixth Starter, is the recent signing of Dontrelle Willis. Sure, “D-Train” is capable of big things, but youngster Madison Bumgarner has the lowest ERA of all the Giants starters this month. His spot as the fifth starter shouldn’t be in question. So that means management is eying the struggling Jonathan Sanchez.

As for Dontrelle, he may have seen his struggles over the last few years, but Willis is a Bay Area native, born in Oakland, and local guys can sometimes find themselves again when returning to their roots. Add to that the Giants pitching coaches abilities to spot mechanical flaws in a pitchers movements, and the D-Train might not feel so derailed anymore. As a matter of fact it could be one of the better signings the management has pulled off in recent years.

Outlook: Despite the Giants pitching appearing to be in top form, Buster Posey is single-handedly stealing the show with a .479 average and .938 slugging percentage this month. Well, except for tonight, because former and forever Giant Bengie Molina hit for the cycle and hit a grand slam, the first catcher to ever do both in a game.

Bochy is to Blame for Recent Success

The turning point of a nasty losing skid always comes when you’ve
decided you have had enough. Sometimes it’s a pitcher with a dominant
performance, a batter with a big game that wakes the sleeping Giants.
This year however, the man responsible for putting an end to what
seemed like a never ending losing streak, was the person most critics
have blamed for their inconsistency, none other than Giants skipper
Bruce Bochy. Saturday in Colorado Bochy ran (like a retired catcher
does, mind you) onto the field to argue a call with first base umpire
Paul Nauert. The play in which Colorado’s Jonathan Herrera layed down a
bunt between first base and the pitcher’s mound, had already been
argued by second basemen Freddie Sanchez and first basemen Travis
Ishikawa but Bochy did what needed to be done. The Giants manager
argued the call for a minute or two, and finally Paul Nauert tossed
Bochy from the game.

Something like this can change the direction of an entire season.
Whether it was just frustration from losing seven straight games, which
included a sweep from the division rival Dodgers, or intentional Bochy
finally did what needed to be done to wake the team from its early
summer slumber.

The Giants rallied late to grab an 11-8 win on Saturday and with the exception of the 15 inning heart breaking loss on Sunday, they’ve been nearly untouchable both offensively and defensively.

Sometimes all that is needed is a leader, someone who says enough is enough. Thanks for stepping up Bochy! The team has been needing you.

Outlook: Now those trying to blame Bochy have a reason to do so.


Bengie Molina sent to the Texas Rangers

With the news that Bengie Molina (LA Times) has been sent to the Texas Rangers, it’s fairly certain that Buster Posey will become the everyday catcher. Posey has consistently vocalized that’s where he’d prefer to be, although it seems a quick glance at the way Bruce Bochy approaches the mound would deter any young player from choosing to be behind the plate rather than at first place. Then again, catchers will be catchers. That’s why we love them.

For the Giants, this trade will fail at attempting to solve two problems. The first is the inconsistency in the batting order. Now that Molina is out of there (aside from him being missed dearly by fans), Posey will get some consistent playing time and not have to compete with Pablo Sandoval for time at first base, but any consistency that might allow the team to feel comfortable in some kind of lineup will likely be botched by Bochy.

The second issue that this trade doesn’t fix is the struggles of most of the bullpen. Chris Ray and a player to be named later? Ray will fit into the average at best performing bullpen like a glove. Perhaps the Giants were impressed that his ERA is a respectable 3.41 (down from his career 4.00), but they obviously overlooked the fact that he has 16 strikeouts and 16 walks so far this season. At least we can count on there never being a lack of tension in the late innings right?

Outlook: Hopefully Posey got the most of his time under the guidance of Molina, because if there wasn’t any salary cap room freed up in this trade, the Giants are going to need a lot more from Buster at the plate as the season continues.

Welcome to The Sixth Starter

I’m just a life long Giants fan looking for a place to rant and rave about the team I love. I have been lucky to be present for some of the greatest games in Giants history and look forward to more.

Hopefully my opinions will intrigue you whether you think I’m full of it, or couldn’t agree more.

More to come soon!