The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Giants’

Let the intentional walking begin

Posted by keithosaunders on April 2, 2017

Baseball games are really going to fly by now.  Forget the fact that every single close play at first base warrants a three minutes review, intentional walks are now automatic!  Now that’s progress.

This year, rather than a normal baseball prediction post, I’m going to present a baseball soulful (wishful thinking) prediction post.

In the NL East the Mets, flush with pitching, Cespedes, and just enough hitting, will dominate and cruise to their third ever World Series victory.

In the NL Central the Cubs will revert to form and miss the playoffs – the first of 110 more years without a championship. The Pittsburgh Pirates will win the division with the Brewers taking the wild card.

In the NL West, having lost track of whether or not they’re supposed to win in an odd year, the Giants will begin 166 straight years of last place finishes.  The Dodgers will win the west, losing to the Mets in the NLCS.

Moving along to the junior circuit, in the AL West we have my dark horse prediction:  My East Bay homies, the Oakland As will shock the world!  You read it here first.

In the AL Central the Detroit Tigers will win the division, as well as the pennant before losing to the Mets in a 6 game World Series.

In the Al East the Yankees will go 6-156.  The Bluejays will win the division and Joey Batista will set an MLB record with double digit bat flips.  Baltimore gets the wild card.

There you have it:  Major League Baseball according to Keitho.

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The Indians v the Cubs: Battle of the disgruntled senior citizens

Posted by keithosaunders on October 26, 2016

This World Series is sexy time for senior citizens.  Which disgruntled alte kaker fans will finally get to see their team win a championship?  Will it be old Grammy Ginny from Skokie, or Grandpa Mortie from Cuyahoga Heights?  Mortie was knee-high to a grasshopper the last time the Indians won a Series, the poor bastard.  Ginny wasn’t even a twinkle in Great Grammy Gertrude’s eyes back in aught-eight.

One thing is for certain, in addition to de rigueur shots of fans praying, it will be all seniors all the time at Fox.  This is the feel good series of the century.  Forget your corporate N.Y. Crankees, or the staid, tired Redsox Nation, this is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Myself, I’m on the Indians bandwagon bigtime.  I feel there has to be one team in sports that never wins, and that team should be the Cubs.   Right now the Cubs fans are still [somewhat] sympathetic.  I don’t want them to morph into the arrogant, insufferable mess that comprises the Boston Redsox and San Francisco Giants fan base.  Let there still be one bastion of humility.

Image result for old Cubs fanImage result for old Indians fan

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Buh bye Giants

Posted by keithosaunders on October 12, 2016

At last I can begin to enjoy the playoffs now that this even year garbage has been put to bed.  Once again push button, corporate managing ruled the day and this time it came back to bite Giants manager Bruce Boche in the ass.

Matt Moore had well exceeded the sacred number of 100 pitches – the number that no major league pitcher , regardless of size and make-up shall be allowed to exceed, lest his career be struck dead by the God of sore arms.  The Cubs could not touch Moore but it was their good fortune that delicate genius, Bruce Boche, saw to it that they received their fair chance to score somes runs.  What a gentleman!

Out came the parade of relievers.  In modern day baseball lefties can only get lefties out.  Except, that is, when they walk them.  Binc binc binc, leftie, righty, lefty, righty, leftie, righty and the Cubs win.   Fly the W!

The Cubs, who have a delicate genius manager of their own in Joe Madden, could be ripe to be taken in the next round, hopefully by the Dodgers –  I’m sick of these douche teams advancing.  I’m looking at you, Nationals.

In the meantime the Giants can grab there crying towels, on sale at Target, and lick their wounds until next April.

 

crying-towel

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Go time for the Mets

Posted by keithosaunders on October 5, 2016

In many ways this year’s Mets team has overacheived more than last season’s pennant winners. In the middle of August, when they lost the first two games of a series in San Francisco, they were buried in the divisional standings and had four teams ahead of them in the wild card standings.

Then the improbably happened.  With 3/5 of their vaunted pitching staff injured and a lineup with as much punch as the 1969 Seattle Pilots they turned it around, playing .600 baseball for the remaining six weeks and clinching the top wild card spot the day before the season ended.

Tonight they will face the even-year, fru-fru, techie-infused San Francisco Giants in a one game do or die contest. This is baseball’s answer to the tedium that is perpetual pitching changes, interminable booth review delays, and batters that take 5 minutes to adjust their sanitary cups. This is the wildcard game, or as I refer to it, The Gimmick Game.

You can’t even brag about winning it, crapshoot that it is, and at least in the Mets case, I can’t feel too bad about losing it.  Let’s face it folks, this team can only go so far with this rag tag bunch.

But how sweet it would be to beat the hated Giants with redneck Bumgarner on the mound and send all of their front-running fans home crying.  Is that too negative?  Who cares?

GO METS

 

mets

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The revolving door of pitching

Posted by keithosaunders on September 9, 2016

With the rosters having expanded for September, baseball games are becoming nearly unwatchable.  Push-button managers such as the Giant’s Bruce Bochy take advantage of 13 man bullpens by using as many as four pitchers in an inning.  Nine inning games are becoming four hour affairs.  Baseball, now wedded to computer print outs and saber-metrics, has become a push button sport. Seemingly no right handed pitcher is capable of retiring a lefty and vice versa.

In the old days pitchers such as Rollie Fingers, Kent Tekulve, and Bruce Sutter were able to pitch as many as three innings at a stretch.  Dick Tidrow once pitched eight innings in relief during a long extra inning game.  Funny how those old time pitchers were able to retire both lefties and righties.

I have to commend the Washington Nationals on their deft handling of Stephen Strasburg. They have babied him in his formative years so as not to overtax his delicate arm, going as far as shutting him down for the season in September of 2012 when they were a playoff team.  Better to have him fresh for subsequent years since they would surely be a World Series team.  What’s this…they haven’t made the Series yet?  And Strasburg has broken down like clockwork every season?  Oh well – you can never be too careful!

 

Image result for stephen strasburg injury

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100: The magical number

Posted by keithosaunders on April 9, 2016

In baseball there is a number that is so sacred and  profound that no pitcher may exceed it.  Regardless of his size, endurance, and mental makeup a pitcher must exit a game after his hundredth pitch or risk a career ending injury.  Never mind that history is full of pitchers such as Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn, and Steve Carlton who inexplicably managed to have two decade plus careers flaunting the magic number, so it has been said, so it must be done.

Baseball has become a joyless, corporate, soulless, dickless, hell hole of a sport, managed by pussies and run by pencil pushing geeks who wouldn’t know Don Drysdale from Don Knotts.

Last night the Dodger rookie pitcher, Ross Stripling, was removed from a game in the 8th inning in which he was ahead 2-0 and throwing a no hitter.  Had he been allowed to flaunt science and stay in the game he could possibly have been the first pitcher to throw a no hitter since 1892.  Saber metrics won the day, as it does 95% of the time, and out came Chris Hatcher, bringing with him his customary can of lighter fluid.  Bink, blank, blunk, three pitches later the game was tied courtesy of a cantaloupe served to Giants catcher, Trevor Brown.

The Dodgers are a simpering, gutless team that deserves to lose. It’s no coincidence that they haven’t won since Tommy Lasorda years.   Lasorda was a manager who knew how to ride a hot pitcher. In 1988 he pitched Orel Hershiser with abandon, allowing him to pitch complete games and often using him on short rest — hell, he even used him out of the bullpen against the Mets in the playoffs.

In 1981 when Fernando Valenzuela was a rookie, Lasorda pitched him into the ground, letting him work late into games, well over 100 pitches. Some people think that Fernando’s career was shortened by this overuse, but you know what? WHO CARES?! The Dodgers won a World Series. RIDE HIM.

You take your rookie pitcher out of a game in which he is throwing a no hitter? That’s losing baseball. Ask the Nationals and gimp Strasberg.

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Dodgers v Giants: A feel good taping story

Posted by keithosaunders on September 1, 2015

For years my buddy in the Bronx and I have traded taping foible stories.  What is a taping foible?  That’s when you set your DVR, or in the old days, VCR to record the game and something goes horribly wrong.  The most common thing is to learn of the score either by accident or having it told to you by a random person.  In the old days it was actually difficult to program VCRs.  The taping landscape was fraught with danger.

Today I have a taping story with a happy ending. I had the night off (I’m a musician and gig most every night)  so I decided to watch the Dodgers/Giants game. Since I also wanted to watch this horror show I’m into called The Strain I decided to tape the game and watch it on delay.  I set it up to tape 2 hours extra. I use the word ‘taping’ in the generic sense.  I recorded on a DVR.

By the time I got to the game it was about 90 minutes old.  It was a slow moving game with deliberate pitchers and lots of pitching changes. In other words, it was a normal paced ballgame. The game went extra innings but since 9 innings took 3 hours and 40 minutes there was only 80 minutes left on the timer.  By the 12th inning there was only 20 minutes of taping time left and was 40 minutes behind real time!  I was rooting for a broo-ha-ha so I could get in some serious fast forward action but it was not to be.  I began forwarding between every pitch all the while sweating bullets.
Finally it was zero hour but I still had 1 minute of tape to get through.  The tape ran out with Justin Turner up representing the winning run.  I was sure that the one minute gap was going to do me in and that I would miss a Turner walkoff homer but the taping Gods were with me. I only missed a single.  Or a walk. Or a hit by pitch. I don’t know because I missed it.
I watched the final 2 innings in real time, every once in a while hitting the fast forward button on the remote by mistake.    A great pennant race game and a happy taping ending!
VCR

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The shtetl of college football

Posted by keithosaunders on September 7, 2011

With four weeks to go in the 2011 baseball season we face a September devoid of pennant races.  A coupe of weeks ago it was looking like I would be lucky enough to be residing in one of the few markets — San Francisco — involved in meaningful September baseball.  How wrong I was. 

The end of August saw the Giants three games behind the plucky Diamondbacks.  They were entering an easy part of the schedule, however which featured seven games against baseball’s worst team, the Houston Astros.  The Giants, however, spit the bit, losing four of the seven, while the Dbacks overcame a mini losing streak to rattle off nine straight. 

The Giants could not overcome the myriad of injuries they have suffered all season long.  Furthermore, the magic that journeymen players, Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff, and Pay Burrell delivered last year, did not carry over into the current season.  Their pitching had been brilliant, but now is showing the wear and tear of the stress that comes with having no margin for error.  Even their ace, Tim Lincecum, has looked mortal lately, blowing up during the last two games he has pitched.  

Currently the black and orange are riding a two game winning streak and are sitting six games out.  It’s not hard to imagine them putting together a streak of wins –they will be remain in the west all month — but in order for them to catch up, the Diamondbacks would have to play .350 ball the rest of the year, which seems unlikely given the fact that they will be playing the same mediocre teams as the Giants.

The NFL begins this week, and not a moment too soon.  Let’s hear it for labor settlements!  The trouble is, I’m stuck with the Raiders and 49ers, two teams that can ruin any given Sunday.  

This situation has, improbably, driven me to…college football.  Oy!

At least we have he 6th ranked Stanford Cardinals and their Heisman candidate, quarterback Andrew Luck.  Stanford started off in true early season NCAA form — with a 54 point slaughter of patsy , San Jose St.  This Saturday they will travel to Durham, North Carolina to play Duke, which should be a more competitive game — they’re only three touchdown favorites. 

But wait, there’s more.  I live in a little town in the East Bay called Albany, which is just a few blocks north of Berkeley, and that, as you know, is the home of a certain Cal Bears.  University of Berkeley, baby!  And they’re 1-0, coming off an impressive, if not sloppy victory over Fresno State.  

Having lived in the east for so long, where college football was an afterthought, it feels odd to live just a couple of miles from a bigtime college school.  I’m actually considering going to a game.  Cal doesn’t do that well attendance-wise, so scoring a ticket shouldn’t be difficult. 

In the meantime, tomorrow is Wednesday and the A’s are home.  This combination can only mean one thing:  $2.00 ballgame!  I am so there.  A’s – Royals give it!   

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R.I.P. pennant races

Posted by keithosaunders on August 24, 2011

It seems like only yesterday that I was waxing rhapsodic about the possibility of an epic four team National League Central Division pennant race.  I had Pirate fever and was envisioning playoff games from PNC Park.  Braves-Pirates would have been a fun first round matchup — a rematch of the 1991 and ’92 NLCS, and a chance for the Buccos to have reaped revenge. 

Alas, what a difference four weeks make.  Not only are the Pirates dead and buried — their hopes of breaking their 19year consecutive losing season streak all but dashed — the entire division has been taken over by the ascendant Brewers.  Mind you, I am happy it’s Milwaukee, rather than the Cardinals and their insufferable skipper, LaRussa, but I would have preferred a good old-fashioned dogfight.

In fact, there is only one pennant race this year, and I am lucky enough to be residing in one of two major league cities that is still hosting meaningful games.  By all rights, the San Francisco Giants should be buried, but it is their good fortune to play in the NL West, which contains a broke Dodgers, and a broken down Rockies.  The Diamondbacks are a feisty, young squad, and they are the surprise team of 2011, but I don’t see them winning more than one playoff game, if that. 

The Giants, with their pitching, would at least have a shot.  They have been a walking M*A*S*H unit this year — at this writing they have nine players on the DL — and yet have managed to remain in the race.  They picked up Carlos Beltran from the Mets, who did his best to blend in with his teammates by immediately going on the DL.  What is it with Beltran — the man can’t stay healthy.  He is a great player, but his entire career is based on the 2004 post season. 

A September devoid of pennant races is a bitter pill for me to swallow.  Once October begins, so does my personal hell, which consists of sweating through another Yankee blitzkrieg.  It’s torture watching them grind their way through playoff run after playoff run.  Yes, I know they’ve lost a few first round series in recent years, and the Redsox look formidable, (as does Texas) but something tells me that the Yanks will not be an easy out this year.  I dread another Redsox – Yankees ALCS — those five hour marathons which end when some obscure Yankee hits a homerun.  

All I hope for at the beginning of each baseball season is for the Yankees to miss the playoffs.  This has occurred once in the last 16 years.  It has been a reign of terror and there is no end in sight. 

The fact that there may be no pennant races, thus cutting off my last enjoyable month of the year, is a bitter pill to swallow.  Football, you can not start soon enough.

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Notes from the east coast

Posted by keithosaunders on June 23, 2011

I’m a ghost wandering the streets of New York City, my ex-home town of 26 years.  It was here that I lived, worked, drank, went to Mets games, and developed into the bitter lump of clay that you see before you.  I know this city like the back of my hand — not just Manhattan, but its five boroughs, as well as Westchester and New Jersey.  Well…I don’t know Jersey all that well, but nobody does. 

The contract between pedestrians and drivers is perfect here.  Unlike the Bay Area, where the pedestrians arrogantly flaunt their dominance, the New York foot traffic has a healthy respect for 4,000 pound vehicles.  Yet they are not cowed — if they think they can make it across the street without getting mowed down, they will cross, regardless of the color of the light.   I think that’s great — more power to them.  As long as they don’t cause an accident, I’m happy for them.  This is a far cry from the Bay Area, where pedestrians brazenly step into the cross walk with no regard for the drivers. 

The subway stations added digital signs which tell you how many minutes until the next train’s arrival.  I remember the old days when I would nervously pace the station wondering if I was going to be late to my gig, as I awaited the next train.  There was that desperate feeling as you leaned over the tracks, vainly willing the train to arrive; that silent cream of frustration as yet another express passes. 

I’ll be here for another six weeks at least — a hostage situation if there ever was one.  New York is a great city, but it’s not my city, and I’m going to miss my routine.  Not to mention the fact that I’m away from my piano, which means my chops will slowly atrophy.

It’s fitting that as I write this from my friend’s house in the Bronx we are watching the Giants play the Twins on one TV, and the Mets versus the Athletics on an ajacent TV.  My worlds continue to collide.

My daughter Lucy in Washington Square Park

 

Taco truck on 6th Avenue in the Village

 

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