Archive for April, 2010

…. Keep it continuous

The Giants are sitting pretty at 5-1. Tim Lincecum is 2-0, with a league-leading 17 strikeouts. Kung-Fu Panda smoked the ball yesterday. Renteria is still batting .500. Juan Uribe has 4 walks. The team has come back to win a game twice already this year.

All in all, a lot is coming up roses in San Francisco right now.

The question is; how much of this hot start is real, and how much of it is an illusion?

The Giants have scored 31 runs in 6 games, a nice 5 runs per game clip. They’ve posted a .361 OBP (3rd best in the NL), which is substantially better than last season. They’ve got a team-wide .779 OPS, again, a marked improvement over last season. But, and it’s a big but, we’re talking about a very small sample. 6 games is nothing. Edgar Renteria ain’t gonna hit .500 this year. They still have only shown a little power (5 home runs, just 15 total extra bases, only three teams have fewer), but they have 21 walks in 6 games (Newcomers Huff and DeRosa have a combined 8). When was the last time you saw this team earning more than 3 free passes per game?

I’m not ever gonna talk about the pitching, which has been as good as advertised, maybe even better (Is Barry Zito gonna pitch effectively for a change?).

So far so good. Let’s see if they can play this well for a month before we start talking about a new day by the Bay.

…. Liar

Is that what Renteria is trying to make out of me?

What is he batting so far this season, .800? Nice ninth inning by the G-men, win or lose.

I gotta say, so far this season, way more offense than anyone could have reasonably expected. Heading into the 11th, the game still tied, you gotta like the fight in this team.

UPDATE: 4-0!

Nice comeback win.

…. Pitching, pitching, pitching

Nice job, Brian Wilson. Way to pick up the useless Medders.

Fantastic job by Lincecum, who picked up where he left off last season. Terrific start to the season.

UPDATE: 3-0 start for the Giants. I don’t know whether the Giants are awesome or the Astros are awful. Nonetheless, Renteria tied a career=high with 5 hits, Rowand came out of his mini-slump, and the team pounded out 19 hits and 10 runs.

All in all, as good a start to the season as anyone could have hoped/wished for/dreamed of.

…. More embarrassment

It isn’t bad enough that the Giants organization is run by people who still think it’s 1940. But when I read this kind of horseshit, I can’t help but think that Schulman is essentially parroting the company line in an effort to maintain access to the team. In other words, he’s being blackmailed. Because, if he’s not being blackmailed, he’s not competent to cover this team, or any team for that matter.

…. This is going to be an anti-Sabermetrics screed, specifically the notion that Lewis needs to be the Giants’ everyday left fielder because his .348 on-base percentage last year was 90 points higher than his .258 batting average. In other words, Lewis can take a walk.

I get e-mails like this all the time. I see this sort of comment on Internet boards. I’ve ignored them, hoping they will go away.

Um, we’re not going away, Henry. In fact, it’s people who think like you do who are going away. Sabermetrics are currently sweeping through baseball, basketball, and, in fact all sports. Thoughtful analysis, incisive research, and careful consideration of the many so-called “truisms” that lazy sportswriters, baseball men, and old-timers –like you and Brian Sabean– spout like veritable pearls of wisdom, are being systematically torn apart by men who sit around and analyze thousands upon thousands of fact-based results to discover whether, in fact, for instance, a strikeout is any worse or any better than any other kind of out.

It is sabermetrics and the men who use sabermetric principles to advance their understanding of this great game of baseball that are the foundation of baseball analysis for most, if not all of the top organizations in the game, and it is teams like the Giants, mired in the past, who are the bottom dwellers that these top organizations feast upon. Quite frankly, your comments are laughable.

Just last season, for example, the list of the top scoring teams and the list of the top teams in getting on base were mirrored each other remarkably well. In the AL, the top four in both categories were the Red Sox, Yankees, Twins and Angels. I guess it was just a coincidence that these were the four playoff teams. In the NL, only two of the playoff teams made the top four in both lists, but the other two playoff teams just missed in OBP (.334 and .332, with .340 being the fourth best total in the league), while three of the top four runs scoring teams made the playoffs. Go back through the years, and you will see a very strong correlation between OBP and scoring runs, and, incidentally, making it to the post-season.

And to think, for fifteen years, the Giants watched the greatest player of all time, the player most perfectly representative of the very best possible application of every single axiom that sabermetricians have discovered these last several decades, and after watching Bonds; these men still think the way they do. Words fail me in an effort to capture this absurdity on paper.

But, anyway, Henry, keep up the good work.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball, or any other organization mentioned herein.

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