Archive for June, 2012
Bumgarner looks like a complete superstar, throwing his first everything, complete game, shutout, one-hitter.
Wow. The Giants try to make history again today, with Cain looking to see if they can somehow keep this improbable shutout streak going. 36 innings and counting.
UPDATE: Wow. That was fast. Oh well, on to the next streak. I just looked up the rankings of starters in baseball, and the Giants are second in ERA, first in innings pitched, first in total strikeouts and second in runs allowed. So, basically, we’ve got one of the
top rotations in all of baseball right now. Let’s get back into the swing of it tonight.
UPDATE, Part II: Well, let’s hope E isn’t omniscient. Now that the Giants have started playing some of the best teams in the NL, let’s hope they can compete. The Reds have been beating the shit out of them for going on three seasons now, and after tonight, we’re once again talking about how to get past ‘em.
Tied for first. The Giants delivered a crucial, mid-season knockout punch to their hated rivals,
sweeping the three game set, and unbelievably, not allowing a run to score:
…. The year was 1890. Benjamin Harrison was president. Bread was 3 cents a loaf. Milk was free because you just squirted it out of the cow. Bruce Bochy’s great-grandfather first uttered the words, “There’s no getting around it,” and the teams that became the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers played their first game.
They have met 2,361 times over 123 seasons. Through all the generations the Giants had not shut out their ancient rivals in three consecutive games.
Wow. That was nice. The Dodgers are reeling, and the Giants are surging. Great time to
be a Giants fan.
UPDATE: OK, maybe not a knockout punch. Maybe more like a standing eight count. ;-)
The NY Daily News’ Bill Madden is in the minority when it comes to common sense:
all of Fame’s Great Dilemma: It continues to bill itself as a museum, and the custodian of the game’s history, and records. But down the road, how does the Hall justify that if it excludes the holders of the most significant of those records?
…. with 15 MVP and Cy Young Awards between them, Clemens, ninth all-time in wins and third in strikeouts, and Bonds, the all-time home run leader, are the two most decorated players in the history of the Baseball Writers’ awards voting — and yet those same writers, many of whom are of the opinion they have an obligation to abide by the “integrity and sportsmanship” clause, feel compelled to say “No” when it comes to a plaque in Cooperstown.
…. “The problem you have now is that the Hall of Fame is supposed to tell the history of the game, good and bad,” said a baseball official, “and unfortunately there is this inconsistency between the records and the people elected to the Hall. If you’re going to keep out the suspected steroids players, don’t you then also have to put an asterisk or something on their records? You can’t have it both ways. Obviously, the commissioner has no intention of putting an asterisk on the records, and so, if they’re going to stand, Bonds and Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame. And, frankly, so, too, should Rose.”
Um, yeah. I’ve been saying that for going on a decade. Better late than never.
Meanwhile, Mike Lupica, (savior of children, baseball and integrity, though maybe not in that order) still wants us to know he’s got it right about Bonds and Clemens:
…. You break no laws, by the way, if you don’t care whether Clemens and Bonds and Sosa were shooting up in the dugout.
You don’t have to care.
But if you do, ask yourself a question:
Do you believe Clemens was clean over the second half of his career?
Once again, we see how it is with guys with a computer, a newspaper and am axe to grind. “Apologize.” Done. “Not enough.” “Gotcha, now go on trial.” Beat it. “Not enough.”
On and on. Just remember that Clemens was better than Lupica’s boyhood idols, Bonds was better than Lupica’s boyhood heroes, and that’s why he won’t let up. Guys like Palmeiro, guys like Ramirez, those guys he’s already forgotten about. Jason Grimsley? The only time Jason Grimsley will be in a Lupica article is if he shoots somebody. He didn’t beat an immortal.
UPDATE: In a related article written by Murray Chass, I came across this Buster Olney quote:
“The institution of baseball condoned the use of performance-enhancing drugs for almost two decades with inaction. To hold it against a handful of individuals now is, to me, retroactive morality.”
Again, not to belabor the point, but I have been saying that for going on a decade. At the risk of repeating myself, I’ll also mention that Pete Rose is in the same boat with these moving target assholes.. The sportswriters who now champion his permanent exclusion from baseball absolutely knew he was betting on sports for years; and at least a couple of them suspected he was betting on baseball. They said, wrote and did nothing, until it was politically expedient to act shocked and horrified.
On and on…. They demanded that Rose admit what he did, come clean, and apologize. The minute he did, they jumped down his throat insisting that he didn’t apologize the right way. Jason Giambi went through the exact same thing. So did A-Rod. Only Andy Pettitte appeared to handle his apology the right way. Of course, the writers already didn’t believe he was cheating anyway. He was an acknowledged “good guy,” which meant that he was a good interview for the sycophants.
Dan Lependorf, over the Hardball Times, puts together a graph detailing how impressive Matt Cain’s Perfecto really was:
blockquote>…. If a pitcher strikes out 14 batters in a single game, it’ll be the lead story on every sports news program of the night. After all, it’s only happened a few hundred times in baseball history. If a pitcher throws a perfect game, it’s one of those landmark events that’ll be sold on DVD in the MLB.com store. And people will buy it, because hey, it’s a perfect game. Only 22 of those.
But both of them at the same time? Congratulations, Matt Cain. You just had one of the best nights from any pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball.
But then Bill James –who Lependorf cites in his article– writes (subscription required) that Cain’s game, while very impressive, isn’t even close to being the best pitched game of all-time:
…. The Game Score for Joe Oeschger, when he pitched 26 innings one afternoon, was 153, a feat beyond the understanding of modern fans. But in the last 60 years, Dean Chance against the Yankees on June 6, 1964, had the highest Game Score on record—116. 14 innings, 3 hits, 12 strikeouts, no runs.
James then goes on to chart the best games, seasons and careers using his Game Score method. It’s a great read, and well worth the $3 bucks a month you have to pay for access to Bill James Online.
The US Federal Government, under the direction of the IRS, Jeff Novitzky, and bevy of federal investigators, prosecutors and judges, has been dealt a devastating and quite clearly embarrassing loss today, as New– Metabolic Enhancement Training (m.e.t – High Converting!
/2012/writers/michael_rosenberg/06/18/roger.clemens.not.guilty/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t12_a0″>Roger Clemens joins Barry Bonds in virtually clean sweeping their accusers. After spending something in the ranges of $120 million dollars, after countless illegal searches, witness intimidations and appeals, motions and legal maeuverings, the feds find themselves, once again, losing in the court of law. Roger Clemens has been found not guilty of all charges, less than a year after Barry Bonds was found guilty of one count, obstruction of justice, in his farce.
Shame on the government, wasting enormous amounts of money, time, and damaging the reputations and careers of athletes, remember, athletes. Disgraceful behavior, and all I can say is thank God the juries saw through this sham.
UPDATE: When I say sham, I mean, it was a house of cards, an “investigation” into something that simply was not worthy of investigation. There was no evidence. It was he said, she said, with a famous guy getting his name and reputation destroyed in the process. It was the feds saying, “Fuck that guy, he lied to us, let’s make him pay.” And pay he did. Clemens knows his name will never again be free from connections with PED’s.
The BALCO investigation, the one that started us down this maze of bullshit, started because of a personal gripe Jeff Novitzky had against Barry Bonds. Novitzky thought Bonds was arrogant, and he went out and broke the law, stepped way outside the boundaries of his authority, exceeded his responsibilities, and eventually got Bonds in court. The cost of the Bonds’ trial was estimated to be in the range of $50 million dollars, and seven years later, after putting Greg Anderson in jail for almost two full years in an effort to coerce him into testifying against his friend failed, the trial ended with Bonds being found guilty of a single charge of obstruction of justice. He got a couple of months house arrest.
Now Clemens doesn’t even have to deal with that kind of BS, he only has to deal with the baseball Hall of Fame writers who have decided that they have to save the children, so they’re already writing how they aren’t gonna let him in anyway, regardless of what the jury of his peers thought. They know better, apparently. They know he cheated, even though he didn’t. Even though they say everyone was doing it, and baseball was pretending it wasn’t a problem, they have decided that these guys, the ones who beat all their heroes, are gonna pay.
Again, if the powers that be in baseball don’t care about the BBWAA abusing it’s privilege, then why should we? If Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and countless other all-time great players are going to be black-balled, then what kind of Hall do you have? I’ll tell you, you have one that will be increasingly marginalized. You’ll have a Hall that will be missing an entire era of stars. And you’ll have a Hall that will be missing it’s fans.
I don’t need Bill Madden to protect me from Roger Clemens. I don’t need Mike Lupica to protect the “honor” of the Hall of Fame from Barry Bonds. The Hall of Fame is there to honor the greatest baseball players of all time. The short list I just put up contains some of the greatest baseball players to ever wear a uniform. If they aren’t in the Hall of Fame, it is the Hall of Fame’s loss. It is the fans loss. It is baseball’s loss.
UPDATE, Part II: Charles P. Pierce says what I want to say so mnuch more eloquently and clearly that I am almost embarrassed to link to his work. Read the whole thing:
…. trying Clemens a second time has to be the biggest waste of federal criminal-justice resources since the last time Alberto Gonzales drew a paycheck.
…. Après lui, of course, come the hysterics, the stalwart drug warriors who have fashioned high dudgeon into profitable careers fighting what my friend Scott Lemieux, of the Lawyers, Guns, and Money blog, calls “The War On (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs.” The anti-drug enforcement complex — which was born in the drug frenzies of the 1980s, but has its deepest roots in the racially compromised anti-drug campaigns
that began in the 1920s — found its way into sports through the current hand-wringing about PEDs, as though every drug with which sports have acclimated themselves doesn’t “enhance” performance in some way. I don’t know what’s funnier — the fact that it seems to have dawned suddenly on the drug warriors and their media enablers that the great unwashed masses out there simply don’t give a damn about their grand crusade, or the fact that it seems to have dawned suddenly on those same people that really rich guys can afford really good lawyers.
Matt Cain just threw the 22nd perfect game in baseball history!!!!! There were only two real chances to get a hit, and the defense was stellar:
… Left fielder Melky Cabrera chased down Chris Snyder's one-out flyball in the sixth, scurrying back to make a leaping catch at the wall. Cain raised both arms and slapped his glove in delight when Cabrera made the play. Then, right fielder Gregor Blanco ran into deep right-center to make a diving catch on the warning track and rob Jordan Schafer for the first out of the seventh. The 27-year-old pitcher hugged Blanco in the dugout
after the inning.
UPDATE: Watching the game, I thought Cain was thinking no-hitter. He looked as locked in as any pitcher I've ever seen. I said it to my wife after the fourth, he looked like he knew they couldn't touch him. After the Melky catch in the sixth, his reaction confirmed it. That's when I texted all my buddies, including one of them AT THE GAME, and told them we needed to go radio silent. The Blanco catch made me scream so loud I was dizzy. After that, I told my family they had to stay up til the end, because it looked like Cain was gonna throw a perfect game.
Incredible. Cliff Corcoran says it was one of in baseball history…. watching it live, I thought that, and after it was over, it was clear that it was the best game I'd ever seen a pitcher throw, better than either of the Yankee perfecto's by Cone and Wells. Other than the deep fly balls, there was never a moment when you felt like he wasn't in complete control.
Congratulations to Matt and the Giants.
.DTL”>2-11 in his starts, as he fails once again to solve his control issues. One can only hope that this stretch will make him a better pitcher, having gone through such stark adversity. However, with his dramatic velocity decline, perhaps there's more than meets the eye.
It's unfortunate. Lincecum in his prime would have the Giants at least tied for first place, and there would be no talk about the juggernaut Dodgers, we'd be talking about an historic NL West race. Instead, the Giants are left thanking God for Barry Zito's unexpected contributions, while a still embarrassingly fat and out of shape Sandoval adds another anchor to a season that could be so much more.
It sure seems that the two young stars are well on their way to Strawberry/Gooden territory, instead of Jeter/Pettitte.
There's simply no excuse for players making millions of dollars showing up with this kind of effort and results.