The San Francisco Giants Rotation Solves Serious Problems

Last night during San Francisco’s NLDS clinching victory over the Washington Nationals Giants veteran Tim Hudson gave an interview where amongst other things he described the corner of the locker room he shares with fellow pitchers and men of the South Jake Peavy and Madison Bumgarner as being “pretty country”. Using as many readily available stereotypes as possible we were able to obtain a transcript of a recent conversation between the NLCS bound San Francisco Giants rotation.

Peavy: Way to make that curveball work for you the other night against the Nationals.

Hudson: Thanks, man. Same to you with that splitter. Pretty nasty stuff.

Bumgarner: So what do you fellas want to listen to: Jason Aldean or Blake Shelton?

Peavy: You got any Kenny Chesney on that there iPod?

Hudson: How about something a little different like Creedence Clearwater Revival?

Bumgarner: Who?

Hudson: Miranda Lambert’s good.

Peavy: Hey, you think the Cardinals will put up more of a fight than Washington?

Hudson: I would assume so. St. Louis has been there before just like us.

Bumgarner: Yeah, but what’s up with their fans man? Why so much anger directed at black folks?

Hudson: That is pretty unsettling what transpired outside Busch Stadium the other day.

Bumgarner: And yet we’re still the ones labeled as ignorant, why is that?

Hudson: Probably has something to do with history, you know like the Civil War.

Peavy: Yeah but I’ve played in cities like Boston and those people can be just as intolerant as folks down South.

Hudson: So you’re saying racism is a national issue?

Bumgarner: Like guns and tax reform?

Peavy: Alls I’m saying is that the vast majority of people, most of them from the North and Midwest, think that race is only an issue in the South when in reality the majority of ‘merica is still trying to overcome deep socio-economic and cultural issues that keep communities divided across the country.

Bumgarner: Have you guys seen my camouflage under shirt?

Hudson: Well, it’s not like we can do anything about it.

Peavy: But see that mentality perpetuates the problem.

Bumgarner: Seriously, where’s my camo?

Hudson: What do you mean exactly?

Peavy: For instance, what the one thing that all people in St. Louis black and white can agree on?

Bumgarner: Found it. Right next to my cowboy boots.

Hudson: I don’t know, the Cardinals?

Peavy: Exactly.

Hudson: What’s the point?

Bumgarner: Do you guys want to see me shotgun 5 beers at once?

Hudson: Not right now Madison.

Peavy: The point is, if Cardinals players were to take more of a public stand against those fans preaching hate outside the stadium and for what went down in Ferguson a few months back things might change for the better.

Bumgarner: Did you know Matt Holliday had a scholarship to play football at Oklahoma State?

Hudson: Isn’t that kind of a major oversimplification.

Peavy: It is. There are a lot more isssues at play in St. Louis and urban areas across the country than can be solved by a group of baseball players. Things like violence, crumbling of public education, etc… But their voices could help galvanize the community in a common cause.

Hudson: That’s a lot of pressure being heaped on those fellas.

Peavy: It is, but with fame comes responsibility and influence. Just look at what a differences athletes have made in the past. Jackie Robinson. Muhammad Ali.

Hudson: Yeah but those guys weren’t making as much money as players today and there’s just too much on the line sometimes to stick your neck out for a cause.

Peavy: True, but our ridiculous contract today are because 40 years ago a guy like Curt Flood was willing to challenge a system which perpetuated and inequality .

Bumgarner: Justice.

Peavy: That’s right. So athletes can make a difference when it comes to improving society.

Hudson: Maybe the three of us should organize something when we travel to St. Louis this weekend for the opening of the NLCS?

Bumgarner: Like a gun buyback program with the Ferguson Police Department?

Hudson: Something like that.

Bumgarner: Cool, cause in my home state of Texas they got these ginormous wildlife preserves you can hunt big game on the verge of extinction.

Peavy: Did you guys see that Bama game last weekend?

Hudson: Tough one. How about my Auburn Tigers?

Bumgarner: War Eagle!

Peavy: Roll Tide!

Monday Morning Musings: Extreme Makeover – All-Star Game Edition

Where’s my invitation to the MLB All-Star Game? At this point so many have turned down a chance to compete Tuesday in Arizona that I’m beginning to feel a little left out. Desperate times indeed and I wonder how many young fans out there are going to enjoy the 8th inning matchup of David Robertson pitching to Miguel Montero. Unfortunately there probably won’t be many young fans watching at that point because by the time the 8th inning rolls around it’s 11pm and most folks have already switched over to either The Daily Show or Keeping Up with the Kardashians reruns.

A Quick Trip Around the Bases (aka 4 simple ways to improve the All-Star game)

1B- Make it a day game. What’s so wrong with a 1 or 4 o’clock start on a Sunday afternoon? Fear of running up against the ratings buzzsaw otherwise known as the final round of the John Deere Classic? If you make it a day game you expose younger fans to the best players MLB has to offer which will surely lead to greater interest in the sport. Which leads me to my second point…

2B – Smaller rosters and eliminate that silly little rule where each team has to be represented. Believe me, I’m a Baltimore Orioles fans and even I don’t think Matt Wieters is an All-Star this season. Baseball fans only want to see the best competing against one another. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated said something really interesting when he talked about how All-Star starters should be left in longer and that playing time shouldn’t be equitable.

3B – USA vs World. Call it an appetizer to tide you over before the next World Baseball Classic. (By the way, when is the next World Baseball Classic?) The NHL tried this for years and I seem to remember it working out quite well. Of course, if you really wanted to up the ante you could pair countries together like USA/Japan/Korea vs Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico/Venezuela. The only problem with this model is that you would then need to alter the current All-Star Game stakes where the winning side is crowned the home team in the World Series.

HR – Shorten the length of the home run derby. Do we really need 3 rounds? Also limit the number of competitors to 4, 2 from NL and 2 from AL, and make sure only the best power hitters are invited. Instead of having captains choose their squads, why not have the fans vote to determine who participates in the derby?

I would also add a skills challenge to the derby festivities, sort of like what the NBA does before the slam dunk competition. You could have a bunch of skilled 2 hitters likes Placido Polanco and Dustin Pedroia going through a round of “mission” hitting where they are awarded point for successfully executing a hit/run, sacrifice bunt, etc…. You could also organize a relay race of sorts where you have 5 competitors from each side competing against one another to see who can record the fastest time. Things like this could add an exciting element to the All-Star Game festivities.

view from AT&T Park courtesy of @MF_FOXDOG

Wednesday Worries: Wrigley Field Edition

I’m worried that….

my buddy Steve didn’t make it out of Murphy’s in time to catch the first pitch of Cubs/Giants live from Wrigley Field. I asked him to send in a picture from the game and instead got one from the bar. Not a very promising sign. Better check in again with him a little later.

this happens a lot more than we think. Couple of former prep school buddies from Winnekta go out with every intention of making it by first pitch of the Cubs game but end up conversing and carousing until the early innings in one of the many watering holes that surround Wrigley. Although, if you have ever spent 9 innings in the bleachers you understand that it’s pretty much like watching the game from a bar anyway. I once watched a Cubs/Cardinals matinee from the bleachers and after the game was over I ended up taking a 3 hour nap.  I guess that’s what you get when you combine a few too many pints of Old Style and no sun screen.

because of all the drinking that goes on in the bleachers some Cubs fans might not realize that their team lost both games of a doubleheader to the San Francisco Giants yesterday. With a record of 32-48, and a full 12 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central, this could end up being a very long, hot summer on the Northside. Do the Cubs even have any tradable assets? Kerry Wood? Ryan Dempster? Maybe Carlos Pena? None of these players are going to warrant a significant amount of talent in return. It looks like Cubs fans will have to wait for the offseason when the can overpay for either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols.

when Steve did finally get to his seats, and judging by the look of the setting sun I’ll guess bottom of the 2nd inning, he realized that the adult beverages were a lot cheaper in the bar outside the stadium.




Tom Coughlin Brings Back Not So Fond Memories of Middle School Football Practices

I have now watched the DeSean Jackson game winning punt return against the Giants at least 10 times and each time it gets more amazing, inexplicable.  My two favorite parts: 1) At the start of the return when Jackson fumbles the ball causing the Giants to overrun their coverage. 2) As Jackson breaks free and passes the 20 yards line, the camera picks up Tom Coughlin on the side line throwing his play sheet to the ground and making a bee line for Giants punter Matt Dodge, who made the mistake of kicking to DJack in the first place.  When Coach Coughlin does finally reach Dodge, he undresses his rookie punter with a verbal barrage that can only be described as “humbling”.

Anyone who has played competitive sports knows what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a coach’s tirade.  The worst moments are when you know you made a mistake and the coach is still there to remind you what a big mistake it was.  If you watch the DeSean Jackson punt return carefully, you can see Dodge narrowly miss a shoestring tackle, followed by him falling to the ground with his head in his hands.  By punting to Jackson, he knew instantly what he had done and what was waiting for him on the sidelines.  I’m not sure if Dodge is at all prepared for the proper public smearing he now faces as the New York papers will no doubt have their creative way with this Giants epic collapse.

In other Week 15 news, the Patriots beat the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers 31-27.  Green Bay dominated  time of possession and the young New England defense was the epitome of bend but don’t break. Pats are in good shape for the top seed in the AFC but their mercurial defense still makes me very nervous.

What stood out for you on this very exciting day of football? Share your views.

The “Good Thing the Metrodome Wasn’t Full” Week 15 NFL Rankings

My favorite part about the setup in Ford Field tonight is the “smudging” left behind when stadium operators erased the Detroit Lions logo and replaced it with the Minnesota Vikings. Looks like they were trying to change an answer on the SAT.

1. New England Patriots (11-2): I really wish people would stop comparing this team to the 2007 Patriots.  Every time I hear this I picture David Tyree with velcro on his helmet. Were you aware that Tyree wasn’t even in the league anymore?

2. Atlanta Falcons (11-2): Best team I know next to nothing about.

3. New Orleans Saints (10-3): Saints might be on the road in the first round of the playoffs to face the NFC West champ. Good chance they are favored by over a touchdown in that game.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3): Are we really sure Carson Palmer hasn’t been replaced by his younger brother Jordan? Bengals made it too easy for the Steelers yesterday.

5. Baltimore Ravens (8-4): C’mon Joe Flacco. The Fighting Blue Hens are counting on you!

6. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4): Forget about Michael Vick for a second. DeSean Jackson! Dude is fast.

7. Chicago Bears (9-4): Yesterday’s result against the Patriots was payback for Super Bowl XX. Still can’t believe Ditka stole that TD away from Walter Payton and gave it to William “The Refrigerator” Perry instead.

8. San Diego Chargers (7-6): Warning. Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

9. Green Bay Packers (8-5): It’s a strong possibility that the best offense in the NFC doesn’t even make it to the playoffs.

10. New York Giants (8-4): 1pm start vs the Eagles begins a tremendous day of NFL football next Sunday. NYJ/Pitt at 4:15 followed by Packers/Pats on Sunday Night.