Does anyone remember John Odom? He was the former Giants minor league pitcher who was traded for 10 bats sometime last year. I bet they had a ball making fun of that trade on the late night shows. An article came out in the San Francisco Chronicle today that reports about his death from a drug overdose. Something that was poked and proded as being something funny turned out to be tragic. An event like that really messes with your head after a while. A guy can only take so much. Apparently, the stunt wasn’t really done for publicity reasons. The team didn’t like to do cash trades because it would make the team appear financially unstable (if they wanted money back for a player), so instead, the team that traded him gave up 10 bats, which valued around $650. He actually has a link to Timmy too. Timmy bunked on his couch when they were teammates in Class A. Just goes to show that mental health is very important in how a baseball player turns out. I guess that’s why there are so many sports psychologists out there.
Archive for Giants
According to the Giants website, they are signing former player J.T. Snow out of retirement to a one day contract so that he can retire a Giant since he last played for the Red Sox in 2006. This is a very appropriate gesture as Snow was one of my favorite Giants and one of the faces of the franchise during late 90s and earlier part of this decade. He was everything that you could have asked for in a defensive first basement, winning 6 Gold Glove awards (which I think he did in both leagues, if I’m not mistaken). He provided many memories, two of which I remember right now: pulling away little Darren Baker to safety from home plate during the 2002 playoffs against the Cardinals and hitting that home run in the playoffs against the Mets. And I also remember to the ladies, he was quite the looker. I think I also remember him getting beaned in the eye by a Randy Johnson fastball in spring training one year.
Anyways, they said that since the Dodgers are not guaranteed a playoff spot just yet as their magic number is down to 1, they cannot offer him a chance to play in the game, but I think if the Dodgers are in the playoffs before the weekend, they should definitely give Snow a chance to play again. That would be a great sight to behold.
I guess this was first reported by ESPN’s Peter Gammons and I read this from Bruce Jenkin’s article in the SF Chronicle yesterday:
Trade rumors generally don’t amount to much in baseball, merely serving up conversation before the actual trade – something that wasn’t predicted by anyone – goes down. Just wondering, though, if you heard the one from ESPN’s Peter Gammons the other night: Matt Cain to the Milwaukee Brewers for Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and perhaps a third player.
Now, I think Fielder and Hardy are great players. Both are capable for 30-40 home runs a year average and their average is probably around league average. I’ve also always liked Matt Cain and I still think he has the stuff to be an ace of a pitching staff; he is just stuck on a perenially bad offensive team. He gets no run support whatsoever. But if this trade came up right now, would I do it? YES. This trade fills two important gaps for the Giants: shortstop, where they have nobody right now, and first base, which is a turnstyle for players to pass through. We have an ever-aging great Vizquel at SS, but he can’t play forever. Burriss plays well, but he doesn’t hit for power. We need a big offensive power hitter and Prince Fielder gives us that. As for first, we’ve had so many players go through that position, it’s not even funny. We haven’t had a consistently good first basement since J.T. Snow (circa 1997).
But I have no idea why the Brewers would make this trade. They’re trading away two of their best players plus a third for one good pitcher? Aren’t position players always valued higher than pitchers? Maybe I’m undervaluing Cain, but does anyone else see the lopsidedness of this trade? Sabean, if you ever get this deal, pull the trigger!
From Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Some will be happy with this news. Some will think it a complete folly.
Manager Bruce Bochy said moments ago that the rotation will be adjusted so Tim Lincecum will get two more starts after tonight, instead of one. He will open the final homestand against Colorado on Tuesday night and close the season against the Dodgers.
The decision was made after Bochy, pitching coach Dave Righetti and general manager Brian Sabean conferred.
“We added it up,” Bochy said. “We think three starts is the way to go. He’ll pitch the last home game.”
Bochy did not exactly say why it was important to get Lincecum the extra start, although he said it had nothing to do with a desire to get him 20 wins or bolster his Cy Young hopes. A loss or no-decision tonight, which would preclude 20 wins, will not change the plan.
The final game against L.A. could have playoff implications, although odds are the Dodgers will have clinched the division by then. Having Lincecum pitch and win the finale could send the ticket-holders into the winter feeling good about things. Bochy did not deny that was one factor.
The big caveat, of course, is that Lincecum will end the year — his first full year in the majors — with the most pitches thrown in the National League, which is scary. He is, after all, The Franchise. “Obviously if we had concerns we wouldn’t (do this),” Bochy said. “Obviously, we don’t have any concerns right now.”
Excellent. He can handle the additional work. Ideally, this is what will happen in the next two weeks. Dodgers lose their next few games and the Diamondbacks win their next few games and they remain tied until the last game of the season. Lincecum wins his next two starts, including tonight’s and is 19-3 leading the league in ERA and K’s. He pitches a perfect game against the Dodgers on the last game 1-0 to knock them out of the playoffs, while establishing a new Giant’s season strikeout record and also going on to record his 20th win. In addition, he goes on to win the first of his many NL Cy Young awards. Doesn’t sound too farfetched does it?
So, I got a heads up from Mike over at Bad Wax on this week’s autograph signings. Jake Peavy, last year’s unanimous NL Cy Young award winner was signing today at a car dealership in Carlsbad. I called the Padres hotline to see what time he was signing and it was at 12:30 so I rushed last minute to make the 15-20 minute drive up the coast. He was actually late to the signing, but was very nice about everything and signed per request. Even though we were supposed to be limited to only one item per person, he signed anything that we gave him and even took photos with fans. I had to put on my Brian Giles Padres shirt to hide the fact that I’m a true Giants fan in order to appease Jake. Oh well, it was worth the 2 hour wait in the hot sun. I got him to inscribe CY ’07 on a clean new MLB ball along with his autograph. He also signed the Barry Zito ball that I got yesterday. Two Cy Young winners on that ball! Maybe I will start collecting Cy Young winner autographs on that ball now. Anyway, not only that, but he signed a ball that I got for Mike as well as my Allen & Ginter 2008 Peavy card. Those cards are really nice for autographs – they look really nice too. Here are some pictures:
This looks like an actual auto insert, doesn’t it?
So that Peavy signing basically killed the whole morning. I ended up only resting for an hour and then heading over to wait for batting practice to start at Petco. I’ve gotten three batting practice balls the past three Petco games I’ve been to, but no such luck today.
Once again, Barry Zito was signing for the throngs of fans. I’m not sure if he would be as lucky in SF, but I guess people still see him as a superstar in SD.
I also got two autographs when I moved from the left field seats to the dugout, since I guess that’s where positional players sign, if we’re lucky. I got two more autographs to add to my Allen & Ginter 2008 collection of Giants and Padres players. I was the last person that Aaron Rowand signed for, which I’m pretty happy about, but he didn’t wait for the ink to dry so the auto is kind of smudged. Dave Roberts is still beloved by Padres fans and he was very nice about signing. Not only did he sign for almost everyone, he blew on the autographs so it would dry. He knows what he’s doing! compare the two autographs below:
I also ended up getting Dave Robert’s autograph on a ball that also has Ivan Ochoa and I also found Emmanuel Burriss sitting on the side of the third baseline and got him to sign the ball as well:
As for the actual game, it was another dominant start by Tim Lincecum. He won his 17th game by striking out 12 Padres and limiting him to 4 hits in his first career complete game shutout! I’m glad I got to witness that. He is now 17-3 (which should be higher if the bullpen didn’t blow it for him so many times), with 237 strikeouts, which leads the Majors, along with a 2.43 ERA (second only to Cliff Lee in the Majors), which leads the NL. He leads two out of the three categories for pitching’s triple crown. There hasn’t been a Giants Cy Young winner since Mike McCormick in 1967. Timmy needs to end that drought.
Everyone writes about what they were doing when 9/11 happened seven years ago today. I remember I was in class in high school and they ended up letting everyone go home because even the school administrators didn’t really know how to handle the situation. Back then, I remember Bonds was still in the home run chase and I think he was in Houston for a game that got cancelled. What did I end up doing that day? I remember I went to the park to play catch. I don’t really know why I was thinking it at the moment, but “baseball heals all.” That’s probably not very true, but at least it got my mind off things – horrible things.
So it is pretty appropriate that seven years to the day, I end up going to a Padres/Giants game at Petco. I am really excited to see Lincecum pitch against Chris Young on Saturday, but this is more of a bonus game since it was on a Thursday night with a sparse crowd. I didn’t have to fight over standing space during batting practice either. In some ways, batting practice is more exciting than the actual game because you might get to catch a home run ball, albeit, a batting practice ball. You also get to casually chat with the players. For the past three games, I’ve gotten a batting practice ball each time. Today, a home run ball hit off the upper level and bounced onto the field. Being the only Giants fan in left field and wearing the only Giants shirt probably in the whole outfield seats at that time, I shouted to Jack Taschner. He turned around and threw me the ball.
I love getting autographs from players and the Allen & Ginters make perfect autograph cards due to their non-glossy finish. The only player that signed today that I saw was Zito. Despite being a scapegoat for a lot of the team’s failures, he is a really nice guy. He was the only player who even made an effort to try to interact with fans (other than Dave Roberts, who seems to still be loved in San Diego). He signed two balls for me and the Allen & Ginter ’08 Nevada State card of him. We chatted a little bit about the card as he seemed to have no knowledge of it. He was surprised that he was paired with Nevada and asked if they put players who were born in that state. I said I guess, since he was only born there, but grew up in San Diego. I read somewhere that he also buys his own autographed cards off eBay (what a weird thing to do).
I also picked up a nice souvenir for chemgod over at Bad Wax per his request. Hopefully, he posts a picture of it since I won’t steal his thunder. I really wish I got Lincecum to sign a card or two, but oh well. He did throw a few balls into the crowd when they called his name. I won’t get a chance for him to sign on Saturday either, since he pitches. I also took a bunch of pictures from the game:
Barry Zito chatting it up with Tim Lincecum. Probably giving him pitching advice…or the other way around. At first, everyone thought Zito was wearing a Padres cap. And in the game, everyone watching probably thought every Giants player was, but turns out, they gave the players these 9/11 caps, which are Padres blue, but the lettering is outlined in red and white.
Peter Magowan? What are you doing here?? Chatting with someone who looks like Dusty Baker with those glasses. I really wanted to get his autograph and try to get him to sign the same ball as Zito’s. Wouldn’t that be a cool dual auto?
Pregame tribute to 9/11: We will never forget…
A few days ago, Dave from Koz’s Korner on YouTube wanted to help me out with my Lincecum collection so he sent over a 2006 Tristar Prospect Plus Lincecum card when he made his minor league debut. This is probably one of my favorite cards now, just because it’s kind of different with him not being in a Giant’s uniform. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t get him to sign it today at the game. Oh well, at least my personal collection is growing. Be sure to visit Koz’s Korner on their channel HERE. If you have any Lincecum cards that you want to send/trade, send me an e-mail or leave a comment. Thanks again Dave!