Congratulations Randy Johnson on 300!

Some trivia on Randy Johnson hitting 300:

  • 6th left hander to get 300 wins
  • 24th member of the 300 win club
  • First to have beaten every major league team over the course of his career
  • Second oldest at the time he won 300 games (first was Phil Niekro)
  • Joins Tim Keefe, Mickey Welch, and Christy Mathewson as pitchers who got their 300th as Giants
  • First to get 300 as a San Francisco Giant
  • Fifth best winning percentage in the 300 club (.647)

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This post was written by Hank on June 4, 2009

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More Randy Johnson Retrospective

As we wait out the rain delay, two more articles on Randy Johnson, from

Jerry Crasnick’s Starting 9 column features nine memorable moments from Johnson’s career:

  1. His perfect game in 2004.
  2. The pitch over John Kruk’s head in the ‘93 All-Star Game.
  3. The playoff game in 1995 for the Mariners, after they had stormed back from a 13 game defecit.
  4. After throwing 7 innings in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series, he came back the next day to get the last four outs in Game 7.
  5. The “exploding bird” incident. Interestingly enough, it was against the Giants in a spring training game. The immortal Calvin Murray was the hitter.
  6. Striking out 20 Cincinnatti Reds in a 2001 game.
  7. His one career home run in 2003.
  8. The camera shoving incident when he first joined the Yankees.
  9. The really long home run McGwire hit off him in 1997. In that game, he struck out 19.

Some really funny quotes, and even a Duane Kuiper reference thrown in for good measure.

The second article, which was the main feature on ESPN’s baseball section, interviews various hitters who have faced Johnson throughout the years, and lists which hitters have fared the best and worst against him.

The best five hitters (BA, min 20 PAs):

  1. Rene Gonzalez (.500 ?!?!)
  2. Bob Melvin/Randy Velarde (.452)
  3. Jose Reyes (.450)
  4. Reed Johnson (.429)
  5. Albert Pujols (.429)

The Five Worst Hitters (BA, min 20 PA)

  1. Craig Grebeck (0 for 21)
  2. Steve Sax (1 for 26)
  3. Rafael Palmeiro (1 for 21)
  4. Eric Davis (1 for 18)
  5. Candy Maldonado (1 for 17)

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This post was written by Hank on June 3, 2009

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Patrick Misch DFA

Designated to make room for Kelvin Pichardo, a pitching prospect coming back from a 50-game suspension for pulling a Manny Ramirez. Misch, originally a 7th round draft pick in 2003, pitched parts of 4 seasons for the Giants, going 0-7 in a total of 38 games.

Perhaps knew something the Giants didn’t-as of this writing, its profile for Misch had already listed his “Final Game” as 9/23/2008. I’m guessing he’ll probably just get outrighted to Fresno after clearing waivers, but if the Giants can trade him for an actual player, hey all the more power to Brian Sabean. Not sure though if he’s shown enough to earn a career as a “token left handed pitcher”.

UPDATE: Misch was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets and assigned to their AAA affiliate at Buffalo. So starts his journeyman career.

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This post was written by Hank on June 2, 2009


Triple Big Unit

Three articles today to share on Randy Johnson:

Randy Johnson in high school: 90 mph and attitude recollects his exploits back in the early 80s at Livermore High School. Features recollections from local players who faced him, and some photos including a black-and-white photo of him complete with the same mullet he has now.

Is Johnson the last Big Winner? by John Shea of the Chronicle speculates whether Johnson will be the last 300 game winner. The article lists some of the winningest pitchers today and mentions that Roy Halliday, who at age 32 has 139 wins, would need to average 16 a year to get to 300 by age 42. Johnson, on the other hand, due to the early struggles in his career, only had 104 wins at age 32, and actually had two recent reasons where he only won 4 and 6 games due to injury, as well as five-win and nine-win seasons in his prime years.

Not to be excluded, the Merc also weighed in on Randy Johnson as he goes for his 300th win in Washington. Andrew Baggarly’s blog article approaches the topic from the angle of, what kind of makeup does it take to be a 300 game winner? Being healthy, playing for winning teams, pitching and winning in your 40s, those all make sense. Slightly more interesting is being in the American League, the idea  being that the DH keeps pitchers in games longer and thus gives them more chances to win.

Just for fun, Barry Zito has 124 wins and age 31 as of this writing. He would need to average 18 wins a year (actually, 17.6) over the next 10 years to reach 300. If he pitches as long as Johnson (until 45), he could do it averaging 13 wins a year (12.55). It’s too early to do a projection on the other Giants starters, so we’ll check back on them in say, 5 more years.

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This post was written by Hank on June 1, 2009

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Home run futility- not just for Giants first basemen

The home run that Travis Ishikawa hit on Monday against the Braves was the first home run by any Giants first baseman this year.

From Jayson Stark’s Rumblings and Grumblings column, here are some of the other positions in major league baseball which have yet to hit a home run (number in parentheses is the number of at bats):

  • Angels leadoff (185)
  • Pirates leadoff (193)
  • Dodgers #5 spot (185)
  • Rays 2B (182)
  • Mets 2B (164)
  • Twins CF (178)
  • White Sox CF (156)
  • Dodgers C (187)

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This post was written by Hank on May 28, 2009


Some thoughts on the current lineup (no stats, I promise!)

These are some general observations I had on the Giants starting lineup, simply based on watching a lot of the games. I’ve not done any statistical research or analysis, but I’d be interested to see how far off I am.

Travis Ishikawa needs to be in a platoon, but not the obvious lefty-righty platoon. Rather, he should only play at home. He hits well at home but on the road, he looks like a pitcher when he’s hitting. Mabye it’s the water, mabye it’s the hotel bed, mabye he needs to wear his home jersey under his road jersey. Somehow, he needs to drastically change his routine for road games if he wants to stay in the big leagues.

Speaking of Rich Aurilia, he needs to start hitting. Otherwise he might find himself “designated for assignment” after the next time the Giants bring up Jesus Guzman.  He’s shown some signs, but overall the Giants first base position is just a complete black hole right now.

Emmanuel Burris, on the other hand, is the anti-Travis Ishikawa. He hits on the road, and looks out of it at home.

I think Freddie Lewis is miscast hitting lower in the lineup. He’s not doing well right now because he’s being pressed to fulfill a role that frankly, his hitting style is not suited for. His best value to the Giants is that he can get on base and once on base, can steal. He should bat either leadoff or second.

Pablo Sandoval has often cited Bengie Molina as a mentor. But thank the baseball gods, one part of Bengie’s game the Kung Fu Panda has not followed is the lack of patience at the plate. Over the last month, Sandoval has become noticeably more selective at the plate, and his hitting has correspondingly improved as a result. Molina, on the other hand, has cooled off dramatically after a hot start. In this case, perhaps it’s Bengie who could take a page or two from Sandoval’s approach to hitting.

And finally, please, no more Eugenio Velez. He has been completely lost at the plate, his fielding can be most diplomatically described as adventurous, and even his only obvious asset, speed, is useless when he keeps getting picked off. He had a hot few weeks when he first got called up in September 2007, and he’s milked that for all it was worth.

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This post was written by Hank on May 27, 2009

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How much are the Giants worth?

Forbes released its annual report appraising the value of Major League Baseball teams. When you look at the overall figures for the league as a whole, they sound good- the league earned a net revenue of $5.8 billion, an increase of 5.5% from 2008. On average, the book value of each franchise increased by 1%, to $482 million, an all-time high.

However, not all is rosy. Although the overall league numbers increased, the figures were heavily influenced by the increases from the top money teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox. There were actually nine teams in the major leagues whose average value decreased. Unfortunately, the Giants were one of them.

The San Francisco Giants fell 5% in value, to $471 million…It just is not the same without Barry Bonds coming to the plate at AT&T Park. Attendance dipped 11% during the Giants’ first Bonds-less season since 1992. The California economy has been particularly hard hit and as a result the prices of PSLs at AT&T Park have fallen about 60% over the past three years.

So the drop in value roughly corresponds to the estimated $20 million the Giants would have had to pay to keep Bonds. Overall, Giants revenue in 2008 was $196 million, with the operating income at $22.4 million. This was based on a stated payroll of $104 million and gate receipts of $74 million. So at least, the Giants are still making money, and a decent amount of it.

The Giants now rank ninth in the major leagues in value. Compared to other teams in the divison, the Giants ranked a distant second. The Dodgers, ranked 4th overall, were valued at $722 million. Behind the Giants in the NL West were the Padres at $401 million (16th overall), Diamondbacks ($390 million, 19th) , and then the Rockies ($373 million, 20th).

The top five were: Yankees ($1.5 billion), Mets ($912 million), Red Sox ($833 million), Dodgers, and Cubs ($722 million).

Read the full report from Forbes

The Giants “Financial Report”

(correction: that should have been $722 million for the Dodgers)

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This post was written by Hank on May 15, 2009

He’s not up there to take a walk

After 115 at bats, on May 12 of the season…

Bengie Molina finally got his first walk of the season.

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This post was written by Hank on May 13, 2009


How Not To Use Twitter

Why you shouldn’t post personal stuff on the internet, example #439567182.

  1. After a nice victory on Saturday where you get the save, go out to celebrate a little.
  2. Have a bit of trouble with some folks at the bar, but it’s no big deal, you resolve it.
  3. Twitter about it after you get back to your hotel room late.
  4. Wake up for day game the next day. Blow the save that would have given the Giants a sweep of the D-backs, and a winning record. Make your manager empty out the bullpen in what eventually becomes a come-from-ahead loss in extra innings.
  5. Deny that you were out late the night before. Delete all of your Twitter posts. Add a disclaimer that all your posts are “made-up stories that reflect my sense of humor”
  6. When asked about it, deny everything.
  7. Come in the next game against the archrival Dodgers, strike out the side to get the save.
  8. Show some semblance of remorse (without admitting anything) in the post-game interview.

Do I think Brian Wilson was partying on Saturday night? Probably.

Was he covering things up? He pretty much had no choice but to do what damage control he did.

Should I care what baseball players do on their spare time?  It matters if it affects your performance the next day.

Did he redeem himself on Monday? Heck yeah.

As Mike Krukow mentioned during the telecast, closers can’t apologize for messing up- they just have to go out the next day, get back on the horse again, and do their job. Hopefully this was chalked up to the indiscretion of youth and a lesson learned.

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This post was written by Hank on April 28, 2009


Giants on Twitter

The hardy few who read this blog may be aware of the @giantsquotes Twitter featured here- basically whenever I hear something cool from Kruk and Kuip on the radio or TV, I enter the quote there. I think the witticisms of Kruk and Kuip are well worth recording, and Twitter seemed a convenient way to do that.

Kind of like how MySpace has become a place for bands, Twitter has now become the thing to do for individual celebrities. Among the Giants who are using Twitter are Brian Wilson (@BrianWilson38) and Barry Zito (@BarryZito).

Barry Zito’s has some interesting quotes that show his reputation as a man of many layers:

“I’m not portrayed in moneyball, but if I had a choice I’d have Christian Bale play me. haha”

“Seriously guys, is anything ever going to be cooler than Voltron?”

“Just sang [Eric] byrnes a ballad and he got emotional, now he’s scowling at me for tweating this”

Sleeping next to a fish tank reminds me of being a kid, except as an adult salt water fish are more doable, thus seahorses.. ahhhh”

Brian Wilson’s tweets show an interest in UFC, Rock Band (the video game), and foods he likes to eat. I also get the impression that he listened to a lot of House of Pain when he was younger, and probably owned a Celtics Starter jacket. Here are a few of his more memorable quotes:

Nothing beats dogpiling on the baseball mound-other sports have too many weird man hugs that turn into awkward spurts of close talking”

On the secret to his fastball:

“For those about to rock(we salute you)”-i call no man out, i simply say Rockband is the recipe for throwing smoke-end of story

He calls Barry Zito “Baron Von Zitenhowsen”. Wonder if that’s an inside joke of some kid.

Interestingly enough, the two teammates don’t follow each other.

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This post was written by Hank on April 23, 2009

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