Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Compromise I'm Willing To Make!

So here's my simple compromise vis a vis the Steroid Era...

I'm willing to throw Barry Bonds and all his records under the bus in exchange for the same thing being done to Mark McGuire and Jose Canseco in the 1989 World Series. You get no Barry! We get our World Series rings!

Sounds like a good trade to me! No Bonds For Rings! NO BONDS FOR RINGS! Has a nice ring to it, eh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pittsburg and Kansas City in the World Series 2009

Just joking!  Wanted to make a post on the blog to try and stir up some interest.!!!

The Boys of Summer are almost ready for opening day.  Any predictions like:

Will Webb win the Cy Young this year?

Will the Giants make the playoffs?

Will the Yankees start selling their own version of branded steroids for kids?

Come on guys, it's time for predicitons.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The All Star Game is Rocky, Too!

You remember at the end of Rocky II, Apollo and Rocky are evenly matched and it goes into the 15th round and at the very end, they both fall down and the umpire starts counting and Rocky barely stands up and wins the title - well, that was the All Star Game in a nutshell.

Call this the revenge of the game without an end. When Selig called off the "exhibition" All Star Game before a conclusion resulting in a tie (A TIE? THERE ARE NO TIES IN BASEBALL!), he angered a great many fans. As a result of that game, the following year he changed the rules so that the All Star Game would have meaning - he made home field advantage in the World Series the prize that the winning team received. Because of that, the game can no longer end in a tie.

Unfortunately, the game is still an exhibition. And fans who attend or watch on TV want to not only see their "league" win the game, but they want to see all the stars selected play. Which means that managers are inclined to use up their players at an alarming rate, substituting willy-nilly, during the regular nine innings so that everyone has a chance to play. If the game goes into extra innings, of course, then managers have to scramble to make sure they have a team on the field.

When I tuned in to last night's game, they were in the bottom of the 14th. The AL was using its last pitcher and he was on a strict pitch count, and the NL had only two pitchers, and one of them was in the game. Both pitchers that were pitching had just pitched on Sunday and they were dead tired. Furthermore, if neither team won soon, both managers were going to be out of pitchers to use.

The outcome was probably never really in doubt. Someone was going to win because somebody had to win. Just like Rocky II, it was the last team standing that got the victory. When a sacrifice fly was hit in the bottom of the 15th, the final throw to the plate was almost meaningless because anything even close was going to be called safe by the umpires. There was simply no other alternative. NL fans might be a tad upset, but they had just as many chances to win the game. In the end, however, the AL simply stood longer and thus won the title.

Now, maybe Selig will get his head out of that dark place and restore the game to its original purpose - drop the whole home field advantage stuff and change the All-Star voting back to only those people who actually attend games (sorry Japan, but if your players are good, they'll still be voted in). Otherwise, sooner or later, Apollo is going to enter the All-Star game dressed in the Red, White and Blue and singing James Brown. And that's a sight none of us want to see.

Monday, May 19, 2008

To Leave or Not To Leave

Before this discussion even begins, I want to clarify that I was taught the proper respect for the game by my father - you leave the game after the last out and not a second sooner. So any opinion to the contrary is not as a result of improper upbringing and does not show deficient breeding - lest I tarnish the Robison name and the clan Gunn and its illustrious ties to baseball fandom forever.

That having been said, the question has been raised many times before by fans the world over - when is the proper time to leave the game. Out of sheer respect for the players, who must continue to battle until the final out no matter the outcome, it would seem that the short answer is the traditional answer - you leave after the final out. However, in this post-modern era of complicated schedules and rushed lives, is that model of fan behavior even realistic anymore.

I have been to three games this season and my average departure time has been the 7th inning stretch. The first game ran long and it was a school night - so we left early and were pleased with the ultimate outcome as the Giants won just about the time I got home. The second game - this last Monday - the Giants managed to allow the Astros back into the game, and ultimately to take the lead, before I left. The Astros eventually beat the Giants 7-4, but I was already home before that happened. To be fair, the game had come out of nowhere and I had not really scheduled for it - so any innings of the game that I saw were technically extra innings as far as my viewing schedule was concerned. Yesterday, the Giants and White Sox were battling one another in a game that was sloppy and ugly. After the Giants battled back to a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the 7th, they promptly gave up three runs in the top of the eighth and we decided to leave. Before we reached the car, the Giants got two runs back in the bottom of the eighth to make it 9-8. But by the time we were in the car and had got the radio on, the White Sox had increased their lead to 13-8, which also turned out to be the final score. Though if you were to ask me, the outcome was never in doubt after the White Sox took the 9-6 lead.

We've all been surprised by dramatic comebacks. We've all seen upsets. We've all watched the tide turn and momentum change. But for some reason, it just happens less in baseball than other sports. There are games you go to where the odds of scoring one or two runs to make a comeback seem as long as a basketball team from Somalia making up a 40 point first half deficit against the Dream Team. Not insurmountable. Not impossible. But definitely improbable - to the extreme.

But should the decision of whether to leave or not to leave be based entirely on your team's chances to win? Should weather be factored in? Should schedule have any factor in the decision? Or should a die hard fan remain intact at a game until the players trot off the field for the last time?

My actions say one thing. My heart says something else. Not all that different from the struggles in my Christian faith. Sometimes remaining faithful to the things we love can be hard in the face of our struggles with daily life. I hope for a day when I no longer have anything better to do than watch my team and support them with my presence and my prayers until the outcome is complete and the best team has won.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Worst Promo Night I've Attended

In the spirit of Will's awesome post about the upcoming light bulb promo night, I thought I would share my story of the worst promo night I've attended. It was the Reds-Giants game on August 1, 1991 in Cincinnati.

My buddy Chris and I met up with my Black Sheep of the family uncle at the park and went through the gate. It just so happened to be GEORGE FOSTER NIGHT and all 30,000 fans were handed a 18"x24" poster of George suitable for framing. We got to our seats in the second tier and that's when we started drinking. Then the game started...

I knew it was going to be a long night because Will Clark cranked one out in the first inning. Then, it seemed like every inning, the Giants would get a run or two and by the seventh inning stretch, it was 5-0.

During the stretch, they marched about 200 guys out onto the field thathad just joined the military so they could take their oath. And that's when I saw the first UFO. It was a finely crafted paper airplane, that looked strangely like George Foster, and it came lofting down from the Upper Deck and slammed into the field. I remember saying, as I stared at the scene and heard the crowd cheer for the plane, "Why would someone do that?" As I said this, I turned to my Uncle Richard just in time to see him put the finishing touches on his airplane and launch it. Richard's only fell to the section below us, but he was so drunk that it really didn't matter. And we all laughed.

As you can imagine,with the combination of beer, a George Foster poster, and a 5-0 score, the airshow was on! For the next two innings, there was a nonstop onslaught of airplanes. Most would just fall to the crowd below, but several made it onto the field. One in fact, made it all the way to second base! When that happened, Riverfront stadium erupted in cheers and I think even Barry Larkin smiled as he retrieved it from the base paths.

As you can see, even something as simple as a free poster can go terribly wrong. But then again, it gave us something to cheer for.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Worst Promo EVER

Okay, in the history of sports rivalries there are few that are more intense than that between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. I can remember many a game where fights broke out in the stands, beer was dumped on players heads, etc... I try to avoid going to games between these two teams because of the intense rivalry and the large amount of yahoos who go to the game to get liquored up and pick fights.

With that in mind, what the hell are they thinking?

July 17th, 2008 at AT&T Park, Giants vs. Dodgers, and it's PG&E Solar Day at the park. The first 20,000 fans will receive a free CFL light bulb. Never mind the aforementioned facts, let's just consider the idea on its own merits. Where the hell are 20,000 people going to put their CFL light bulbs while they are trying to watch a baseball game? How are they going to wear a glove, hold a hot dog, and also manage their fluorescent glass tubed light bulb? Already a bad idea.

Now add in the element of this rivalry and you can see the large bloodbath that will surely ensue. You heard it here first, folks, Will the Prognosticator is calling ahead to say that this will go down in the history of history as the worst promo EVER!

(So long as the Dodgers lose, however, the game will be considered a success.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Your Pay vs. Zito's Pay

Check out this calculator, courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle. Compare your pay vs. Barry Zito's pay and what you can buy with your money versus what Barry can buy with his $126 million salary over 7 years.

Naturally, this is painful for me to write being a Giants fan, since he is now the highest paid long reliever in baseball.

Check it out.