Monday, July 19, 2010

Giants Try To Stay Hot In Chavez Ravine

The Giants bring their hot 2nd-half start to Chavez Ravine this week. Probably one of the more important series thus far this season.

The Dodgers are coming off being swept in St. Louis, while the Giants are coming off taking 3 of 4 from the NY Mets. Seems like the perfect time for the Giants, right? Not quite, remember the last series against the Dodgers...

The Giants have not faired well against the NL West, and this is the perfect test for this team that has gotten off to a hot 2nd-half start, both with their pitching and their hitting. And they will take the heart of that into LA this week. Bumgarner, Lincecum, Zito sounds like the perfect rotation against the hated Dodgers.

This is a pivotal series for both teams. The Dodgers are treading water fast, and the Giants are making their move in the division, although they lost a 1/2 game in the division in that Mets series despite taking 3 of 4. How that happened, I have no idea.

But expect that. The Padres are for real and are not going down without a fight. Expect no different from the Rockies as well. No Tulowitzki, no problem.

The test this week for the Giants, beat an NL West team, and let's go from there, because so far that is a rarity.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Warriors Trade Randolph's Potential For Proven Lee

Go figure the Golden State Warriors would find their way into the joke that was the Lebron James Decision 2010.

You just knew it. 10 seconds after the "much anticipated" suckfest that Lebron threw for himself was over (22 minutes in), the Warriors inked a controversial-for-some deal that sent a whole bunch of Warriors over to New York in exchange for big-man David Lee.

David Lee, the only true big-man in the pandemonium that was NBA Free Agency 2010, was persued by several teams, but the Knicks could not pass on the suckers from Golden State's juicy offer.

The Warriors agreed to send Azubuike, Turiaf, and Randolph to the Knicks.

I thought it would have been a little over the top to send Randolph for Lee, but that's just me.

First of all, someone stop the Warrior's front office from making any moves until the real front office steps in. They're just there for the time being. And when I mean the real front office I mean the one that will be replacing the old one when a new owner is put in place. Meanwhile, Larry Riley and Co. need not hurt this team and fan base any more than the past 2 decades have shown.

But every blind squirrel finds a nut, right? In the midst of the Warriors front office flinging around money and players, they may have struck something nice in this deal.

David Lee is a great player, an easy 20 points and 10 rebounds type of guy every night. This is the guy that the Warriors have needed and wanted over the past years. He is not a problem. The problem is did they give up too much for him?

Not sure if I care about Turiaf and Azubuike too much, but Randolph is the key player in this trade. The Knicks suckered the Warriors because I'm not sure if I was the GM of Golden State I would be able to send someone with potential star power and freakish athletic ability in exchange for a white guy.

But I like it. Maybe just my opinion but I was never sold on Anthony Randolph. He seemed immature and way over his head going up against the more premiere players on the opposing teams. It also takes a level head to play in this league and I did not think Randolph had one. Do I think he could be something someday in the NBA? Sure, if he is coached properly. In Golden State, that wasn't going to happen. So as a Warriors fan, if I know it wasn't going to happen here and was going to wait and wait for something magical to happen to him, maybe it's time to let the kid sprout elsewhere.

Think of it this way. Randolph is almost 22. Lee is 27. In 5 years will Anthony Randolph be putting up 20 and 10 like Lee? My answer, it's a little iffy, but probably not. Lee is an All-Star, that's proven. Randolph has a way to go. I'm not willing to wait around and find out if he is or not.

But hang on a sec. This still doesn't make the Warriors a contender. As of now, Monte, Curry, and Lee is a good core, but not a contending one. The only thing that has changed is that David Lee will now be the leading scorer and rebounder for a team that will be drafting in the Lottery once again in 2011. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'll do that when a real front office is in place.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sandoval's Struggles Continue...and Continue

What happened to our beloved Panda? Yes, the guy who was the focal point of this Giants' offense; yes, the guy with the happy-go-lucky attitude and funny personality; yes, the guy this team was supposed to built around for the next several seasons.

These days, the Panda is costing the Giants wins. Sure, it takes a whole team effort to do that, but Sandoval has hurt this team more than you think.

Last night, it seemed like it all came to a head. The talk after the game was Sandoval's base running mishap and how it could have turned this game compeletely around for the Giants. And it most certainly could have. With no outs and Rowand bluffing at tagging on a shallow fly ball to right field, Sandoval takes it upon himself to make a play, the wrong one. Sandoval would be tagged out trying to tag from first base, a rookie mistake. The play really showed how inexperienced Sandoval still is in the majors.

Probably not what you would expect from the "focal point" of your offense. Is that what we are calling his role on this team these days?

Sandoval's plunge in the line-up has hurt this team more than we know. The guy who was supposed to be the #3 hitter on this team for years is now your #7 and sometimes #8 hitter. Maybe it is Bochy trying to send a message to him, or maybe this is where he actually belongs in the line-up. The 2nd half of the season will tell is, because good hitters get out of slumps.

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that Sandoval would be pinch-hit for in the bottom of the 9th inning with men on 1st and 3rd base with the Giants down 2 runs, as he was last night, I would have figured that Bochy would have been fired the next day for making such a bonehead move. "Who pinch-hits for their best hitter in such a crucial spot?" I would have said to you.

Last night, I believe I uttered the words, "Great move."

But these days, a pinch hitter in that situation was the best move for the ball club last night. It gave them a better chance. Sure, Buster Posey struck out, but it goes to show what faith the Giants have in their so-called prized hitter. Sandoval could have bounced into a double play. Posey is smarter than that.

Call it what you want, sophomore slump or just a bad first-half of the season. But the Pablo Sandoval we are seeing now may be the real one, and everything we saw before from him was just a good run by a so-so player who gave a fan base too much to hope for.