Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: November 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giants Hot-Stove Update, Blog Plans

The hot stove is sizzling:

The Giants resigned Aubrey Huff to a two-year deal worth $22 million with a club option for 2013. Details about the signing could be found here. I like this deal, but $22 million seems a little high for me, considering Huff's page, but that's just the nature of the business. When somebody leads a team to a World Series title, the price will naturally jump up.

The Giants are searching for an everyday shortstop. They did offer Juan Uribe salary arbitration, but if he declines or cannot negotiate a deal with the Giants, other options exist. They are currently in talks with Miguel Tejada to fill the shortstop void, and have shown no interest in Derek Jeter. I personally thing Juan Uribe is a better option than both. Juan Uribe displayed more power than Tejada, leading 20 homers to Tejada's 15, and Derek Jeter, who hit just 10 home runs. Plus, Uribe has won two world series rings, something Tejada cannot say he has done. The Diamondbacks' Stephen Drew was also on the Giants' radar, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Giants also were interested in the Mets' Jose Reyes, according to Schulman, but they wanted 3 or 4 players in return. My gut says the two sides will work something out, and Uribe will be back in orange and black.

Also, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Dodgers were very interested in Aubrey Huff, but it didn't work out as Giants fans know.

Another tidbit. The Giants will begin spring training on Feb. 25 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It will be here before you know it!

If you have any more information, send me a tip by private message, e-mail, or send a comment below. 

One more recommendation: Go to McCovey's restaurant in Walnut Creek. It is an excellent experience for any Giants fan!

Here's a cool pic from the victory parade. I took it inside the Civic Center Library.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blog plans, quick Giants news and notes

Hello fans.

The off-season is here, but that does not mean I won't be blogging. I  know I took a lay-off in between posts, but I am going to update this at least once a week with Giants hot-stove league coverage. Unfortunately, I do not yet have the power to do full reporting like I would like to (cross your fingers someone notices this, and I get that media pass I dream of getting), but I would do the best I can from online and television sources. Who knows? Maybe, I might ask a source in the Giants for information, but I am not expecting any response.

The off-season is young, but here are some of the happenings in the hot-stove league that I have heard so far:

Aubrey Huff and the Giants have a mutual interest. It is no secret that Huff would like to come back, but he did not rule out exploring the market. All indications point to the Giants and Huff working something out. Also, for what it's worth, a caller on KNBR 680 said that somebody he knew recently installed an alarm system into Aubrey Huff's mother's house. Huff recently moved his mother out to San Francisco, so for those Giants fans who enjoyed Huff's antics, then this is good news for you.

If the Giants want to retain Juan Uribe, they're going to have to open their wallet. Uribe recently told the media that he was going to wait and see how Derek Jeter's contract plays out before deciding on who he will sign with. Even if the Giants lose Uribe, I think the Giants could upgrade here, whether it be through trades, free agency, or minor league prospect Brandon Belt, who tore up the minor leagues last year. It's no secret the Giants need to improve their walk total and .OBP, and Uribe doesn't fit that bill. Still, Uribe has that intangible quality that any good team should have.

That's all I've heard so far. The pitching staff is here to stay, Posey isn't going anywhere for a long time, and Cody Ross will be hitting clutch homers for another year.

My next post will occur tomorrow night after I submit my Giants localization story for my journalism class. It will be put up right here soon after. For those of you itching for more Giants baseball, don't worry. Before you know it, it will be back from Dodger Stadium on April 1st! Road trip anyone?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Giants NLCS Reaction Story

For my journalism class, I wrote a reaction story to the Giants winning the NLCS and advancing to the World Series. Just for fun, I am going to post it here. This is more professional than my previous posts in that it follows AP Style to the tee. I will have a World Series Giants reaction soon, as that assignment is due Wednesday. Enjoy!

De Anza College Excited As Giants Win Their Fourth Pennant in San Francisco

Fans have dubbed the Giants’ 2010 season as torture, but after the team’s thrilling victory against the Philadelphia Phillies that secured its trip to the World Series, the Giants’ faithful at De Anza College are feeling pleasure and excitement rather than anguish.
The clinching game for the Giants in the National League Championship Series, game six, in Philadelphia, certainly had its torturous moments. With the Giants clinging to a one-run lead, courtesy of Juan Uribe’s go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth inning, Giants’ closer Brian Wilson allowed fans to breathe a sigh of relief, as he struck out Phillies’ slugger Ryan Howard with a gutsy back-door slider on a 3-2 count to end the game.
Diana Urkumyan, third-year journalism and public relations major at De Anza, started following the Giants this year in the midst of the playoff run, but experienced the emotional rollercoaster like so many die-hard fans. While she was nervous in the bottom of the ninth inning, that anxiety soon turned to joy after Wilson recorded the final out.
“I am super-excited,” Urkumyan said. “I am so proud of them.”
The beginning of the game also had some tense moments.
Cecilia Deck, journalism instructor at De Anza, also fell victim to the emotional ups and downs of Giants baseball, feeling nervous when Jonathan Sanchez and Chase Utley engaged in an altercation in the bottom of the third inning after Sanchez hit Utley on the back with a fastball.
“I was scared something terrible would happen because I’m a new baseball fan,” Deck said. “I didn’t know what could happen.”
Some fans are excited about the 2010 Giants because they feel that this team is easier to identify with than past Giants’ teams, contrasting sharply with the media circus days of Barry Bonds and his movie star persona.
Walter Alvarado, classified staff member for La Voz, likes the Giants’ camaraderie and thinks it propels them to win.
“I enjoy that this team is a team,” Alvarado said. “That’s what’s missing in sports nowadays, and they got the momentum and everything is lined up for them to go all the way.”
Even though die-hard Giants fans are enthusiastic about the team’s success, general baseball fans are rooting for the Giants to do well in the World Series as well.
Matt Guevara, a first-year undecided major, does not have a favorite baseball team, but watched all their playoff games and hopes the Giants can win the World Series.
“I don’t have a particular team I root for, but I love baseball,” Guevara said. “As a baseball fan, I want to see the Giants do well because I think their scrappy style of play and their display of teamwork is good for the game.”
Alex Mendiola, third-year public relations major, enjoys the thrill of Giants baseball so much that he hopes the Giants win the World Series in seven games, the maximum number of games the series can have.
“I love excitement,” Mendiola said. “I want everyone on their tippy toes, so I predict the Giants will win in seven.”
The World Series begins Wednesday night, and fans will be ready to cheer the Giants on, no matter how much torture their team will make them endure.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Long Time Waiting. The Giants are 2010 World Champions!

It can finally be said. The Giants are world champions.

The road to becoming World Series Champions was definitely not easy for the Giants in their San Francisco history. Barry Bonds couldn't do it. Willie Mays couldn't do it. Jeff Kent couldn't do it nor could Willie McCovey. The Giants even had a 5-0 lead in Game 6, their potential clinching game, of the 2002 World Series and could not get it done.

Who would be the heroes to stand up to this seeming impossible task of winning a world championship?

Hero number 1. A 21-year old rookie left-hander Madison Bumgarner. All he did was pitch eighth shut-out innings in Game 4 of the World Series. Hero number 2. An aging veteran who was ousted from his starting role earlier in the season. Although he was a post-season hero in 1997 for the Florida Marlins, he was pushed aside to the bench. Who is this mystery person? Edgar Renteria. All he did was hit the game-winning home run in Game 5 of the World Series. Hero number 3. He's a freak, he's young, and he's a two-time Cy Young winner. He's none other than the freaky franchise, Tim Lincecum. His feat? He just pitched eight strong innings in the clinching game of the World Series to bring his team home the title.

One could go on and on about the heroes in this band of misfits known as the San Francisco Giants. To name all of them would make this blog entry longer than The Bible. The Giants exemplified what it means to be part of a team, and all 25 men on the post-season roster did something to make their mark on this magical 2010 San Francisco Giants season.

This season of destiny for the Giants ended with Game 5 of the World Series. Facing Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum gave arguably his best effort as a San Francisco Giant, pitching eight innings of one-run baseball, striking out 10. His 10 strikeouts ties a record for a World Series-clinching game. The last person to have 10 strikeouts in such a game was Bob Gibson in 1967.

Until the seventh inning, Cliff Lee baffled the Giants. The Giants mustered a threat against Lee in the top of the sixth inning after Sanchez singled with two outs, but Buster Posey hit a deep fly ball that was tracked down at the wall by the right fielder Nelson Cruz. It didn't seem like it was the Giants' night.

Or so it seemed.

In the seventh inning, the score was still deadlocked in a scoreless tie. Cody Ross led off the inning with a lead-off single. Juan Uribe followed with another single. Aubrey Huff came up next and shocked everyone by laying down a perfect sacrifice bunt. With one out, then came up the struggling Pat Burrell, who had no hits in the World Series. Burrell's struggles continued, as he struck out. With 2 outs and runners at second and third, a misfit, Edgar Renteria, came to the plate. With Giants fans thinking yet another excellent scoring opportunity would be squandered, Renteria marked himself in Giants history, as he belted a 2-0 fastball over the fence in left-center field. Just like that, the Giants had a 3-0 lead. At the time, the Giants were just nine outs away from the title.

The Rangers got to Tim Lincecum for a run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a one-out Nelson Cruz home run. With the score 3-1, would this be another late-inning collapse on the road in a World Series clinching game a la 2002?

Not if Lincecum or Wilson had anything to say about it.

After Lincecum retired the side in order in the eighth inning, Giants' closer Brian Wilson was summoned in for what the Giants hoped would be their final ninth inning of the year. With the Giants three outs away from their first San Francisco World Championships, Wilson was unfazed. The first batter Wilson faced, Josh Hamilton, struck out looking on a high fastball. ONE out. The next batter, Vladimir Guerrero, grounded out to shortstop. TWO outs. With the Giants one more out away from clinching the title, up stepped Nelson Cruz. Cruz worked the count to 3-2, but Wilson threw a pitch down the middle. Cruz could not catch up to it, as he swung and missed. THREE outs.

The Giants were world champions.

Suddenly, 1962, 1989, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004 doesn't hurt so bad anymore.

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