Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: March 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Interesting MLB News, Notes, Trivia: LA Dodger Player's Weird Part Time Job; Jonathan Sanchez Struggling; Matt Cain's Contract Status

Back in the days before multi-million dollar baseball contracts, Major League Baseball players actually had to work for a living during the offseason.

Although Willie Mays was one of the best major league baseball players, he had to work in the winter for a living

San Francisco Giants' legend Willie Mays, perhaps the greatest ball player of all time, did not have a multi-year contract where he can support himself for the rest of his life. He had to take on a second job in the offseason just to make ends meet for most of his playing career.

Today, only minor leaguers regularly take on second jobs, but there is at least one current MLB player who is actively working to make a living in the offseason. You can find him playing with one of the Giants' biggest rivals.

According to Charlie Steiner during a Los Angeles Dodgers' radio broadcast, Jerry Sands, first baseman for the Dodgers, works as a substitute teacher during the winter months. He was actually called into work during spring training, but he had to politely decline.

By brendan-c on Flickr [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Working for the MLB definitely has a lot more perks than working as a substitute teacher--and a lot more upside.

Any other players or coaches work during the offseason?

You bet. Giants' third-base coach Tim Flannery works as a musician and makes albums, but I am sure it is more for passion than necessity.

If Sands pans out and overtakes James Loney as a regular, it is safe to say his teaching days are over. However, it's always good to have a back-up plan in case he suffers a career-ending injury.


Remember our old friend Jonathan Sanchez?

Apparently, he has had a rough go as a Kansas City Royal. The inconsistency continues...

Sanchez has a 21.00 ERA, albeit it in just three innings pitched. He has given up seven earned runs in those three innings on seven hits and two walks.

Opponents are hitting .438 against him and his WHIP is 3.00. A bad start or the Giants looking good for trading him?

According to Jon Miller during a Giants' spring training broadcast, the Royals' brass were concerned about Sanchez's velocity being down. His average fastball was around 89 mph, which concerned Kansas City.

However, during one spring training game, Sanchez was clocked throwing 99 mph.

Knowing Jonathan Sanchez and his tendencies, I believe the sudden velocity jump was a product of Sanchez's frustration. He probably saw people getting on him about his low velocity, so he wanted to prove 'em wrong.

So he aired one out. Gotta love Johnny Sanchez.


For those who think Matt Cain will be donning the orange and black for a long time, think again.

According to Andrew Baggarly of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Cain said he was "really torn"about his future with the Giants.

CSN Bay Area also reported that Cain was "excited" about the possibility of free agency.

This does not bode well for the Giants. Anytime a player is excited for free agency, it means big money for the player--money the Giants have had a track record of shying away from.

The Giants do not like to overpay for players, so if Cain demands C.C. Sabathia money, $20-25 million, the Giants' right-handed hurler could be wearing pinstripes. If this were the case, I think Cain would be overly thrilled rather than just excited.

The good news is there is hope that Cain and the Giants could work something out.

Baggarly also reported on March 10 that "it would be a surprise" if Cain's deal does not get done before the season starts.

The Giants open up in Arizona in less than three weeks.


By eürodäna via Wikimedia Commons
Will the Giants re-sign Matt Cain? Will Cain get an extension this season? Will Cain get $25 million or more?

Was Jonathan Sanchez's trade worth it? Will Cabrera be more valuable than Sanchez? Is Sanchez's velocity going to be closer to 99 mph or 89 mph? How will Sanchez do in Kansas City?

Will Jerry Sands be a substitute teacher after this season? Will major league players ever work again in the offseason?

We will find out in the weeks and months ahead.

Leave a comment below.

Don't forget to take my poll on the left. Who will start for the Giants at first base this season?

Information from Extra Baggs and contributed to this article.

Follow me on twitter @vintalkingiants 

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Monday, March 12, 2012

San Francisco Giants Weekend Wrap-Up: Giants Continue Cactus League Dominance

The San Francisco Giants' biggest concern coming into the 2012 season has been anything but worrisome, at least during the start of the 2012 Cactus League.

The Giants have swung the bats so far in their first 10 games this spring. They stand at 7-3-1 for the spring and have slugged a .326 team batting average.

San Francisco's power numbers have been the best in the Cactus League so far. In 11 games, the Giants lead the league with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs.

The Giants are also second in the league in runs scored with 73. The only team better in that statistic is the Seattle Mariners with 74 runs scored.

Their ability to get on-base has also been encouraging this spring. The Giants lead all of baseball (Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues) in OPS with a .919 clip, and they have a team on-base percentage of .376, good for third in the Cactus League.

Is this foreshadowing the team's 2012 season, or is it a mirage?

It is difficult to say since the ball flies in Arizona, but a couple of players stand out as in-shape and ready to go (I would like to hear your thoughts by commenting below).

Keith Allison/Flickr, Creative Commons
Melky Cabrera continues to have a torrid spring training. Over the weekend, he went 3-for-7 against Milwaukee Brewers Saturday and the Seattle Mariners Sunday, with another double and three RBI.

Cabrera's spring average is now at .542, with three home runs, four doubles, and nine RBI in seven games. He leads the Cactus League in both home runs and RBI.

Here is a quick wrap-up of the Giants' three weekend spring training games:

Saturday (SS):

  • Brewers 3    Giants 13  (Tommy Joseph, 2-for-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB)
    • Barry Zito: 3 IP, 0 ER, 0 R, 1 H, 1 K
  • Giants 5     Angels 9 (Aubrey Huff, 2-for-3, HR, RBI)
    • Huff hitting .316 this spring.

  • Mariners 5   Giants 7 (Hector Sanchez, 2-for-2, HR, 3 RBI)
    • Eric Surkamp (3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3K)
  • Sunday's box score can be found here

That is 25 runs in 3 games. It is safe to say that the Giants had a swinging weekend.

On the injury front, Buster Posey and Brian Wilson each played in the game Sunday against the Mariners. Both looked encouraging and appear to be back to form.

Buster Posey went 0-for-2 on Sunday, but caught four innings. With Brian Wilson on the mound and a runner at first base in the second inning, Posey fired a strike to second base to gun down the Mariners' Carlos Peguero in an inning-ending strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play.

Rob Shenk (Flickr) [Creative Commons] 
In that same game, Wilson pitched a scoreless fourth inning. He gave up a one-out single to Peguero and struck out one.

Wilson's velocity was in the low 90s, but he still effectively and efficiently completed a scoreless inning. Most importantly, Wilson pitched nine pain-free pitches.

I am sure Wilson will crank up the velocity once the games count.

As I write this, I see Aaron Rowand, now with the Miami Marlins, on ESPN strike out on a low and away slider. Classic Aaron Rowand. I smile.

Materials from

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oakland Athletics Issue Statement Over Terrirotiral Rights; Mentions Giants' Walnut Creek Store

By Vince Cestone

This is a rather interesting statement issued by the Oakland Athletics today regarding the territorial rights fight with the San Francisco Giants. The A's hoped to build a new stadium in the San Jose area, but they were met with strong opposition from the Giants' brass.

Here is the statement...

"Recent articles claiming that Major League Baseball has decided that the A's cannot share the two-team Bay Area market were denied by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig last weekend.

Currently the Giants and A's share the two-team Bay Area market in terms of television, radio, sponsors and fans. Last year, the Giants opened a specialty store in the middle of the A's market (Walnut Creek). At the time, Lew Wolff commented that he was 'fine with the Giants store and wished there was an A's store in San Francisco.

Of the four two-team markets in MLB, only the Giants and A's do not share the exact same geographic boundaries. MLB-recorded minutes clearly indicate that the Giants were granted Santa Clara, subject to relocating to the city of Santa Clara. The granting of Santa Clara to the Giants was by agreement with the A's late owner Walter Haas, who approved the request without compensation. The Giants we unable to obtain a vote to move and the return of Santa Clara to its original status was not formally accomplished.

We are not seeking a move that seeks to alter or in any manner disturb MLB territorial rights. We simply seek an approval to create a new venue that our organization and MLB fully recognizes is needed to eliminate our dependence on revenue sharing, to offer our fans and players a modern ballpark, to move over 35 miles further away from the Giants' great venue and to establish an exciting competition between the Giants and A's.

We are hopeful that the Commissioner, the committee appointed by the Commissioner, and a vote of the MLB ownership, will enable us to join the fine array of modern and fun baseball parks that are now commonplace in Major League Baseball."


Are you kidding me?

I think Lew Wolff obviously cares about butting into the Giants' territorial rights. If he was not, then why be so adamant about building a stadium in San Jose?

The argument that the city of Oakland cannot sustain a baseball community just does not fly with me. Oakland not so long ago was a thriving baseball community, producing World Series-caliber teams year after year.

Remember, it was not long ago when the A's were the cream of the crop in the San Francisco Bay Area. Back in the 70s, 80s, 90s, the A's were making those World Series appearances--and winning them--while the Giants loafed around at the bottom of their division.

During the Walter A. Haas Jr. ownership era of 1981-1995, the A's had one of baseball's most successful fan attendances, drawing over 1.9 million fans on average during that era (even with the strike-shortened 1981 and 1994 seasons). Their attendance culminated in 1990 when they reached nearly 3 million fans in attendance, which is still the franchise record for single-season attendance.

I'm sorry, Wolff, it is not Oakland that's causing your teams' woes. I don't even think it's necessarily you.

There is only one culprit, in my opinion, plaguing the Athletics' chances of becoming a great franchise. Get rid of them and things will probably be better.

That problem is the Oakland Raiders.

When the Oakland Raiders came back to the Bay Area in 1995, the Oakland Coliseum, which once had a backdrop of the Oakland hills reminiscent to Dodger Stadium, became a concrete structure that was not only unpleasant to look at but also depressing to be in.

Take a look at the Coliseum before Mt. Davis and after. Where would you rather see a baseball game?

McAfee Coliseum
Jordan Klein/Flickr, Creative Commons

Oakland Coliseum outfield 1980
By Nathan Hughes Hamilton, via Wikimedia Commons

I think the pictures speak for themselves--same stadium, different look.

Also, if you are concerned about the Giants' dugout store in Walnut Creek Mr. Wolff, why not build one for your team in San Jose or San Francisco? Nothing says you can't own a business.

America is a capitalist country last I checked. If you put up the money, you can build your store anywhere, as long as it's approved by the city and you comply with regulations.

Interestingly, the Raiders have a store at Oakridge Mall in San Jose, smack dab right in the middle of the 49ers' territory, who will have a new stadium in Santa Clara County in a couple of years.

The bottom line is either (a) if the Raiders move, renovate the Coliseum to something pleasant to the eye (like a nice view of the hills a la Dodger Stadium maybe?), or (b) build a waterfront stadium in Downtown Oakland.

In the meantime, another owner or some better team marketing can be of help. After all, the Giants did okay at the much-worse Candlestick Park in the years leading up to Pacific Bell Park after the current ownership group led by Peter McGowan (now Larry Baer) took over the team.

That said, the A's took a step in the right direction for the 2012 season. Give fans a reason to come to the ballpark and they will.

Barry Bonds gave Giants fans a reason to attend Candlestick and AT&T Park. The A's rebuilt their offense by signing Manny Ramirez and Yoenis Cespedes, and fans seem to love a team that could swing the bats.

Perhaps these offensive additions will draw more fans to the Coliseum? We will have to wait and see.


This just in...

The Giants have released a rebuttal to the Athletics' previous statement.

Alex Pavlovic, of the San Jose Mercury's Extra Baggs blog, reported the statement just about an hour ago.

Here is that statement posted on Extra Baggs...

“The Commissioner has asked us to refrain from discussing the territorial rights issue publicly. Out of respect for his request, we will limit our response to setting the record straight on the history of territorial rights.

The Giants territorial rights were not granted “subject to” moving to Santa Clara County. Indeed, the A’s fail to mention that MLB’s 1990 territorial rights designation has been explicitly re-affirmed by Major League Baseball on four separate occasions. Most significantly in 1994, Major League Baseball conducted a comprehensive review and re-definition of each club’s territories. These designations explicitly provide that the Giants territory include Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Marin Counties and the A’s territory included Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The MLB owners unanimously approved those designated territories and memorialized them in the MLB Constitution. Since then, the MLB Constitution has been re-affirmed by the MLB owners – including by the A’s – on three different occasions (2000, 2005 and 2008), long after the Giants won approval to build AT&T Park. Mr. Wolff and Mr. Fisher agreed to these territorial designations and were fully aware of our territorial rights when they purchased the A’s for just $172 million in 2005.

The population of Santa Clara County alone represents 43% of our territory. Upon purchasing the team 20 years ago, our plan to revive the franchise relied heavily on targeting and solidifying our fan base in the largest and fastest growing county within our territory. Based on these Constitutionally-recognized territorial rights, the Giants invested hundreds of millions of dollars to save and stabilize the team for the Bay Area, built AT&T Park privately and has operated the franchise so that it can compete at the highest levels.”


If I were the Giants' front office, I would not roll over either. Why would I want to give up 43% of my territory and make my direct competitors in the market better?

If the A's are better and claim Santa Clara County, that means more fans for the A's, more revenue for the A's, and ultimately, a more competitive and stronger A's team.

Keep in mind one more thing. If the A's were granted territorial rights to San Jose, that would probably mean goodbye San Jose Giants, and perhaps, 70-year-old Municipal Stadium.

Looks like the A's won't have it easy. Stay tuned folks.


Should the Giants give up their territorial rights? Would you want to see more of an A's presence in the Bay Area even if it meant no more San Jose Giants and more A's fans?

What do you think will happen?

Will the A's get a new stadium soon? Will the stadium be built in Oakland or elsewhere? In the Bay Area?

Who is ultimately responsible for the Athletics' financial and stadium woes? Is it the owner? The city? The Raiders? Mount Davis? The stadium itself?

One more question, would you attend an A's game if the Coliseum was restore to pre-Mt. Davis as shown in the picture above?

Post your comments below. I am curious to hear them.

Information from Extra Baggs and SB Nation contributed to this article.

Follow me on twitter @vintalkingiants 

Be sure to use the #talkinggiants tag when referring to my article on twitter.
Check out my YouTube page for exclusive interviews with San Francisco Giants' prospects and more.
Questions or comments? E-mail my blog mailbag at Your questions may be answered on my blog for my mailbag segment.
Don't forget to take my poll on the left of my site.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

San Francisco Giants 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (Game Summary) Via; My Quick Thoughts

I am using syndicated content for this article because I am working on a couple of posts which will be up very soon. This will not be a common thing.

Remember when players use to HAVE to get a job in the offseason to support themselves? You will here such a story from a certain first baseman in my next blog post coming up sometime today.

My quick thoughts from yesterday's game...Melky Cabrera is ready to play. He hit two home runs yesterday, one from each side of the plate, and he looks like he's in excellent shape.

Is this because it's a contract year for Cabrera? Could be, but at least the Giants are reaping the rewards of that.

Quick update from the desert: Rockies 6   Giants 2        Top 7.

In the meantime, enjoy yesterday's game summary from another blogger who is part of the FeedCrossing network.


By Troy Nelson

Jonathan who?

New acquisition Melky Cabrera is out to prove 2011 was no fluke. The 27-year-old outfielder quieted his critics when he smacked a towering leadoff home run in the first inning batting right and blasted another solo job in the sixth from the left side of the plate to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 today at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. [box score] [video highlights]

Left-hander Barry Zito, slated to be the Giants’ fifth starter this year, didn’t look all that bad in his Cactus League debut. He tossed 35 pitches in his two-plus innings of work and struck out two of the first three batters he faced. Zito was hitting his spots in the strike zone (28 of his 35 pitches were strikes), even if his fastball was clocking in at a mild 82-83 mph. All told, Zeets allowed four hits and walked one. The Dodgers (1-1) got to him in the second inning on a home run by Andre Ethier and an RBI grounder by Jerry Sands.

But the story of the game was the Giants’ offense. San Francisco (2-2-1) pounded out 16 hits on the day, six in the first two innings alone against Dodgers starter Ted Lilly.

I’m no Paul DePodesta, but I’m fairly certain if you spot the Giants eight runs a game, they’ll probably be poised for another postseason run.

And Cabrera could be the (Melk) Man to get them back there.

The switch hitter, who was acquired by the Giants in a trade that sent Jonathan Sanchez to the Kansas City Royals in November, batted .305 with 18 HR and 87 RBI last season.

Many so-called “experts” (i.e., pimple-faced sabermetricians) said Cabrera’s 2011 season was an anomaly and that there’s no way he’ll put up those kinds of numbers again.

I say, “Suck it nerds!”

Those of us who actually watch the game know that what happens on paper is not always the same as what happens on the diamond.

Case in point? First baseman Brett Pill—another Giants player who supposedly had a fluke season (albeit brief) last year. But Pill also went deep today, hitting a two-run shot off Lilly after Emmanuel Burriss roped the first of two doubles this afternoon.

By the third inning, the Giants had collected eight hits. Basically, they smacked the Dodgers around like a red-headed saber-nerd who accidentally wandered into his high school football locker room.

Pardon me, but has Brian Sabean engineered another World Series team?

I know, I know. “Small sample size” yada, yada, yada…

Yes, it’ spring training. And, yes, Ted Lilly sucks. But let me break it down for you: The Giants now have two more bona fide run producers in Cabrera and Angel Pagan, both of whom I think have exactly what it takes to keep the Giants out of double play grounders, which in turn keeps innings lasting longer. They can also both bunt for a hit and steal a base.

See, you don’t always have to do it with the long ball (even though San Francisco blasted three of them today). The speed that Pagan and Cabrera bring should satisfy the 2011 Giants’ biggest weakness: scoring runs.

Burriss (who made an awesome defensive play in left field in the fourth inning) and Nate Schierholtz (who went 1-for-2 with a double and a stolen base) also have great speed. (Burriss, by the way, is my sleeper to nab the last utility spot on the Giants’ 25-man roster. He’s going to be an important cog in manager Bruce Bochy’s wheel of torture this season.)

Throw in a healthy Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, a lean-mean-Pilates-machine named Aubrey Huff, and a budding, MVP candidate in Pablo Sandoval to support the Giants’ outstanding pitching, and you can see why I’m pretty optimistic about the 2012 season.

Top hitter: Cabrera (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI)
Top pitcher: Edlefsen (1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB)
Key moment: Cabrera’s leadoff homer in the first inning, which sparked an offensive outburst by the Giants.

The Giants will host the Rockies tomorrow afternoon (12:05 p.m. PT) at Scottsdale Stadium. Tim Lincecum (0-0) goes up against Jeremy Guthrie, who will make his Cactus League debut. The game will be carried by the MLB Network.

NOTES: Cabrera is 5-for-9 (.556) with 2 HR, 2 doubles, and 3 RBI this spring … Hector Sanchez went 0-for-4. He came into the game batting .800 with a team-leading 4 RBI … Brandon Crawford went 1-for-2 with a walk and is batting .571 (4-for-7) this spring … The Giants were 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position today … Top Giants prospect Joe Panik singled in the 7th inning and tripled in the 9th. He’s 3-for-3 this spring … RHP Heath Hembree pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the Giants.

I hope you enjoyed reading "Giants 8, Dodgers 4." I'm interested in your opinion on this article. Why not leave a comment at

Be sure to check out other great articles at 22Gigantes.


Thank you Troy. Good stuff!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Giants go 1-1-1 in Cactus League Opening Weekend; Hector Sanchez Deserves the Backup Catcher Role

If there is one positive sign from this weekend's 1-1-1 Cactus League opening start, it is that there are signs of life.

The Giants scored 18 runs in three spring training contests (albeit one of the games was a split squad with their "B" lineup). In doing so, the Giants looked like a faster, more athletic team and not the station-to-station snoozer offense the Giants displayed in the last couple of years.

Yes, the home runs will be less, but the runs will be there. San Francisco has also added more seasoned, professional hitters such as Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, who both did excellent in their two games.

In Sunday's 11-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks, each went 2-for-4, with an RBI from Pagan that day. For the spring, both are 3-for-7 (.429) and hitting the ball with authority and confidence--even on outs.

Another competition may emerge at first base. Brett Pill and Brandon Belt 3-for-6 and 4-for-8 respectively so far this spring. The incumbent, Aubrey Huff, is 2-for-5 and could be ousted in 2012 if he does not perform in spring training or the first half of the regular season.

The Giants proved last year they have no patience with over-the-hill veterans who do not produce, no matter how much they are paid.

By Cbl62 (via Wikimedia Commons)
To me, Huff's key to success is take more walks, swing at strikes, and go the opposite way more like he did in 2010.

Another bright spot so far this preseason is Hector Sanchez, who is vying for the backup catcher role to compliment Buster Posey. Sanchez, in two games, went 4-for-5, with a home run and four RBI.

Sanchez's counterparts, Chris Stewart and Eli Whiteside, will certainly have their hands full this preseason. Sanchez is coming off a winter ball season where he scorched the ball, hitting .339 with 9 home runs and 39 RBI in 51 games.

Here is my two cents on the catching situation...

Do whatever you can to inject offense into the Giants' lineup, and yes, that means sending Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart down to Fresno or cutting them. Hector Sanchez is a blossoming young hitter who deserves a chance, and although his catching skills need work, he will only get better with major league experience as Buster Posey's backup catcher.

Whiteside and Stewart will just cost the Giants outs in their lineup, something they cannot afford to have. These two hitters are already over 30 and are unlikely to hit any better than .250 at any point in their future careers.

It is time that the Giants do more of seeing what players have--not what they have left. Sanchez is definitely worth a closer look in the big leagues.


A rather interesting moment occurred at the ballpark yesterday.

In the top of the second inning, a swarm of bees infiltrated Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, delaying the game for 41 minutes. As the bees moved in from the outfield towards the infield, Diamondbacks and Giants players exited the field.

The bees made their way to the Giants' first-base dugout. Grounds-crew personnel and local fire officials were summoned to get rid of them.

You can see pictures of the bees in this article.

Giants' broadcaster Jon Miller described the workers trying to rid the bees as something you would see out of the movie Ghostbuster's. They wore space-men like suits that protected the workers from head to toe.

Runners were at second and third with nobody out at the time of the delay. There was no score.

When play resumed, Giants' catcher Hector Sanchez ripped a single bringing in the first run of the game.

You never know what you will see when you come to the ballpark. Baseball is back folks!

Information used in this article came from

Sunday, March 4, 2012

RICH LIEBERMAN 415 MEDIA: Giants/MLB snuff out A's Attempt at San Jose Move;...

RICH LIEBERMAN 415 MEDIA: Giants/MLB snuff out A's Attempt at San Jose Move;...: A report by Bill Madden of the NY Daily News saying MLB will uphold the SF Giants territorial rights and, thus, effectively thwart the A'...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Manny Ramirez Goes 0-For-2 in Oakland Athletics Exhibition Debut

Oakland Athletics' slugger Manny Ramirez had a less than stellar first day on the job.

By User shgmom56 on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "DSC03222") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Ramirez took two at-bats in the A's Cactus League opener and grounded out both times, including into a double play in the bottom of the first inning. He was the starting designated hitter for that game.

Although Ramirez struggled at the plate today, he told ESPN he felt good.

"At least I was seeing the ball pretty good," Ramirez said.

Ramirez signed a minor league deal worth $500,000 back in February. If he makes the big-league club, Ramirez will have to serve a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.

As for Ramirez's new green-beanied wardrobe?

"I like the white uniform. It's beautiful," Ramirez told ESPN. "My friends, they'll be calling, 'Man, you look so good in green.'"


Before you all bring out the "I told you so" comments, consider this...

It was Manny's first baseball game in a year. He has not faced live pitching in a real game since the very beginning of last season, and it is a good sign that he even put the bat on the ball today.

Does this mean he is going to start mashing the ball like he did back in his heyday? Definitely not, but if he can give the A's .265, with 20 home runs and 75 RBI, I think Oakland would be very happy.

The bottom line is it is simply too early to tell how Ramirez will do this season based on one preseason game. Even the best of the best go hitless in a game, and look way worse than Ramirez did, but the first game is always overblown simply because there is no past history to go by.

Ah, the quandary sports sometimes is. Strap em' on folks. It's going to be a bumpy ride with Mannywood in town.


Will Manny be a contributor for the Athletics this season? Was today's two failed at-bats a microcosm of Manny's 2012 season? Or do you think Manny will tear it up this season?

Will Ramirez do more harm than good for the A's? Will Manny be Manny?

Lastly, is an opening game (whether it be opening day or the preseason opener) overblown too much by the media or is a good start crucial to a baseball player's success.

We will find out as the soap opera called a 162-game baseball season unfolds. Stay tuned....

Follow me on twitter @vintalkingiants.  
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Check out my YouTube page for exclusive interviews with San Francisco Giants' prospects and more.
Questions or comments? E-mail my blog mailbag at Your questions may be answered on my blog for my mailbag segment.
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