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Written by Andy | 27 August 2011

I'm imagining Eric's day is going to go something like this.....

9am: Wake up.  Check Fan Club to see if Buster Posey has joined yet.  Damn.  Maybe his internet connection is bad?  Mental note to tell him about Xfinity from Comcast.

10am:  Eat Breakfast

10:05am:  Throw up breakfast.

11am:  Go over signs....let's see, 1 is fastball, 2 is curveball, 3 is slider, 4 is throw at Victorino, 5 is pick-off...small print...."throw soft to Huff, he is old"....ok, got it.

Noon:  Consider eating lunch.  Not even worth it.

1pm:  Interviews with major media outlets.  Oh sure, they love you know, Eric.  But you know who really loves you, from way back before you made it big damnit why can't I make this very simple point without sounding completely creepy??!!?  Must work on that. 

2pm:  Batting practice.  Wait, I'm playing short?  I thought I was pitching?

3pm:  Cable car ride!  Weeeeeee!  

3:05pm:  I want to throw up again, but there is nothing to throw up.

4pm:  Buddhist meditation

5pm:  Holy shit.

5:40pm:  Holy SHIT!

5:59pm:  I should have been an accountant...

Good luck, Eric.

Sincerely,
Your Fan Club

p.s. Aaron Rowand sent you this note:

"Eric, what if the curveball looks like a fastball, though?  How do I keep myself from swinging??

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Written by Andy | 26 August 2011

Well, just another day at this humble blog, where we were the FIRST "media outlet" to break the news that Eric Surkamp will be the Giants' starting pitcher on Saturday.  And let's be honest....calling us a media outlet is kind of like calling the Dodgers an average baseball team.  It's a little bit of a stretch.

Most importantly, it goes without saying that we are really excited for Eric Surkamp.  Eric was extremely generous with his time and let us interview him even though he could probably tell this blog is not exactly the New York Times.  Eric was genuine, down-to-earth, and honest in the interview, and he even said "Beat LA."  In short, he is cool.  So congratulations, Eric!

Now it's time for you, a professional baseball player, to get some advice from me, a partially employed graduate student who batted .238 in his final year of little league and once made 4 errors in one inning.

1. Show some fire.
All the Giants fans who matter are still completely convinced that this team can make the playoffs, and the fans who matter and are intelligent realize that once the Giants make the playoffs, their pitching staff gives them a legitimate chance to win everything.  But things are bad right now.  We need a spark.  Just a little fist pump or a well-timed primal scream will endear you to the home fans.  Show that you care.

2. It's not your fault if you lose 2-1.
We lose 2-1 a lot.  It happens.  If you lose 2-1, it's not your fault and everyone will forgive you.  What they won't forgive is if you lose 18-14.  We only have so many 14-run games left in us and we don't want to waste one.

3.  Show love to your fan club
When you strike out your first batter, show us a sign that you love us.  Tug your ear.  Take off your hat and then put it back on.  Do a River Dance.  Slap your glove.  Right now there are 70 people who joined your fan club before you were good.  When you started the season, you were probably the 9th option for starting pitcher.  Now you are #5.  And after you kick ass tomorrow, your fan club will begin to grow exponentially.  But the people in there now are the ones who loved you for who you are.  Or something.  Wow, that sounds creepy.

4. Give up on finding skyline chili in the Bay Area, you'll have to settle for Hormel's Chile with No Beans, which I think has MSG in it, sorry.

5. But we do have, you know, a few good restaurants.

6. Enjoy it.
When you take the mound and get a huge round of applause from 42,000 people, it's going to be a moment you never forget.  Like all of us when the Giants own the World Series, but like 100 times cooler because you weren't sitting on a couch with a pillow over your face yelling "oh dear God please don't let them blow it, not this time, Lord, I'll go to church!  I'll stop stealing IPods from Japanese tourists!  I'll be good!  Oh just this once let us not screw up!"  So...um....what was I saying again?  Oh yeah.  Enjoy it.

You've earned it.

Oh, and you gotta love not having a picture of a rodent with a bushy tail on your jersey for once.

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Written by Andy | 26 August 2011

As the official home of the Eric Surkamp fan club, we are excited to be the first to break this story, at least that we're aware of...

I have just learned from an unnamed source that Eric Surkamp will be the Giants' starting pitcher Saturday night.  Aside from how cool it is to use the phrase "unnamed source," this is obviously wonderful news, and not just because the prospect of watching Dan Runzler start another game makes me want to lie down in a dark room for an hour or two.

In confirmation of this, the Giants' AA affiliate in Richmond has not named a starter for tonight's game in Akron despite the fact that it was Eric's regular turn in the rotation.

Now would be a good time to join the Eric Surkamp fan club.  There will be a definite distinction between those who join before he throws a perfect game on Saturday in his major league debut and those who join after.  The after group will be the ones who didn't watch the Giants play in 1996 or 2007 but now walk around wearing fake beards. 

The bad news:  Eric Surkamp apparently cannot play shortstop or catcher and does not figure to hit for power.

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Written by Andy | 21 August 2011

We went 4-6 on this road trip.  Allegedly.

Doesn't it feel like we went 3-76?

For all those out there doubting or hating or both.  For the eternally optimistic-to-the-point-of-making-you-want-to-punch-somebody Dbag announcers.  For the East Coast Media (that's fun to throw out there...).   This recap is for you.

On this road trip, the Giants put two outfielders and their best two relievers on the DL.
Pablo Sandoval missed 2 games with injuries and batted twice left handed against left handed relievers because of injuries.
Jeff Keppinger missed four games.
Nate Schierholtz missed one.
Jonathan Sanchez missed two starts and the end result of the two missed starts was a combined 18 innings of bullpen work in two games.
We lost two games in walk-off fashion and lost two other games by 1-run.  We also lost a game by two runs.
We played in hot weather for 7 of the 10 game.
We lost games started by Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum and lost twice when Bumgarner pitched.

The end result?

We came home one half of a game farther out of first than when we left.

And now we come home for 18 of the next 21 games.  Granted, our last homestand was not what you would call a success.  Not unless your definition of success is epic failure.  But still....and Romo is coming back on Tuesday.  Beltran is coming back some time this year.  And come September the 1st, we will get some much needed help.

Allow me to share an inspirational story with you.

After the top of the 9th, when the Giants left the bases loaded yet again, I decided that I needed to put my baby down for her nap.  Now, normally leaving a Giants game in the bottom of the 9th is not something I would do.  The circumstances that led to this were extraordinary:

1. My wife wasn't feeling well and she'd already put the baby down for one nap today, the second nap being necessitated by the baby not feeling well either.
2. I couldn't $#$#%(*# watch one more inning of Giants baseball without becoming ill.

"Ok," I told my wife.  "If we get out of the 9th inning and they don't score, please just slip a piece of paper under the door of the nursery so I'll know."

I read my baby a book.  Red Fish, Blue Fish.  The Giants version of this book, by the way:

Here and there, this and that,
No Giant hitter can swing a bat
Except the one who once was fat

Anyway, I read her a book.  I wrapped her up in her blanket.  I walked her for what seemed like forever.  Her eyes finally closed.  I tried to put her down.  She popped back up and started crying.  I picked her up. 

I had long since given up on the Giants.

Her eyes closed again.  She drifted off to sleep.

A piece of paper floated under the door and came to a rest softly on the ground.

If the Giants win the division by one game.
If they go on to win the World Series.

That piece of paper is going in my baby's scrapbook.

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Written by Andy | 18 August 2011

A lot of things culminated on Tuesday, most notably the Giants' incredible run of bad injury luck and my immense hatred of both the Phillies and Dbags.
It got me thinking...

Did we do something to deserve this kind of wrath from the Baseball Gods?

I tried to ponder on this, but I kept hearing other voices in my head.

"They need to bench Huff!"
"Make Romo the closer!"
"Bochy is an idiot!"
"The Diamondbacks have all the destiny on their side this year, we're done."
"Funny bunny?"

Oh sorry, that last one was my toddler who finds organic whole wheat bunny-shaped crackers to be the coolest thing she has seen since she went on the highway and yelled "car!" so loud I almost crashed. 

The other comments, however, from the "let's panic" wing of the Giantcratic party, are starting to get on my nerves.  Not because they are dumb comments, but because I need to have some quiet so I can think.

Everyone shut up!

Ok, let's see.  Why would the Baseball Gods be doing this to us?

Steroids and Bonds?  No, we already paid for that with Ryan Garko.

All the fair-weather wine and cheese fans at Giants games?  Please.  They're few and far between now and I've watched a ton of baseball this year and we definitely have the loudest fans in the big leagues.

Were we not supposed to win last year?  Did we somehow cheat destiny?  No.  We were meant to win.  God created Brooks Conrad for a reason.

Was it something we said?

Noooooooo

I think I know what it is...

We are not meant to be a dynasty of domination.  If we are to repeat and build on last year's title, we need to do it the way we won our first title in the first place...torture.  Otherwise, we might as well be the Yankees.  We're not the Yankees, we're the Giants.  We won a World Series last year with a team that managed to lose two games during the regular season in which their opponents got a total of 1 hit.

Imagine a lineup with Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez and Carlos Beltran and a healthy Pablo and Nate and the rest of them.  With out pitching staff?  We'd be 15 games in front....and what would be the fun in that?

No, it's gut check time, and it's torture time, and if you're a Giants fan you'd better be ready to embrace both because the alternative is you admit you're soft and you can't handle anything less than a World Championship.  Hello!?  What about 1958-2009?  Were you a fan then?

So torture, yes, it will be torture.  But I don't even think we're in a bad position.  Our schedule is very easy, our injuries are starting to resolve (yes, I really mean that), and the Diamondbacks are going to hit a bad patch at some point.  Believe it.

That said, just because the whole season is torture doesn't mean EVERY SINGLE GAME has to be torture.  We could have won 7-1 tonight...that would have been ok.  So Orlando Cabrera, I like you, I'm glad you're a Giant (because the alternative...wow), but if you ever do that again I'm going to write a post called  "why we need Miguel Tejada" and you will be ashamed.  And Dan Runzler...sorry, but you need to go back to the minors. 

It's Eric Surkamp time.

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Written by Andy | 14 August 2011

The Giants hit four homeruns today.

Let me say that again. 

The Giants hit four homeruns today.  They even hit one with somebody on base.

And the save went to Santiago Casilla....no, wait.  Jeremy Affeldt.  Hold on.  Ramon Ramirez.  I think.

Baseball is confusing.

Here is the lineup I hope Bruce Bochy throws out there against Atlanta tomorrow:

1. Cody Ross CF

2. Jeff Keppinger 2B

3. Carlos Beltran RF

4. Pablo Sandoval 3B

5. Brandon Belt 1B

6. Nate Schierholtz LF

7. Somebody who can play SS

8. Somebody who can catch

9. A pitcher.

Here's the lineup all Giants fans are bracing themselves for so they can then yell "damn it Bochy!  I hate you so much oh wait you won our first ever world series and benched Zito in the playoffs that was gutsy you're awesome you big headed doofus" (see earlier comment about baseball being confusing).

 

1. Aaron Rowand CF

2. Jeff Keppinger 2B

3. Pablo Sandoval 3B

4. Aubrey Huff 1B

5. Orlando Cabrera SS

6. Nate Schierholtz RF

7. Cody Ross LF

8. Somebody who is not Buster Posey C

9. Oh no!  Madbum is hurt!  Zito has been called up!

 

This was a good series to win.  It was a road series, and it was the last time we will be on the road playing somebody hard while the Diamondbacks play somebody crappy at home.  This week, while we sweat it out in Atlanta, they will be sweating it out in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and then Washington.  After Atlanta, we play the worst team in baseball history and then come home.  By then, maybe Beltran will be healthy again.  Maybe Romo and Wilson will be healthy again.  Maybe Buster Posey will throw off his cast like he did in my dream the other night.  I mean, do you really need TWO ankles to hit?  Sheesh.

Oh look!  Homerun for some Met!  Alright!

I know I said earlier I refused to scoreboard watch the Diamondbacks and obviously I'm violating that policy pretty badly right now.  But you have to understand...I have Extra Innings, which means I have to listen to the Diamondback announcers.  And they are....what's the phrase I'm looking for....oh yeah, "annoying as shit."

So the other night, when the Dbags won, and their announcers said "and now we're TWO games ahead of the Giants, the World Champion Giants, and we're two games ahead!" in the kind of voice you use to describe your 5 year old winning a Spongebob drawing contest, it became personal.  I want to beat these guys.

Oh, and then I was driving along, feeling depressed because we hadn't beaten Florida twice yet, and suddenly "Don't Stop Believing" came on the radio.  I couldn't believe how quickly it fired me up.

So here's my gift to you, for the stretch run.  Get fired up.  The 2:11 mark is breathtaking.

We're still world champions until somebody takes it from us, or until all of our players end up injured at once, whichever comes last.

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Written by Andy | 11 August 2011

Yesterday, Eric Surkamp struck out Bryce Harper.  Twice.

The second time, poor little Bryce threw a tantrum.

Here's the video.

I wasn't in Harrisburg yesterday because I was busy sobbing uncontrollably about the Giants, so I don't have the exact dialogue from the whole incident, but apparently all the people involved were wearing mics.  What luck!  And somebody sent me the audio!  And I transcribed it!

Surkamp:  What pitch should I throw here.  Hmmm.  Maybe......THAT one! (throws pitch)

Umpire:  STRIKE 3!

Harper:  What?  No!  You're wrong!  It's not a strike!  It's not a strike!  I don't strike out!  I'm Bryce Harper!  Don't you know who I am?  Huh?  I wear crazy eye black!  I hit homeruns!  I'm a national phenom!  I'm the next LeBron James!  I like the Cowboys, Lakers, and Yankees!  I'm an international star!  And who are you?  You're nothing.  NOTHING!

Umpire:  You're gone.

Surkamp:  That's why I have a fan club and you don't, you little b****.

---

Eric's line for the night: 7.2ip, 4h, 1er, 1bb, 9k

My wife after watching the video:  "That's why nobody should be that good that young."

Me: "I don't know why he was even arguing.  Eric Surkamp doesn't throw balls."

Note for Members of National Media Reading My Blog:  Eric Surkamp did not actually call Bryce Harper a b****.  Eric Surkamp has never uttered a swear word in his life, nor has he ever sinned.  Please contact Eric Surkamp directly if you wish to get his take on this incident.  Or contact his new agent, Scott Boras.  Note: his new agent is not really Scott Boras.  Please feel free to contact Scott Boras to confirm this non-truth.  Also, please note that Eric Surkamp is so good, he has his own fan club.  Please write a 700-word article about this fan club including interviews with members such as "Pam in Cincinnati" and "Brandon Crawford."  Please note that Brandon Crawford is a professional baseball player.  Please note that he makes 6 million dollars less per year than Miguel Tejada.  Please note that Brian Sabean is a dork.

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Written by Andy | 09 August 2011



The great thing about owning MLB Extra Innings is that you can watch other teams play baseball.  Because watching the Giants is not my idea of a good time these days.  I mean, let's face it.  The Giants suck.

They can't hit, and now they occasionally can't pitch.  They also aren't great fielders, although I don't know if statistics back that up.

And it's not just that they can't hit, it's that they go out of their way to frustrate their fans with their hitting.  When my wife came home in the 5th inning last night and watched an inning that featured, I believe, an Orlando Cabrera quadruple play, I turned to her and said:

"Don't worry.  That was only the 4th most frustrating inning so far."

I have some complaints I'd like to share:

1. Why does Aaron Rowand ever play?  I know I like Torres better than most and my claim that his numbers are climbing is the kind of claim that I would dismiss were it made by a dumber person than me about a player I don't like, such as, say, Aaron Rowand.  But the fact is that Torres' numbers are climbing.

Andres Torres OPS on July 6:  .664

Andres Torres OPS Today: .670

See??

Here's my other issue with Rowand playing.  Right now, Pat Burrell is "hurt" the same way Zito is "hurt" and Tejada is "hurt."  They're hurt the same way I was "sick" and had to miss school on Opening Day in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000.  I wanted to be sick in 2001 but I was in college 3000 miles away from San Francisco and nobody had invented teleportation yet which really pissed me off.

Anyway, so Burrell is hurt and, according to my friend who lives in his neighborhood, spends his days watching the Giants games at bars and cursing when they do badly.  So, like, every inning.

Check out these two slash lines and see if you can figure out which one is Pat Burrell and which one is Aaron Rowand:

.233 / .342 / .419

.245 / .289 / .372

The first one is Burrell.  And in case you just started watching baseball, yes, the last two numbers are much more important than the first one.

2. Why can't Tim Lincecum pitch every day?  I've been to two games this year, including this past Sunday, and Tim Lincecum pitched both games.  And we won both games.  Sooooo.....what's the problem here?

3. Why can't Sergio Romo learn to hit?  He's clearly amazing at pitching.  Time to branch out.

But getting back to Extra Innings.  Yesterday, I was about ready to throw something at the television or to throw the television at something.  I hadn't decided yet.  But then I remembered the Diamondbacks were losing 9-1 to a team that was historically bad before they traded away their #1, #2, and #3 hitters.  So I flipped to that game just in time to see an inning ending double play and hear the whiny sadness of the Dback announcers.  Ha!  Take that!

Because every time I get sad, see, I remember that although we might suck, the Diamondbacks suck more.  And the Rockies suck more than that, and the Padres more than that and, in turn, the Dodgers more than that.  It's a good feeling.

But there's an even better feeling to keep us warm in the foggy, cold, horrors of early August, a feeling even better than the reminder that even though it might not feel like it, Aubrey Huff is actually hitting .320 in his last 15 games or so.

It's a feeling that should make all of us smile, and maybe even laugh diabolically inside, if you're into that kind of thing.

Ready?

Here's the secret.

We sucked last year too.

Last year, we lost two different games in which the other team got only 1 hit.  A guy we picked up off the waiver-wire in August was our cleanup hitter in the NLCS.  At one point, Todd Wellemeyer played for us.  Oh, make no mistake.  We sucked.

Don't tell the Rangers, Phillies, Braves, or Brewers.  Don't tell ESPN.  Don't tell the Red Sox or the Yankees.

Let them find out in October.

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Written by Andy | 06 August 2011

Watching the Giants has been more fun in the past than it is now. 

Yesterday, I decided to stop watching, and they had a big fight.  Ok.  So if we ever play the Phillies in kickboxing, we might win.  That's good.

But.....yikes.

It's a cycle.

Step 1:  Giants suck
Step 2:  I stop watching
Step 3:  Something interesting happens
Step 4:  I watch again
Step 5: Something bad happens
Step 6: I am tortured.

Not fun.

Let's put this, well, phase, in perspective.  Every team has a bad stretch.  The Giants' bad stretch coincided with playing two teams on a mission (Reds, battling to do well before deadline to avoid selling off players and Diamondbacks, fighting for first place) and the best team in baseball, record-wise.  It happens.

Since the Giants traded for Carlos Beltran, Carlos Beltran has been an offensive force, Pablo Sandoval has hit almost .400, Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff have shown signs of life, and Jeff Keppinger has been a consistence bat in the 2-hole.  But we can't score runs.  It happens.

We have 4 starting pitchers throwing well right now, and one who just came off the DL and needs a little time to get it back.  Our bullpen has had a couple rough outings but the key guys are still dealing.

And Sergio Romo is the best pitcher in baseball history.

And we still can't win.

The good news is, we're not fighting it out with the 1927 Yankees for first place.  It's the Diamondbacks.  Are they better than I thought?  Yeah, I guess.  Are they good?  They're ok.  And if we play like this all year they will be NL West champions.  If we play like this all year, we'll finish below .500.  Let's not panic, here, people.

But, that said, I don't feel real good right now about basing our success on our own ability to win baseball games.  Which means we need to base it on other team's ability to lose baseball games.  The Padres, Dodgers, and Rockies have already taken themselves out of the race, which is nice.  So what we need right now is a 10-game losing streak by the DBags.

They're at 2.  Eight more to go.  Let's go....um....who are they playing?  Oh crap.  Um.  Let's go...um...I can't do that.  Sorry.

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Written by Andy | 06 August 2011

Watching the Giants has been more fun in the past than it is now. 

Yesterday, I decided to stop watching, and they had a big fight.  Ok.  So if we ever play the Phillies in kickboxing, we might win.  That's good.

But.....yikes.

It's a cycle.

Step 1:  Giants suck
Step 2:  I stop watching
Step 3:  Something interesting happens
Step 4:  I watch again
Step 5: Something bad happens
Step 6: I am tortured.

Not fun.

Let's put this, well, phase, in perspective.  Every team has a bad stretch.  The Giants' bad stretch coincided with playing two teams on a mission (Reds, battling to do well before deadline to avoid selling off players and Diamondbacks, fighting for first place) and the best team in baseball, record-wise.  It happens.

Since the Giants traded for Carlos Beltran, Carlos Beltran has been an offensive force, Pablo Sandoval has hit almost .400, Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff have shown signs of life, and Jeff Keppinger has been a consistence bat in the 2-hole.  But we can't score runs.  It happens.

We have 4 starting pitchers throwing well right now, and one who just came off the DL and needs a little time to get it back.  Our bullpen has had a couple rough outings but the key guys are still dealing.

And Sergio Romo is the best pitcher in baseball history.

And we still can't win.

The good news is, we're not fighting it out with the 1927 Yankees for first place.  It's the Diamondbacks.  Are they better than I thought?  Yeah, I guess.  Are they good?  They're ok.  And if we play like this all year they will be NL West champions.  If we play like this all year, we'll finish below .500.  Let's not panic, here, people.

But, that said, I don't feel real good right now about basing our success on our own ability to win baseball games.  Which means we need to base it on other team's ability to lose baseball games.  The Padres, Dodgers, and Rockies have already taken themselves out of the race, which is nice.  So what we need right now is a 10-game losing streak by the DBags.

They're at 2.  Eight more to go.  Let's go....um....who are they playing?  Oh crap.  Um.  Let's go...um...I can't do that.  Sorry.

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