Spend your opening day lunch hour with me

| March 30, 2011

I’ll be hosting a little opening day chat at noon on Thursday. The A’s aren’t playing and the Giants don’t start until 5, so you won’t miss anything. You know you won’t be able to focus on your job with the excitement of opening day, so come by here and ask me anything about the Giants, A’s or MLB in general.

Click after the jump and you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address to get a reminder.

(more…)

Award predictions

| March 30, 2011

This is even more fun than picking the division winners. Here you get to really go a little crazy.

MVP

NL: Troy Tulowitzki. Since I picked the Rockies to edge out the Giants, I’m going to be consistent. I think Tulo is a major stud, all the good of A-Rod and Derek Jeter, combined. He’s gotta win an MVP some time. Why not now?

AL: Carl Crawford. Again, it’s usually best to stick to the best teams and pick the best player on the best team. Crawford has been under-the-radar in Tampa. Put him in this lineup, in this ballpark, and watch him go.

(more…)

A scout’s view of the Giants

| March 29, 2011

Called one of my scouting friends today to get his impressions on the Giants heading into the season. This scout spent his whole spring covering all five NL West teams in Arizona, so he has a pretty solid basis for his opinions.

“The Giants are the strongest team in the division,” he said. “I would pick them to win it going away.”

He said the Rockies would be his No. 2 team, because “their rotation isn’t as good as they think it is.” He picked the Dodgers third, because of the rotation hole left by injured Jon Garland and their front office “turmoil.” San Diego “will probably overachieve again” and their bullpen is good, but “starting pitching will be a problem… and the offense is a problem too.” And Arizona? “They were awful.”

Now, back to more specifics on the Giants.

(more…)

Prediction time

| March 28, 2011

I had been planning to do some real research before coming up with my extensive predictions, but then I had this sudden epiphany: My predictions usually suck more when I put more thought into them. There is a point of diminishing returns on baseball knowledge as it applies to baseball predictions. A lot of stuff just can’t be foreseen, so you might as well wing it.

So, here goes, division by division…

(more…)

Some interesting odds

| March 25, 2011

Just got this from bodog.com. It’s interesting, not that I would ever bet on baseball…

(more…)

Opening day rosters: who cares?

| March 25, 2011

Every spring there is lots of debate about who will win jobs and roster spots on opening day. Really, though, we shouldn’t care so much.

It’s just one day out of 183 days of the season, and the roster can change 183 times. Does it matter who is on the roster in the first game? Nope.

Let’s look back a year at the Giants opening day 2010 roster. (I have to snicker at the fact that Dan Brown, who filled in for Baggs that day, actually used the phrase “final roster.” Yes, it was the “final” opening day roster, which means it was etched in stone for one entire game.) Anyway, if you look at that, you’ll see that John Bowker was there, as the starting right fielder no less.  You’ll see Waldis Joaquin and Brandon Medders were there in the bullpen. Eugenio Velez was there. Mark DeRosa was there. Freddy Sanchez (injured), Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Pat Burrell weren’t there.

(more…)

Quick Brandon Belt thought

| March 24, 2011

Cody Ross’ injury has sparked a whole new batch of people calling for Brandon Belt to be on the Giants on opening day. I still don’t think the Giants should bring him if they don’t think he’s ready, and it still sounds like that’s where they are leaning, based on what Brian Sabean told the writers in Arizona.

In the interest of balanced coverage, though, I wanted to point out something a lot of folks may be forgetting about the Super Two issue, which some folks think is the only reason not to have Belt in the bigs.

The collective bargaining agreement expires in December. I don’t know if the Super Two system is going to be revisited, but it very well may be. The players don’t like this manipulation, and the clubs certainly don’t like a situation that rewards them for keeping guys out of the majors.

So, if I’m the Giants and I’m sure Belt is ready, I would not keep him down on the basis of a system that may not exist in eight months. I don’t think they would either. You’ll recall Tim Lincecum was a Super Two and Buster Posey will be.

I really don’t think the money will be an overriding factor. I think the biggest factor is that they shouldn’t overreact to spring training. Let Belt do something in real Triple-A games that count.