The Czar's Giants Blog

The First Homestand

by The Czar 04.08.14

  The first five games and the NL West   The Giants are HOT! The G-Men were surprisingly good this spring; that has continued through the first week of the season on the road.  The boys are 4 and 1 and in first place in the NL West. They took 3 out of 4 from the Snakes in Arizona and beat the Dodgers 8 to 4 in the Dodgers home opener yesterday in LA.  The power numbers are astounding. 38 runs is (as of today) 1st in MLB (against 16 runs allowed, more about that below). Posey is hitting .375 and Belt is slugging .318 with 7 hits and 3 dingers (both had more hits today). The G-Men have hit an astounding 6 home runs in 5 games (and as of this afternoon’s Dodger’s game, which I am watching, at least 3 more HR’s for a total of 9 in 6… Read more

The Last Preseason Games: Giants v. A’s

by The Czar 03.27.14

Welcome to the second Czar’s blog of 2014 celebrating our San Francisco Giants! Spring Training is almost over and its truly time to get ready for baseball. The Giants this Spring:  The G-Men have been surprisingly good this spring. The Giants are the best team in the NL coming out of Scottsdale at 17 and 10. The Dodgers, in contrast, are 6 and 10 in the spring BUT they won their first two regular season games against the Snakes in Australia last weekend.  The reason for the Giants spring success is pretty clear, the team BA was almost .290 (8th in the NL and best in the NL West) and the team ERA was down in the low 3’s.  The Dodgers had a team BA of something like .238.  Now spring training statistics aren’t necessarily translatable to the regular season but who doesn’t like seeing Posey hitting ,419 and the… Read more

The 2014 Giants and the NL West

by The Czar 01.27.14

Welcome to the first Czar’s blog of 2014 celebrating our San Francisco Giants. I think that all I need to say is 19 days…which is how long until pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Scottsdale.   “Nothing in our daily life offers more of the comfort of continuity, the generational connection of belonging to a vast and complicated American family, the powerful sense of home, the freedom from time’s constraints, and the great gift of accumulated memory than does our National Pastime.” – Ken Burns   “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby   Sprint Training starts on February 14, 2014, the regular season opener is against the Snakes in Arizona on April 1st and the home opener is against the Snakes on April 8th… Read more

Giants v. Dodgers, Giants v. Padres

by The Czar 09.24.13

The decision this year that back-fired   The Giants were worn out this year. The decision to allow 8 starters to play in the World Baseball Classic in March after going deep into October to win the WS was a terrible decision. The Giants rely on defense, finesse and pitching. When the starters get worn out they put more of a load on the bullpen and the pen that was so stalwart last October started to give up runs; which the poor offense (historically poor) could not overcome. The other terrible decision was not to sign a power hitting left fielder mid-season. I’m not saying that the right person was available but Alex Rios would certainly have looked much better in left field than Gregor Blanco.   The good decisions were to sign Pagan and Scutaro to long term contracts and to lock up Matt Cain long term. Unfortunately when… Read more

Giants v. Diamondbacks, Giants v. Rockies

by The Czar 09.06.13

The G-Men are out of the race and playing for honor   The Giants are now 21 games out of first place and tied with the Padres for last place in the NL West. With so many division games left in September (another series with the Padres and two series with the Dodgers, one there and one here) along with the AL East series against the Yankees the boys in Orange and Black have a chance to be a spoiler for the Yankees, and to salvage some pride against the Dodgers.  The goal right now is to avoid being the second team in modern MLB history to win the world series and be last in their division the next year. The last team that did that was the 1998 Florida Marlins, who tanked the next year because all of team stars were sold off (that’s how we got Rob Nen… Read more

Giants v. Pirates

by The Czar 08.23.13

The G-Men are almost officially out of the race   This is one of the worst seasons of Giants baseball that I recall. The G-Men are 18 games out of first place and seem to be mailing it in. Right now and through September the reason to be going to the games is to see the line-up shifts and to watch the young guys.   The Positives   There are a few good signs. Roger Kieschnick is one.  He looks good but he’s young. Brandon Belt’s power numbers are another. Pence is still playing every game and playing hard. Sandoval is losing weight, Scutaro is professionalism personified, Crawford is performing beyond expectations and Hector Sanchez (since coming back up from the DL) is looking good behind the dish and Vogelsong is looking good coming back from his broken hand.   The Negatives   The G-Men simply cannot hit with runners… Read more

Giants v. Brewers, Giants v. Orioles

by The Czar 08.06.13

The G-Men are now 50 and 61 and 12 games back in the NL West  The season to date (at least since about May 15th when Pagan went down) has been gruesome. Like I said in the last blog, if you can’t score runs, play defense or pitch you are not going to win ball games. Sabean did not make any trades at all at the July 31st deadline and is standing pat with the team he has. I like the attitude. The biggest moves that have been made were to bring Francoeur in from the Royals, to promote Pill (who is almost out of minor league options) and Kieschnick from Fresno and to get Casilla back from the DL. They did get Arias back from his burst appendix last week and Vogelsong is back on Friday against the Orioles. The Positives How about: they can’t get any worse? On… Read more

Giants v. Diamondbacks, Giants v. Reds

by The Czar 07.19.13

The G-Men are now 43 and 51 and 6.5 games back in the NL West Greetings to all of our friends who love the two-time World Champion SF Giants! This is it, the second half of the season. The last two months (since about May 15th when Pagan went down) have been the worst Giants baseball since the mid-1980’s. 2 and 18 in the last 20 games before taking three out of four from Padres on the road in San Diego (which included Timmy’s no-no), probably the worst BA in the majors, the most men LOB, the worst defense and the most inconsistent pitching. If you can’t score runs, play defense or pitch you are not going to win ball games. Why was this happening?  Injuries are one factor. I talked about this in the last blog. Scutaro’s back and finger, Crawford’s finger, Pagan’s hamstring (maybe Pagan will be back in… Read more

Giants v. Mets

by The Czar 07.06.13

The G-Men are now 39 and 45 and 4 ½ games back in the NL West  This is one of the saddest blogs that I’ve written in a long time.  I’m currently watching the first game of the Dodger’s series at home following the season’s second road trip from hell, this one even worse than the earlier one.  The G-Men were 1 win and 9 losses in the last 10 games, are 15-30 on the road and over the last two months have been the worst team in the major leagues after being swept by the Dodgers in LA, losing 2 out of 3 to the Rockies in Denver and losing 3 out of 4 to the Reds in Cincinnati.  The only reason they didn’t lose 4 out of 4 was because the 4th of July game was rained out (we count that as a victory of sorts). It’s hard… Read more

Giants v. Padres, Giants v. Marlins

by The Czar 06.17.13

Greetings to all of our friends who love the two-time World Champion SF Giants! The G-Men are now 35 and 31, 1.5 games back in 2nd place It’s a time of year during which we are still trying to figure out this team.  Yes the Giants are playing .530 ball (below the .570 they need to assure taking the division) but the entire NL West is struggling. Being a game and half back at this time of year is not a cause for serious concern or panic.  We won’t have a good handle on this division until the All-Star break at the earliest, and maybe not even then. One day it’s a struggle and the Giants are being shut out and the next day they are blowing out the best team in baseball.  All we can do is watch and hope that there are no more injuries. The Pirates series… Read more