Red Sox, Dodger's and Brewers

Welcome to the 7th Czar’s blog of 2016.

Even though the Warriors are in the NBA Finals after an epic comeback in the Conference Championships (shades of 2012 and watching Steph Curry channel Marco Scutaro – without the rain – after 5 elimination games), and even though the Sharks are in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time ever, we can never ignore or forget our real true love – The Giants!

First Place with the Second Best Record in Baseball – How are they doing it?

In the last blog I gave the G-Men at B+/A- when they were only 2 games up in the NL West.  Well, they were clearly stung by the grade because since then the boys in Orange and Black have been on a tear that looks like a 4th quarter Warriors scoring run and are 4.5 games in front of the division, and 12 games over .500.  OK, A+.

Only the Cubs have a better record in baseball, and the G-Men took the last series from the Cubs 2 to 1.

The streak over the last month has been beautiful, and the reason is balance and smart hardnosed baseball. 

The pitching isstrong (5th in MLB with a 2.51 ERA) and has been the main reason for the streak.  The starters are going deep and the bullpen (with its weaknesses and the loss of Romo) as a result isn’t tested night after night. However we could do with a little less drama from Casilla – blowing a save is one thing but getting pissed at his fielders, or his manager, and showing it, is a ticket to Brian Wilson land.

The defense is 2nd in MLB with a .989 fielding percentage. On that note, can you believe that we get to watch Brandon Crawford every day?  The man is a genius with the glove and he has an arm like a cannon. His infield mates Panik, Duffy, Belt and Posey may be one of the best infields to ever play the game. Right now they get my vote. Defense wins games.

While the hitting (without power mind you) is middle of the pack (14th in MLB, .256 BA), the G-Men have won more one run games than any team in either league.  That shows grit and doing a lot of little things right. The coaching staff (especially Bochy but don’t forget Rags and Wotus) is doing a tremendous job of managing games.  No false moves, always a plan and never panic. We are watching history in every Bochy managed game.

Perhaps best of all is the fact that the streak has been built on victories over the NL West.  That bodes well for September when the division lead will be on the line. Right now it looks like the Dodgers are the real opposition, although their hitting has been pretty pathetic so far (team BA of .235), but maybe not much longer as Cory Seager is getting hot. 

The upcoming series against the Dodgers will be really critical in solidifying the Giants early jump on the NL West.  One interesting note about the Dodgers is that they just released Carl Crawford on waivers and are eating his $20 million contract. See below about injuries.  I suspect that a lot of teams will be looking at a free-agent left fielder with his credentials whose salary is already paid.

Doom and Gloom over injuries? Maybe yes, maybe no

Right now most of the outfield is on the DL.  Pence is out at least 8 weeks with a torn tendon that needs surgery.  He is currently the team leader in average (.298) and RBI’s (36) and second in dingers (7) behind Buster.  His production will be seriously missed. Pagan is also out and but is due back in about a week. He has on-going hammie issues also, and a history of getting hurt when needed the most (although this is a contract year).  That leaves Span (with an injury history himself), Blanco (who gets worn down from regular duty it seems) and the new guys from AAA (Parker and Williamson), who are both batting below the Mendoza line.  That’s outfield trouble.

There is a lot of speculation that the Giants are looking for a trade. They might take a look at Carl Crawford (why not, in his prime he was a hell of a player) but the rumors are that they are looking for something more stable and long term.  Names that have been mentioned are John Jay from the Padres, Jay Bruce from the Reds and Ryan Braun from the Brewers.  Each has issues but could be available considering how far back in the standings their respective teams are; I’ve even heard (shudder) Carlos Beltran mentioned because the Yankees are tanking. 

Personally I would put Kelby Tomlinson in left field and promote another back-up infielder from the minors until Adrianza is back off the 60-day DL at the end of June (Is Christian Arroyo ready?)

The pitching side of the equation is a little better (not much mind you) from an injury perspective. Matt Cain finally finds hisgroove and then he goes on the DL with a hamstring sprain. We will see Peavy tonight in St. Louis.  This is a test for him. The biggest loss is Sergio Romo, who is desperately needed to stabilize the bullpen in the late innings.  However who am I to argue with the success that Rags has had with turning around Peavy (at least in the last two starts), letting Cueto be Cueto (isn’t he a hoot!), and getting the most out of Samardjiza (although the 4 HR’s he gave up yesterday in 9 batters to the Cardinals was not very much fun to watch).

Suarez looks like a keeper and Stratton also looks good in a very small sample size. Finally, do not forget that Bumgarner really is the best pitcher in baseball (Kershaw is OK but Bum is the real thing, and he hits better than Kershaw).  A recent stat going around the league notes that Bum has the same number of home runs in the same number of at-bats this year as Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.  He should be the DH when the G-Men play interleague.  Remember that Babe Ruth started as a pitcher and won 94 games. MadBum currently has 92 career wins. Just saying.

The Upcoming Games

This slightly unusual 8 game series (sandwiched around two off-days at home, which is rare and probably very welcomed) includes two games with the AL East leading Red Sox. Question: will they activate Panda from the 60-day DL for the series?  I don’t think so but it would be fun to see him come off the DL (which he is on for being too fat) to take a bow at home.

Then a three game series at home against the Dodgers which, for the Dodgers anyway, is perform or die because they are getting buried in the NL West.  The G-Men have a serious opportunity to put a lot of daylight between themselves and Chavez Ravine.

Finally, the home stand closes off against the Brew Crew which is 14 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central.  There is nothing that the Brewers (which have some awesome bats and some not so awesome pitching) and their rabid west cast fans would like more than to take a couple ofgames from the G-men. We will see but those games will be a lot of fun regardless. I always save my bratwurst ration for the Brewers games, somehow they just taste better then.

May the force, and seven innings from the starters, be with you always.

That’s it!

Ciao, and GO GIANTS!

The Czar

  1. National Conference of State Liquor Administrators – The Alcohol Industry gathers in Hawaii to figure out how to enforce the US “Highly Archaic Regulatory Scheme.”
  2. Founder John Hinman Honored with the Raphael House Community Impact Award
  3. ROUTE TO MARKET AND MARKETING RESTRICTIONS - NAVIGATING REGULATORY SYSTEM CONSTRAINTS
  4. Alcohol and Cannabis Ventures: Top 5 Legal Considerations
  5. ATF and TTB: Is Another Divorce on the Horizon? What’s Going on with the Agency?
  6. STRIKE 3 - YOU REALLY ARE OUT! THE ABC'S STRICT APPLICATION OF PENALTIES FOR SALES TO MINORS
  7. TTB Temporarily Fixes Problem with Fulfillment Warehouse Tax Credits - an “Alternate Procedure” for Paying Taxes & Reporting
  8. CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE HAD ONE TOO MANY - THE FREE TRANSPORTATION DILEMMA
  9. The Renaissance of Federal Unfair Trade Practices - Current Issues and Strategies
  10. ‘Twas the week before New Year’s and the ABC is out in Force – Alerts for the Last Week of 2017, including the Limits on Free Rides
  11. Big Bottles, Caviar and a CA Wine Strong Silent Auction for the Holidays!
  12. The FDA and the Wine and Spirits Industry – Surprise inspections anyone?
  13. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: UPDATED REGULATORY AGENCY DISASTER RELIEF RESOURCES AT A GLANCE
  14. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: REGULATORY AGENCY DISASTER RELIEF RESOURCES AT A GLANCE
  15. Soon to come to your Local Supermarket– Instant Redeemable Coupons of the digital age!
  16. The License Piggyback Dilemma – If it Sounds Too Good to be True, it Probably is
  17. A timely message from our Florida colleagues on the tied house laws, the three-tier system and the need for reform
  18. ABC Declaratory Rulings – A Modest Proposal Whose Time has Come
  19. More on FDA Inspections - Breweries, Distilleries and Questions
  20. WHY THE FDA IS INSPECTING WINERIES
  21. Senate Bill 378—The Proposed Demise of Due Process for Alcohol Licensees
  22. ABC Enforcement - Trends and Predictions
  23. The Corruption Chronicles – Volume One: A New Hope
  24. New Alcohol Delivery Oversight on the Horizon
  25. Michigan: Canary in the DtC Coal Mine?
  26. California ABC and Federal Credit Laws – Active Enforcement and Lots of Questions!
  27. Big Bottles For The Holidays - The Highest Calling Of The Winemaker's Art
  28. FINAL COMMENTS TO TTB NOTICE 160 DUE ON WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 7TH – WE ARE ASKING THE TTB TO EXTEND THE COMMENT PERIOD AGAIN TO ALLOW FOR INDUSTRY NEGOTIATION AND ALIGNMENT OF INTERESTS
  29. SONOMA COUNTY WINERY USE PERMITS, EVENT RESTICTIONS AND DTC
  30. New TTB Labeling Requirement Regulations: Out-of-State Bottling Is Not Created Equal and Consumers Right to Know Where the Grapes in their Wine Come from is Compromised
  31. Isn't A Written Agreement With A Distributor Worthless In A Franchise State?
  32. Crowd Funding for Alcohol Producers and Retailers – Down the Rabbit Hole with the Tied House laws
  33. Everything you ever wanted to know about the BPA Warning Statement but were afraid to ask
  34. AB 2082 - A Hunting License for Police and a Lethal Weapon for Politicians that Deprives Licensees of Currently Available Due Process Rights
  35. “Better Late Than Never”-- Judge in Illinois Dismisses 201 Sales Tax Cases against Retailers
  36. The Day the Music Almost Died: The Story of the BottleRock ABC Accusations, the ABC Appeals Board and a Victory for a Common Sense Interpretation of the Tied House Laws
  37. The Arsenic in Wine Class Action Dismissal – what it means
  38. Counterfeit or Artisanal Mexican Spirits? Pick your Poison, or your lime wedge
  39. Warning - CA ABC enforcement teams are on the prowl this weekend!
  40. RELIEF AT LAST! ILLINOIS MOVES TO FIX THE SALES TAX LAWSUITS AGAINST OUT-OF-STATE SELLERS BUT PROPOSES TO PENALIZE WINERIES AND RETAILERS THAT SHIP WITHOUT PERMITS
  41. The TTB Speaks on Category Management or, be Careful What you Ask for Because you might Get it!
  42. Hinman & Carmichael LLP Announces the Addition of Jeremy Siegel to its team of top beverage law lawyers
  43. 2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: Part IV
  44. 2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: Part III
  45. 2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: Part II
  46. 2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: Part I
  47. Hinman & Carmichael LLP is Hiring!
  48. John Hinman Presents NBI Webinar on Basics of Alcohol Beverage Law
  49. ABC DISMISSES SAVE MART GRAPE ESCAPE ACCUSATION BUT REFUSES TO ADOPT JUDGE’S DECISION FINDING NO STRICT LIABILITY FOR ABC VIOLATIONS
  50. Speakeasies are still with us, and proliferating!
  51. The War for the Soul of Sonoma County – the Winery Working Group Battle
  52. Santa Claus isn’t the only one coming to town this Christmas!
  53. Arizona's Direct to Consumer Shipping Rules - An Exercise in Complexity
  54. AB 780 - Social Media and the ABC: The California Legislative “Fix” that Fails
  55. Illinois Finally Offers Certainty and Relief for Victims of Sales Tax Lawsuits, but Prompt Action is Required in Pending Cases
  56. A Modest Proposal – Adopt the federal rule on Tied-House liability in California
  57. The Grapes Escaped - Why the First Amendment Matters
  58. Appellate Court Ruling Strikes Blow Against State’s Arbitrary Beer Label Ban
  59. Illinois Attorney General's Office Announces Intention to Dismiss False Claims Act Against Liquor Retailers
  60. Commercial Speech And Alcoholic Beverages - Part III
  61. Commercial Speech And Alcoholic Beverages - Part II
  62. Craft Beverages: Social Media Marketing the Effective and Compliant Way
  63. Commercial Speech And Alcoholic Beverages - Part I
  64. A LAYPERSON LOOKS AT ARSENIC IN WINE
  65. The Biggest Retailer in the World vs. the TABC
  66. Rebecca Stamey-White presents Emerging Issues in Wine Law
  67. Top Beverage Alcohol Law Firm Adds and Elevates Partners
  68. Illinois Qui Tam Lawsuits—Private Enforcement Of a State Claim: A Bonanza For A Plaintiff’s Lawyer And A Rip-Off Of Retailers
  69. BOOZE RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA: The Retailer Right to Pay Exception
  70. LIONS AND TIGERS AND TWEETS, OH MY!
  71. AB 2004: Brewer's Incremental Parity with Wine Makers
  72. Expanding, Proud Of It, and Wanting to Tell the World
  73. DC Weighs in Strongly on Third Party Marketer Delivery Services
  74. “Visual Links” between Beer, Wine and Spirits Labels and Retailers Ruled Unlawful in California — the tied house laws run amok
  75. Hard Cider Legislative Update
  76. New Marketing Model for New York – Lot 18 and the NYSLA
  77. Sweeping Changes in Proposed NYSLA Bill Include Expansion for Craft
  78. Minimum Resale Price Policies - How to Control Price-Cutters
  79. AB 2130 – Gloves Off?
  80. “Gluten-Free” Labels for Wine, Beer and Distilled Spirits. We’re Still Waiting.
  81. AB 1252: Sanitation Overkill?
  82. Growlers: Not Just for Beer Anymore
  83. California Legislative Roundup 2014
  84. Build It and They Will Come: Craft Products Get New Privileges in CA and TX
  85. AB 1128: Veto of the “Serve a Minor” Felony Penalty Bill, or How to Lose a Winery in One Sale
  86. California Grocers Association v. ABC, Part 2: California Appeals Court Vacates ABC’s Adoption of a Trade Advisory That Correctly Guided Licensee Conduct
  87. California Grocers Association v. ABC, Part 1: California Appeals Court Prohibits Alcohol Sales at Self-Check Out Stands
  88. AB 1128: The “Serve a Minor” Felony Penalty Bill, or How to Lose a Winery in One Sale
  89. The New York SLA and Online Wine Sales: A Work in Progress
  90. California SB 635: What the 4am Bill Really Means for California Communities
  91. Electronic Invoices in California: Welcome to the 19th Century
  92. The History of Amazon and Wine: What Has Changed?
  93. Third Party Marketing Checklist
  94. BOOZE RULES – PROMOTIONAL APPEARANCES AND AUTOGRAPHS
  95. Washington State: Down the Rabbit Hole of the Tied-House Laws