Reds, Nationals and Charles Dickens

Welcome to the 10th Czar’s blog of 2016.

With apologies to Dickens it truly is the best of times and the worst of times. It is the best of times with 2/3rd of the season behind us and the G-Men being in first place in the NL West 3.5 games in front of the Dodgers. It is the worst of times limping home 1 and 7 from a post-All Star road trip against the Padres (swept in San Diego), the Red Sox (swept in Fenway) and the Yankees (lost 2 out of 3), and looking generally horrible.

What happened? It wasn’t so much an epic meltdown as a succession of lethargic games punctuated by moments of total and abject bullpen failure. When Casilla fell off the mound and balked home the winning run in the 10th inning after having come back against the Padres it was probably the most “not good at all” moment in recent Giants history (not on the scale of Dusty taking the ball out of Russ Ortiz’s hand in inning 7 of you know what game, but up there).

I’m glad though that Jim Rome enjoyed the “desperate, spastic throw” towards the plate.  At least someone had fun.

It’s still about the injury list as the Trade Deadline (August 1st) approaches

The Giants are down to 6 players on the DL right now, including three starting position players. The real losses continue to be Pence and Panik (both on minor league rehab assignments and coming along slowly) and Duffy (about to start rehab). On the pitching side only Gearrin is still on the DL and he is expected to start bullpen work this week.

By way of contrast, the Dodgers are up to 14 on the DL, with Kershaw going into surgery and maybe out for the season. That might partially explain the reason the G-Men continue to lead the division. However no one, and I include the Dodgers players here (not the Dodgers fans though, until they dump the wave and the beach balls it will always be juvenile delinquent time in Chavez Ravine), wants to limp into the play-offs on someone else’s injury list.

Bobby Evans is for sure working the wire as the trade deadline approaches and I have to believe that conversations were being held in NY over the arms available out of the Yankees bullpen, especially concerning Chapman (is the domestic violence charge reducing his value?) and Andrew Miller, both really hard throwers.

Does anyone remember George Plimpton’s Sidd Fitch, he of the 168 mph fastball for the Mets?  Well, Chapman (with a 105 mph fastball) is the closest I’ve ever seen to the legendary Fitch.  In fact, anyone that watched the game today should have spotted Brian Sabean in the stands directly behind home plate.  He could have been looking for Fitch.

Short of getting Chapman, Miller or another reliever to heal a seriously leaky bullpen, the G-Men have correctly noted that there is no position player out there better than the three guys on the way back from the DL, especially Pence and Panik. 

This week will be dominated by trade stories I’m sure, and the Giants will be in the thick of it, but don’t expect a deal for a position player, unless it’s giving up Parker or Williamson for pitching. They are both (especially Mac, who looks like he stepped out of GQ) making the most of their time with the big club and increasing their trade value by the day.  Mac is a serious bopper and if we can keep him I see left field in his future.

Can the G-Men put it back together?

Yes they can.

We who worship at the church of Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti have faith. JoBu is taking the fear from our bats as we speak. Of course, the Reds pitching might help.

The G-Men still have a stellar defense, led by Crawford with the best defensive stats in baseball (at least until his 3 error game against the Yankees which followed a puff piece in the NYT that clearly put a jinx on him).

We also still have MadBum and Cueto, with Samardjiza right behind. We will see Peavy and Cain over the next two days. The starters have been the strength so far this season and if they get it together in August we have a great shot at staying in front of the division.

The bullpen has clearly been the problem (well, an inability to hit with men in scoring position also has something to do with it) because you can’t blow as many leads as they have blown and expect to survive through the playoffs. Still, we have Romo and Lopez in the bullpen looking historically good. Osich, Law and Strickland are looking average at best but maybe coming home will help them. Casilla has been a disaster. He needs a long break or a demotion to the 7th inning.

The Upcoming Games

This will be a vitally important homestand.

The Reds (30th in MLB - out of 30 teams - in pitching) come in for three games starting tomorrow night (I’ll be there Tuesday). The Reds, who are last in the NL Central (21.5 games back of the Cubs) are sellers at the trade deadline but are not to be trifled with.  They play well at AT&T and they have Jay Bruce and Joey Votto.  That said, if there ever was a team coming into town to try and get healthy against, it’s the Reds.

Then the Nationals (1st in pitching in MLB) come in for four games.  This is a playoff gut check series. Dusty Baker’s Nationals have almost the same record as the G-Men (58 and 41), and lead the NL East by 4.5 games over the Marlins. Scherzer, Strasburg and Roark are three of the top pitchers in the NL and Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper are nails. This will be October baseball and we all just hope that Panik at least (if not Pence) will be back for the series. We will need every break we can get against a very hot, and very good, nationals team. Friday night is Cueto and I’m not going to miss that game!

It should be fun. We play both ends of the MLB pitching stat list in back to back series.

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