Welcome to Czar's Blog #1 of 2019 - It's time for Baseball. The A's are next week to close out the exhibition schedule, followed by a ten-game home series against the Royal's, Padres and Rockies.

“…They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.”  - Field of Dreams
 
Welcome to Czar’s Blog #1 of 2019.

  • For those new to the Czar’s Blog we started sharing our Giants tickets with our friends in 2000 when the new park was built (and we moved from our two tickets at Candlestick to four at PacBell Park – now Oracle).  The Czars Blog started soon after to report on the team’s progress throughout the year and distribute our tickets.  We have lived the ups and downs that included four world series, three trophies and one crushing Game six in 2002.  We saw Barry Bonds hit 762, Travis Ishikawa hit a walk-off to get to the WS, Matt Cain pitch a perfect game, Lincecum throw a no-hitter and Bum walk out of the bullpen for a five-inning Game 7 save.  It has been magical, and it will be this year.  We have four seats 25 rows behind home plate at the most beautiful ballpark in baseball.  We do not charge our friends for the tickets and we favor children (of all ages). I am the Czar and I decide who gets the tickets, typically the first one responding with a request after the blog goes out.  The rules are below.

  • This year we have moved to Mailchimp, If you would like to receive our Blog emails, please sign up herePast blogs can be found at here.

2019 – A Year of mystery with a New President of Baseball Operations, a CEO in Trouble and a Manager on the Cusp of Retirement
 
The major news of the off-season was the Giants recruiting the Dodgers President of Baseball Operations (Farhan Zaidi) to rebuild the team after an injury-marred and disappointing 2018 campaign.  Farhan came in during the off-season, evaluated the team and didn’t make that many changes. Many of the faithful (me included) believe that is because the personnel were good and 2018 was an injury-based aberration.  Farhan is a metrics and analytics guru trained by Billy Bean at the A’s who built the juggernaut now known as the Dodgers, a team (just to remind folks) that still hasn’t won it all since 1988. 
 
Larry Baer, while the CEO and an executive with a passion for the game, the ballpark and the fans introduced unnecessary drama into the pre-season by getting into a public incident with his wife Pam not easily (or quickly) forgiven – we will probably never know what was on that phone, but my money is on children.  To top it off, Bruce Bochy (in the last year of this contract) announced that he was retiring at the end of the season.
 
Will all this make a difference?  Bochy is a steadying influence, Brian Sabean is still in the background and Farhan is showing smarts in not making moves just for doing something. 
 
What does the team look like so far – with Spring Training still underway?
 
Healthy players make all the difference. Samardjiza’s shoulder is healed, Bum is throwing like the Bum of old after breaking his hand last spring, Buster’s hips are moving again, Longoria’s (.325 BA) muscle pulls are gone, Duggar and Belt’s concussions are healed (Belt, 4 spring HR’s and a .447 BA), Crawford’s legs are fresh, Longoria is looking like the Longo of old (.325 BA and a rocket arm) and Panik (.462 BA) looks like the second coming of Dwyane Johnson after working out all winter, losing weight and gaining more speed than he had before.
 
Will this be enough?  Right now, the Giants infield is one of the best units in baseball, defensively and offensively (the pitchers love it).  The issue is the outfield. The G-Men basically have two outfielders, neither a power threat – Duggar in Center and Gerardo Parra in right (a great defensive player -maybe the best arm in the majors - who started at the Snakes and has been around, but is a non-roster invitee still here, and is batting .325).  Left field is a question mark unless Mac Williamson steps up and seizes the day.
 
The pitching is looking good with the Bum and Shark rounding into form, and Rodriquez, Pomeranz and Holland right behind them.  The bullpen (contrary to some commentators) is also strong with Watson, Moronta, and Smith all looking good. Melancon, on the other hand, is being lit up this spring.
 
The players to watch in the last spring training games include the Panda (on the bubble because of numbers) and rookie Joe Conner (a rule 5 pick-up that would have to go back to the Dodgers if he doesn’t get in on the 25-man roster).
 
The bottom line is that Farhan is building a good hitting (but weak on power) - and possibly great defensive team - with solid pitching and a deep bullpen. Can the team compete in a strong division is the question?
 
The National League West – a Test Soon in Progress
 
The national sporting press picks the Giants to have a horrible season with up to 100 losses (SI) and to finish last in the NL West.  However, 10 of the first 13 games (three in LA and seven at home against the Padres and the Rockies) are division games.  There will be no slow start – the G-Men will be tested out of the box.  The Giants can read the papers just like the rest of us and if there is motivation in being disrespected by the entire baseball establishment – the Giants have it.  The home games in new Oracle Park will be especially interesting because that is where home runs go to die regardless of ballpark name so hitting and defense are important.
 
Now if we can just find another outfielder with pop life would be much better and we could all relax and enjoy all the new food and what is now the largest, brightest scoreboard in MLB.

That’s it!
 
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!
 
The Czar

  1. RESPONSIBLE BEVERAGE SERVICE ACT HEARING – OCTOBER 11TH IN SACRAMENTO – BE THERE!
  2. WHEN THE INVESTIGATOR COMES CALLING – BEST PRACTICES.
  3. RESPONSIBLE BEVERAGE SERVICE ACT PROPOSED ABC RULES 160 TO 173 – WHY THE RUSH?
  4. The TTB Crusade Against Small Producers and the “Consignment Sale” Business Model
  5. TTB Protocols, Procedures, and Investigations
  6. Wine in a 250 ML can – the Mystery of the TTB packaging Regulations and Solving the Problem by Amending the Regulations
  7. The Passing of John Manfreda of the TTB: a Tragedy for his family and a Tragedy for the Industry he so Faithfully Served for so Long.
  8. Pride in a Job Well-done, or Blood Money? The Cost of Learning the Truth from the TTB about the Benefits to Investigators from Making Cases Against Industry Members
  9. How ADA Website Compliance Works – The Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself, Your Website and Your Social Media from Liability
  10. Supplier and Distributor Promotional “Banks,” Third Party Promotion Companies and Inconsistent TTB Enforcement, Oh My!
  11. “A Wrong Without a Remedy – Not in My America” – The TTB Death Penalty for Not Reporting Deaths
  12. Is a 1935 Alcohol Beverage Federal Trade Practice Law Stifling Innovation?
  13. Decoding the BCC’s Guidance on Commercial Cannabis Activity.
  14. Prop 65 - Escaping a "Notice of Violation"
  15. TTB Consignment Sales Investigations - What is Behind the Curtain of the TTB Press Releases?
  16. Heads Up! The ABC Is Stepping Up Enforcement Against Licensees Located Near Universities
  17. Coming Soon: New Mandatory Training Requirements for over One Million “Alcohol Servers” In California – September 1, 2021 will be here quickly
  18. 2019 Legislative Changes for California Alcohol Producers – a Blessing or a Curse?
  19. A Picture (On Instagram) Is Worth A Thousand Words
  20. Playing by the Rules: California Cannabis Final Regulations Takeaways
  21. Hinman & Carmichael LLP Names Erin Kelleher Partner and Welcomes Gillian Garrett and Tsion “Sunshine” Lencho to the Firm
  22. Congress Makes History and Changes the CBD Game for Good
  23. Pernicious Practices (stuff we see that will get folks in trouble!) Today’s Rant – Bill & Hold
  24. CBD: An Exciting New Fall Schedule… or Not?
  25. MISSISSIPPI RISING - A VICTORY FOR LEGAL RETAILER TO CONSUMER SALES, AND PASSAGE OF TITLE UNDER THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE
  26. California ABC's Cannabis Advisory - Not Just for Stoners
  27. NEW CALIFORNIA WARNINGS FOR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND CANNABIS PRODUCTS TAKE EFFECT AUGUST 30, 2018, NOW INCLUDING ADDENDUM REGARDING 2014 CONSENT AGREEMENT PARTIES AND PARTICIPANTS
  28. National Conference of State Liquor Administrators – The Alcohol Industry gathers in Hawaii to figure out how to enforce the US “Highly Archaic Regulatory Scheme.”
  29. Founder John Hinman Honored with the Raphael House Community Impact Award
  30. ROUTE TO MARKET AND MARKETING RESTRICTIONS - NAVIGATING REGULATORY SYSTEM CONSTRAINTS
  31. Alcohol and Cannabis Ventures: Top 5 Legal Considerations
  32. ATF and TTB: Is Another Divorce on the Horizon? What’s Going on with the Agency?
  33. STRIKE 3 - YOU REALLY ARE OUT! THE ABC'S STRICT APPLICATION OF PENALTIES FOR SALES TO MINORS
  34. TTB Temporarily Fixes Problem with Fulfillment Warehouse Tax Credits - an “Alternate Procedure” for Paying Taxes & Reporting
  35. CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE HAD ONE TOO MANY - THE FREE TRANSPORTATION DILEMMA
  36. The Renaissance of Federal Unfair Trade Practices - Current Issues and Strategies
  37. ‘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
  38. Big Bottles, Caviar and a CA Wine Strong Silent Auction for the Holidays!
  39. The FDA and the Wine and Spirits Industry – Surprise inspections anyone?
  40. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: UPDATED REGULATORY AGENCY DISASTER RELIEF RESOURCES AT A GLANCE
  41. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: REGULATORY AGENCY DISASTER RELIEF RESOURCES AT A GLANCE
  42. Soon to come to your Local Supermarket– Instant Redeemable Coupons of the digital age!
  43. The License Piggyback Dilemma – If it Sounds Too Good to be True, it Probably is
  44. A timely message from our Florida colleagues on the tied house laws, the three-tier system and the need for reform
  45. ABC Declaratory Rulings – A Modest Proposal Whose Time has Come
  46. More on FDA Inspections - Breweries, Distilleries and Questions
  47. WHY THE FDA IS INSPECTING WINERIES
  48. Senate Bill 378—The Proposed Demise of Due Process for Alcohol Licensees
  49. ABC Enforcement - Trends and Predictions
  50. The Corruption Chronicles – Volume One: A New Hope
  51. New Alcohol Delivery Oversight on the Horizon
  52. Michigan: Canary in the DtC Coal Mine?
  53. California ABC and Federal Credit Laws – Active Enforcement and Lots of Questions!
  54. Big Bottles For The Holidays - The Highest Calling Of The Winemaker's Art
  55. 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
  56. SONOMA COUNTY WINERY USE PERMITS, EVENT RESTICTIONS AND DTC
  57. 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
  58. Isn't A Written Agreement With A Distributor Worthless In A Franchise State?
  59. Crowd Funding for Alcohol Producers and Retailers – Down the Rabbit Hole with the Tied House laws
  60. Everything you ever wanted to know about the BPA Warning Statement but were afraid to ask
  61. AB 2082 - A Hunting License for Police and a Lethal Weapon for Politicians that Deprives Licensees of Currently Available Due Process Rights
  62. “Better Late Than Never”-- Judge in Illinois Dismisses 201 Sales Tax Cases against Retailers
  63. 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
  64. The Arsenic in Wine Class Action Dismissal – what it means
  65. Counterfeit or Artisanal Mexican Spirits? Pick your Poison, or your lime wedge
  66. Warning - CA ABC enforcement teams are on the prowl this weekend!
  67. 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
  68. The TTB Speaks on Category Management or, be Careful What you Ask for Because you might Get it!
  69. Hinman & Carmichael LLP Announces the Addition of Jeremy Siegel to its team of top beverage law lawyers
  70. 2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: Part IV
  71. 2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: Part III
  72. 2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: Part II
  73. 2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: Part I
  74. Hinman & Carmichael LLP is Hiring!
  75. John Hinman Presents NBI Webinar on Basics of Alcohol Beverage Law
  76. ABC DISMISSES SAVE MART GRAPE ESCAPE ACCUSATION BUT REFUSES TO ADOPT JUDGE’S DECISION FINDING NO STRICT LIABILITY FOR ABC VIOLATIONS
  77. Speakeasies are still with us, and proliferating!
  78. The War for the Soul of Sonoma County – the Winery Working Group Battle
  79. Santa Claus isn’t the only one coming to town this Christmas!
  80. Arizona's Direct to Consumer Shipping Rules - An Exercise in Complexity
  81. AB 780 - Social Media and the ABC: The California Legislative “Fix” that Fails
  82. Illinois Finally Offers Certainty and Relief for Victims of Sales Tax Lawsuits, but Prompt Action is Required in Pending Cases
  83. A Modest Proposal – Adopt the federal rule on Tied-House liability in California
  84. The Grapes Escaped - Why the First Amendment Matters
  85. Appellate Court Ruling Strikes Blow Against State’s Arbitrary Beer Label Ban
  86. Illinois Attorney General's Office Announces Intention to Dismiss False Claims Act Against Liquor Retailers
  87. Commercial Speech And Alcoholic Beverages - Part III
  88. Commercial Speech And Alcoholic Beverages - Part II
  89. Craft Beverages: Social Media Marketing the Effective and Compliant Way
  90. Commercial Speech And Alcoholic Beverages - Part I
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  93. Rebecca Stamey-White presents Emerging Issues in Wine Law
  94. Top Beverage Alcohol Law Firm Adds and Elevates Partners
  95. Illinois Qui Tam Lawsuits—Private Enforcement Of a State Claim: A Bonanza For A Plaintiff’s Lawyer And A Rip-Off Of Retailers
  96. BOOZE RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA: The Retailer Right to Pay Exception
  97. LIONS AND TIGERS AND TWEETS, OH MY!
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  99. Expanding, Proud Of It, and Wanting to Tell the World
  100. DC Weighs in Strongly on Third Party Marketer Delivery Services