Welcome to Czar’s blog #9 of 2019.
This post is going out from Pinecrest California (the Lair of the Golden Bear) where I am still permitted to play softball, where the weather is perfect, the Lake is cold and the parties rage on every night. Go Bears!
The available games, dates and number of tickets will be shown at the end of the blog before the rules. Remember when you email me back to identify the game, the date and the number of tickets you want. Please whitelist my email so you get the blog posts and ticket offers all season long.
Today’s offering includes some of our extra sponsor’s tickets to the Family Winemakers of California Tasting Event on Sunday August 11th in San Francisco. We have a few extra tickets to share with our friends and colleagues; it’s always an awesome event with outrageously good wines. Usual Czar’s rules, first ones back… https://familywinemakers.org/taste
The Trades that Didn’t happen and the Roster Improvement that Did Happen
The big news is that Bum is still a Giant and will be with the team (and Bruce Bochy) for at least the remainder of the season. If the G-men can fight through the wild card traffic and need one pitcher for a winner take all game there is no one better to throw than Bum, and no one better to manage then Boch. Farhan did a splendid job in managing his first trade deadline as a Giant. He improved the roster for a stretch run with the trade for Scooter Gannett from the Reds, dumped a large contract (Melancon and his $18 million contract to the Braves), obtained young arms for Sam Dyson and Ray Black and didn’t disrupt the core of the team.
If the trade deadline was the equivalent of a mid-term exam, Farhan gets an A.
August will be the month to see if the moves pay off and the Giants are for real
Following a .500 June the Giants lit up the month of July with the most torrid record in the history of baseball in terms of movement: 20 and 6 and climbing from last place to 2nd place in the division (behind the Dodgers who were so successful at the beginning of the season they own first place for at least another month). The G-Men are now right in the hunt for a wild card spot if they can keep up the pressure on the National League. No team in baseball wants to play the Giants right now; we all hope that continues through August and into the September run to the playoffs.
This is the time to show up at Oracle. This is exciting. Every game will be a playoff as Bochy winds down his career and the G-Men step up to the challenge of sending him out on top.
What the Team looks like Now
The historic core (Posey, Belt, Crawford and Sandoval) are performing like it is 2010 all over again. Posey is hitting clutch homers and throwing out runners, Crawford is still the smoothest shortstop since Omar Vizquel and Belt, the best defensive first baseman in the league, has hit 13 dingers. The new outfield (Dickerson, Yaz and Pillar – especially Pillar, who is a human highlight reel) is nails. Dickerson (hitting .386 with 6 HR’s in 30 games) has been the sparkplug for the offense. He is on the DL for the next 10 days with an oblique issue but that means (probably) that we will see Duggar (who is healthy) back up and ready to take one of the corner slots. Longoria (also with 13 HR’s) is still out (he was on a torrid hitting streak when he went on the DL) but has been ably backed up by the Panda.
The major question mark is Panik at 2nd base, who is having his worst season. However the pick up of Scooter Gannett (an All-Star 2nd base before he got hurt) should motivate whoever gets to start at that position. Even before the pickup of Scooter, Solano (batting .341 and playing well at short and 2nd) was pushing Panik. The Solano/Scooter contest should be interesting because Solano can also back up 3rd base when Longoria returns. Unless Panik has a break out series this week he could be sent down to the minors (or released because with his MLB service years he can’t be sent down without his agreement). Let’s see what happens in Colorado today.
The pitching staff is well-positioned for the stretch run. Bum, the Shark, Beede, Gott and Anderson (and maybe Rodriquez – who got torched yesterday) are in good shape and Cueto is throwing in Arizona. The relievers (even with losing Dyson and Melancon) are in good shape with Moronta, Watson and Smith at the back end and a lot of capable young arms in long relief.
The Series – The Nationals and Phillies – an advance looks at the wild card?
The Nationals and the Phillies are the teams to beat for the wild card. They are tied for 2nd place in the NL East (behind the torrid Braves) with identical 57/51 records. Both have stud pitchers and torrid hitters. The Giants are in for a slug fest over the next two series, and the fans at Oracle will be in for a treat. This is October baseball in August.
On the board ready to be picked up are:
MON 8/5/19 – v. Nationals (6:45 -4)
THUR 8/8/19 - v. Phillies (6:45 – 3) I’m going to this game
WED 8/14/19 – v. A’s (12:45 – 4)
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!
THE PROTOCOL: the firm has four seats in Section 118 (Premium Lower Boxes), Rows 25 and 26. These are awesome seats directly below the press box and 25 rows behind home plate on the left side behind the screen. It is foul ball territory for left-handed batters so bring your glove – I have collected 16 foul balls myself over 19 years, and I am looking for more (although since the screens were raised in 2018 it’s become tougher to get a ball). If we can't use all the tickets ourselves (or clients and friends of the firm don't claim them by calling me and reserving a game), then my next step is to give the tickets TO THE FIRST PERSON WHO GETS BACK TO ME PROVIDED THAT THEY ARE SERIOUS. If you ask for the tickets and don't use them, you will be taken off the list unless there is a seriously good reason. There will be a wait list.
When there are four seats available (we split up a lot of games) we will allocate the tickets two and two if the first people back just want two tickets. You can also go for four and might get them. I'm the Czar, my call.