Giants v. Padres, Giants v. Mets

The Positives:  The Giants are in first place in the NL West, 1.5 games in front of the Dodgers and playing their best baseball of the year.  They are finishing up a 4 and 2 road trip having won 2 out of 3 from both the Braves (nipping at the heels of the Nationals in the NL East) and the Phillies (hurting for reasons that are not all that clear because they are a very good team).  This follows up on a horrible 1 and 5 road trip before the All-Star break, redeemed by the G-Men practically singlehandedly winning the All-Star game (four Giants on the roster, with the Panda hitting a three run triple and Melky a two-run homer) and assuring that the NL has home field advantage in the world series. The pitching is as good as it ever has been.  Lincecum has had two good starts in a row (cross your fingers that he’s back), Zito has had something like six straight quality starts (including today when the game was lost in the 11th inning and the fine game he pitched in Atlanta),and Cain, Vogelsong and Bumgarner are simply the best rotation in baseball.  To top it off, the Giants bullpen is really good with Affeldt and Lopez doing their job with little drama and Romo being routinely awesome.

On the hitting front, Melky continues to lead MLB in hits and the G-Men have shown flashes of power (2 dingers from Schierholtz today for example, after a Grand Slam from Crawford yesterday after a three-run homer the day before – Crawford is officially en fuego) and the team batting averages and RBI’s are improving steadily. The defense is also routinely excellent (even though early season errors continue to weigh the stats down) and what can you say about Buster Posey. What a stud!  If he continues the way he’s going (over .300, hits to all field, multi-hit games and solid behind the plate) he will be in contention with Kemp for the MVP

The Questions: Has Nate earned a starting spot for the rest of the season?  If he keeps hitting dingers the way he is doing now there is no way Bochy is going to remove him. Can Blanco return to form?  He missed a suicide squeeze sign yesterday and he looks tired.  He needs a rest.  It looks like Huff is done (for his career I bet) with his latest injury and Hector Sanchez is on the DL but is expected back quickly.  It was a real joy to see Eli Whiteside (Crash Davis incarnate) come up and take a start behind the dish, settle everyone down and get a couple of important hits.

The Negatives:  It’s like a broken record but runners in scoring position continue to haunt the Gigantes, and the power numbers are way low for a contending club.  The Giants are gap to gap hitters but in the smaller ball parks they need to start hitting homers.  That brings me to Brandon Belt.  He is once again lost at the plate. He’s a great defensive first baseman but a streaky hitter, and he is not on a streak right now. If Sabean is going to dip into the trade market by the 31st (during this series of home games, when the trade deadline comes) he has got to be looking for a power hitting first baseman, or someone that can play third and send Pablo to first.  There are a lot of candidates, including Carlos Quentin from the Padres and Placido Polanco from the Phillies.  The Giants just need a solid hitter, not a superstar rental (ala the Beltran deal last year).  None of us know exactly what Sabean is going to do but for sure it’s something. Sabean is constitutionally unable to stop working the phones.

The last word on the negatives has to be Santiago Casilla.  I thought that putting him in for the same yesterday (after he blew a save in the Atlanta game, his 5th blown save in 8 games) was a good call for confidence but he still looks like a deer in the headlights.  Casilla is MUCH better suited to earlier innings. There are a couple of closers out there and Sabean might very well go after one of them, maybe Broxton from the Royals (who are in fire sale mode) if we can stand having another ex-Dodger on the team

The Division: Realistically, it’s between the G-Men and the Dodgers now. The teams are currently 1.5 games apart and playing each other a LOT between now and the end of the season in September (which actually ends up in LA on the last weekend of the season).  The Dodgers are back at full strength with Kemp off the DL and next weekend’s games should be classics, which is why the tickets are already gone. I suspect that the division lead may change more than once between now and October, which isn’t a bad thing as long as the Giants are on top in October.

The Games: The Padres are in fourth place (15 games back) in the NL West (above the Rockies) but have always been tough on the Giants. The Padres certainly know what is at stake and would like nothing better than to be a factor in the division race by knocking off the front runner.  The Mets, who are in third place in the NL East, 8 and /12 games out, are in town for four games.  The Mets (damn it all) just got swept by the Dodgers in NY so the way I look at it the G-Men have to be on the attack big time.

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