Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring training has officially started!

The Giants start off spring the right way..... With a win!

Sure it means absolutely nothing but it's still baseball!

Tim Lincecum came out and stunk up the place, but everybody was raving about him!?!  For those of you who don't know, the hitters are typically ahead of the pitchers at the beginning of spring.  They don't have as many moving parts to pull together I guess.  Usually, and from what I have heard is the case with Lincecum yesterday, they are getting a feel for their pitches and maybe even trying out a new thing or two.  The most encouraging news I think we got on Timmy yesterday was the fact that he appeared to be in much better shape than he was at the start of spring last season.  His conditioning was blamed for his inconsistency last season and if he has tackled that issue then watch out National League!

Buster Posey had two hits, Pablo Sandoval looked good in two ABs, and Madison Bumgarner (another guy who was accused of poor conditioning last season) looked like he was in good shape as well.

The only negatives were that Brandon Belt looked bad and Pablo Sandoval made an error.  But hey, it's only one game and it's spring training so who cares right?

This offseason was a little flat for me.  The Giants lack of activity kinda bummed me out.  The most important move they made was keeping their starting pitching in tact.  I know that a lot of noise is being made about those hired guns in Philly, but remember, the Giants staff did something last season that NO staff has done since the deadball ERA when they put together a streak of 18 consecutive games of giving up no more than 3 runs.  That tells you how good this staff is even though only two of these guys have won Cy Young awards.

Anyway back to the point I was making.  After the dull offseason, just hearing about spring training games is getting me fired up.  I really can't wait to see the Giants defend their title.  All of the "experts" are saying things like don't be surprised if the Giants finish an uncompetitive fourth in their division (Rob Neyer ESPN I'm talking about you!) and they say the Rockies and Dodgers are the team to beat in the West.  It's getting me fired up and I can't wait to see how things unfold when the games start to count!

Go Giants!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Early Reports on Pablo Sandoval sound encouraging

In the early days of spring training, all of the reports regarding the Giants portly third baseman sound encouraging.  He is down to 240 lbs from 260 (this would mean a 20lb weight reduction and not the 30+ lbs that was reported before camp started).  He has been working hard all offseason and he has a confidence that seemed to be lacking last season.

I think the confidence part is the biggest key to Pablo.  Even though he showed that he could put up All-Star type numbers once, I think that as soon as his slump became extended he started to think that he was never going to be able to do it again in the big leagues.

Much has been made of all of the personal issues in his life last season, and I think that if those are the things that affected him so dramatically last season, then boy is he in trouble.  Sure a divorce is hard but so is life and if Pablo is going to be affected every time a little adversity creeps in to his life then he is going to have a hard time succeeding and not just at baseball either.

That being said, I think that he used the offseason well.  He got the weight off, learned hitting from Bonds, and reported to camp early.  I think that he got the message that the Giants' brass sent him at the end of last season and he is poised to have a rebound.  Then the Panda hats will be back in full force!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The pitchers and catchers have reported!

This offseason I have been kinda lazy in my posting about The Giants.   But now that we have some baseball related stuff actually happening, I am ready to get back in to the swing of things!

As I'm sure you already know, the pitchers and catchers reported to spring training yesterday and the first actual spring training game is in 10 days!

As for the team itself, nothing much to report.  A quick view of the front page of reveals that Buster Posey is glad to get back to work, Tim Lincecum is driven by his stumbles last season, and the Giants are excited to begin their title defense.  Pretty informative stuff!

The biggest surprise is that Pablo Sandoval is one of the few position players in camp already.  There was no word of his weight so I hope that is good news since I would expect there to be plenty of articles about how he failed to get in shape if he didn't.  We also found out that the ball from the last out of the World Series is in Brian Wilson's possession and it is safe inside of an unused candy jar.

That's pretty much it for now.  I am counting down the days until the season starts and by the time I get this posted there will only be 9 more days until the first spring training game!