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MLB Petition for Funds: Helping a Victim in Need

Dear Major League Baseball,

The undersigned hereby petition is for you to award the Giants fan who was put into a coma, Bryan Stow, the full funds needed for recovery from the Dodgers coffers who did not provide adequate security.

As a witness and attendee to said opening day game, I hereby testify that I witnessed and can confirm that the Dodgers did in fact hire undercover policemen roaming in four person teams.  The only people they were busting were merchants selling unlicensed gear on the street before the game.  By the end of the game however, the darkened hills of the parking lot were left unprotected.

There are some truly good Dodger fans out there who are mortified by said event.  In fact, as a respectful Giants fan myself, the entire row in front of me warned me and my female friend of the danger of sticking around until the end of the game.  We took off our Giants orange and walked out in the bottom of the eighth.

The walk was a very scary one.  You would maneuver between the cars avoiding the people who are already out there looking for a fight.  Your eyes dart towards some sign of protection and you know you are alone.

By the grace of God, my friend and I were safe, and thank you to the good fans in Section 6 who were our modern day Paul Reveres.

Bryan Stow’s injury is a travesty and could have been avoided.  The Dodgers hired cops to protect their licenses, but failed to protect the fans. 

Therefore Bryan Stow should be awarded the full cost of the recovery straight from McCourt’s’ profits.

It’s not much money to McCourt, and it will relieve further grief and burden to the victim and his family.

We humbly anticipate your generosity to make right what is now wrong, and to let justice be done.  Major League Baseball; please help this victim who is in need.

Thank you,

The Fans



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World Series Championship II: Return of the San Francisco Giants

Logline:  Overrated SS Juan Uribe looks for stardom by signing to play with the Los Angeles Dodgers only to find not only did he leave his heart in San Francisco, he also left his chances at victory.

Synopsis:  The San Francisco Giants, champions of baseball, send their two-time Cy Young winning and three-straight reigning strikeout king Tim Lincecum to the mound against an overmatched underdog—Los Angeles Dodgers.  In this story though, the underdog is the underdog for a reason, and it all starts at the top.

The divorce of the co-owners of The Los Angeles Dodgers is a typical LA Story. Heartless capitalist gets tired of lady love’s continuous plastic surgeries which leads to an emotionless group of ballplayers on the field playing just for the money.

The Giants however are a rag tag group of veterans whose love for the game has kept them playing through any adversity.  Whether it’s spending nearly a decade in the minors like CF Andres Torres before getting his one chance to stick in the major leagues or a veteran player who has found new life with a new club based on friendship and chemistry like Pat Burrell who reunited with college teammate Aubrey Huff.

In this game, the champion deserves to be champion, and on 3/31/11, they return to the field to rub it in. 

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San Francisco Giants Bring Back Fan Favorites, Regular Season Is Biggest Test

Two of the better moves made by the Giants this offseason were also two of the quietest ones. 

By bringing back Pat the Bat and resigning Mike Fontenot, Brian Sabean is keeping fans happy, the team competitive and the chemistry in place.

The biggest test for the 2011 San Francisco Giants will be the regular season.  For a few years now, fans have been saying that if the Giants can just make the playoffs they can make a lot of noise with their pitching. 

The fans were right!

The same is true for 2011, and with every team in baseball now gunning for the top, the road will be much tougher for a team that won its division on the last day of play against its closest contender.

That contender is a much improved San Diego Padres team that is now a much much deeper club.  Part of that depth is coming from the four players who came over in the Adrian Gonzalez trade and part of it is the revamped core of their defense right up the middle at the four, the six and the eight.

To focus on the Phillies right now is a mistake, as the rest of the NL West is following suit and each team poses a significant improvement over last year. 

The one thing the Giants have going for them is the chemistry on the field amongst the best fans and the best venue in baseball.

This chemistry is kept in tact with these lesser reported moves and will have key ramifications over the next 162.

Mike Fontenot plays the game with so much joy and so much hustle that he’s going to be the spark plug all year your team didn’t know it was missing until he signed up to play.

Pat Burrell is the ultimate locker room clown whose focus on the field is unshakable.  His relationship with Aubrey Huff and Bay Area roots make him a natural fit for a team that is the favorite to win its division.

Now, all that’s left is to go out and do it.

The Giants aren’t a team that you stack up on paper.  The Giants are a team that is greater than the sum of its parts.  A team that takes the field and wins with their attitude and the force of their personality.

These traits will once again be the keys to passing the biggest test in 2011, the regular season.

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San Francisco Giants: Miguel Tejada Signing Leads to More Questions

With the signing of Miguel Tejada to a one-year deal (salary and bonus equaling $7M) the first question that comes to mind is: Why? 

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for signing Tejada, but why let Juan Uribe leave after winning a World Series with your team for the same exact amount of money?

Whether or not one will have a better year than the other is debatable and it seems like the biggest sticking point, for the second year in a row with Uribe, is the amount of years.

Tejada now has a one-year deal and Uribe has a three-year deal, although for the one common year between the two contracts (2011), they are making the same exact money.  So why let a company man walk over two years?

Furthermore, Tejada is 36 years old right now and 37 when this contract will be up.  Uribe is 31 right now and will be two years younger than Tejada is now when his contract expires.

So again, for similar quality players, the question remains. Why let Uribe walk for Tejada?

With rumors of Jason Bartlett’s availability, that is still an option worth looking at and that’s what I thought Giants GM Brian Sabean was up to. 

Listening to Juan Uribe talk about the courting process of the LA Dodgers, however, makes one realize it was more the proactive approach the Dodgers took that got the deal done with Uribe, who, for the second straight year, was left out to market over length of contract by the San Francisco Giants.

The rival Dodgers showed interest in Uribe from day one and made him feel “very proud,” and “very emotional,” he said when describing the courtship of the Dodgers.  Stephen Covey would be proud of the proactive approach the Dodgers are taking in this offseason and it is yielding results.

The Dodgers reportedly tried to lure away Aubrey Huff in the same manner and Huff accepted the Giants matching offer.  This strategy went the opposite way with Uribe, who is all smiles in his new uniform.

So now what’s done is done and the Giants made the right reactionary move in signing Tejada. 

Still, with Tejada’s age and limited range, are they signing Tejada to play shortstop or third base?  Putting a shortstop at third base worked in the playoffs beautifully. With Tejada’s lack of range at short, he still possesses veteran hands and would be a brick wall at the hot corner. 

This brings us back to Jason Bartlett, who at 31 years old is in the prime of his career at shortstop and is available for trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, who are looking to deal with a team with a deep bullpen.

Bringing in Bartlett is now an option again and he will also bring much-needed speed and defense to a notorious pitchers’ park, not to mention a WAG that will surely make one of the lists on 

Is Bartlett even necessary, though, if Panda works out and returns to his form of two years ago and Mark DeRosa comes back and plays healthy this year?  If Bartlett plays short, Tejada plays third, then where do you put these other guys?

One can imagine a defensive alignment in this case looking like this.

C—Buster Posey

1B—Pablo Sandoval

2B—Freddy Sanchez

SS—Michael Bartlett

3B—Miguel Tejada

LF—Mark DeRosa

CF—Andres Torres

RF—Aubrey Huff

Then what happens if the Giants re-sign Cody Ross?  Most likely Mark DeRosa goes to the bench as a utility player and Cody goes to left field. 

What if Pat Burrell re-signs?  He becomes our pinch hitter.

But, of course, if Sandoval spends the year in Triple-A, then there is room for everybody.

Based on the reality of the situation, signing Miguel Tejada was a swift, decisive and correct move for the World Champions that didn’t cost them anything in a trade.

Trading for Bartlett using their bullpen depth would give the Giants long term security at shortstop, which is now needed, considering the moves made by the Dodgers getting Uribe and the Colorado Rockies signing Troy Tulowitski to a 10-year extension.

These two moves answer a lot of questions and give the Giants the same kind of veteran depth that they enjoyed in their championship run.

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San Francisco Giants Rumor Mill: Is Miguel Tejada The Answer at Short?

The San Francisco Giants are looking to rebuild the left side of their infield after winning the world series with a combo of Edgar Renteria at short and Juan Uribe at third base.

This duo led the Giants with a series winning solo homer over the Phillies in game six on the road by Uribe in the NLCS and a three run shot by Renteria in the heart of self-proclaimed ‘God’s Country’ to win the World Series.

Renteria was under contract with a team option for 2011 and was due to make over $10M. Even though Renteria won the World Series with one shot, his health concerns and overall durability over a 162 game season is highly questionable. So the Giants smartly elected to pay off the $500K that declines the option and ends the contract, as the Giants needed that money to keep Aubrey Huff, who just signed on for another 2-3 years and is making Renteria’s old salary.

It would be great to sign Renteria on as a role player that is more appropriate for the Giants’ budget. Clutch players like him are evidently worth their weight in gold come championship time. That’s probably not an option though as Renteria has publicly stated he wants to end his career in either St. Louis or Florida.

Uribe on the other hand is younger, nearly as clutch, a club favorite (U-Ribe!), and with Renteria at short, that whole left side was shut down to right handed bats trying to find a hole.  

Uribe is a free agent and was offered type B arbitration by the San Francisco Giants. This means if another team signs Uribe, the Giants are at least compensated with a draft pick from the signing team. This move was made in an attempt to protect Uribe from other clubs while getting the price for Uribe the Giants are willing to pay; $5.5M-$6M.

Then the Giants’ rival Los Angeles Dodgers entered the picture and are courting Uribe to fill their own holes with oft injured short stop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Casey Blake contract ending after this season.

When a lesser known Juan Uribe left the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox to take more money in San Francisco, White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen said that he will be your (team’s) best shortstop, your best second baseman, you best third baseman. Guillen was right as Juan Uribe has contributed as much as anyone to the Giants over the years.

So if Uribe goes because the Dodgers outbid the Giants, then the Giants are left with a glaring hole or two that will be filled with either free agency or by trade or both.

This is where Miguel Tejada comes in and a return to the Bay Area is the perfect fit for the veteran batsman. Tejada is a veteran plate presence who works counts and gets timely hits. Last season, he was one of the better players for the Padres late in the season against the Giants. A bat like his in the lineup has ripple effects on an entire lineup.

He is a solid infielder and still makes great plays at shortstop. If the Giants decide to trade for a shortstop like Jason Bartlett, then Tejada could shift to third as Bruce Bochy demonstrated last season how important it is to have a flexible lineup that can match up against different sorts of teams.

Lastly, Tejada is an iron man. He’s available to play every game from spring to winter year in and year out and Tejada will provide the consistency that was missing from Edgar Renteria, while providing the flexibility and pop that will be missed if Uribe leaves.

This is really the only area of the team where the Giants are in rebuilding mode. Making the right decisions at short stop and third base will make the Giants a better team than they were last year. Miguel Tejada is a step in that direction

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2010 World Series Is a Battle Of Underdogs

The last time this writer rooted for an American League team to beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS so the San Francisco Giants didn’t have to face them was in 2002 when the Anaheim Angels surprised the Yankees and then shocked a heavily favored San Francisco Giants club in seven games of the World Series.

This year, no such prayer was made and yet the Giants face an equally scrappy Texas Rangers team reminiscent of those Angels who won the World Series despite all odds against them.

The difference this year is that even more like those Angels is the San Francisco Giants, a group of veteran journeymen making the most out of possibly their only playoff appearance of their career.

The difference this year is that the Giants aren’t the big bad dominant hitting force they were with Bonds, Kent and Ellis Burk in the 3-4-5 slots.

The difference this year is that the San Francisco Giants are an equal underdog and therefore have had to pull every baseball trick out of their caps to even get to the point to pull off an upset of the defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies short of a hidden ball play.

The Texas Rangers are the same way although the Rangers did their talking with their bats, bullying Broadway’s best out of a chance to repeat as champions.

While TV stations will lament the lack of ratings for two smaller market clubs; anyone who is a fan of rooting for the underdog will be able to take their pick from inning to inning, out to out, and pitch to pitch.

Underdogs are special because they speak to our heart. 

In each and every humble man’s heart who accomplishes their life’s purpose is a sense of joy and gratefulness that even though the world was stacked against them, somehow the doors opened for them where normally there would only be doors that were closed.

Underdogs bring a pure joy to the sport and an ultimate bliss that comes from a group of people who are truly walking their own life’s path, following their individual bliss together as a team.

This is the beauty of the underdog in all of us and in this respect; both of these teams are already champions.

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Why the Philadelphia Phillies Should Quit

This writer ascribes to the life philosophy that states, “When things get hard—Quit!”

Things are much harder in the 2010 playoffs for the Philadelphia Phillies than they have been in the previous two years.

The Phillies are actually facing a team in the San Francisco Giants that can outpitch them by a wide margin. A dynasty in the making, the San Francisco Giants Renaissance out of their previous Dark Ages is proving the claim that this is truly the year of the pitcher.

The San Francisco Giants have the best four-man playoff rotation in recent memory and a bullpen that is blanking the competition more often than not.

Coming into the NLCS, there was no question the Philly has the best lineup in the NL.  There was a question, however, if the best pitching staff in the NL—belonging to the Giants—could shut them down.

That question was answered in Game 3 when Matt Cain and company shut out the Phillies’ fantastic lineup for a 3-0 win.

Chase Utley’s run-scoring error put the writing on the wall for Philadelphia. They should probably just quit—because it will only get harder to lose in front of the Philadelphia fans.

By dropping the last two games, the Phillies can just tuck their tails between their legs and go home without facing the Philadelphia fan base who would do nothing but boo them off the field on each swing and miss in a clinching Game 6 or 7 for the Giants.

Only a masochist would want to face such a destructive crowd.

This series is over and the Phillies should give themselves a reprieve from their suffering and willingly euthanize their chances. 

The San Francisco Giants have prepped their patient for death; now all the Philadelphia Phillies have to do is flip the switch and lay back as they enter their own much more peaceful baseball coma before elimination takes them to a better place.

It’s hard for the Phillies, and it’s time for them to stop fighting.  It’s time for the Phillies to quit.

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2010 MLB Playoffs: Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Francisco Giants Game Thoughts

Jonathan Sanchez looked good in the first inning.  He showed a lot of guts, and I think Bochey and Sanchez have the home plate umpire on their side.  Sanchez also showed a lot of guts getting out of the first inning how he did.

Cody Ross won his first battle after his two early home runs last game.  He wheeled out of the way of a pitch that could have got him up and in then worked out a walk.

Oswalt is shutting the door early on the Giants and looks in control.  This is not the Oswalt the Giants saw on opening day in Houston…yet.

Pat Burrell transforms into a Gazelle while tracking down the ball mid flight to end the second inning.

Jonathan Sanchez made that look easy.

Bruce Bochy is really doing a great job managing this club.  His attention to detail and relationship with the umpires is tops.  He’s really got his players back on every play.  It will be interesting seeing Bochy compete against Dom Mattingly the next few years who is taking over for Joe Torre in Los Angeles for The Dodgers.

Andres Torres was given the check sing on a call between the home base umpire and the third base umpire who confirmed it.  The umpire yelled, “No!” on the call and then checked with the third base umpire to see if he saw it differently.  This is a sign of a good umpiring crew.


Ryan Howard‘s adjustment on the slider led to a loud double.  That’s what makes Howard such a beautiful hitter.  He’s got this left handed loop reminiscent of Ken Griffey Jr.’s with the Alpha Dog Build of a Hank Aaron.

Jonathan Sanchez pops up Jimmy Rollins on the first pitch, and Fontenot muffs the play. Better communication is needed there from Aubrey Huff who is the leader of this offense at first base.  Like Tony Vinciquerra says, “Communicate Communicate Communicate.”  Gotta love the Philly Crowd however who got on Cody Ross in an attempt to distract him from a routine fly ball.  😉


One out in the fourth and Ruiz smashes a pitch foul on a 3-1 count.  Sanchez makes a nice play taking away an infield hit as Ruiz sacrifices Jimmy Rollins to second.

Ruiz looks solid behind the plate running a ball down by the Phillies’ dugout.  Now Oswalt has Cody Ross ducking out of the way.  Ross was just using opossum energy, playing dead for one pitch and going deep on the next.

The book on Cody Ross is becoming a legend!  What a show!  And it’s great to see Fontenot work out a walk on the next at bat bringing up Renteria.  Renteria is a solid playoff performer.  It’s because he’s aggresive.  Roy Oswalt is aggressive too, pounding Renteria inside fouled off at the hands.  Rollins leaps in the air with the catch and pump fakes back to first.

Product Suggestion:  The Bigs III should allow you to make a play in that situation where Derek Jeter can leap in the air at short, catch the ball and in mid air be able to double the guy off of first.


Aubrey Huff is the man calling Utley’s bunt a bluff.  Utley still gets the job done with a line drive to right.  Philadelphia gets the next run with two deep fly balls in a row. Charlie Manuel’s move to switch Utley to No. 2 in the lineup and Polanco to three pays off. Charlie Manual knows exactly what he’s doing.


Edgar Renteira’s new nickname is Panther.  He tracked down his kill in the outfield and conquered his pray with powerful claws, trapping it against his body. I hope to see him back next year.

Sanchez is just mowing down people.

Cody Ross has power but dead nectar center field power over a high wall?  That’s asking a bit much.

It would be nice to see Aaron Rowand get a start with the way Torres is playing. 



More thoughts later… Jonathan Sanchez is coming out.

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San Francisco Giants Must Eliminate San Diego Padres When They Have the Chance

The San Diego Padres have been a thorn in the Giants side all year.

With the exception of the Giants winning three out of four against the Padres in San Diego last month, the Padres have an 8-2 record against the Giants in the other 10 games.

That’s why it’s not enough to just win the division and sit back while Atlanta drops three straight to the Phillies; letting the Padres sneak in as a wild card against a resting Giants.

The Giants must bring their A-game the last two games even if the division is already theirs.

Bay Area sports fans can all remember that one year this century that the Golden State Warriors made the playoffs.  

That was a miracle in its own right and the magic continued when the Warriors won a six-game series against the heavily-favored No. 1 seed Dallas Mavericks who were coming off an NBA Finals loss to the Miami Heat a year earlier with the mantra, “Unfinished Business.”

Where the Mavericks went wrong and where the San Francisco Giants must go right is that with three or so games left in the regular season, the Mavericks faced the Warriors who were fighting for the last playoff spot with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Dallas rested their top players pretty much the whole game, and the Warriors won the game and the last playoff spot by one game over a furious Los Angeles Clippers club who owned the tiebreaker against the Warriors in the standings.

A couple weeks later the Warriors are sending the Mavericks home packing early from the playoffs.  

Unfinished business indeed.

The Padres are currently a game behind the Braves with two games to play.

The Braves are playing the Phillies who would like nothing more than to see their division rival Atlanta Braves miss the playoffs by their own hands in the most disheartening of fashions.

The beautiful thing about this is that if the Giants are going to eliminate the San Diego Padres on their own, then it’s going to come down to the last game of the season where Jonathan Sanchez closes out the regular season for the G-Men. 

Sanchez, for some reason, opened up his big mouth after he lost a game earlier this year just before a three game series with the Padres predicting a sweep and never looking back.

Well here we are with two games left to play and the Giants still don’t own the division and the ball will be in Sanchez’s as he either pitches Sunday to either win the West for the Giants or send the Padres home for some October surfing. 

Barry Zito pitches Saturday in a game which will determine which one of those two things Sanchez will be pitching for—assuming a Braves loss.

The beautiful thing is, either we get to see the Giants eliminate a team that has owned them this year or we get to see a trash-talking Sanchez get a big slice of humble pie.

Either way, this will be an exciting weekend.

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Ranking The MLB Playoff-Bound Bullpens

In a Bleacher Report Community effort, the top Featured Columnists for MLB’s top teams have come together to give the fans a thorough understanding of what to expect when your ace succumbs to playoff pressure, putting a close game in the hands of your bullpen.

Each Bleacher Report Featured Columnist has been a fan of their team, as have you, for as long as possible.

In speaking with these writers, they understand the history as well as the current state and future prospects for their bullpen.

This has been a learning experience in putting these analyses together and may this be a guidebook to you fans who need to know what your opposition is going to be throwing at you late into a game.

Two last things:

1) In finding the videos for this slideshow I found it comical that every closer either enters the game to Metallica’s, “Enter Sandman,” or at least has a youtube tribute to him set to that song.

2) Make sure to check out Mariano Rivera’s video on how he dominates attached to the first Yankees slide.  It’s a must-see.

Begin Slideshow

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