With Willie away for work, Chad and Ben welcome guest Erin to the show to talk Spring Training. There are pitchers, there are catchers, and a pleasant sigh: there is baseball. With the end of the offseason nigh, we talk Spring, we talk Lincecum, Pat Burrell, Sergio Romo, a glut of catching depth, and Buster Posey.
Man, oh man, do we ever talk about Buster Posey.
Check out the first TortureCast of the 2012 Spring Training season! Believe it — baseball is BACK!
I love Brian Wilson. He is an excellent closer. He carried us through 2009 and 2010. But, I believe Sergio Romo is better.
I can’t speak to Romo’s late inning nerves. He only has 3 career saves. Brian Wilson has done that in 3 nights. However, let’s lo0k at the stats:
Looking at the last 4 years for both players, Romo has the statistical edge by far, even by ERA. Let’s look at the contact and control stats: Both players each have 2 best years for strikeouts per nine innings, Wilson with 9.57 and 11.2 in ’08 and ’10, Romo with 10.9 and 13.1 in ’09 and ’11, but Romo with the better average over that span. However, control is lopsided, which was Wilson’s Achilles. Wilson had the following walks per 9 innings from 2008-2011: 4.0, 3.7, 3.1, 5.1. Romo had: 2.1, 2.9, 2.0, 0.9. Romo put less than HALF the runners on base via the walk than Wilson. Granted, we all know how many times Wilson got out of walk-induced jams over the past few years, but that’s playing with fire. The walk percentage is even more telling. Wilson walks about 10% of batters he faces, Romo about half as much. Batting average against? Well, Romo has the edge 3 out of the last 4 years, and a dominant average. WHIP? Same, 3 out of 4, and that doesn’t even consider the dominant 2011 Romo had, while Wilson had his worst year in 2011. Romo dominates every statistical category (aside from saves, of course).
These are two pitchers heading in opposite directions. Even the speed data, which Wilson relies on more than Romo, shows that Wilson is losing his edge. His average fastball speed for the last 4 years is 95.7, 96.5, 95.9, and a career low 94.2 MPH last year. He’s losing his stuff. Granted, he was hurt last year, and probably played through some of it. However, if Chalupa man can’t regain a 95+ MPH fastball in the beginning of the season, I think we know the trend line is confirmed.
I hope it’s not true, but the Giants made shrewd moves signing Romo, Lopez, and Affeldt to multi-year contracts. I think it’s clear that Wilson is not the Giants’ closer for long.
Line-ups and tigers and burgers, oh my! Chad, Willie, and Ben talk counting calories, notable birthdays, FanFest, Posey and the catcher situation, and of course, Timmy’s dietary habits!
Plus: Chad still hates Eli Manning, Johnny Velvet has a birthday (someone warn the post-game reporter), and Ben completely loses it explaining why we will win it all.
Don’t forget to check out our AWESOME new intro! Thanks to Ashkon (@ashkonmusic) and Bailey (@baileymuzik) for letting us use their awesome collab track “Feelin’ Like A Giant”. It’s an all-new TortureCast, just in time for an all-new season of Your San Francisco Giants!
I’ll admit, as a lifelong Giants fan, I had never made the trek up to SF for FanFest. In its 19th year, I decided to give it a shot and bring along my 6 year old daughter, whom I’m brainwashing, er, instilling in, a serious Giants’ passion. I assumed that the 40,000 that attended FanFest 2011, glowing after their World Championship, would certainly dwindle to a more management number. It dwindled…by a measly 4,000 people. So, me, my daughter, and 35,998 additional Giants fans packed into AT&T Park over the course of 5 hours on February 4, 2012. See some video highlights below.
Note to those Giants fans who arrived right at opening, and did not wait in line for 90+ minutes like the rest of us and decided to “play dumb” as you just conveniently merged with the rest of the patient crowd: please go jump off of Lefty O’Doul Bridge, you’re an embarrassment to our kind.
Now that I have that PSA out of the way, let me continue. Once we entered AT&T Park, it was fairly chaotic; I had a vice grip on my daughter’s hand as we nimbly navigated the park concourses. Eventually, we made it down to the field, where it was even harder to figure out where each of the dozen lines started, ended, or if waiting in any particular line would deposit you to a random assortment of Giants players or a jumpy house. Good thing I’m not an autograph buff. Apparently some autograph lines were in excess of 2 hours. I did wander up to several booths, and was told that the players would rotate ever so often. I empathize with the Giants fans that waited for more than 2 hours on the 3rd level concourse ramps to get the John Hancocks of…Dan Runzler and Roberto Kelly. Ouch.
After a $10 purchase of stale chicken and fries, I decided to sit down with my daughter and take in a bit of the KNBR interviews that were happening at home plate. Shortly after we watched and listened to a hooded Tim Lincecum answer dully to standard questions from Murph and Mac, a distinguished gentleman approached us and asked if he could take our picture for his baseball blog. It turned out to be quite an interesting conversation with Michael, who grew up in Queens, his father a rabid NY Giants fans before they moved west in 1958, watching games at the Polo Grounds. In fact, his father wouldn’t take him to the Polo Grounds when the Mets started playing there, as it was Giants’ turf, not Mets. That would be kind of like the SF Giants moving, and then an expansion team, say the SF House Cats, taking up residence at AT&T Park. I wouldn’t go for that, either. Anyway, after a nice chat and a short interview, he posted his musings of FanFest, including our picture and interview at the “Grubby Glove.” The article is here: http://grubbyglove.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/san-francisco-giants-fanfest/. Check out his blog, it’s an entertaining read. The man has passion.
Unfortunately, with nothing fun to do (without waiting in 3 hour lines), my impatient daughter and I high tailed it out of there before the crowd dispersed. It was enjoyable considering it was my first FanFest, and the weather couldn’t have been better. However, unless I can get a press pass for next year, this may be my last FanFest for quite some time.