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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: California Love

Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants

Willie Mays and Duke Snider before the first MLB game in California between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers

The San Francisco Giants were born during an owner’s vote on May 28, 1957. Well, they weren’t born, that distinction goes to expansion teams, more like they were allowed to exist on that May day in 1957. That day, NL owners approved the move of both the Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers out west to California.

That was the deal, though. Both teams had to move there, or neither did. Baseball wanted to keep travel problems to a minimum and having 2 teams out west made it easier for NL teams to schedule road trips. Airplane travel was just becoming normal, and before the 1958 season, there was no NL team west of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Yes, the Giants had won the World Series as recently as 1954, but attendance was lagging. In 1954, the Giants drew 1.155 million fans to the Polo Grounds. By 1956, that number had already dropped to 629,179. It was thought that fans were moving out to the suburbs and less likely to drive to the city for a ballgame. So the Giants looked to move out of the only city they ever called home. Continue reading

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: Zito’s Coors Field Shutout

zito

The 2012 baseball season had not gotten off to a good start for the San Francisco Giants. Despite racking up 23 hits and 14 runs over their first 3 games in Arizona, the Giants were looking at an 0-3 record after the first series of the young season. The Giants were good, but not good enough as all 3 games against the D-Backs were decided by just 1 run.

Heading to Colorado with fourth starter Barry Zito taking the ball did not give Giants fans hope for ending the skid. After all, this was the same Zito who Giants fans were frustrated with after he signed a 7-year $126 million dollar contract. In 5 years with the Giants, Zito amassed a 4.55 ERA and a 43-61 record in 140 starts. Things had gotten so bad that after he returned from the DL with a foot injury in late 2011, Zito pitched out of the bullpen.

He was not yet the Barry Zito of mythical status from the 2012 playoffs and birth of #RallyZito. Continue reading

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: Opening Day 2010

SF Giants Tim Lincecum delivers a pitch

Tim Lincecum

This season I will be rolling out a “This Week In San Francisco Giants History” every Wednesday. It will be fun to look back on some memorable moments in Giants history so I hope you enjoy these glimpses into the past.

April 5, 2010 – The Beginning Of A Golden Era In San Francisco

Coming off an 88 win campaign in 2009, the 2010 Giants were expected to be a competitive bunch. After all, they were returning the 2-time, back-to-back Cy Young Award winner in Tim Lincecum. Don’t forget about Pablo Sandoval either, in 2009 he finished 2nd in the NL in batting with a .330 average.

Things were looking up for the ball club heading into 2010 and Opening Day did not disappoint. The Giants began the season in Houston against the Astros. This was back when the Astros were still an NL team. 2010 was the start of a current streak of 10-straight seasons the Giants have started on the road.

Reigning Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum got the ball for the Giants and Roy Oswalt took the hill for the Astros. Continue reading

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SF Giants Opening Day 2019

San Francisco Giants Opening Day

Opening Day

 

It’s here! The 2019 San Francisco Giants season begins today in San Diego. After what seemed like an eternal offseason full of tragedy and embarrassment, we finally get to focus on the diamond and watch the Giants play baseball for the next 6 months.

Usually I try to put together some previews before the season and we generally have an idea who is on the team. This year has not been the same. I have absolutely no feel for what kind of team the Giants will be in 2019.

 

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The only certainty at this point, is Bruce Bochy is retiring after this season and I’m damn sure going to miss him. I’ll get to him before the home opener.

Farhan Zaidi has put his stamp on this team and so far that seems to mean he’s willing to tinker with everything. Last year from January through March under Bobby Evans, the Giants made 2 trades and signed 14 free agents to major or minor league contracts. This year, during that same stretch with Zaidi in charge, the Giants made 10 trades and 25 FA signings. This doesn’t even account for the handful of guys claimed off waivers and two Rule 5 picks.

This roster is fluid and will be changing all season long. The usual names are there in Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, and a few others. But this year’s Opening Day squad definitely has a few “who are these guys?” on the roster.

Is Connor Joe any good? Who knows? How about Michael Reed? Who’s Nick Vincent? Erik Kratz is the backup catcher, what happened to Aramis Garcia?

The short answer to all those questions is a shrug. I have no idea. What I have learned is that Zaidi likes to acquire depth. He’s not afraid to take a risk on player and see if he can stash them in the minors to either trade, or bring to the big club.

The Giants are a team in transition. They aren’t expected to contend for a title or even the NL West. I haven’t perused all of the “expert predictions” but I assume no one has picked the Giants to do anything of consequence.

For this fan, that’s all fine. Not every season has to be World Series or bust. It’s ok to let the team take a new direction and see where it goes. Of course without 2010, I would be screaming for a contender, but I’m still good from that.

So instead of fretting over every play, at bat, and move the Giants make this season. I’m just going to enjoy the ride. Many memories still lay ahead, even if it doesn’t end up with a trophy at the end.

Progress. Just show me progress over the course of the season. That’s all I ask of the 2019 San Francisco Giants.

We’ll be recording our season preview podcast on Monday April 1. If you missed it last year, Chad was part of a discovery of an octopus nursery off the coast of California. So he’s been busy being a superstar of the aquatic world lately. I’ll finally get him back on land to talk Giants baseball after the weekend.

Also, comment below with your 2019 Giants win predictions to have them read on our Season Preview show.

Subscribe to the podcast in all the usual places. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and like the YouTube channel for more content.

Let the games begin!

Eric

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Let’s Get This Party Started!

San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval Opening Day Torturecast

Opening Day is only 48 days away!

San Francisco Giants Opening Day is 48 short days away. That’s less than 7 weeks. Seven! Pitchers and catchers are reporting to Scottsdale next Wednesday the 13th, and full squad workouts start on Tuesday, February 19th. Cactus League play gets underway Saturday, February 23 in Tempe against the Angels.

There’s all your important dates for markers leading up to the season. The one I didn’t mention is Fan Fest, which kicks off this weekend at Oracle Park. Whoa. Typing “Oracle” instead of “AT&T” was a little weird there. Will get used to that.

Anyway, Fan Fest. That’s this weekend at Oracle Park. It’s usually the kick off point for any Giants baseball season. Continue reading

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SF Giants Super Subs

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Photo: @SFGiants Twitter

When a line drive struck the pinky of Madison Bumgarner’s left hand, there was some concern among the fan base that we’d be looking at another 2017. Even with the new additions via trade, San Francisco Giants fans were not sold that the 2018 club is a winning one.

On our season preview show, we laid out the possibility that if the Giants could just hang around .500 until Bumgarner returned, they’d have a shot at winning the NL West, and short of that a spot in the NL Wild Card crapshoot game.

Last week, with the Giants at exactly .500 (30-30), the great conquering hero Madison Bumgarner returned to the rotation against the DBacks at AT&T Park. Continue reading

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SF Giants Torture Report: Who wants to win the NL West?

San Francisco Giants vs Chicago Cubs

The San Francisco Giants currently sport a 24-26 record, good enough for third place in the tightly packed NL West. At the moment, Colorado holds first place by a half game over Arizona. The Giants are 2 games back, and LA is just another game and a half behind the Giants. That’s four teams, all within 3.5 games of each other.

The Giants have been stuck in 3rd place since beating LA on Friday, April 27. That victory moved the Giants to 12-13 and 6 games back of the DBacks. Apparently, no team wants to run away with this division. All 4 contenders in the west have struggled in May. Continue reading

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SF Giants Torture Report: Strike 3!

Evan Longoria of the San Francisco Giants with the Phillie Phanatic

@Phillies on Twitter

 

The San Francisco Giants are in a rut. After sweeping the Braves in Atlanta, the Giants lost 4-straight in Philadelphia to the Phillies. None of the games felt particularly close. The Giants were outscored 32-8 over the 4-game series, and generally looked like a team trying to hit the world’s best wiffle ball pitcher.

The Giants are back at the .500 mark, now 19-19 on the season. They are still in 3rd place, 5.5 games back of the first place DBacks and still 2.5 games up on fourth place LA. Currently, the Giants are on a 10-game road trip, and after starting 3-0, are now 3-4 after 7 games heading into Pittsburgh for Andrew McCutchen’s return.

The Giants looked like a team ready to roar through this entire trip. Continue reading

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SF Giants Torture Report: Home Sweet Home

The San Francisco Giants just finished a 7-3 home stand and now head on the road for a 3-city, 10-game trip through the east. The Giants currently have a 16-15 record, and are 5 games back of first place Arizona and just a half game back from second place Colorado.

It was a weird and wild home stand that saw the Giants give up 15 runs twice, complete a 3-run come from behind rally in the bottom of the 9th, and there was also a Panda sighting on the mound at AT&T Park.. That’s 4 series wins in a row for the Giants for the first time since June 2016.

Every single player on the roster seemed to have a hand in helping the Giants to that 7-3 record. Continue reading

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SF Giants Torture Report: Road Trip Recap

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Photo: @SFGiants Twitter

The San Francisco Giants will finally be returning home after a 3-city, 10-game road trip. The Giants finished the trip south with a 4-6 mark, and now have a 9-12 record overall. They’re in 4th place in the NL West, 6 games behind the first place Diamondbacks.

If it feels like the Giants have been on the road more than home so far this season, it’s because it’s true. The Giants have played 14 road games as opposed to only 7 at home. On the road, the Giants have posted a 6-8 record while winning only 3 of 7 at home. Still, it will be nice to have the boys back on the shores of McCovey Cove this week.

Is a 4-6 road trip considered a failure? Continue reading

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