TBOR Athlete of the Month - July (plus 1996 recap)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You can get to the previous Athletes of the Month here.

Diego Forlan

Runners-up: Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Wesley Sneijder

Forlan joins the previous 6 athletes of the month in the race for TBOR Athlete of the Year; back in '96, that winner was Michael Johnson (he also won AP Award)

January - Tommie Frazier (Brett Favre, Emmitt Smith, Larry Brown)
February - Michael Jordan (Magic Johnson, Terry Norris, Donovan Bailey)
March - Tony Delk (Tim Duncan, Mike Tyson, Allen Iverson)
April - Chris Osgood (Ken Hill, Hideo Nomo, Brady Anderson)
May - Jaromir Jagr (Barry Bonds, Dwight Gooden, Michael Jordan)
June - Michael Johnson (Oscar de la Hoya, Patrick Roy, Michael Jordan)
July - Carl Lewis (Steffi Graf, Amy Van Dyken, Kerri Strug)
August - Tiger Woods (Darryl Strawberry, John Smoltz, Rodney Peete)
September - Steffi Graf (Pete Sampras, Jake Plummer, Danny Wuerffel)
October - John Wetteland (Bernie Williams, Dennis Eckersley, Javier Lopez)
November - Evander Holyfield (John Vanbiesbrouck, Troy Davis, Brad Otton)
December - Brett Favre (Patrick Roy, Wayne Gretzky, Ron Dayne)

Five Decades of San Francisco Giants - The Nineties

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You get see '58-89 here.

All Time Bizarro SFG Team '58-89

C Barton '69
1B Cabell '81
2B Miller '75
SS Lemaster '82
3B Reitz '76
LF Gabrielson '66
CF Joshua '76
RF J. Alou '66
P Moffitt '79
Cl Johnson '72

1990 (Pythag 82-80)
C Kennedy WARP 1.2/WAR 1.4
1B Clark 3.5/3.3
2B Thompson 3.1/1.5
SS Uribe 1.4/-1.3
3B Williams 4.3/4.7
LF Mitchell 4.3/3.8
CF Butler 4.3/4.8
RF Bass -.2/-.5
P Burkett 2.5/1.4
Garrelts .8/-1
Robinson .8/.-1
Wilson 1.4/.5
Reuschel 1.1/.7
Cl Brantley 4.7/3.6

-After Maldonado's '87 we don't have another decent season out of RF for a dozen years; Uribe hit replacement level in '88 and never left - and we just scraped along with the starting rotation for a few years in this stretch.  Butler's season will hold up as our best CF year for the 90s. 

1991 (76-86)
C Decker -.2/-.5
1B Clark 6.9/4.9
2B Thompson 4.7/4.9
SS Uribe .4/.6
3B Williams 4.4/5.1
LF Mitchell 3/2.5
CF McGee 2.9/2.6
RF Bass .1/.2
P Black 1.8/1
Burkett 1.1/-.2
Wilson 3.4/2.2
McClellan -.3/-.4
Brantley 3/2.1
LaCoss -1.6/-1.5
Cl Righetti 1.4/.3

-Our first sub .500 pythag since '85; Will's season holds up as the best for any SFG 1B in the decade.

1992 (72-90)
C Manwaring 3.3/3
1B Clark 6/3.6
2B Thompson 4/3.8
SS Clayton .4/.9
3B Williams .5/1.6
LF James .4/-.2
Snyder 1.8/1
CF Lewis .3/-.7
Felder 1.2/1
RF McGee 1.9/1.7
Bass .6/.1
P Burkett -.4/-1
Black -.1/-.9
Swift 5.2/4.5
Wilson .8/-1.1
Cl Beck 3.7/2.9

-Righetti joined the 3 sub-replacement starters in having particularly bad seasons; when you take our 6 OF, their combined WAR/WARP3 was about ten - Bonds, by himself, will be over 2.5 times more valuable than all 6 combined in '93.  Hard not to just skip to '93 - but Manwaring's season and Swift's, will both hold up as tops for the decade.

1993 (98-64)
C Manwaring 3.3/2.5
1B Clark 2.1/1.4
2B Thompson 7.6/6.2
SS Clayton 4.5/2.2
3B Williams 5.9/5.6
LF Bonds 10.5/9.7
CF Lewis 2/2
RF McGee .7/1.9
P Swift 6/5.2
Burkett 3/2.3
Wilson 1.9/1.4
Black 1/.7
Jackson 1.8/1
Cl Beck 4/2.3

-Our second best team in history - I loved this team, probably my favorite SFG club ever - what can you say about a season where a borderline HOF'er like Clark is one of our worst position players.  Bonds/Williams/Thompson not only had years that positionally hold up as the best of the decade - but they sweep into the greatest SFG seasons of all time, '58-99.  This is Barry's best year in the 90s - and it passes Mays as the best season for any Giant from '58-99 - I'd argue his was the best first season for any free agent in sports history; given the distance between his year and Chris James, who he replaced in left.  To get career seasons from both Thompson and Williams in conjunction with that Bonds season - it's a club that by all rights could have won a title - you would have liked one of the other two OF to give us a little more, or a third starter to help us out a little bit, or Will to have a more representative season - but you really can't ask much more than a 98 win pythag.  The second best team in San Francisco history. 

1994 (58-57)
C Manwaring .9/.5
1B Benzinger -.9/-.8
2B Patterson .2/1.1
SS Clayton 2.4/2.6
3B Williams 6/4.5
LF Bonds 6.3/6
CF Lewis 1.1/1.1
RF McGee .1/.3
P Burkett 1.6/.8
Portugal 2.2/1.4
Swift 1.9/1.2
Vanlandingham 1/.6
Jackson 2/1.7
Cl Beck 1.8/.7

-I was less bothered by the work stoppage than one might think, even with Williams on pace to challenge Maris, I was burned out after '93 - and just couldn't muster up much energy for the chase - particularly with the Niners being on the wrong end of brutal NFC Championship game losses and about to load up for our fifth SB win.  That was a bad stretch - the disappointment of '93, the hard, hard ends to the football seasons - the breakup of my engagement, my inability to get a decent job after law school and passing the California Bar - I've said recently that this year is probably my least engaged SFG season of my life - that's untrue, it was '94.

1995 (61-83)
C Manwaring .1/.3
1B Carreon 2/2.8
2B Thompson -.6/1
SS Clayton 1.3/2.3
3B Williams 5.1/4.5
LF Bonds 9.3/7.3
CF Lewis 1.3/.6
Sanders 1.4/1.4
RF Hill .7/1.8
P Leiter 2.9/1.1
Mulholland -1.7/-2.9
Vanlandingham 1.6/.3
Portugal 1/-.4
Wilson 1/.3
Cl Beck 0/-.9

-Here's why I think I'm poison.  My first season back in San Francisco after 13 years away was '95 - in which I got to watch the 4th worst SFG club ever.  Bonds's season is the fifth best of the decade - but that's not what I want to talk about. 

The two worst seasons in San Francisco Giants history were in 1995.  Terry Mulholland and Jose Bautista are not only 1-2 in the worst SFG years of all time - they are easily 1-2; they are 1-2 with room to spare - when I get around to a separate post discussing the Bizarro Giants - it will be Mulholland and Bautista whose pictures get posted.  It was cataclysmic. 

1996 (71-91)
C Lampkin 1.5/1.2
Wilkins 1.5/1.3
1B Carreon -.4/-.2
2B Scarsone -.5/-.8
SS Aurilia -.4/.2
Dunston 1.6/1.2
3B Williams 3.3/2.7
Mueller 1.6/1.5
LF Bonds 10.9/9.4
CF Bernard 2.2/1.7
Javier 2/1.7
RF Hill 1.3/1.4
P Watson 1.9/.9
Vanlandingham -.4/-2
Gardner 1.2/-.2
Fernandez 1.2/-.2
Leiter -.3/-1.4
Cl Beck 2.8/1.1

-Barry's season was the 3rd best SFG year of the decade.  I attended more games in '96 than any year of my life, I probably saw two dozen, including my only ever home opener.  We won that one but lost most of the rest - this was tied for 5th for the worst team in SFG history - I was there 2 years, 2 of our worst ever seasons - and left again - shockingly, we started the turnaround in '97.  My eyes are poison.  Blame me. Vanlandingham's year was the tenth worst in SFG history.

1997 (80-82)
C Wilkins .6/.3
Johnson 1.6/1.1
1B Snow 1.8/2.7
2B Kent 4.5/3.9
SS Vizcaino 3.1/2.3
3B Mueller 2/2.4
LF Bonds 8.7/8
CF Hamilton .2/.3
Javier 2.5/3.4
RF Hill -.9/-.1
P Estes 5.3/4
Rueter 4/2.5
Gardner 2.3/.7
Vanlandingham .1/-.6
Alvarez .7/.2
Hernandez 2/1
Cl Beck 2.2/.4

-We outplayed our pythag, made the playoffs - and I watched us lose two crushing 1 run walk off playoff games in Miami.  I moved from San Francisco, which allowed us to begin winning just as my moving before the '82 season allowed us another exciting season in which we outplayed our pythag (I won't do this research at least not now - but it could be that the two seasons in which our record most exceeded our performance - meaning our two luckiest years - were in the two years right after I moved away.  I.  Am.  Poison.).  Barry's year was the 4th best of the decade for a Giant

1998 (91-72)
C Johnson 1.4/.8
1B Snow 1.1/.5
2B Kent 7.4/4.2
SS Aurilia 2.6/1.9
Sanchez 1.9/1.8
3B Mueller 4.3/2.8
LF Bonds 10.5/7.9
CF Hamilton .6/2.9
Bernard 1.1/1.8
RF Javier 1.1/1.7
Burks 1.1/.9
P Gardner 2.4/1.3
Hershiser 2.1/1.1
Rueter 1.7/.8
Estes -.3/-.3
Darwin -.9/-1.6
Cl Nen 6.7/3.3

-Bonds brings it in '98 - the second best SFG season of the decade; Nen's year is the best for any SFG closer in the 90s. 

1999 (85-77)
C Mayne 3.1/2
1B Snow 3.7/1.5
2B Kent 4.4/3.3
SS Aurilia 3.9/1.4
3B Mueller 2/1.6
Hayes -1.1/-.8
LF Bonds 4.8/3.6
CF Benard 2.2/1.2
RF Burks 4.1/2.6
P Ortiz 3.1/2.7
Estes 1.3/1
Rueter .5/.3
Gardner -.9/-1
Cl Nen 1.2/.4

-Burks and Aurilia's seasons take the positional titles for the decade - and Charlie Hayes slips into the worst ever SFG 3B position from '58-99. 

25 Man Roster - The 90s
C Manwaring '92
    Manwaring '93
1B Clark '91
      Clark '92
2B Thompson '93
      Kent '98
SS Clayton '93 
     Aurilia '99
3B Williams '93
      Williams '94
LF Bonds '96
     Bonds '93
CF Butler '90
      McGee '91
RF Burks '99
      McGee '92
P Swift '93
   Swift '92
   Estes '96
   Rueter '97
   Wilson '91
    Burkett '93
    Leiter '95
Cl Nen '98
     Brantley '90

Top 5 SFG seasons 1990s
1. Bonds '96
2. Bonds '93
3. Bonds '98
4. Bonds '97
5. Bonds '95

Worst Ever San Francisco Giants '58-99
C Barton '69
1B Cabell '81
2B Miller '75
SS Lemaster '82
3B Hayes '99
LF Gabrielson '66
CF Joshua '76
RF J Alou '66
P Mulholland '95
Cl Johnson '72

1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown July 18-24 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear Internet:

Here's a tip.  When Chase Bank leaves you a message about suspicious activity on your account, make sure you're able to speak to them. 

My first rent check was in the middle of July; as you may know, I've been going through the process of losing my house, my south Florida condominium complex is Ground Zero in the great housing collapse of 2008 (the condo board of directors was just dissolved after a lawsuit, currently is the..third, maybe 4th election of the past calendar year; the complex is now below both water and fire codes and had its hurricane insurance canceled) and that's resulted in my combining households with my Lady Type Friend in the most expensive move since Al Davis took the Raiders to LA. 

Simultaneously, I had to close/open a checking account, as I was unable to stop one of my no longer authorized automatic withdrawals from taking place - and that meant a new slate of checks.

Brand new checks + unusually large check written to out of state party = Chase Bank doesn't allow my check to clear.

Which, you know, isn't ideal.  On the same day, they debited my account, permitting the unauthorized transaction from the previous account to go through.

So -

1. When I wanted to pay for something - Chase wouldn't let me.
2. When I didn't want to pay for something - Chase gave them my money anyway.

My job attempted to deposit my checks (as I've been teaching extra courses for about a year and a half now, I get two checks a pay period) in my old account, which meant I also hadn't gotten paid - oh, and now in Florida, you need a certified copy of your birth certificate to get a driver's license renewal.  And it's my turn to do that, as I turn 40 2 months from today. 

That's been my week.  Here's Tendown 36.

First: In Obama's America
In the way the money quote from the Bush era was the official who told Ron Suskind that you guys still live in the "reality based community" the defining right wing oppositional comments since the election of Obama both came from the smear machine - and both were race based. 

Limbaugh: in Obama's America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering
Beck: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people

The right wing has attempted to build a simple narrative around Obama, that his election is a War on White People.  Van Jones, ACORN, The New Black Panther Party, and this week Shirley Sherrod have been part of a calculated strategy on the part of the right to feed the racial anxieties of their base - they exaggerate, manipulate, and this week, wholly fabricate this shadow world where Obama leads an effort to destroy white America.  That's why health care reform was framed in some quarters as "reparations."  The right is tapping into a deep vein of reverse racism/when are you going to stop talking about slavery/why is it okay to have an NAACP but not an organization of white people/why does Martin Luther King get his own holiday/why is there a black history month white resentment that I've been hearing from otherwise seemingly middle of the road people since the day I moved to Ohio when I was 11. 

This is a direct transcript from Limbaugh.  Yes, I went to his site to get it.  Yes, I feel slimy.  It's from early July:

We have plenty of external threats, enemies across oceans, but we have a threat inside as well. This is something that I've never felt. I never feel that we had a president actually governing against the country, against the will of the people. I know we've had liberals. Clinton and Hillary were, and are. They're pedal-to-the-metal liberals. But they didn't want to destroy things. This bunch does, and they make no bones about it -- and when destruction does happen, they don't lift a finger to fix it. So in this interview with J. Christian Adams yesterday talking about (he's a whistleblower who said the charges were demanded to be dropped, that he and his line attorneys were told to just drop the case against the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation in Philadelphia) he said that there were people in the office, DOJ, who said, "Well, you know, those people suffered the indignity of slavery, discrimination, segregation and so forth."

He said somebody else said, "This is payback," meaning, "All right, look. We don't care if it's the New Black Panthers or whoever it is. Black people in this country have never, ever had a fair shake. This is payback. O.J. Simpson was payback. How does it feel?" That word "payback" is not mine. It was J. Christian Adams quoting some people in the Department of Justice. It is exactly how I think Obama looks at the country: It's payback time. I think that he's been raised, educated, and believes on his own that this country has been (as you know) immoral and unjust. It has stolen. It's unfairly large; it's an unjustifiable superpower. We have become as large as we are not because of any uniqueness or exceptionalism or greatness but because we've simply discriminated against the real people that made the country work, all the minorities. People around the world, we've stolen their resources, and now it's payback time. That's what we're getting. J. Christian Adams had somebody in Obama's DOJ who said that regarding the dropping of charges against the New Black Panther Party in the voter intimidation case in Philadelphia. So don't doubt me. There's no question that payback is what this administration is all about, presiding over the decline of the United States of America, and doing so happily.

And that's the right wing argument.  Right there.  Obama's trying to get even.  When right wing blogs and Fox News uncritically present an edited tape this week to portray a speech where Shirley Sherrod openly discussed transcending racially motivated impules a quarter century ago - instead as Sherrod saying she used her position to discriminate against whites - they are constructing this Limbaugh narrative:

There's no question that payback is what this administration is all about, presiding over the decline of the United States of America, and doing so happily.

Glenn Beck, about Sherrod, said this week that the US had:

                           transported into 1956 except it's the other way around

And sure, with their lie exposed, you would assume we'd leave this week better understanding how much sleaze covers right wing media - but that's not the result - as former Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote this week, the response of the right has been to say it's really Obama's fault.  A decade ago, Frum coined the phrase "axis of evil" - this week, he wrote:

                                   conservatives have a unique capacity to ignore unwelcome fact

Because some will leave this week not hearing the retraction - just the initial videotape, and take away that they now have video proof that Obama officials are looking for "payback".  And some will just tune out the controversy altogether, falling back on the lazy "both sides are dirty, you can't believe anyone" type of equivalence that permits our failure to make any type of critical distinguishing. 

The Obama Administration gets health care legislation passed that leaves entirely intact the private health insurance apparatus - but the right labels it socialist.

The Obama Administration got financial reform passed, but so tepidly that Russ Feingold refused to vote for it - and Glenn Beck called it

"an unprecedented assault on our economy, our ability to do business, and quite honestly the republic as we know it."

Some believe them.  They see terrorist, Nazi, communist, racist Obama - others just label "both sides" as equally wrong.  The result's the same.  I see the US in 2010, particularly in our failure to pass even the barest climate change bill, as a 300 million strong suicide cult.  Castrated, with our new Nike Windrunners, slurping our phenobarbital laced applesauce and waiting for the Hale-Bopp comet to come and wipe us all out. 

Fox News shouts socialist while Rome burns. 

After the jump, the rest of the Tendown

Five Decades of San Francisco Giants - The Eighties

Friday, July 23, 2010

You can get to '58-79 here.

The best SFG team through '79 was the NL pennant winner in '62, unsurprisingly - it had a pythag of 100-65 - the other 90 pythag win teams:

-'63 = 90
-'65 = 91
-'67 = 93
-'68 = 90

The top 5 individual SFG seasons through '79 all belonged to Mays.

1. '65
2. '64
3. '63
4. '58
5. '62

Bringing us to 1980. 

1980 (73-88)
C May (WARP 1.6/WAR 1.6)
1B Ivie -1.1/-.3
2B Stennett -1.1/-1
SS Lemaster -2/-1.5
3B Evans4.8/3.8
LF Whitfield 1.4/.5
CF North 2.9/2.1
RF Clark 3.6/4.5
P Blue 6/4.3
   Knepper 1.4/.7
   Whitson 4/2.6
   Montefusco .1/-.3
   Ripley .5/.5
   Holland 3.6/2.9
   Griffin 2.4/2.3
Cl Minton 3.8/2.6

-Although neither was particularly extraordinary, Evans and Vida's seasons will hold up for the rest of the decade - even the good seasons at decade's end still doesn't bring about a pitching season that matched Blue's 1980.  I haven't done as well as is ideal of tracking the worst seasons, as I'll put up a companion "All Time Bad SFG Team" with my greatest ever SFG seasons post - but this LeMaster season isn't quite going to cut it.  I think the worst SFG seasons through 1980 are the following (I'll go back and check when it's all done).

C Barton '69
1B Ivie '80
2B Miller '75
SS Pagan '74
3B Reitz '76
LF Gabrielson '66
CF Joshua '76
RF J Alou '66
P Moffitt '79
Cl Johnson '72

1981 (57-54)
C May 1.9/1.3
1B Cabell -1.1/-1.5
2B Morgan 2.6/1.9
SS Lemaster -.2/.3
3B Evans 2.6/2.8
LF Herndon 2.2/1.9
CF Martin -.4/-1
RF Clark 2.7/3
P Alexander 4.6/3.3
Griffin 1.4/.7
Blue 4/3
Whitson .7/.3
Ripley .4/.1
Cl Minton 2.6/1.4

-Cabell supplants Ivie, from just the previous year, as the worst 1B season in SFG history.  I'm gonna go back right now and run through the worst seasons to see if I've missed one.  I did.  It's accurate now as the worst San Francisco Giants through '80.  No, it's not an accident that I start thinking of the worst Giants ever as opposed to the best when we get to the late 70s and I become a Giants fan.  There were easier teams to root for.

1982 (79-83)
C May 1.6/2.6
1B Smith 2.9/2.6
2B Morgan 5.8/4.8
SS Lemaster -1.1/-2.5
3B O'Malley .7/.7
3B Evans 3.2/2.1
LF Leonard -.1/-.8
CF Davis 2.3/1.7
RF Clark 4.1/3.7
P Laskey 4.8/3.6
Hammaker 1.5/.6
Gale 1.1/.4
Martin -.5/-.9
Lavelle 4/2.4
Breining 3/2
Barr 2.2/2.1
Cl Minton 7.4/5.5

-'82 was fun, the Niners had won the Super Bowl in January, and for much of the season it sort of seemed as if the Giants had a similar shot - we outplayed our pythag and were in it until the final weekend - this was the Joe Morgan year knocking off the Dodgers, my favorite baseball moment to that point.  Morgan's season holds up as the best for a Giants 2B in the 80s - and knocks off Madlock's to be the best from '58-'89 - and right next to him is LeMaster - and his '82 not only moves him past Pagan as the worst SFG SS season to that date - but this is the worst season for any SFG through the '82 season.  Morgan's giving us our best 2B season and right next to him Lemaster has the worst season for any Giant in their history to that date.  Our best player in '82 was Minton - his is the best season for a Giants closer in the 80s, the best season for a Giants closer from '58-89, and the fifth best SFG season overall for any Giant in the decade. 

1983 (80-82)
C Brenly 2.6/1
1B Evans 6.1/3.8
2B Wellman -1.1/-.7
SS Lemaster .5/.7
3B O'Malley 1/0
LF Leonard 2.2/3.2
CF Davis 1.4/1.3
RF Clark 4.4/3.6
Youngblood 2.4/1.9
P Breining 2.5/1.5
Krukow 2/1.3
Hammaker 5/4.2
Laskey 1.3/.7
Davis 1.4/1.2
Cl Minton 1.7/.7

-Did Bill Laskey die this year?  Am I making that up?  I think so, yeah.  Who am I confusing for Bill Laskey?

1984 (69-93)
C Brenly 5.3/3.5
1B Oliver -.2/-1.2
2B Trillo .5/.5
SS Lemaster .4/-1.5
3B Youngblood -.9/-.4
LF Leonard 3.7/3.1
CFGladden 3.8/3.1
Davis 4.8/4.9
RF Clark 2.5/2.4
P Laskey 1.3/.7
Krukow .1/0
Davis -1.1/-1.1
Robinson .2/.1
Lavelle 3.3/2.5
Cl Minton 1.7/.6

-It falls through the floor here - the worst SFG team to date is when I'm 13, 1984 (and then the next year is even worse) at the time the Niners are building the definitive NFL dynasty of a generation, the Giants are playing their worst ever baseball in front of league worst attendance.  Brenly is the note here - his '84 is our best catcher season of the 80s.

1985 (67-95)
C Brenly 2.1/.6
1B Green -.4/-.5
2B Trillo 0/.9
SS Uribe .3/1
3B Brown 2.7/2.7
LF Leonard -.9/-1.2
CF Gladden -.2/.9
RF Davis 3.9/2.6
P LaPoint 2.6/1.4
Krukow 4.3/3.3
Hammaker 1.7/.8
Gott 2/1.5
Cl Garrelts 3.5/2.1

-My house burned down in '85.  Included in that destruction was my 1970 team autographed ball.  Wasn't as bad as watching this team lose every day. 

1986 (90-72)
C Brenly 3.6/3
1B Clark 3.5/2
2B Thompson 3.6/3.1
SS Uribe 2.9/2.1
3B Brown 2.2/3
LF Leonard 1/1.3
CF Gladden 3.2/3.2
RF Davis 4.4/3.9
P Krukow 4.7/3.2
LaCoss 1.3/.5
Blue 2.1/1.1
Downs 1.8/1.4
Mason -.7/-.8
Cl Garrelts 3.4/1.9

-And then it got better - Clark and Thompson came up, we didn't play to our pythag - but that 90 win mark makes this the best SFG club of my lifetime to that date (and then a year later - it got better).  '85 was bottom, '86 was the year it turned around.  A couple more arms would have been useful - really in the entire decade, there wasn't a SFG club that didn't cry out for a legit ace.

1987 (93-69)
C Brenly 4.6/3
1B Clark 5.4/4
Aldrete 3.8/4.3.2
2B Thompson 2.1/1.2
SS Uribe 3.6/2.9
Speier 1.8/2.1
3B Mitchell 2.7/2.8
LF Leonard .3/.7
CF Davis .9/1.4
RF Maldonado 1.6/2.7
P Downs 2.9/1.7
LaCoss 2.3/1.3
Hammaker 2.7/1.8
Krukow .3/-.6
Dravecky 2.6/1.7
J. Robinson 2.8/1.5
D. Robinson 2/1
Cl Garrelts 3/1.6

-Our best team of the decade, our best team since the '67 Giants had a 93 win pythag, but only Uribe's '87 holds up as the best positional season of the decade - note that Speier, whose '72 campaign was the best season for any SFG SS from '58-89, solidly backed up in '87.  I would think a 93 win pythag without a single player having a 5.0 WARP3 is rare - and without a single pitcher hitting 3.0 is less common than that.

1988 (86-76)
C Melvin .9/.8
1B Clark 8.4/6.3
2B Thompson 3.5/3.4
SS Uribe 1.7/1
3B Mitchell 3.8/2.3
Riles 1.8/2.1
LF Aldrete 1.9/1.1
CF Butler 5.9/6.6
RF Maldonado .5/-.6
P Reuschel 4.9/3.3
Downs 2.5/1.8
Krukow 1.4/1.1
Lacoss .6/.2
Robinson 3.2/2.5
Cl Garrelts .5/-.3

-We were carried by Clark and Butler in '88, Butler's season is the best for any CF in the 80s - the 4th best overall season for any SFG in the decade - and Clark's season is the 3rd best for any SFG in the decade, although it won't hold up as the best 1B year, 'cause the pennant is right around the corner. 

1989 (92-70)
C Kennedy 2.1/1.2
1B Clark 9.8/8.5
2B Thompson 4.6/5.9
SS Uribe 2.8/.2
Williams 1.2/2.7
3B Riles 1.7/1.8
LF Mitchell 8.1/6.8
CF Butler 4.7/1.8
RF Maldonado 1.1/.7
P Reuschel 3.9/2.7
Robinson 2.3/1.8
Garrelts 4.5/3.9
Downs -1.2/-1.2
Cl Lefferts 1.6/.5

-The two best SFG seasons of the decade led us to our first pennant since '62; Clark/Mitch went 1-2 in best SFG performances of the 80s.  That makes 3 of 4 seasons with 90+ pythag wins, the best stretch of SFG baseball since the early 60s. 

1980s 25 Man Roster
C Brenly '84
    Brenly '87
1B Clark '89
      Clark '88
2B Morgan '82
     Thompson '89
SS Uribe '87
      Uribe '86
3B Evans '80
      Mitchell '88
LF Mitchell '89
      Leonard '84
CF Butler '88
      Davis '84
RF Davis '86
      Clark '80
P Blue '80
   Hammaker '83
   Reuschel '88
   Laskey '82
   Krukow '86
   Alexander '81
   Krukow '85
Cl Minton '82
     Minton '80

All Time Bizarro SFG Team '58-89
C Barton '69
1B Cabell '81
2B Miller '75
SS Lemaster '82
3B Reitz '76
LF Gabrielson '66
CF Joshua '76
RF J. Alou '66
P Moffitt '79
Cl Johnson '72

Top 5 1980s SFG seasons
1. Clark '89
2. Mitchell '89
3. Clark '88
4. Butler '88
5. Minton '82

Top 5 SFG Seasons '58-89
1. Mays '65
2. Mays '64
3. Mays '63
4. Mays '58
5. Mays '62

Bottom 5 SFG Seasons '58-89
1. LeMaster '82
2. Moffitt '79
3. D'AcQuisto '75
4. J Fisher '63
5. Bryant '74

1st and Five - The Weekly Tendown, Halfdown Edition. July 11-17 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dear Internet:

It's Tendown 35.  It's a Double Rainbow!

First - Don't Read George Allen's Book

George Allen wrote a book using sports as a metaphor for how right wing principles (which the right enjoys labeling as "American" or "founding" principles, in an attempt to elevate their ideology above politics) should drive government:

What Washington Can Learn From the World of Sports

I didn't read it, but what I did was watch Allen's Book TV lecture this week; so now you won't have to read it either. 

Allen prefaces the 4 part outline of his discussion by saying that sports are a meritocracy; the best win, the worst lose, competition drives all to be better - which is unlike the way "Washington" works (Allen used "Washington" or "government" as opposed to saying the Obama Administration or the Democratically controlled Congress, which has, again, the benefit of facially being beyond politics, but relies on his audience forgetting the right wing domination of the federal government for most of the past 30 years; sort of like Mitt Romney saying at the RNC convention in '08 that we needed to elect McCain/Palin to finally get those liberals out of power) which is to attempt to assure everyone equal outcomes, like a sprint where we all hit the finish line holding hands at the same time.

In 2007, the wealthiest one percent of Americans had almost a full 25% of all American income, the highest percentage (not coincidentally) since 1928, just before the Great Depression, our only economic collapse in over a hundred years worse than the one we're currently in - as Robert Reich points out:

But starting in the late 1970s, and with increasing fervor over the next three decades, government did just the opposite. It deregulated and privatized. It increased the cost of public higher education and cut public transportation. It shredded safety nets. It halved the top income tax rate from the range of 70–90 percent that prevailed during the 1950s and '60s to 28–40 percent; it allowed many of the nation's rich to treat their income as capital gains subject to no more than 15 percent tax and escape inheritance taxes altogether. At the same time, America boosted sales and payroll taxes, both of which have taken a bigger chunk out of the pay of the middle class and the poor than of the well-off.

Companies were allowed to slash jobs and wages, cut benefits and shift risks to employees (from you-can-count-on-it pensions to do-it-yourself 401(k)s, from good health coverage to soaring premiums and deductibles). They busted unions and threatened employees who tried to organize. The biggest companies went global with no more loyalty or connection to the United States than a GPS device. Washington deregulated Wall Street while insuring it against major losses, turning finance—which until recently had been the servant of American industry—into its master, demanding short-term profits over long-term growth and raking in an ever larger portion of the nation's profits. And nothing was done to impede CEO salaries from skyrocketing to more than 300 times that of the typical worker (from thirty times during the Great Prosperity of the 1950s and '60s), while the pay of financial executives and traders rose into the stratosphere.

But the right wing - in the midst of this - predicates it's tea-party anger on some mythical US federal government engineering the economy to ensure we all "hold hands at the same time."  George Allen's book could be called "Let Them Eat Cake" and not be further removed from reality. 
His four part lecture online, which I assume is captured to some extent, in his book:

A. Don't Punt on First Down
B. Fans Don't Pay to Watch the Referees
C. Defense Wins Championships
D. Home Field Advantage

A - Don't Punt on First Down was Allen's Drill Baby Drill section - we have natural resources that we are intentionally not exploiting, and instead mistakenly investing in alternative energy. As a percentage of GDP, you won't be surprised that the US spends less than Spain, China, and Britain in alternative energy r&d; and just a month ago, the Bill Gates fronted American Energy Innovation Council issued a report calling for the federal government to triple the amount of money we spend on energy innovation.  But Allen considers that punting on first down, so perhaps now they will reconsider.

Meanwhile, here's a piece about BP.

B. - Fans Don't Pay to Watch the Referees - this is Allen's call for a flat tax; the argument of course being that our punitive taxation restrains productivity. This was a bad, dumb week to be a right winger on taxation. In arguing that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be made permanent, Jon Kyl and Mitch McConnell argued that it's only spending increases, such as extending unemployment insurance benefits, which need to be paid for via an offsetting spending cut - whereas tax cuts "pay for themselves" and therefore don't have a similar requirement.  Here's McConnell:

"That's been the majority Republican view for some time," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told TPMDC this afternoon after the weekly GOP press conference. "That there's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. So I think what Senator Kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every Republican on that subject."

As Krugman pointed out this week, this is in direct contradiction of the facts.  But as we know, the "view(s) of virtually every Republican" on that as well as most subjects, don't so much rely on facts. 

C. Defense Wins Championships - this is Allen's warning that we need to make sure to keep the military budget high.  As Sarah Palin wrote recently, Allen expressed concern that our current desire to cut the federal deficit (remember - only costs, like unemployment benefits matter - but not revenues, like taxes on people making over a quarter million dollars a year - that's right wing math on the deficit) might lead to a mistaken reduction in military spending when, to the contrary, we should increase our committment to missle defense.

Here's the discretionary budget for 2011; the Pentagon budget, projected at over 700 billion dollars, is more than all of our discretionary spending programs combined.  In real dollars, our military budget has doubled since 1998; even if you factored out our two endless Middle Eastern wars, the military still accounts for 42% of spending, and we've spent 700 billion in Iraq alone to date.   But that's right wing math too - it's not all spending that adds to the deficit, just domestic spending that actually aids the lives of regular Americans. 

D - Home Field Advantage - that's Allen's call for states rights; the federal government's usurped too much state power, don't you know - and we need to reverse that.

I mean, presumably not when it comes to guns - as the Supreme Court's ruled that federal 2nd Amendment protection of individual gun owners trumps local gun regulations - and then there was Bush v. Gore when the Supreme Court used the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause to stop the Florida Supreme Court's application of Florida law in permitting a hand vote recount - or when California passes laws legalizing medical marijuana or Oregon legalizes euthanasia, or, as happened just this month, the federal court in Massachussets says the Defense of Marriage Act intrudes into an area of state sovereignty in regulating against gay marriage.  But the rest of those times (at least when a Democrat is in the White House) those are the times we want "home field advantage". 

Thanks for playing, Governor.

After the jump, the rest of the Tendown.  Another halfdown edition.  Nature of my schedule.

Our Long National (League) Nightmare is Over - Plus, More LeBron James Talk.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I was 25 the last time the National League won the All-Star Game; my Lady Type Friend was approaching her senior year of high school.  High school!  She was in third grade when I graduated (Louie CKs sitcom this week had an element with his sleeping with a woman who liked that he was so old, his skin so loose, his smell like something dying - he'd say "I was born in 1967!  I paid 3 dollars to go to the movies!"  And it would really get her going.  I hope that isn't the position in which I find myself).

I turn 40 in a couple of months.  But thanks to Brian McCann, Game 1 of the 2010 World Series will be played in San Francisco.

I can't hear you, I have my fingers in my ears.  I'm sure you're making some sort of relevant point, but the National League finally won the All-Star game and I'm still enjoying that.  Sure, somehow even with 34 man rosters the game turned on the pitching performances of a couple of middle relievers (yes, Kuo has had a good year, he's on my NL fantasy team - but no you should not take middle relievers, in almost every circumstance, to the All-Star Game - they aren't as good or as valuable as starters - how often do failed set up men become solid starters?  Take Roy Oswalt, leave Evan Meek at home) but the NL won and I'm a lifelong NL fan and this pleased me and I remain pleased.

Now - to the other thing - in Tendown 34 I talked about the reaction to LeBron James through a class based labor/management lens, discussing the sports media/fans as tools of the corporate state.  I also referenced a subordinate observation, the racial element of seeing white men set fire to a black man's jersey.  That part of it, less noteworthy to me at the time, drew a response - and since Jesse Jackson then stepped into the same spot this week, but with a significantly bigger hammer than I felt needed to be swung, I thought I'd amplify.  I did so in the comment box -- but it wouldn't let me write to the extent that I wanted to, so I put up some introductory thoughts in comments and now here we are.

Sports provides a forum for fans (disproportionately white males of a working/middle class) to vent emotions they are socially constrained from venting. There are multiple ways in which that manifests - but one of those ways, in my view - is the..cathartic release of white males in screaming at or engaging in mock violent displays about young black men. That doesn't mean white men don't get angry at white athletes, but the quickness to anger, the level of outrage that white fans demonstrate at the behavior of black athletes seems, across the board, disproportionate to the actions of those athletes (like Joe Buck screaming about Randy Moss's fake mooning at Lambeau Field). There are diaries of American servicemen from the Philippines a little over a hundred years ago, talking with a frankness that one does not get to hear anymore, about how it was fun to kill Filipinos, sort of like getting to kill deer but better.  That doesn't mean every serviceman took/takes a little pleasure from getting to inflict violence on someone who isn't quite seen as fully human as is he, but it also doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  I see a subtextual undercurrent to that initial round jersey burning (the specific form of behavior to which I referred) it gives a channeling to a racial anger which can't be given voice in other places. I have been in stadiums, heard sports call in shows - where there was a particular brand of venom that dripped from white voices aimed at black players, and I would argue this type of emotion has a racial element.  I've lived as a white sports fan a long time; I have heard taunts that were facially neutral (about performance, let's say) from white men aimed at black men - that struck me as bathed in something extra.  Doesn't mean it's everyone - but I don't think it's just three guys in Row 365 either. 

That quickness to outrage comes from multiple sources - the one Jackson used is loaded and just hard to have a reasonable conversation about race once you use it - but the idea is the one I wrote about, whites can feel betrayed when blacks who they feel they have chosen to elevate sbove the rest then leave them. Again, back to diaries, slaveholders of escaped slaves would write about their personal betrayal - and with real pain and passion would write, usually the woman of the house "why would Bob leave us, we treated him so well, it is a knife to my heart" when a slave would leave. There is, I'd suggest, an element of white sports fandom who views the black millionaires whose jerseys they wear as the fortunate beneficiaries of their generosity, "hey, I pay your salary, without me you'd be working at McDonalds". And then if there is a felt betrayal of that generosity - that card of white acceptance is pulled and pulled with feelings of hurt "with all we did for you, this is the thanks we get."

Again, it's not the dominant way I see the story. I'm more interested in the same sorts of impulses told through a prism of class, which is why I didn't do this type of amplification in the initial post (that and I'm about a half second from parking Tendown on the side of the road given the demands of my current courseload and the doubling/tripling of class size in the past couple of quarters) I assigned to the racial element the subordinate position I'd argue it deserved. I don't think every Cavalier fan upset that LeBron James is going to Miami is a racist, which is why I didn't say it. I don't think that having racial elements to a Cavs fan's reaction necessarily means that Cavs fan is racist. I'd be upset if I were a Cavalier fan - which is why I specifically referenced my own incidents of sports fan betrayal.

Finally - a thought experiment, as a commenter referenced that Larry Bird would have received a similar reaction had he left Boston.

If Larry Bird leaves the Celtics and a black owner of the Celtics writes a letter calling him a "coward", 'cause that's the word that was used, - and black Celtics fans start burning Larry Bird jerseys, because that's the action that took place - is there a racial element to that story? Do white sports fans see that and say "no racial element there at all - nope, nothing to see there"? Does anyone really believe we don't have a national conversation about race in the aftermath of watching young black men setting fire to an iconic white athlete's jersey, over and over again? 

1st and Five: The Weekly Halfdown July 4-10 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dear Internet:

So - whose career is more over?  Lindsay's...or Mel Gibson's?  They played that tape, Mel.  That's a life sentence in the entertainment penitentiary.  I won't say no possibility of parole; Mel made lots of money for lots of years for lots of people; life is long and the rehab centers are open 24/7; but it's a Charles Manson situation; he's got a swastika carved in his virtual head now; I wouldn't expect to see too many repeats of Lethal Weapon 3 on TBS in the coming years. 

I sort of like Lindsay's defiance.  I mean, it's presumably chemically fueled and has landed her in prison, but metaphorically and now, literally, she has been telling the world to screw off for several years.  I'd like to do that; I can't afford to do that, but I'd gain emotional satisfaction from doing that.  And from leaving my underwear at home.  That would also be good. 

But instead of that - Tendown 34.

First - Everything Ends, and Usually Badly, Otherwise it Wouldn't end.

I went to high school, undergrad, and law school in northern Ohio.  I finished up when I was 24 and had a decision to make.  I could stay "at home" - or I could move to a place where I would prefer to be.  Someplace warmer, perhaps. 

That's the first place where I walk into the LeBron James discussion.  Cleveland doesn't own him; he's a 25 year old man with options and wants to live somewhere other than Ohio.  String him up.  Chris Bosh left Toronto this week, but yet the Raptor owner was somehow able to contain his need to call it a cowardly betrayal. Dan Gilbert, who has spent years profiting from the labor of James, decided to label a free agent signing with another team as deserting a region. 

Curt Flood was 40 years ago; we don't assign athletes based on region like Lou Gehrig walking from Columbia to Yankee Stadium anymore.  Is he obligated to work in Cleveland the rest of his life because he went to high school in northern Ohio?  At what point in his life would LeBron James deciding he wanted to work outside of Ohio not be "desertion." 

I'm guessing it's not too many years from now.  Shaq's unemployed today, negotiating (or maybe he's signed, no one really cares) witht he Atlanta Hawks - not too many years ago he was the best basketball player in the world and more famous than LeBron is today.  Now, maybe he's going to backup Zaza Pachuilia or maybe he's not, I'm not really sure.  When its the team showing the athlete the door - that's just part of doing business.  When it's the athlete who leaves - it's disloyalty. 

Because while the lyrics of Gilbert's letter are asinine, we get the music - right - he's losing the best basketball player in the world, and that's a good sized loss.  I'd never burn a jersey, but as a 49er fan I felt upset when TO engineered his way out of town, as a SFG fan I remember Brett Butler hugging Tommy Lasorda after signing with the Dodgers.  He became the enemy - I didn't call it a "cowardly betrayal" and didn't write anything as cryptically stupid as:

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

...but that's how sports works - LeBron benefits from the hyperbolic, frenzied way in which we treat sports stars and this is the flip side of it.  The fans burning his jersey today were calling him King James a week ago.  The TV special is largely a red herring - Dan Gilbert has spent years making money off of an image of LeBron James as a species slightly above human; I'm guessing you wouldn't have to look too hard around his offices to find images of James in a crown elevated above his royal subjects - but last Thursday was "narcissistic self promotion"?

I think the word that is most revealing is the word "self" - because last Thursday was a ratings bonanza for ESPN and Gilbert couldn't make a dime.  And more broadly - a common complaint I heard about the James free agency tour was something like "who does LeBron think he is, acting all big?"

From grumpy old man Buzz Bissinger to usually class conscious lefty sportswriter Dave Zirin, I heard sports media over and over decry the process - why can't LeBron just do this like everyone else, why does it have to be a spectacle - Kevin Durant just signed an extension with Oklahoma City and no one noticed - why does James (quoting Bissinger) make the NBA executives "grovel" in these negotiations?

The main prism through which I see this issue is one of labor and management.  Sports media and sports fans, conditioned to slavishly worship the power relationships of the corporate state - recoil from the idea that labor ever calls the shots.  They heard about a "free agent summit" of the top players and started talking about collusion - they see James and Wade, the two best players in the NBA, leveraging their power and grow uneasy at best and angry at worst. 

Who do those guys think they are?  Just sign your contract and go back to work. 

We dislike empowered labor.  We are a country who has watched its percentage of unionized workers decrease rapidly at exactly the same time that the distance between executive pay and the pay of average workers has exploded exponentially - and instead of being outraged about that - the people who take the streets complain about imaginary socialism.  Give us less power, they shout.  Don't restrain our corporate masters in any way. 

Every single professional sports labor situation of my life - every lockout, strike, work stoppage - has seen the bulk of sports media/fans side reflexively with management.  We are held captive by our own slave mindset, and when we see James, not as defiant as Lindsay Lohan's fingernails - but nonethless utilizing the power that he has to say, I want to play in Miami, I want to play with Wade and Bosh - we see that use of power and we burn him in effigy because of it. 

(there's a racial element to this too - Ohio isn't Mississippi and Cleveland, Ohio isn't like some of the parts of Ohio where I've spent some time - but there sure are a lot of white fans burning a black man's jersey - I remember watching the vicious reaction that Barry Bonds went through in places like Houston - where an overwhelmingly white, southern crowd supporting what had been a World Series team without a single African-American player, angrily taunted an African-American superstar in ways that other players similarly accused of steroid use have never gone through.   It's not the dominant prism through which I see the story, but to what extent does Ohio embrace young black men who aren't LeBron James - seeing the reaction of the fans, the reaction of the owner - knowing what we know about the world - is it really a shock that a young, wealthy, famous African-American man might prefer South Beach to Ohio?  There is another layer of anger that is revealed when a black man who had been totally accepted into a white world does something to get that acceptance revoked.) 

At bottom, what we say we want from athletes is to do whatever they can to win titles.  We say it over and over.  Kevin Garnett stayed for years in Minnesota and heard these whispers - "maybe he is too comfortable losing, maybe it doesn't burn inside him - maybe he just likes being the big fish in the small pond instead of really trying to go for it."  Kobe Bryant ran Shaquille O'Neal out of LA - they could have won a couple of more titles - but Kobe, so the narrative went, wanted selfishly to be the man - to be the reason why the Lakers won.  Winning wasn't enough for Kobe - remember that tag - he has to be Jordan, he has to be the main man, the reason why they win.  Selfish, selfish Kobe.

So, here's LeBron James - choosing to go to Miami, where Wade is already entrenched, already a championship winner, already a guy who is the second best player in the NBA.  Going to live where he'd prefer to live, play with who he'd prefer to play with, and going where his chances to win titles are absolutely maximized.

And we kill him for it.

I live in south Florida; I'm a Warriors fan but have historically been sort of warm on the Heat - I rooted for Timmy Hardaway when he was down here; I've always liked Georgetown basketball - the whole John Thompson/Patrick Ewing mystique, so I rooted for Alonzo Mourning during his career too.

So, I'm on board.  I hope they win every year (I mean, except for the years the Warriors win - we got David Lee!  And Steph Curry - and Biedrins, and Monte!  It's all gonna happen!  GSW!  GSW! GSW!).

Go Heat.

After the jump - an offisides aided Fivedown!

5 Decades of San Francisco Giants - The Seventies

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Part One is here.

Things took a bad turn in the 70s.  I blame myself.

1970 (Pythag 81-81)
C Dietz WARP 5.4/WAR 4.2
1B McCovey 8.1/6.2
2B Hunt 1.9/.9
SS Lanier -.7/-2.2
3B Gallagher .2/.6
LF Henderson 4.1/3.8
CF Mays 4.6/4.9
RF Bonds 6.5/5.1
P Perry 7.9/6.6
   Marichal 2.4/1.8
   Robertson .8/.8
   Pitlock 1/.5
Cl McMahon 4.4/2.9

-I was born at the close of what was, to that point, our worst ever season.  Gaylord's best ever SFG year was '70 - and this is going to hold up as not just our best pitching season of the decade - but this is the top overall season by any 70s Giant. Another top year belonged to Dietz; this is the best catching season, not just of the 70s, but he passed Haller to be the best catching year for SFG from '58-'79.  Mays rebounded a bit from '69; McCovey held his value - putting up what would remain the best season for a first baseman in the decade and our fourth best season overall in the 70s.  Lanier/Gallagher were replacement value. 

1971 (88-74)
C Dietz 4.2/3.5
1B McCovey 3.6/2.8
2B Fuentes 3/1.3
SS Speier 3.9/2.3
3B Gallagher .9/2
LF Henderson 4/4
CF Mays 6.5/6
RF Bonds 6.1/6.4
OF Kingman .9/1
P Perry 3.4/.5
   Marichal 4.1/2.2
   Bryant .6/.1
   Stone -.1/-.5
   Carrithers -.6/-.8
   Cumberland 3/2.3
Cl Johnson 2.2/.7

-A moment about Willie Mays.  This was Mays's last season as a full time Giant regular; he was 40 years old.  Every time a guy hangs on too long, Mays is used as an example of how you don't want to tarnish your legacy by doing so.  40 year old Wille Mays not only was the best San Francico Giant in 1971 - his season holds up as the best by a CF in the decade.  Ken Henderson had his best ever SFG season - and it also will hold up for the rest of the decade.  Not a lot from the arms in '71, 3/5 of the rotation was replacement value.

1972 (79-76)
C Rader -.6/1.4
1B McCovey -.4/-.6
2B Fuentes 2.2/.9
SS Speier 8.5/5.9
3B Gallagher -.1/-.8
LF Henderson 2.7/2.8
CF Maddox 1.2/1.7
RF Bonds 5/5
OF Kingman 1.9/1.4
P Bryant 4/2.6
   Marichal .7/.1
   McDowell .2/-.8
   Stone 2.1/1.3
   Reberger .6/.3
   Barr 3.6/2.9
   Willoughby 3/2.7
Cl Johnson -1/-1.3

-Chris Speier's 1972 was the best season for a SFG shortstop from '58-79 and by a wide margin; in fact, it was the second best overall season for any Giant in the decade.  He needed it to be - just a handful of ABs from Mays; replacement value from McCovey and Marichal - the heroes of the 60s fell hard in '72.

1973 (85-77)
C Rader 1/-.3
1B McCovey 4.9/3
2B Fuentes 3.4/2.5
SS Speier 4.9/.9
3B Goodson 1.9/1.3
LF Matthews 2.9/3.2
CF Maddox 3.2/4.5
RF Bonds 8.6/7.7
OF Kingman 1.3/1.5
P Bryant 3.9/3.3
   Barr 3.4/2.7
   Bradley 2.7/2.1
   Marichal 2.3/1.2
   Moffitt 3/2.7
   McMahon 2.1/1.4
Cl Sosa 2.5/1.7

-Bobby Bonds's best SFG season; the best for any RF from '58-79, and our 3rd best overall season of the 70s.  Other than Rader, no one is terrible, and '73 trailed just '71 as our best campaigns of the decade.

1974 (71-91)
C Rader .9/1
1B Kingman .1/.4
2B Fuentes 0/-.6
SS Speier 5.1/2.7
3B Ontiveros .6/.6
LF Matthews 3.4/2.9
CF Maddox .7/1.1
RF Bonds 4.8/4.4
P Barr 6.4/6.2
   D'Acquisto 2/2.5
   Caldwell 3.2/3.2
   Bradley -1.7/-1.5
   Bryant -2.3/2.3
Cl Moffitt .9/.1

-And now it gets ugly - we're drawing half a million, last in the NL and looking to move to Denver or Toronto; the only guy in the entire infield who isn't lousy is Speier.  I'm glad I was only three years old.

1975 (79-82)
C Rader 1.2/.8
1B Montanez .7/.4
2B Thomas 2.4/1.6
SS Speier 5.3/4
3B Ontiveros 1.6/1.1
LF Matthews 2.9/3
CF Joshua 3.2/2
RF Murcer 1.8/1.1
IF Miller -1.3/-1.1
P Barr 5.2/5.6
   Montefusco 5.3/6.2
   Falcone .7/.6
   Caldwell -.5/-.9
   Halicki 1.3/2.3
   Lavelle 2.1/1.9
   Williams 1.7/1.5
   Heaverlo 1.7/1.9
Cl Moffitt 1/.7

-This looks like an expansion team, right?  Steve Ontiveros and Von Joshua and Dave Rader and Willie Montanez?  The arms keep us near .500.  Bobby Bonds was underappreciated, he was our best player from '68-'74, solid every single season.  Gone in '75. 

1976 (71-91)
C Rader .4/-.1
1B Evans .8/.2
2B Perez 1.3/.3
SS Speier 1.2/-.3
3B Reitz -1.3/-.5
LF Matthews 1.8/2
CF Herndon .5/.5
RF Murcer 3.9/1.9
CF Joshua -1.3/-1.4
P Montefusco 7.5/6.2
   Barr 6.2/5.1
   Halicki 3.4/2.1
   Dressler -.5/-.9
   D'Acquisto -.3/-1
   Lavelle 4.2/2.6
   Williams 1.2/1.4
Cl Moffitt 3.4/2.3

-Wow that is a bad, bad, bad offensive baseball team.  If not for Montefusco (the fifth best overall season of the decade) and Barr we lose a hundred games.  Look at that infield.  Everyone replacement level.  Evans with his .6 WARP3 has the best year - that might be as bad an infield as you'll find. 

1977 (75-87)
C Hill .5/1.1
1B McCovey 1.3/1.1
2B Andrews .4/-.3
SS Foli .4/-1
3B Madlock 1.1/.9
LF Evans 1.5/1.2
CF Thomas 1.7/1
RF Clark 1.5/2.4
Uti Thomasson 2.2/2.6
P Halicki 7.1/5.4
   Barr 2.5/.4
   Knepper 4.1/3.1
   Montefusco 2.2/1.1
   Heaverlo 2.2/1.7
Cl Lavelle 5.3/3.7

-I don't specifically recall any baseball games until the '77 Series, but this is the first season I recall self-identifying as a Giants fan - I think McCovey's return created enough of a ripple that it connected in my head - but it wouldn't be until '78 that I'd go to Candlestick and really start to feel an emotional connection on a daily, continuous basis with the Giants - this year, I think (2010) is the year that circumstance has sort of caused my following the lightest amount, maybe ever since I was seven years old.  Lavelle's year was the best for a Giants closer from '58-79.

1978 (83-79)
C Hill 1.9/.8
1B McCovey -.3/-.8
2B Madlock 6/4.6
SS LeMaster 0.4/.7
3B Evans 4.5/3.6
LF Whitfield 1.5/1.6
CF Herndon 0/.6
RF Clark 6.6/5.7
1B Ivie 2/2.4
SS Metzger -.2/-1
P Knepper 7.4/5.5
   Blue 7.3/6
   Montefusco 2.2/1.2
   Halicki 4.3/3.1
   Barr 2.4/1.1
Cl Lavelle 1.7/.6

-Our pythag is much lower than the actual win total, which had us looking like contenders into September; the play of McCovey (which wasn't good, but he was in the lineup - I recall a "who should get the At Bats - McCovey or Ivie" debate on which I was solidly in the McCovey camp - kicking it old school like all seven year old kids do.  I was wrong, Ivie was better) and more importantly, the resurgent Vida Blue, who has been a Strassburgian level Bay Area phenom just a few years previous - led to some electricity around the bacllclub (demonstrated by the huge attendance jump) and that probably connected with my 7 year old brain (and I first went to the ballpark in '78 - I recall using my grandfather's binoculors to find Vida in the dugout, as he was not pitching) in exactly the right way.  Madlock's season is the best second base year for the entire period thusfar, '58-'79 - so it made all the sense in the world to deal him the following season.  Evans had the best season for a third baseman in the decade. 

1979 (73-89)
C Littlejohn-.9/-.3
1B McCovey -.1/0
2B Strain .1/0
SS LeMaster .6/.7
3B Evans 3.6/2.3
LF Whitfield 1.5/1.6
CF North 3.2/2.3
RF Clark 2.4/3.3
1B Ivie 3.3/2.7
P Blue -.1/-1.1
   Knepper 1.4/.5
   Montefusco 2/1.3
   Halicki -.6/-1.1
   Minton 2.6/1.6
Cl Lavelle 4.8/2.8

1970s 25 Man Roster 
C Dietz '70
    Dietz '71
1B McCovey '70
     McCovey '73
2B Madlock '78
     Fuentes '73
SS Speier '72
     Speier '74
3B Evans '78
      Evans '79
LF Henderson '71
      Henderson '70
CF Mays '71
      Mays '70
RF Bonds '73
      Bonds '71
P Perry '70
   Montefusco '76
   Blue '78
   Knepper '78
   Barr '74   
   Halicki '77
   Montefusco '75
Cl Lavelle '77
     Lavelle '79

1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown June 27-July 3 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dear Internet:

Can't really complain about a week that saw the ends of both Mel Gibson's  and Michael Steele's careers.   All it will take is one leak of the Gibson tape and he moves to a hole from which he'll never climb; and Steele - Steele finally got something right - the United States isn't going to win the war in Afghanistan, and, one assumes it's going to cost him his job.  Telling the truth = not the best idea for a Republican in 2010. 

Lets do some Tendown 33

First: I Gave At the Office

I've written multiple times this week; here was my final selection for the 2010 MLB All Star Game; here was the first part of my five part look at the history of the San Francisco Giants (by WARP3 and WAR), and from the other place here was the final chapter in the road to counterfactual Summer Slam 2009.

Which means that's all the writing I do for the week.  Oh, sure, I could slap some links up - making fun of the right wing - talking about the four star wrestling matches I saw (From Big Japan in May - Takashi Sasaki & Yuko Miyamoto vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yoshihito Sasaki 4 1/4) and then I shut it down.  You don't want to read my baseball lists or the largest piece of wrestling fan fiction ever written in the history of the world - I got nothing for you this week.

I got nothing else!  Go away!  I gave at the office!

The other thing that happened was I finished my move; my Lady Type Friend and I are out of our old houses and now the 7 of us (5 of us are four-legged) are cohabitating.  Were I, in a Joan Didion type of way, to ever write a book about my 2010, I might entitle it ...And then My Glasses Snapped Clean in Half as that happened this week; in a year where I've already lost both my house and a parent; and had to increase my course load to 7 days a week to pay the monthly bills while my average class size doubled - I finished off a multi-month search for a house, and a back breaking move by simply pushing my glasses back from the bridge of my nose and watching them snap into pieces in my hands.  I stared disbelieving at my Lady Type Friend, "this is not a real thing that just happened, right - it just can't be that I'm holding my glasses right now."

But here we sit Sunday morning.  Move done.  Glasses fixed.  I've got to finish my preparation for the new academic quarter (starting online in 12 and a half hours - and in the classroom Tuesday) and the combination of all of the above factors is the most important thing that happened this week. 

Fine.  You're not gonna leave.  Fine. After the jump - the rest of the Tendown.

5 Decades of San Francisco Giants - The Sixties

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I'm going through every San Francisco Giants club ever.  By WARP/WAR (B-Ref version) here's the first decade of Giants baseball (including the 2 years from the 50s).  I guess the idea would be to see who had the best positional seasons ever and select the all time Giants by position.  I made a run at this a couple of years ago.

Edit - it's 2012, time for an update.  I'm going to use the Davenport WARP numbers. 

1958 (Pythag Wins Normalized for 162 game season: 84)
C Schmidt WARP 1.5/WAR 1.4
1B Cepeda 3.8/2.7
2B O'Connell 1.5/.9
SS Spencer 4.7/3
3B Davenport .7/1.1
LF Sauer 0/.5
CF Mays 9.1/10(8 wins is an MVPQuality season)
RF Kirkland .2/.4
OF Wagner 1.3/1.8
OF F Alou .7/1.1
P Antonelli 5.4/3.7(4.6 win season)
   Gomez 2/1.1
   McCormick .7/-.3
   Miller 4.7/4.8(4.6 win season)
   Worthington 2.1/1.2
Cl Grissom .3/-.3

-Modest though it is, that initial campaign by Spencer will remain the Giants best season from a shortstop throughout the rest of this look at the 60s.  This Mays season is the 4th best overall by a Giant in the 60s (guess who has the top three?)

1959 (91)
C Landrith 2.3/1.3
1B Cepeda 5.6/3.4(4.5 wins)
2B Spencer 3.1/2
SS Bressoud 1/2.6
3B Davenport -.5/1.5
LF Brandt 2/1.2
CF Mays 6.5/7.4(7 wins)
RF Kirkland 2/2.9
1B McCovey 4.1/3
SS Rodgers .9/1.1
LF Wagner .8/.5
RF F Alou .6/1
P Antonelli 6.1/4.5(5.3 win season)
   Jones 6.9/4.9(5.9 wins, our best pitched season to that date)
   McCormick 1/.2
   Sanford 4.2/2.9
Cl Miller 2.8/2

-Sam Jones and Antonelli are a solid 1-2 in McCovey's rookie year - and it'll be a decade before someone has a better second base season than Spencer.  Hell of a pythag - 20 games over .500

1960 (85)
C Schmidt 1.1/.4
1B McCovey 1.6/1.6
2B Blasingame .9/1.2
SS Bressoud .9/1.5
3B Davenport .7/.9
LF Cepeda 3.9/3.9
CF Mays 7.6/9.2(Mays's second MVPQ season in SFG)
RF Kirkland 1.7/2.9
2B Amalfitano 1.2/1.6
LF F Alou .1/1.2
P McCormick 7.4/5(6.2 wins)
   Jones 2.8/1.1
   Sanford 1.8/.6
   O'Dell 4.2/3
   Marichal 2/1.7
Cl Antonelli 1.8/.7

-Until '63, this McCormick season was the best pitched year in SFG history. 

1961 (93)
C Bailey 1.2/1.5
1B McCovey 2.2/2.4
2B Amalfitano .5/.2
SS Pagan -.5/.8
3B Davenport 3.1/2.6
LF Kuenn .6/.5
CF Mays 8.1/8.4(Third MVPQ season)
RF F Alou 2.3/2.6
LF Cepeda 6.6/5.4(6 win season)
P  McCormick 5.6/4.1(4.9 wins)
    Sanford 2.2/1.3
    Marichal 2.2/1.1
    Loes .6/-.3
 Cl Miller 4.4/3.2

-Cepeda split his time between left and first in that "how can we have a team with both he and McCovey - just too many bats!" conundrum the Giants were in.  But for these purposes we'll call him a left fielder and say this was the best LF season of the Giants in the 60s. 

1962 (100-65)
C Haller 4/3.4
1B Cepeda 5.8/2.9
2B Hiller 2.6/2.5
SS Pagan .8/2.2
3B Davenport 3.4/4.6
LF Kuenn 2.5/2.2
CF Mays 10.7/10.2
RF F. Alou 4/5
C Bailey 2/1.8
LF McCovey 2.9/1.8
RF M Alou .4/.9
P O'Dell 3.5/2.6
   Sanford 4.5/2.9
   Marichal 4.5/4
   Pierce 3.2/2.5
   McCormick -.7/-1
   Perry -.4/-.5
Cl Miller .2/-.3

Through the first 5 years in San Francisco - here's the all time team.
C Haller ('62)
1B Cepeda ('59)
2B Hiller ('62)
SS Spencer ('58)
3B Davenport ('62)
LF Cepeda ('61)
CF Mays ('62)
RF Alou ('62)
P McCormick ('60)

-Mays' 5th best season of the decade led the pace for the best Giants team of the time period; a hundred pythag wins and the first of only three pennants we've won to the date of this writing. 

1963 (90-62)
C Bailey 3.2/3.2
1B Cepeda 7/5.2(new best 1B season)
2B Hiller -.4/-.9
SS Pagan -.4/.5
3B Davenport -.4/.5
LF McCovey 6.1/6(new best LF season)
CF Mays 11.3/10.2(new best CF season)
RF F Alou 4.6/4.8(new best RF season)
C Haller 2.7/2.6
P Marichal 9.1/7.8(new best pitching season)
   Sanford 3.7/2.5
   O'Dell 3.8/2.9
   Larsen 1.5/1
   Duffalo 1.4/1
Cl Pierce 0/0

-The 3rd best overall season of the 60s, it's Mays in '63 - this is a real stars/scrubs team, look at all the production from Cepeda/McCovey/Marichal and then look at the rest of the infield - Hiller is sub replacement level and Pagan/Davenport aren't any better.  Not hard to see where upgrades could have been made in '63.  This is all time frustrating "why didn't they fill those holes" team.

1964 (89-73)
C Haller 3.2/2.8
1B Cepeda 4.1/4.2
2B Lanier 2.7/.7
SS Pagan -1.4/-1.3
3B Hart 5.1/4.9(new best 3B season)
LF McCovey .5/-.3
CF Mays 11.2/10.7(new best CF season)
RF J Alou -.3/0
LF Kuenn -1/-.4
CF Snider -.6/-.7
RF M Alou -.1/.5
P Marichal 7/5.8
   Bolin 2.7/2.4
   Hendley 2.2/1.5
   Herbel 2.2/1.5
   Sanford 1.8/1.5
   Perry 5.6/4.8
   Duffalo 1.6/1.3
   Pierce 1.4/1.6
Cl Shaw .5/.2

-Best season of the decade for Mays; the best third base season until Hart passes it himself in '66; the best pitching season as of this point was Marichal's the year before - this was second.  Pagan and Jesus Alou both below replacement. 

1965 (91-71)
C Haller 2.9/2.3
1B McCovey 5.4/5.5
2B Lanier -.4/-1.1
SS Schofield -.4/-.5
3B Hart 3/3.2
LF Gabrielson 1.5/1.3
CF Mays 10.9/10.9
RF J. Alou 1.2/2
RF M Alou -.9/-1.1
P Marichal 11.4/10.1(new best pitched season)
   Shaw 5/4.7
   Perry .5/-.2
   Sanford .1/-.4
   Spahn .7/.5
   Bolin 5.1/4.3
   Herbel 1.1/.7
   Murakami 1.1/1
Cl Linzy 4.6/3.9

-19 bleeping 65.  91 pythag wins is really good - but look what happened here, the second best season overall in the decade (Mays) the best pitching season of the decade (Marichal) - add in the best season for a closer in the decade (Linzy) and you'd like to play in the postseason.  But Schofield's sub replacement, Lanier is at the line, the two Alou's continue to most pointless of all sports dynasties.  But Cepeda got hurt and there's Gabrielson/Peterson giving us nothing in left (while the Alou's give us less than that in right).  Hard not to look in hindsight at '65 as one that got away.

1966 (86-75)
C Haller 2.4/3.2
1B McCovey 8.4/5.7(new best 1B season)
2B Lanier .3/-.7
SS Fuentes 1.3/.6
3B Hart 4.9/6.4(best 3b season)
LF Gabrielson -1.9/-.1.1
CF Mays 8/8.8
RF Brown -2/-.9
3B Davenport .8/1.1
RF J Alou -2.9/-2
P Marichal 10.6/9.5
   Perry 6.1/4.7
   Bolin 4.8/4.3
   Herbel -.1/-.8
   Sadecki -1.4/-1.6
   McDaniel 2.3/1.4
Cl Linzy 2.2/1.2

-You cant really look at this Mays season and see slippage, but this is just an ordinary great player year as opposed to an all-time season - and '66 becomes the first year that Mays wasn't the best player on the club (Marichal). It's the second best pitching season of the era - and the best third base season, as Hart continued his solid play - it was also, to that date, the best first base year, as McCovey starts to gear up now - and so does Perry as the number two starter.  But look at the corner OF - they're sub replacement and so are their backups.  Add the replacement level middle infielders and you can really see the picture of mid 60s Giants baseball forming - MVP seasons in Mays/Marichal - really solid supporting work led by McCovey - and then some terrible baseball by most of the rest of the lineup.

1967 (93-69)
C Haller 4.3/3.7(best catching season)
1B McCovey 6.3/4.9
2B Fuentes 1.8/1.2
SS Lanier 2.4/1.7
3B Hart 4.8/5.6
LF J Alou -1.3/0.2
CF Mays 3.8/4.2
RF Brown -.3/1.5
C Dietz 1/.5
    Hiatt 1.4/1.5
3B Davenport 3.1/3.4
LF Cline .2/1.1
CF Henderson -.1/-1.1
P Perry 6.4/5.1
   McCormick 5.9/3.9
   Marichal 3.2/2
   Sadecki 4/3.1
Cl Linzy 4.5/3.2

10 years Down.  Here's the All Time SFG Team:
C Haller '67
1B McCovey '66
2B Hiller '62
SS Spencer '58
3B Hart '66
LF McCovey '63
CF Mays '64
RF Alou '63
P Marichal '65
Cl Linzy '65

-Catching has never been a SFG strong suit, but Haller had some good enough years; this was the best - the best catching season in the 60s.  More importantly - even though he finished 3rd in the MVP vote, we see the Mays decline; the best Giant in '67 was Gaylord, Jim Ray Hart was second, McCovey third and then Mays - they all had similar good, solid, but unspectacular seasons - '67 is the year Mays became just another good guy, on what was the second best Giants team of the decade.

1968  (90-72)
C Dietz 1.2/1
1B McCovey 6.9/6.9
2B Hunt 5.7/4.6(best second base season)
SS Lanier 1.3/-.2
3B Hart 2.9/2.7
LF Cline -1.6/-.1
CF Mays 6.4/6.1
RF J Alou -1.4/-.9
C Hiatt 2.1/1.7
3B Davenport -.3/.1
RF Bo. Bonds 1.9/2.8
P Marichal 7.3/5.4
   Perry 6.3/4.7
   Sadecki 3.2/2.2
   McCormick -.3/-.4
   Bolin 5.3/4.5
Cl Linzy 2.5/1.8

-Hunt joins the club - and look, a middle infielder who can actually play - this is the best second base season of the decade.  Mays rebounds a bit, but it's McCovey, who, by a narrow margin beats him out for best player - and, of course,we have sub replacement value corner outfielders in Alou and Cline - but Bobby Bonds, in part time, gives us a glimpse.

1969 (89-73)
C Dietz 2.5/1.9
1B McCovey 8.2/7.9(best 1B season)
2B Hunt 4.4/4.1
SS Lanier 1.6/.6
3B Davenport -.1/-.4
LF Marshall -1.1/-.6
CF Mays 1.9/3
RF Bonds 5.6/6.3(best RF season)
C Hiatt 2.3/1.6
SS Fuentes 1/1.4
P Perry 7.6/6.2
   Marichal 9.3/7.5
   McCormick 3.3/2.4
   Bolin -.1/-.2
   Sadecki .6/0
Cl Linzy .6/.7

-There's no doubt as the decade closes - McCovey's the best player, this is the best first base season of the decade - Mays is behind Marichal (the third best pitching season of the decade, all by him), Perry (his best season of the decade), Bonds (with the best RF season of the decade), and even Hunt.  Davenport gets back his starting job 5 years after turning it over to Hart - and he and the LF Marshall are sub replacement.

Here's the SFG 25 Man Roster for the 50s/60s.
C Haller '67
    Haller '62
1B McCovey '69
     McCovey '66
2B Hunt '68
     Hunt '69
SS Spencer '58
      Lanier '67
3B Hart '66
      Hart '67
LF McCovey '63
     Cepeda '61
CF Mays '64
      Mays '65
RF Bonds '69 
    F.Alou '63
P Marichal '65
   Marichal '66
   Marichal '63
   Marichal '69
   Marichal '64
   Perry '69
   Marichal '68
Cl Linzy '65
    Linzy '67

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