a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

5 Decades of San Francisco Giants - The Seventies

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