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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Magic Number....1


3 up with 3 left.  Cain can end it Friday night.  It's his birthday, incidentally.

Hopefully it's Sanchez in game 3 of the NLDS and not Zito.  In fact, if we were to use 4 starters, Bumgarner should be the 4th.  Zito's had his best SFG season, but he should be on the back end of the playoff roster.  Our pythag has now hit 93 wins - making this tied for the fifth best team in SFG history.

How about that.

1 '62 100 pythag wins
2. '02 and '93 98 pythag wins
4. '00 97 wins
5. '97, '87, '03, '10 - 93 wins. 

Meaning - the most likely outcome is this San Francisco Giants team will break that tie and stand alone as the fifth best regular season team in SFG history.

The '62 team lost the seventh game of the World Series.
The '02 team lost the seventh game of the World Series.
The '93 team finished a game out in the west, losing on the last day of the season.
The '00 team lost in the NLDS.
The '97 team lost in the NLDS. 
The '03 team lost in the NLDS.
The '87 team lost in the NLCS.

Those are the 7 best teams in San Francisco Giants history - this team now joins them.

We finished September with a 1.78 ERA, best month for any team since Cleveland's May in '68 and the best September since the '65 Dodgers.  Our batting average against was .182, best since that same Indians team, best September since the '67 White Sox.

Edit - and holding.  Zito on Saturday.  The Reds can't catch us - if we win the division, we'll play the Braves - unless they can't hold off the Padres for the WC - in which case we'd play the Reds.  

I Pick College Football Games, Week 5, 2010

13-18-2

I've really struggled, but ripped it up last week.   I'm picking 11 games this week. 

Ok St. v. Tex AM under 66.5 (win)
BC +3 NDame (loss)
Kansas +9 Baylor (loss)
Mary v. Duke under 65 (win)
Mich v. Indiana under 65 (loss)
Miss v. Kent under 58.5 (loss)
Navy +10 Air Force (win)
NCarolina v. ECarolina under 57.5 (loss)
Rutgers -17 Tulane (loss)
USC -10 Wash (loss)
WMich +3 Idaho (loss)

3-8
16-26-2

I Pick Every NFL Game in 2010 - Week 4

Last Week's picks are here.

ATS: 24-20-4
SU 29-19

Tennessee -6.5 Denver (loss/loss)
Pitt -1 Balt (loss/loss)
Cle +3 Cinc (win/win)
Lions +14.5 GB (Pack wins game) (win/win)
Panthers +13.5 Saints (Saints win game, my suicide pick) (win/win)
Falcons -7 Niners (loss/win)
Seattle -1 Rams (loss/loss)
Bills +5.5 Jets (NY wins game) (loss/win)
Jags +7.5 Colts (Colts win game) (win/loss)
Texans -3 Oakland (win/win)
SD -8 Cards (win/win)
Wash +6 Philly (Eagles win game) (win/loss)
Bears +4 NYG (loss/loss)
Miami +1 NE (loss/loss)

ATS 7-7
31-27-4

SU 7-7
36-26

Magic Number - 3



Another big homer from Burrell.  We're 2 up with 4 left.  It's gonna happen. 

Lincecum struck out 11; leads the NL in Ks. He has the most strikeouts in his first four seasons than any pitcher in baseball history for his first four.

We have the 3rd best record in baseball since the 4th of July. The lowest September ERA since the '65 Dodgers, and the lowest September batting average against on record.

We're 92% to make the playoffs - with a 2 game advantage over the Reds, it looks like we'll get a chance to end Bobby Cox's career.  Giants/Braves, one more time.  Our pythag is up to 92 wins - same as the '89 team. 

Bumgarner this afternoon; Cain Friday night to knock out the Padres.

The 100 Greatest Players in Professional Football History: 60-51

You can get to the previous entry here.

I finish off the bottom half of the top hundred with this post, just in advance of the NFL Network reveal of same.  A week from now, when I hit the 40s, I'll probably start that post with a full recap.  But you can click the link to work your way backward if you are inclined.  I'll edit in their choices after I watch the episode.



60.Harold Jackson WR 68-83 Eagles/Rams/Patriots
-Contextualizing his numbers, the most underrated skill position player in NFL history. A better Art Monk. (NFL Net picked Jack Ham, he's still to come on my list.)

59.Tim Brown WR 88-04 Raiders
-101 career touchdowns; I have a preference, in qualitative lists like this for long careers; health is a skill, we watch player A, clearly superior to player B and cement that superiority in our brain, but 15 years later when player A has been working for ESPN for a decade and player B is still catching footballs in the playoffs, we rarely revisit that original decision. (Mike Ditka - not on my list.  I only have two TE, Newsome and the guy still to come.  I'd say Winslow and Sharpe are closest TE who didn't make it for me. I don't think I'd have another in the top 200.)

58.Night Train Lane DB 52-65 Cardinals/Lions
-26 of his 68 career picks came in 2 of his first three seasons in the league. Aeneas Williams, who would make the top 125, is his top comp. (Steve Van Buren - already appeared on my list; the historian just compared SVB to Riggins - he, Edge, Nagurski, Ottis Anderson would all make the top 200)

57.Ken Anderson QB 71-86 Bengals
-With his 12+ yards/completion and almost 60% completion percentage, Kenny Anderson should be in the HOF. (Singletary - still to come.  Only guy from that defense to make it on my list - Dent is very, very, very close.)

56.YA Tittle QB 48-64 Niners/Giants
-Niner QB number 2 on the list; 33,000 yards and 240+ TD passes (Upshaw - still to come on my list.)

55.Alan Page DL 67-81 Vikings
-the leader of the People Eaters; the Vikes are an overlooked great all time team, but they did play really badly in those title games.  Weighing those games in evaluating, say, Tarkenton's career for purposes of this list, is challenging.  (Earl Campbell - not on my list.)

54.Thurman Thomas RB 88-00 Bills
-4+ yards a carry, 9+ yards a catch – the Bills and Vikes, sitting together on the list.  As a Niner fan, I feel about the Bills and Vikes the way I do when I see a bad car accident, a shudder of empathy and a fortunate "thank god that's not me." (Forrest Gregg - already appeared on my list.)

53.Howie Long DL 81-93 Raiders
-Neil Smith is his second comp, he and Derrick Thomas would be in the top 150. (And so would Willie Lanier, who didn't make my list.  As would Bobby Bell.  A whole Chiefs thing going on.)

52.Jack Lambert LB 74-84 Steelers
-Hard to really evaluate the smaller middle linebackers absent the guys in front clogging traffic for them, but I think Lambert’s career puts him here – Butkus didn’t make the list, which will probably be the biggest discrepancy between my list and the NFL Network’s. (Eric Dickerson - still to come.)

51.Randy Moss WR 98- Vikings/Patriots
-150 career TDs and counting. 15 yards a catch. (Bart Starr - not on my list.)

That's 100-51; I'll start the countdown of the 50 greatest players in NFL history next Thursday.