NFL Supercontest Week 9

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week 8 is here. I'm 20-20

Chi +10.5 GB win
Cle +2.5 Balt win
Phil +2.5 Oak win
SD -1 Wash loss
Ind -2.5 Hou win


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #59

#60 is here.

#59 January 3 1998 Niners 38 Vikings 22

1997 was another terrific 49er regular season, 13-3 earning a home playoff game against Minnesota.

It was non-competitive; Terry Kirby rushed for 120 yards and scored twice; Ken Norton took back a Randall Cunningham pick for a score; the Niners had their way, 38-22.  The following week, for the third straight year we got bounced from the playoffs by Green Bay.

#58 is tomorrow

Athlete of the Month, October 2013

September is here.

David Ortiz. Runners-up: Hanley Ramirez, Carlos Beltran, Mike Napoli

Here's the year to date:
January - Colin Kaepernick
February - Joe Flacco
March - LeBron James
April - Justin Upton
May-Clayton Kershaw
June - Patrick Kane  
July - Andy Murray
August- Mike Trout
September - Peyton Manning
October - David Ortiz

Two months left; going to be tough to upend the presumptive winner.  

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #60

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#61 is here.

#60 September 21, 1969  Half Up, Nine Left

The Giants were a half dozen games out on July 3, but by August 3 had caught the Braves in the West and then battled for the lead the remainder of the year.

This is game 153, the Giants, who hadn't been in the playoffs since '62, needed to win to maintain a half game lead with 9 to go.  They beat the Dodgers 4-3 in 10.

With two out and no one on in the 10th, the Dodgers decided to intentionally walk Willie McCovey; the Giants followed with walks to Bobby Bonds and Ken Henderson - then scored the winning run on an error by Maury Wills.

A three walk+error walk off win against the Dodgers in 10 innings to maintain a half game division lead with 9 to go.

#59 is tomorrow.

College Football Picks - Week 10

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Last week is here. I'm 30-32-1.

Memphis +3 Cinc loss
VT -5 BC loss
NC -3 NC St win
MTenn -4 UAB loss
Idaho +11 Tex St loss
Aub -9 Ark win
SAla -3 Ark St loss


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #61

#62 is here.

#61 December 29, 1996 Playoff Shutout

The first playoff game to make the list of the 100 greatest moments in Candlestick Park history; the '96 Niners were 12-4, earning them a home playoff opener against Ty Detmer and the Eagles.  This was a slog, wind gusts up to 62 mph; the Niners got 3 picks and shut out Philadelphia 14-0. A week later the season came to an end in Green Bay.

#60 is tomorrow

A Year Ago

Monday, October 28, 2013

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #62

#63 is here.

#62 May 2 1995 5 Hours of Scoreless

I don't know how many games in MLB history have been scoreless through 14 innings.

Fewer still were rivalry games, scoreless through 14 innings, where in the top of the 15th the hated opponents scored 3 only to then have the hometown heroes score 4 to walk off winners.

This was that - it was Hideo Nomo's MLB debut for the Dodgers (one of 17 pitchers in the game). LA left a runner in scoring position in the 9th and had runners on the corners with 1 out in the 12th, but in the 15th got to Mark Dewey with three straight singles and then a two run Eric Karros double.  3-0 LA, bottom of the 15th.

The first two Giants made outs, giving San Francisco a 0.0% win probability.

Admit it, you're not still at the ballpark, right?  5 hours later on a Tuesday in May?

Jeff Reed walked.
Darren Lewis hit a two strike single.
Robby Thompson hit a game tying 3 run homer.

Barry Bonds singled.
Matt Williams doubled him home.

Giants 4 Dodgers 3

#61 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #63

Sunday, October 27, 2013

#64 is here.

#63 September 3, 1978

Through 135 games, the furthest the Giants had been out of first was 4.5 games (and that was only once) and their greatest division lead was 3 games.  San Francisco was down 2.5 coming into a doubleheader against the Phillies - and after a sweep, trailed only by 1 with 25 left to play.

Bob Kenpper threw a complete game 1, striking out 9 and walking just one.  In game two, down 2-1 in the 8th inning, Hector Cruz hit a two out, two strike, two run single to give the Giants a 3-2 lead that would be the final score.

#62 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #64

Saturday, October 26, 2013

#65 is here.

#64 June 22, 1986 Doubleheader Sweep

The Giants and Astros had been in lockstep most of the season, the furthest out of the NL West lead San Francisco had been nearly 70 games into the season was 3, the biggest lead we had was a game.

Houston had a 2.5 game lead when they came to Candlestick for a four game weekend series in late June.  The Giants took the first two, by scores of 3-1, 2-1, putting them a half game out of first place, with a chance to take over the division lead with a doubleheader sweep.

That's what happened.

Mike Krukow struck out 7, walking just one in a complete game one win; and Mike Aldrete beat out what would have been an inning ending double play in the 8th inning of game two, to allow Robby Thompson to score what turned out to be the winning run of a 3-2 Giants win.

First place, 1.5 up.

#63 is tomorrow. Spoiler alert - it's another doubleheader sweep.  Can you guess the year?

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #65

#66 is here.

#65 November 20, 1994 GOAT

The most catches the greatest player in NFL history ever had in a game - 16, for 165 yards and 3 scores, including a 4th qtr TD that moved the eventual Super Bowl Champs to 9-2 by beating the still Los Angeles Rams.

#64 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #66

Friday, October 25, 2013

#67 is here.

#66 June 24, 1993 Giants Score 17

The second best baseball team in San Francisco Giants history didn't win a World Series, but they won 103 games in '93.  This was emblematic of the dominance of that season; 17 runs and 20 hits against the Rockies. The Giants hit 5 homers; 2 by Robby Thompson who went 5-5 and also had two homers the day before.

The Giants were up 9 in the NL West - nothing but blue skies ahead.

#65 is tomorrow

NFL Supercontest Week 8

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Last week is here. I'm 17-18

St Louis +10.5 Seattle win
Minnesota +9.5 GB loss
Dallas +3.5 Detroit win
Pittsburgh -2.5 Oak loss
Ariz -2.5 Atl win

Sure, you don't think 17-18 is great.  Look at this.


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #67

#68 is here.

#67 April 14, 1964

Opening Day at Candlestick was a good time; a rare occasion to see that place filled with energized fans.

How about Juan Marichal vs. Warren Spahn on opening day? With Marichal getting a complete game win?

How about Willie Mays hitting 2 homers off of Spahn?  Where are you on that day at the Stick?

#66 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #68

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

#69 is here.

#68 December 19, 1971 NFC West Champs

'71 was Candlestick's first year for the Niners; this was the last game of the regular season - a win over the Lions and the Niners would make playoff appearances in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history.

John Brodie threw for 3 TD passes and, down in the 4th qtr, ran for the game winning TD.  San Francisco won 31-27 and were NFC Champs in their inaugural Candlestick season.

#67 is tomorrow.

College Football Picks - Week 9

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Last week is here. I'm 29-31-1.

Houston +7 Rutgers win
S Alabama -2.5 Tex St.loss


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #69

#70 is here.

#69 September 28, 1993 Giants Win 100

In late July the Giants lead on the NL West was 10 games.  Over the next 43 games, San Francisco was a respectable 24-19 - and lost the entire advantage, trailing the Braves by a game on September 11.

The deficit got as large as 4 games, but on the 28th, the Giants not only won their 7th straight and 100th game of the year, but they caught Atlanta with a 6-4 win over the Rockies.  Will Clark and Steve Scarsone both homered. A 24 year old Rod Beck pitched in every game of the winning streak and got the save here.

#68 is tomorrow

2013-14 NBA Picks

Monday, October 21, 2013

I pick Heat/Spurs every year; I'll do it one more time.  I'll put the Vegas win total in parentheses next to my projection.  


1.       Heat 57 (61.5, under, baby, Simmons goes under)
2.       Bulls 52 (56.5, so an under makes sense, Simmons says lock over)
3.       Pacers 51 (55.5, an under, Simmons says under)
4.       Nets 51 (52)
5.       Pistons 45 (40, an over, Simmons says over)
6.       Hawks 43 (39.5, so an over makes sense, Simmons went under)
7.       Knicks 42 (49.5, well under, Simmons says under)
8.       Cavs 37 (40)
9.       Wizards 37 (38.5)
10.   Raptors 35 (36)
11.   Bucks 31 (28.5, over, Simmons says over and called it a lock)
12.   Celtics 29 (28.5)
13.   Bobcats 28 (26.5)
14.   Sixers 22 (16.5, over, Simmons went under and called it a lock)
15.   Magic 23 (23.5)

1.       Spurs 58 (55.5)
2.       Clips 56 (55.5)
3.       Thunder 54 (53.5)
4.       Rockets 54 (55)
5.       Grizzlies 49 (51.5)
6.       TWolves 46 (41, over, Simmons goes under)
7.       GSW 46 (52, yes, my beloved Warriors are overrated, Simmons goes under)
8.       Nuggets 44 (46.5)
9.       Mavs 42 (43.5)
10.   Blazers 40 (38.5)
11.   Pelicans 39 (40.5)
12.   Lakers 35 (35.5)
13.   Jazz 33 (25, over, Simmons goes under)
14.   Kings 29 (32)
15.   Suns 20 (21)

2013 World Series Pick

I'll take the Cards in 5.

Assuming it's true that Allen Craig is returning, that's too many bats to handle; given how well Wacha is pitching, he teams with Wainwright to give the Cards the arm advantage too.  I don't have any rooting advantage at all in the series, but I think St Louis is the side.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #70

#71 is here.

#70 September 20, 1989 8 run comeback

The eventual NL Champs were up 5 with 11 left, so even when the Giants fell behind 7-0 in the third against the Dodgers, it wasn't a moral wound to their pennant race.

This was particularly true because the Giants had an 8 run comeback in Cincinnati just two weeks prior, and, sure enough, it happened again.

Stu Tate pitched in two major league games; this is the one he remembers; in relief with the score 7-0, he got all 8 Dodgers he faced out (LA only got one more hit after the third inning) putting the Giants in position for the comeback: 3 in the 6th (the big shot an Ernest Riles homer) but still down 7-3 headed to the 9th.

The Dodgers never got another out.  Kevin Mitchell led off with a homer; then a single by Riles, a run scoring double by Matt Williams, a run scoring Terry Kennedy single, a Chris Speier double to put men on second and third with the Giants now down 7-6; a Greg Litton pinch single to tie the game, and a Brett Butler single to win it.

#69 is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #71

Sunday, October 20, 2013

#72 is here.

#71 December 18, 1995 14/289/3

The Niners were 10-4, defending their last Super Bowl title to date, on this Monday Night game near the end of the '95 season.  Jerry Rice had the largest yardage total of any receiver in 49er history; 289 yards on 14 catches for 3 scores, and San Francisco beat Minnesota 37-30.  Steve Young finished with 425 yards passing; Dexter Carter returned a punt for a touchdown and the Niner defense sacked Warren Moon five times.

#70 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #72

Saturday, October 19, 2013

#73 is here.

#72 April 27, 1996 Bonds Hits 300th.

Most of the milestone home runs to come would be hit after the move from Candlestick, but in this win over the Marlins, Barry Bonds hit both his 300th and 301st career homer off of former Giant John Burkett.

#71 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #73

Friday, October 18, 2013

#74 is here.

#73 April 18, 1993 Two Five Run Comebacks

In 1993, the Giants and Braves were locked into the last great pennant race.  The battle started in this April game; the Braves scored 5 in the first (Dave Burba giving up only two singles as the Braves batted around). The Giants came all the way back with 3 in the second and then again in the third (Barry Bonds doubled in both innings).  Atlanta then not only retook the lead, they RETOOK the lead; the Braves scored 6 in the 4th, the big shot a 3 run Greg Olson homer off of Kevin Rogers, to go up 11-6.

And the Giants won.  1 in the 5th.  1 in the 7th. The Braves got that run back in the 8th, making it 12-8 going to the bottom of the 9th.  The Giants had a 4% win expectancy.

A leadoff walk to Darren Lewis, back to back singles by Will Clark/Matt Williams; Barry Bonds's third double of the game, and then sac flies by Robby Thompson and Todd Benzinger.  That was 4 runs, 12-12.

In the 12th, Matt Williams hit a first pitch, lead off, walk off homer against former Giant Steve Bedrosian and won the game.  Two five run comebacks and a walk off homer - and just a preview of the pennant race to follow.

#72 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #74

Thursday, October 17, 2013

#75 is here.

#74 November 21, 1988 The '88 Season Is Saved

The Niners were 6-5, had lost two straight, had no clear starter at quarterback and were facing the Super Bowl Champion Redskins on Monday Night.

John Taylor took back a punt 95 yards for a score, Joe Montana threw an 80 yard touchdown pass to Jerry Rice, the Niners won 37-21, then lost only one more game all the way through their third Super Bowl win of the decade.

#73 is tomorrow.

NFL Supercontest Week 7

Week 6 is here.  I'm 14-16.

Jets +4 NE win
Philly -3 Dallas loss
Chicago +1 Wash loss
Indy +6.5 Denver win
Cincy +2.5 Detroit win


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #75

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#76 is here.

#75 July 26, 1994 Bonds Steals 300

The 500 homer/500 stolen base club has one member, Barry Bonds.

The 400 homer/400 stolen base club has one member, Barry Bonds.

The 300/300 club is a little bigger than that, but when Bonds stole his 300th base here, there were still only three members (Mays, Dawson, and Bobby Bonds).  A year later, Barry Bonds would hit his 300th homer and join it.

The Giants blasted the Dodgers in this one; Matt Williams, who was on pace to break what was then the single season home run record, hit his 38th in front of 55,000.

#74 is tomorrow

College Football Picks - Week 8

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week 7 is here. I'm 27-28-1

Georgia -8 Vandy loss
Missouri +4 Florida win
Army +2.5 Temple loss
Wake +7 Mary win
Utah +5 Arizona loss


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #76

#77 is here.

#76 April 12, 1973 McCovey Hits 2 In 1

Why did the Giants need a new stadium?  Fewer than 4,000 paid were in attendance a week into to the season to see Willie McCovey hit two homers in the 4th inning of a win over the Astros.  Four years later, in Cincinnati, he did it again.

#75 is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #77

Monday, October 14, 2013

#78 is here.

#77 November 13, 1994 NFC Championship Preview

The biggest game in sports for a few years in the early Nineties was Niners/Cowboys.  San Francisco lost the previous 2 NFC Title games to Dallas - but in this regular season game previewed what would be a conference title win to come at season's end, beating the Cowboys 21-14. We picked Troy Aikman three times (2 by Merton Hanks) and Jerry Rice caught a 57 yard touchdown pass.

#76 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #78

Sunday, October 13, 2013

#79 is here.

#78 November 13, 1983 Dean Sacks Six

The Niners sacked Dave Wilson 9 times and picked him off twice, a half dozen of those sacks, still a 49ers record and, at that point, an NFL record, went to Fred Dean.  The Niners went to 7-4 in a season where they'd ultimately lose the NFC Championship, beating the Saints here, 27-0.

#77 is tomorrow

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #79

Saturday, October 12, 2013

#80 is here.

#79 November 19, 2012 The Kaepernick Era Begins

The 7-2 Bears came to Candlestick on a Monday night to face Colin Kaepernick in his first ever start against a 6-2-1 49er team that would go on to win the NFC.  Kaepernick threw three touchdown passes and Aldon Smith had 5 1/2 sacks, fifth most in NFL history.  The Niners outgained Chicago 249-35 in the first half of an easy 32-7 win.

#78 is tomorrow

I Watch 4 Star Wrestling Matches

Friday, October 11, 2013

Working through the backlog.  I still have nights 8 and 9 from the GI, the most recent NJPW IPPV, and BOLA.  I don't have Kenta v. Nakajima from last weekend yet, but it's the match to which I'm most looking forward.

Nakamura v. Ibushi Aug (G1 Night 4) 4 1/4
Ishii v. Shibata NJPW Aug (G1 Night 4) 4 1/4
Tanahashi v. Ishii NJPW Aug (G1Night2) 4 1/4
Goto v. Okada NJPW Aug (G1Night2) 4
Nakamura v. Suzuki NJPW Aug (G1Night 2) 4
Cole v. Elgin ROH Sept 4

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #80

#81 is here.

#80 May 1, 1973 0.0

The Giants trailed the Pirates 7-1 headed to the bottom of the ninth.  Their win expectancy was 0%

With 2 out and a man on first, McCovey and then Ed Goodson both walked.  Chris Arnold then hit a pinch hit grand slam, one of his 4 career homers.  That cut the lead to 7-5.

That only makes the Giants win expectancy 1%, by the way.

  A Gary Matthews double was then followed by walks to Dave Rader and Jim Howarth.  Bases loaded.

Bobby Bonds, who had started the inning with a walk, then hit a bases clearing game winning double and the Giants won the game 8-7.

This was a mid-week night game. There were fewer than 8,000 paid.

How many people were actually in the park to watch as improbable a comeback as ever happened in Candlestick history?

#79 is tomorrow

NFL Supercontest Week 6

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 5 is here. I'm 11-14.

Jacksonville +26.5 Denver
Arizona +11 Niners
Tennessee +13.5 Seattle
NO +2.5 NE
Philly -1.5 Tampa


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #81

#82 is here.

#81  May 26, 1966 33 Innings in Ten Days

May 26 was Juan Marichal's 10th start of the 1966 season.  Here were his first 9:

9 innings
9 innings
9 innings
9 innings
9 innings
5 innings
9 innings

His record?  7-0.  His ERA 0.76

Then came the ten days from May 17-26.

10 innings, 1 earned run
9 innings, 1 earned run

And on May 26 - Juan Marichal beat Jim Bunning and the Phillies, he struck out 10, he walked 1, he didn't give up an earned run.

And he pitched 14 innings.

That's 33 innings in 10 days.

20 strikeouts.  2 walks.  1 run.

Marichal's career dropped dramatically after the age of 31; he left his arm on the Candlestick mound.

#80 is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #82

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#83 is here.

#82 September 10, 1984 Redskin Redemption

In January, the Niners lost the NFC Championship to the Redskins (on a couple of really tough late pass interference calls).  Washington went on to win the Super Bowl; this was a Monday Night, week 2 of the following season (one in which the Niners would go 18-1 and win the Super Bowl).  San Francisco scored the first 27 points, including two Wendell Tyler touchdowns, and held on to beat the Champs 37-31. Milt McColl had three Theismann sacks.

#81 is tomorrow.

College Football Picks - Week 7

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Last week is here. I'm 21-24-1.

Arizona +6 USC loss
SD St -4 AForce win
Missouri +9 Georgia win
Ark +6.5 SCarolina loss
Georgia St. +18 Troy win
Rice +2 Tex-SA win
Mich -3 Penn St loss
FAU +13 Marshall win
Hawaii +9.5 UNLV win
Utah St +7 Boise loss


#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #83

#84 is here.

#83 July 22, 1966 Gaylord Strikes Out 15

In San Francisco history, no one ever struck out as many men on one day as did Gaylord Perry.  Here, he threw a complete 2 hit, 2 walk game against the Phillies, striking out 15.

And you also get a McCovey homer to boot.

#82 is tomorrow.

The 100 Best Players in the NBA 2013-14

Monday, October 7, 2013

ESPN is currently working through their annual Top 500 players in the NBA list.

Time for my top 100; this is just for the upcoming year, not an evaluation of overall worth going forward.

100. Chase Budinger
99. Wilson Chandler
98. Robin Lopez
97. Marcin Gortat
96. Anderson Verejao
95. David Lee
94. Lou Williams
93. Bradley Beal
92. Raymond Felton
91. OJ Mayo
90. Jared Dudley
89. John Henson
88. Mario Chalmers
87. Jonas Valanciunas
86. Rajon Rondo
85. JJ Hickson
84. David West
83. Zach Randolph
82. Matt Barnes
81. Amir Johnson
80. Jimmy Butler
79. Isaiah Thomas
78. DeAndre Jordan
77. Wes Matthews
76. Rudy Gay
75. Jeremy Lin
74. Jose Calderon
73. Enes Kanter
72. Kyle Korver
71. Chandler Parsons
70. Andre Kirilenko
69. Nikola Vucevic
68. Kevin Martin
67. Monte Ellis
66. JR Smith
65. Tobias Harris
64. Tiago Splitter
63. George Hill
62. Roy Hibbert
61. Danny Granger
60. Larry Sanders
59. Danny Green
58. Eric Bledsoe
57. Goran Dragic
56. Gordon Hayward
55. Tyson Chandler
54. Chris Bosh
53. Pau Gasol
52. Brook Lopez
51. Dirk Nowitzki

50. JaVale McGee
49. Marc Gasol
48. Jeff Teague
47. Manu Ginobli
46. Ersan Ilyasova
45. Andre Iguodala
44. Al Horford
43. Jrue Holiday
42. Al Jefferson
41. LaMarcus Aldridge
40. Brandon Jennings
39. Ricky Rubio
38. Ty Lawson
37. Damian Lillard
36. Derrick Favors
35. Greg Monroe
34. Paul Pierce
33. Kobe Bryant
32. Kawhi Leonard
31. Kenneth Faried
30. Serge Ibaka
29. Kemba Walker
28. John Wall
27. DeMarcus Cousins
26. Mike Conley
25. Paul Millsap
24. Kyle Lowry
23. Ryan Anderson
22. Tim Duncan
21. Joakim Noah

20. Andre Drummond
19. Anthony Davis
18. Russell Westbrook
17. Nicolas Batum
16. Carmello Anthony
15. Paul George
14. Josh Smith
13. Deron Williams
12. Tony Parker
11. Derrick Rose

10. Dwyane Wade
9. Blake Griffin
8. Kyrie Irving
7. Dwight Howard
6. Steph Curry
5. Kevin Love
4. James Harden
3. Chris Paul
2. Kevin Durant
1. LeBron James

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #84

#85 is here

#84 December 19, 1986 Division Title on the Line

On the last day of the 1986 regular season, the Rams, who had beaten the Niners earlier in the year, came to Candlestick with the NFC West Title on the line.  The defense held Jim Everett to a 13-35 with 3 picks and the Niners won 24-14.

#83 is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #85

Sunday, October 6, 2013

#86 is here.

#85 December 27, 1987 Sorry Ass Rams

The biggest 49er margin of victory in their most historic rivalry secured the Niners home field advantage for the playoffs.  Steve Young had three TD passes and Joe Montana 2 in the Niners 48-0 win.

#84 is tomorrow

All Time San Francisco Giants Starting 9: 2000-09

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The 90s are here.

The number is my WAR, made from combining baseball-reference and Davenport.  

C Benito Santiago 2002 2.95 
-10th best catching season yet

1B JT Snow 2004 3.25
-Tied for 20th best first base season yet

2B Jeff Kent 2000 8.15
-The two best second base seasons yet and 4 out of the top 5 were Kent's.

SS Rich Aurilia 2001 7.2
-tied for the top Shortstop season yet

3B Pablo Sandoval 2009 4.85
-sixth best third base season to date

LF Barry Bonds 2001 12.1
-Bonds finished his career with the 10 best SFG left field seasons, one short of Mays's 11 best center field seasons.  This is the best year anyone ever had in a San Francisco Giants uniform

CF Randy Winn 2005 3.55 
-18th best center field season yet

RF Ellis Burks 2000 5.05
-sixth best right field season yet

SP Tim Lincecum 2008 7.6
-Best pitching season yet by anyone not Juan Marichal

RP Robb Nen 2000 4.05
-6th best relief season yet

Bizarro Giants:
CF Marquis Grissom 2005 -1.7

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #86

#87 is here.

#86 October 18, 1992 State Champions of California

Remember Jerry Glanville?

The Falcons beat the Niners twice in '91; prompting Jerry Glanville to have made a giant "NFL California State Champions" trophy.  He then brought it to this game.

We stuck the Falcons for 56.  All scored in the first three quarters. As were 570 of our 590 yards of offense. Jerry Rice had three scores and 183 yards receiving.

A fun day at the park.

#85 is tomorrow.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #87

Friday, October 4, 2013

#88 is here.

#87 August 28, 1970 Marichal Wins 200

Like Lefty Grove, Whitey Ford, and later, Pedro Martinez, Juan Marichal won his 200th game before he lost his 100th.  This was a complete game win over the Pirates.

#86 is tomorrow.

All Time San Francisco Giants Starting 9: 1990-99

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The 80s are here.

The number is my WAR, made from combining baseball-reference and Davenport.  

C Kurt Manwaring 1993 2.9
-You've got to go all the way to tenth best through '99 to get the best catching season of the 90s.

1B Will Clark 1992 5.9
-Clark's third best as a Giant was the best of the decade.

2B Robby Thompson 1993 6.9
-The two best second basemen yet were both from the 90s, this is the best.

SS Royce Clayton 1993 3.35
-5th best shortstop season yet.

3B Matt Williams 1993 5.75
-The strike killed what would have been the best season, Williams almost reached this same level in '94.

LF Barry Bonds 1996 10.15
-Top 5 left field seasons ever as of '99 - all Bonds.  This is the best season of the decade. Bonds had the top 5 seasons of the decade.  

CF Brett Butler 1990 4.55
-Only the 15th best season for a center fielder, but the best of the decade.

RF Willie McGee 1992 1.8
-Just a black hole; why didn't Bonds win a WS?  His greatness was balanced by the zero production we got for the entire decade in right.

SP Shawn Estes 1997 4.65
-It's just the 33rd best starting pitching performance though '99 - but the best in the decade.  

RP Robb Nen 1998 5
-second best year for a Giants reliever yet

Bizarro Giants:

P Terry Mulholland 1995 -2.3
-worst Giants pitching performance yet; Mulholland and JAlou the only negative 2 WAR SFG in the 20th century

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #88

#89 is here.

#88 September 11, 1999 Barry Hits 2000

Not many of Barry Bonds's milestones occurred at Candlestick, but his 2000th hit did - a 4th inning double off Tom Glavine as part of a Giants win.

Tomorrow  #87

AL Playoff Predictions - A Giant Fan Roots for the A's

I hit both the Wild Card games and the AL knockout game - here I picked the Dodgers to come out of the NL.

Red Sox v. Rays
Tigers v. A's

Boston's got an enormous pythag advantage over the Rays, 13 wins; that isn't determinative; I've got the Dodgers beating both Atlanta and St Louis in the NL despite a similar disparity.  And I see a little bit of the Dodgers in the Rays; if Price/Moore turn out to be the Kershaw/Greinke of the AL playoffs (especially in this series, since they have a platoon split over Ortiz) that wouldn't surprise. Well, Moore would surprise a little, but for symmetry he's included even though it's Price who I'm locking on.

I've flipped on this series a couple of times; Boston (like St Louis) has the kind of depth that gets you to a 100 pythag wins..and Tampa, even with Longoria and a returning Jennings, doesn't necessarily have the same kind of Hanley Ramirez like clear difference between today and the balance of the season.

By the slightest possible lean, I'll take Price to win twice and the Rays to keep it going.

I am an unabashed A's fan; they squeeze every drop out of the talent pool available. I've never had the type of A's hatred that many of their fans have for my club (Rickey Henderson's my all time favorite non-Giant) save for a couple of seasons after they clubbed us to death in '89.  My ideal result would be an Oakland World Series win (which would also, to some extent, serve the "wake up the Giants" function that I'm looking for with a Dodger pennant).

I don't think it comes here; Detroit's my pick to win the pennant; prior to this season, Verlander has been the best pitcher in baseball for a couple of years, and he seemed to return to form late in the year.  Scherzer was second on my Cy Young ballot but will win the actual award - and if you operate on the belief that Cabrera's late season rest was largely to ready him for October, that gives the Tigers both the best arms and bat.

That would give us a Dodgers/Tigers series; I'll revisit in the unlikely event it actually occurs.

NFL Supercontest Week 5

Last week is here.

I'm 8-12 through 4 weeks.

Det +7 GB loss
Indianapolis +3 Seattle win
Philly +2.5 NYG win
Arizona +2 Carolina win
Tenn + 2.5 KC loss


All Time San Francisco Giants Starting 9: 1980-89

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The 70s are here.

The number is my WAR, made from combining baseball-reference and Davenport.  

C Bob Brenly 1984 4.4
-This becomes the second best catching season yet.  

1B Will Clark 1989 9.15
-The best season in the decade; the new best first base season yet.  

2B Joe Morgan 1982 5.3
-Morgan ties Madlock with the top second base season yet.  And he hit that homer.

SS Juan Uribe 1987 3.25
-Only the fifth best shortstop season yet; that's what happens when LeMaster "fills" the position for the first half of the decade.

3B Darrell Evans 1980 4.0
-Of the 8 best third base performances through '89, only one, this one from Evans in '80, is from this decade.

LF Kevin Mitchell 1989 7.45
-Like Clark had the best first base season yet, so did Mitch in left- no wonder we won the pennant.

CF Brett Butler 1988 6.25
-The first decade where Mays wasn't the CF; this is tied for the tenth top CF season through '89.

RF Chili Davis 1986 4.15
-The 11th best RF performance through '89 was the best of the 80s.

SP Vida Blue 1980 5.15
-Holy cow.  Do you know how many better Giants pitching performances there were from '58-'79 than this, the best Giants starting pitching performance of the entire decade?


RP Greg Minton 1982 6.45
-The new best relief performance yet.  

Bizarro Giant:

SS Johnny LeMaster 1982 1.8
Second worst Giant of the decade?  LeMaster two years before.  

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #89

#90 is here.

#89 December 6, 1984 Niners Hit the Vikes for 51

It is entirely possible that the best team in NFL history was the 1984 49ers.  At the time of this writing, no team has won more games.  The regular season high point was this 51-7 demolition of Minnesota; over 500 yards of offense, 3 Montana scores; 125 receiving yards for Renaldo Nehemiah.  It might be the most seamless performance by the team of the decade.

Tomorrow #88

NL Playoffs - A Giant Fan Roots for the Dodgers

Let's start with the prediction first.

Braves v. Dodgers
Cards v. Pirates

-The Braves were significantly better than LA, with a 9 pythag win advantage. Nonetheless, three factors have me picking LA.

1. Kershaw/Greinke

Clayton Kershaw's the best pitcher in baseball; he's a young, power arm going good right now.  He's more likely to blow through the postseason than implode.  Add Greinke, who had a terrific second half; Ryu, and a back end Jansen/Wilson combo and I just love those arms in the postseason.

2. Slumping Braves

JUpton in October is not JUpton from April; McCann and especially Uggla have fallen apart in the second half.  Note, by slump, I don't mean the last two weeks, the last two weeks of a baseball season don't provide any type of mystical momentum - I mean the entire second half of the season.

3. Puig/Hanley
-The current Dodger team of Puig and especially Hanley hasn't been the season long team - over the course of the year, Atlanta was better - but today, I think it's LA and I think they win the series.

-The Cards pythag advantage is 13 wins over the Pirates - the lineup additions of Morneau/Byrd and the corresponding Cardinal loss of Craig closes that gap a little, but not to the degree that other series is closer than the season numbers would have it appear.  The Cards were the best team in the NL over the course of the season and, to whatever degree that matters in a short series, I'd predict their victory here.

A Cards/Dodgers series would sort of test my current view of the postseason - that what you want is a stars and scrubs team.  For the long regular season, the best way to get to a hundred win pythag (like the Cards) is a deep and talented roster - but for a short series, I want the best players.  St Louis has a deeper team, but LA has the best position player (Hanley) and pitcher (Kershaw) and that's the way I'm likely to go.

I think I'm rooting for the Dodgers, which would be a matter of first impression for this lifelong Giants fan.

There are two reasons.

1. I want to suffer a little bit.

Maybe that's Puritanism; I don't feel worthy of our recent success.  My thought process is we need a wakeup call; this was a sleepy Giants season where it was decided that bringing back last year's group, with the ancient second baseman and the hole in left field would keep us competitive.  It didn't, and our initial postseason reaction (bring back Pence instead of, say, bidding for Choo) doesn't fill me with a lot of hope.

The Dodgers have a billion dollars; we've caught a break in their largely being a relatively dumb organization about maximizing that money, but my thought is a Dodger pennant might move the ball toward what I think is really needed - a San Francisco Giants understanding of the new potency of their lifelong enemy.  We need to spend more money, and given that even if that happened we'd still be at a disadvantage in the arms race, we need to become smarter about the ways we spend that money.

2. Who would I root for against Brian Wilson?

Brian Wilson's a Giant hero for life; if he's standing on the mound in Atlanta with the fans doing that moronic Tomahawk Chop - my emotional reaction won't be to root for their satisfaction at his expense.  I'll want him to win.

That calculus doesn't change much against St Louis.  If it's Dodgers/Pirates, I'm likely to prefer the downtrodden Bucs.  But Brian Wilson against teams I actively dislike - I'd rather he won.  Maybe our faces should be stuck in it. Sabean said last week he's sign Barry Zito all over again.  Last year Barry Zito made 20 million dollars and put up the worst WAR in San Francisco history.  But flags fly forever.  That's how I feel about Wilson.

College Football Picks - Week 5

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Last week is here. I'm 15-21-1.

Iowa St +9 Tex win
Navy -10.5 Air Force win
Ball St. +5.5 UVA win
Ill +10.5 Neb loss
S.Alabama +3.5 Troy win
Wash St. -1 Cal win
Tex St. +11 ULL loss
Missouri +1.5 Vandy win
Hawaii +5.5 SJ St. loss


All Time San Francisco Giants Starting 9: 1970-79

The 50s and 60s are here.

The number is my WAR, made from combining baseball-reference and Davenport.  

C Dick Dietz 1970 4.8
-Dietz surpasses Haller; this is the best catching season through '79.

1B Willie McCovey 1970 7.15
-McCovey's second best season

2B Bill Madlock 1978 5.3
-Madlock goes by Hunt; this is the new best second base season through '79.

SS Chris Speier 1972 7.2
- Speier had the three best shortstop seasons through '79.

3B Darrell Evans 1978 4.05
-The 3 best third base seasons were still in the 60s as of '79

LF Ken Henderson 1971 4
-The third best left field season through '79.

CF Willie Mays 1971 6.25
-This is Mays's 10th best SFG season.  10th.

RF Bobby Bonds 1973 8.15
-The best Giants season in the 70s.  

SP Gaylord Perry 1970 7.25
-Marichal's 4 best seasons are still above this one.

RP Gary Lavelle 1977 4.5
-new best relief season through '79

The Bizarro Giant:
P Tom Bradley 1974 -1.6

The Coin Flip Games

NL - Pittsburgh
AL - Tampa

There's no good way to predict the outcome of one major league baseball game; a 7 game series is almost entirely a crapshoot, a single game is as likely to be won by any team as any other.

If forced, you take the best arm, Price in the first knockout, now Cobb and (weirdly) Liriano.

Once we get to the final 8 I'll move through the tournament, a Dodgers/Tigers series might wind up as my final prediction.

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #90

#91 is here.

#90 September 29, 1999 The Last Night Game

It wasn't the last game, that came the following day, but it was the Giants last ever night game at Candlestick.  Bonds homered, Kent homered, and the Giants beat the Dodgers.

#89 is tomorrow.

2010 Giants video

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #91

#92 is here.

#91 July 11, 1962 Stu Miller Blown off the Mound

Willie Mays doubled home the tying run and then scored the winning run in extra innings, giving the NL the win at the first All Star Game ever held at Candlestick - and another Giant, Stu Miller, infamously got blown off the Candlestick mound.

If not for Mays, this would rank with the other All Star Game, but that Mays was the star in a close game gives this a boost.  The remaining 90 slots, spoiler alert, will be either Giants or Niners wins.  If you're looking for Leonard Marshall essentially ending Joe Montana's Niners career, that's not this list.

#90 is tomorrow.