We begin Odds & Ends this week with the San Francisco Giants being eliminated by the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night in one of the worst,if not the worst,collapse I’ve seen in some time.
The Giants held a 5-2 lead in Game 4 when Derek Law was called upon to close out the game after starter Matt Moore allowed only two hits and one run and threw eight quality innings and 120 pitches. Law was pulled after one batter. Same with Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez. Will Smith entered and gave up a game-tying hit to Wilson Contreras. Hunter Strickland allowed the go-ahead run to score before an inning-ending double play. The Cubs went on to win 6-5.
This was the first time the Giants had been eliminated in a playoff series since the 2003 National League Divisional Series against the Florida Marlins.
I was watching the game at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim and every mistake the team made was a punch in the gut and it was happening to not just me,but my friends at the table who are Giants fans and the fans watching along with me. I honestly haven’t seen such a bad collapse in a game by this team since the 2002 World Series. I honestly think that Bruce Bochy was making the wrong bullpen decisions and maybe even going to the bullpen in the first place wasn’t so wise. In all honesty,though, this loss is the entire metaphor of the team’s season. Sure,we all expected more from them,especially after the first half that they had which resulted in having the best record in all of baseball and Johnny Cueto starting for the National League in the All-Star Game. The second half was as abysmal as it could get and while I am thankful the team got a playoff appearance out of it, the way they went out was awful.
In the wake of the team’s elimination, the Giants firing first base coach Billy Hayes and third base coach Roberto Kelly on Thursday. Hayes was in his 17th year with the team,Kelly was in his ninth.
“We feel we need to grow our leadership on the field in terms of how we approach our base running and our overall efforts first-to-third, second-to-home,” general manager Bobby Evans said. “We want to look at some different leadership there and we feel like we can get stronger.”
Per FanGraphs, the Giants ranked 10th in the National League in BsR, a metric that tracks work on the bases. They were dead last in a division where games are typically not won with power. Kelly was in hot water all season long and had many high profile mistakes in regards to when to send a runner home and when not to. Hayes was also rumoured to be gone as the team is looking for new voices in the coaching staff.
The team is expected to look in-house for those new voices.
I hate seeing anyone lose their job,but I understand why the Giants made these moves. Kelly was not the most viable choice to replace the now-retired Tim Flannery. I think he had more than enough time to grow into the role of third base coach and there were quite a few games that might have been lost because of those mistakes he made on the hot corner. As for Hayes, he was sending guys to steal that shouldn’t have been going. Too many guys were getting thrown out that should’ve stayed put in the first place. I don’t know who will replace these two men,but I hope they understand how vital their roles are in the outcome of a game,especially when the team itself doesn’t get on base very much.
The Giants’ top priority going into the 2017 season needs to be,in my view, to get a reliable,shut-down closer and honestly,they need to bust out the checkbook.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans expressed that the team “will explore every opportunity to make sure no ninth inning goes unstaffed.”
“We have every commitment for 2017 to return to a championship-caliber club,” Giants CEO Baer said. “Resources will be expended as necessary to get us there.”
The team led all of baseball with the most blown saves and had the opportunity to remedy that at the trade deadline and failed. They did acquire Will Smith,who some thought might be the next closer,but he was seldom used in such a role. Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon and Aroldis Chapman (the latter two were guys the Giants failed to land at the deadline) are eligible for free agency and Wade Davis could also be made available if the Royals decline his option.
I truly hope that words of Evans and Baer in terms of their commitment to bring the right players here ring true,especially the right closer who the team feels confident in to close out a game,as well as somebody the fans have peace of mind with having on the mound in that final inning. Santiago Casilla was not that guy,far from it. Honestly,having him on the mound probably gave the players a lot of doubt that they would hang on to win many nights,I know it had that effect on fans.
I do think the Giants will land a closer as they are a team that prides itself on having excellent pitching and if you don’t have that for the ninth inning,forget about it.
Are we one step closer to seeing the Las Vegas Raiders?
Both houses of the Nevada Legislature passed a bill to put $750 million in hotel tax money toward the funding for a new stadium to used by the Raiders. Governor Brian Sandoval is expected to sign the bill today.
NFL owners will conduct their fall meetings in Houston this week to discuss both sides of the issue. The Raiders can’t file for relocation until after the December meetings in Dallas,which many expect owner Mark Davis to do just like he did last year when he tried to move his team to Los Angeles.
“…When I came into the league 23 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have supported a team being in Las Vegas,” influential Patriots owner Robert Kraft told NFL Network on Sunday. “I think the way things have evolved and the way things are at with the internet and access that everyone has to everything, I think this would be a positive move for the Raiders if they can’t stay in their home territory.”
While it’s a big step for the Raiders to get a new stadium and a new city, it’s not over yet. There’s always time for Oakland to try and get something worked out even though there is no urgency to do that,at least for the Raiders (more on that in a moment). Also,they have to get support from 24 of the 32 owners in the league which may not be so easy. Are they closer to leaving? They are. Is it happening yet? Not at all. We still have a long way to go with this. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, some are wondering why Oakland hasn’t been stepping up to get the Raiders to stay. Probably because the mayor of Oakland,Libby Schaaf, is busy with efforts in trying to keep the Oakland A’s in town with a stadium of their own.
According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, Schaaf has stated that keeping the A’s “is her first priority. She’d like to keep both teams but baseball is her first priority, and I think that’s a good spot for baseball to be in.”
The A’s are examining various sites in Oakland to build a new home, including but not limited to the current Coliseum site as well as the Howard Terminal.
Honestly it doesn’t surprise me that the A’s are the first priority. The Warriors are on their way out of town once the Chase Center is completed in San Francisco, the Raiders have the wheels in motion to get to Las Vegas,therefore leaving Oakland as the team that’s more likely to stay. Not to mention they have 81 home dates per year that can bring a lot of revenue to the team and the city if a new home is built. Fans are going to come out for a new stadium to see the new building and to see perhaps a more successful product on the field if the A’s ever decide to change their frugal ways.
I think you’re going to see the A’s with a new stadium deal in Oakland a hell of a lot sooner than the Raiders ever do. It’s just how priorities goes.
Back to football and I have a bone to pick with the San Diego Chargers’ Color Rush uniforms: Why didn’t you guys make these in powder blue?
Not that I like the Color Rush uniform concept,because I really don’t. I think they’re awful looking and I think it’s a stunt to try and get fans to buy more jerseys that cost way too much money,but since the Chargers were playing on Thursday night, they decided to not wear the only color they should be wearing.
I’ve expressed for a while that their best uniforms are the ones the rarely wear and those are their powder blue jerseys. They are one of the best uniforms in football history and some argue they are the best. But for some reason the Spanos family,who has owned the team since 1984, won’t revert back to the classic look insisting on wearing navy blue and yellow the majority of the time.
If the Chargers ever get the hint,they should return to the powder blue and yellow jerseys with the white helmets and the number on the side and the lightning bolt on the side of the pants. That’s a first class football uniform and something the Spanos family doesn’t understand.
I have a question for the Sacramento Kings: Why are you only showing one preseason game on television?
In a day and age where teams have a shitload of money and some even with their own cable networks to air games,the Kings have decided,for some reason,not to televise their exhibition match-ups that not every fan can go to. Also, fans want to see what kind of team is going to be on the floor and get the first taste of that and the starting point is the preseason and the only ones who get to see anything regarding the team are the people who cover the team and the wealthy people in the stands of the Golden 1 Center.
In contrast, the Lakers had an exhibition game on live television on Tuesday night and I saw it with my very own four eyes at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim (Yes,the same place and the same night I saw the Giants choke their postseason away). If the Lakers can get their games on television,why can’t the Kings? To me,it’s a slap in the face to a huge part of the fan base who wants to see what this team is made up of so they can draw their own conclusions in regards to how they feel the season is going to go. Instead, we have to go off of what happened last season and what happened in the offseason instead of having the game broadcast on one of the 900-plus channels that exist in the cable/satellite universe. If the team wants to be more inclusive with their fan base, they should televise every game,whether it’s an exhibition game or a game that actually counts.
Join us again next time for another edition of Odds & Ends!
Leave a Reply