We begin this edition of Odds & Ends with the San Francisco Giants postseason hopes coming to an end on Sunday with a 5-4 loss at home to the San Diego Padres. The Giants would’ve been in if they had won with Philadelphia losing to Tampa Bay earlier in the day,ending their postseason hopes and St. Louis beating Milwaukee putting their hopes on hold pending the result of the San Diego-San Francisco game. Austin Slater struck out in the ninth to end the season with a 29-31 season record.
“We fought really hard,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “We were going to do everything we possibly could to win that baseball game and get into the postseason. There’s no doubt there’s going to be disappointment.”
“Baseball happened,” said outfielder Mike Yastrzemski,who won the team’s Willie Mac award on Saturday. “That’s how the game goes. We ran into a good team and they were executing. Every time that we would punch they would punch back. They didn’t take any games off. We just fell a little bit short, there’s no rhyme or reason. Sometimes you’re playing good, sometimes you’re not. We just weren’t exactly on top of our best game the past three games.”
I’m going to be honest, before this brief season began, if you had told me this team was going to be in contention for a playoff spot on the final day of the season with a group of guys that most haven’t heard of with a manager who was regarded as a retread and an unpopular hire, I wouldn’t have believed you at all. I thought they would be lucky to win even 20 games this season. However, with 2020 being as weird as it is, it was otherwise and I think this team has a lot of positives ahead of next season going for them. They hit well, they score a lot of runs, they have good starting pitching. The positives of this team outweigh the negatives,not to mention they were fun to watch.
What do the Giants need to improve on? I think first and foremost the bullpen needs to be shored up. It was not a very good one this year and if you’re going to try and make the postseason, you need strong relief from your bullpen to make things happen in later innings in close games. I have to think that’s on the top of Farhan Zaidi’s shopping list going forward. I would also bring back as much of this roster as possible. A lot of these guys came to play this season and they’re a big part of why this team was as good as they were. Whoever is able to be brought back should be there.
Hopefully the fans will be back in 2021,too!
While the Giants were unable to end their four year playoff drought, a lot of MLB teams are doing just that. The San Diego Padres are in for the first time since 2006, the Miami Marlins for the first time since 2003, and the Chicago White Sox for the first time since 2009.
The Padres are playing their best baseball right now. They have great hitting as well as great pitching and under first year manager Jayce Tingler they’re firing on all cylinders. I wouldn’t be surprised if the men in brown and gold were to make it to Arlington for the World Series. They’re that good!
The Miami Marlins are an interesting postseason team because I don’t know very many players on that roster (I know Starling Marte, but he just got there!). This is the third playoff appearance for the team in their 28 year history. The other two times saw them win the two titles that the franchise holds. Could history repeat itself? After all,this team has yet to lose a playoff series. I guess we’ll see.
And then there’s the White Sox who have long had Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada during some very lean years. But they also have Yasmani Grandal,Edwin Encarnacion,and Jarrod Dyson. Not to mention Dallas Keuchel in their rotation. They should be an interesting team this postseason,unless they’re not.
It’s pretty neat to see these teams get into the postseason for the first time in a long time and I hope the Seattle Mariners can break their drought (19 years and counting) next season.
Back to the Giants and closer Sam Coonrod blowing a save on Friday night that cost them a key game at home and possibly a playoff spot. San Diego scored three runs in the seventh to take the win 6-5 in the second game of a twi-night doubleheader where the Padres were the designated home team at Oracle Park.
Following the game,Coonrod refused to talk to reporters about his performance. It was said that he looked like a player who didn’t want to be in that situation during his outing that night. Not to mention that the dude had an 8.16 ERA in what was probably the most important inning for this team in four years.
I personally wouldn’t have put Coonrod on the mound in such a crucial game and moment in it, I would’ve instead had Wandy Peralta in there to smooth things out and preserve the win due to his lower ERA alone, but Kapler did what he did.
What bothers me the most is Coonrod’s refusal to speak to the media after the game and instead having the veterans speak on his behalf. It’s not professional to do that. If you’re going to survive in this league, you have to be able to speak during both good and bad times. It speaks ill of your character if you’re not able to do that. I get it,the guy was hurt and was in a rough spot,but he’s a big leaguer and needs to be able to handle that in order to stick around. You can’t just dodge the press when times aren’t going so well,you have to answer up for why things happened.
Let’s move on to football and if you ask me who the favorite for MVP is at this
moment in the season, it’s none other than Russell Wilson. The ninth year Seahawks starting quarterback has this team rolling and he’s the big reason why.
In the game against the Dallas Cowboys at home on Sunday,Wilson had 315 yards and five touchdown passes in Seattle’s 38-31 win. He has his team looking great at 3-0 on the season and makes plays happen for this team.
What’s amazing to me is that he has yet to win an MVP. Sure,he’s had the Bradys and the Rodgers of the world to contend with,but he is and has been a consistently great quarterback who makes great plays game after game year after year,and beyond that,he’s a likable guy. He’s always smiling, he’s always saying “Go Hawks” after each game, and you can tell he loves what he does in that moment. If he continues to play at this level and to have his team play as well as they do, I think he’s the guy to win the award in 2020. He’s earned it.
Finally,I gotta talk about the fact that several NFL head coaches aren’t getting with the program and wearing a mask like they’re supposed to. From Kyle Shanahan to Jon Gruden to Sean Payton to Pete Carroll to Vic Fangio have been fined for not wearing masks on the sidelines as mandated by the league for all sideline personnel. All coaches have appealed these fines of $100,000. Their respective teams were also fined $250,000 as a result.
Fellas,it’s not hard to wear a mask for a three hour game. Some of us who work eight hour days at our respective jobs have to wear masks for just as long and if we can do it,so can you. I get it, you’re in a gig where you have to communicate information to others. Me too,but I have to wear what’s required of me and if I can do it at my hourly rate, you as a millionaire head coach can do it,too. Be a good American,wear a damn mask!
That’s all for Odds & Ends,we’ll see you next time!