Has McCovey Chronicles really been around for five seasons now? It seems like just yesterday that we were all hitting the Refresh button on our browsers and sifting through Gameday Threads with 200 comments. Now jponry and Natto combine for that many during "The Bruce Bochy Show."
Through it all, the one constant has been our site overlord. Grant makes us laugh. Grant makes us cry. Grant makes us think. Grant shares our fury at the lack of offense. Grant is, in a word, brilliant. And yes, I'm staring at a spinning disc as I type these words of praise.
Rockies fans Purple Row trolls know that when Grant tells the McCoven to jump, we reply, how high? Then someone replies, "109" or "BORK" or something like that.
My wedding is this weekend, so I'm using my final fanpost as a single nerd to declare today Grant Appreciation Day. Let us look back on some of his finest moments from the first winning Giants season in blog history, aka "2009: Where? In this thing?" Many Bothans died to bring us these words and pictures, so please show your respect in the comments below.
The Giants have scored a combined one run over the last three Opening Days. I'll accept only one run from the lineup today if it comes on an inside-the-park home run from Bengie Molina. That would be seven different kinds of awesome, though it would probably have to involve Corey Hart leaving the field on a stretcher, and the goose he tripped over would probably have to be euthanized, so maybe we should just root for the Giants to score more than one run instead.
4/10: Nothing to add.
Dan Haren: Wow, that's a nice necklace.
Matt Cain: Thanks. I got it in Romania on vacation. This crazy old lady came up and gave it to me. It was wild. She was missing both of her eyes and stuff. But it was a nice gesture, I guess.
Haren: What's it made of? It looks like...hair and human bone.
Cain: I know, that's weird, right? But it's not -- it's like ivory and silk, I think.
Haren: I'd swear it was glowing when I came in the room.
Cain: Sometimes it hums. Like a low, dark hum. It's kind of creepy, actually.
Haren: Wow. I want a necklace like that. That sounds awesome.
Cain: (removing necklace) Hey, you know what? I was just about to put it away. It's been giving me a rash. And weird dreams. But mostly a rash. So you take it.
Haren: I couldn't. Really? That's, wow. I couldn't.
Cain: No, no. I insist. I was getting tired of it.
Haren: Thanks, Matt. You're a true friend.
Forgot to record the start of the game, and I had an errand to run. So what do I miss? A Bengie Molina triple. Yeah, sure, I saw the replay. But that can't compare. You can't just walk up to someone on the street, hand them a sack of cash, and buy the kind of adrenaline that you get from watching Molina legging out a triple. I'll never forgive myself. When a Giants pitcher throws the first Giants no-hitter in my lifetime, I'll be happy, but I'll know that I missed out on the real magic.
Jon Daniels: Hey, Sabes, you can just have this Adrian Gonzalez guy. I’m tired of waiting for him.
Brian Sabean: Gonzalez? Never heard of him. What team was he playing for in ’96?
Daniels: I think he was in middle school.
Sabean: Wait, he’s a young player? (makes sign of the cross) Yeah, this isn’t my first rodeo. Find another sucker.
Daniels: I’ll throw in Chris Young too! That’ll help you replace Jason Schmidt.
Sabean: Schmidt? Where’s he going?
Daniels: In the trade to us for Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young? If you throw in Armando Benites, I’ll throw in this Edinson Volquez guy in the low minors. I have a crippling fear of the letter "Z" – I’m in medical journals and everything.
Sabean: Wait, but Benitez is spelled with a "Z."
Sabean: Hello? Hello? Bah. Like I was going to do that anyways. Rubber-armed ace and a proven closer for that flotsam? When I already have J.T. Snow? Ha. Ha, I say.
Last three hitters: Burriss, Rowand, Velez. It was like sitting in the Green Party headquarters on Election Day -- no one expected to win, and the clam dip smelled funny.
And, oh, yes. Scott Hairston. If jock itch could sleep with your wife, there might be something found in nature that could compare with Scott Hairston. Like, you come home, and throw your keys on the coffee table, and you here a noise, and you creep toward the bedroom door, push it open, and OH GOD, JOCK ITCH IS SLEEPING WITH MY WIFE. That's Scott Hairston. Why didn't I just turn off the TV when he came up against Wilson? Why didn't I just turn on Call of Duty 4 and shoot virtual 12-year-olds in the head to make myself feel better?
If you need me, I'll be exhuming the grave of Abner Doubleday so I can set his bones on fire and dance on the ashes. Screw this abhorrent game.
From the correlation definitely equals causation files: Aaron Rowand, leadoff hitter and offensive sparkplug. Emmanuel Burriss's line since I called for his demotion: .326/.388/.360. Rowand since I wondered what was wrong with him: .364/.364/.636. It might be a coincidence, but I'll offer my post-writing services up to Rich Aurilia for a small fee.
I, for one, am looking forward to reading the Post-It that has the entire organizational hitting philosophy written on it.
Listened to a good game.
Went into a meeting.
Came back to Giants striking out, trailing in the ninth inning.
Understood that a passed ball was involved.
Gritted my teeth in rage.
Yelled "Three runs against Matt Palmer?!?!" to my computer screen.
Regurgitated a bit.
This team is killing me. I predict this frustration will last until the next time they look like a good team, at which point I'll start believing in them again. Then they'll lose five in a row, and I'll write, "This team is killing me." That will last until a stretch in which they look like a good team. Then I'll start believing in them again, but that will only last until they score six runs over a span of seven games, and I'll write, "This team is killing me."
With less than 100 games to go in the season, I'm out of ways to write "this offense stinks." I'm out of metaphors, allusions, similes, anecdotes, and adjectives. I've googled the phrase "HTML code to express the look of a guy shrugging his shoulders and wrinkling his face in disgust", and nothing comes up. Don't google that on Image Search with SafeSearch off, though. Whoa.
Also of note: Tim Lincecum pitching the best game of his career. On a warm summer night, 25 years ago, Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez shared a bottle of chablis, a room at a Best Western, and a secret that survived until tonight. A complete game two-hitter in less than 100 pitches? Good gravy. What a gem.
/patiently waits for Scott Hairston to hit a walkoff home run against the Giants in a road game for a team that doesn't employ him anymore
7/10 and 7/11:
Ten games over .500 at the break? Leading a race for a playoff spot? Pablo Sandoval, a hitter worthy of more than a few top-ten MVP votes? It’s like some magical dream, except this time you’re wearing pants. And if the Giants finish up at .500 when the season’s over, this season isn’t going to be remembered as a magical step in a rebuilding season; it’s going to be a wings-of-wax, spectacular, propeller-in-the-airshow-stands failure of a season. They’ve teased us with premature contending. We have a taste for it now.
7/15: A history of Giants in the All-Star Game
Brian Wilson walked the leadoff batter in the ninth inning. Then he took the next batter to a 3-2 count before getting a fly ball. Then he gave up a single. There were two runners on and only one out. I'm not an especially religious man, but I looked up to the sky, and I muttered...
Hey there. I don't purport to know if there's anything up there, and if there is, I'm sure I can't comprehend your true nature. But tonight the center field camera showed a) a purple triceratops behind home plate, dancing around in the pitcher's field of vision and b) fans doing the wave. If a team wins a thrilling game in the bottom of the ninth inning after committing both of those crimes against the game -- nay, humanity -- then I guess I only know one thing about you: that you really, really hate me and everything that I stand for.
I don't have any answers, really. But for tonight, at least, I'd put money on "just and benevolent deity."
Do you remember the Big Red Machine? Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Johnny Bench, and the like? The Giants were like that, but only after a few hits of the experimental government drug from Jacob's Ladder. A hallucinating Pete Rose disemboweling Johnny Bench with a serrated Louisville Slugger? Why, as a description of Randy Winn's at-bats this weekend, that'd be a good "Password" clue.
The odds say that Garko isn't going to propel the Giants into the playoffs. And those pesky odds say that Barnes the wee turtle will be eaten by a heron before he reaches the sea. And by "heron", I mean "rotator cuff." Well, he isn't going to be eaten by a rotator cuff, but you get the point.
Denial: No way they gave up Alderson. I don't trust Twitter. I don't trust the beat writers. I'm waiting for the press conference.
Anger: I'm not going to name names, but I'd sure like to use duct tape to rip the goatee off of a certain general manager.
Bargaining: You know, if the Giants completely screw a different team before the trading deadline, I'll be okay with this move.
Depression: The Dodgers losing in 15 innings doesn't even make me smile. Well, a little bit. Maybe a lot. But where are the tears of joy? I'm depressed.
Acceptance: Whatever. Alderson wasn't a once-in-a-generation prospect, and there are serious doubts about the viability of his fastball. The Giants went from worst in the league at a position to an above-average player. I'll save the supercharged grumbles for Alderson's All-Star selection or Sanchez's move to the 60-day DL for kneeitis.
Oh, fantastic. Another team with eight hitters who would hit cleanup if they were on the Giants. You might remember this situation from such past series as "Giants vs. Padres", "Giants vs. Nationals", and the overlooked spring series, "Giants Meet the Rock 'n' Jock Softball Challenge."
Imagine that you've been on about, oh, fifty dates in your life. Some are duds right out of the gate, and some are mildly interesting, but there are a few that are amazing. Shared interests, a mutual attraction, a naturally flowing conversation...everything's working. At no point in the evening do you second guess your excitement. You stay up all night talking, and at just the right moment, your date whispers into your ear, "Excuse me while I slip into something more comfortable." And you wait patiently as your date disappears behind a closed door. The anticipation is almost the best part. And when your date opens the door, she's in full clown makeup, covered in pig entrails, and mumbling, "Mama paint you pretty now? Mama paint you pretty now?"
I wasn't around for '62 or '71. But I've still been on more than a few of those dates with the Giants. It always ends the same damned way. So right now, we're at dinner. The food is amazing. There's live music playing, and it's pretty danged good. I catch a stray glance from the Giants, and I act like I don't notice that they're staring at me. Everything's sure shaping up for an exciting season. But forgive me if I'm a little preoccupied with how the 2009 Giants will define "comfortable" when they say they're going to leave me to slip into something a little more comfortable. I've been there. The images are burned into my brain.
I have a sack full of kittens, Giants. I have the number for Felines for Foster Kids, a non-profit organization that places kittens in loving homes. I also have a way to close the sack, and I also have access to the Pacific Ocean. What happens to the sack of kittens is up to you, Giants. Do not displease me.
Wait, that's more of a threat than a prediction. My prediction is that I'll look like Keith Richards after this series is over. I can't take this.
You can't get angry at a pitcher for allowing a Luis Castillo home run. That's like getting angry at the city for not putting a "Yeti Crossing" sign up at a crosswalk when a Yeti causes you to be late for work. Marvel in the wonders of nature; don't get mad.
If the Rockies were to sweep, the Giants would be six games back of a playoff spot, which is enough to write off the season, but not quite, so we'd twist in the wind for a while, miserable and grumpy, not expecting a late-season miracle, but knowing that it wouldn't be mathematically impossible, watching every game with a morose and sullen dejection, knowing that if the team had a handful of even average hitters there would have been a chance to have a tremendously special playoff run with two of the best homegrown starting pitchers in franchise history, getting angrier and angrier throughout the offseason until our rage and disgust spills over into some sort of violent outburst at an orphanage that puts us at the mercy of a judge who happens to be a Dodgers fan.
So I propose that the Giants should avoid getting swept.
After losing two out of three from the Rockies over the weekend, the Giants needed this. They jumped out in front early, and they never looked back, cruising to an easy win.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to change my urine-soaked jeans, and get on with my n...wait, maybe that's blood. I guess it could be bourbon.
I'm kind of looking forward to November, to be honest.
The whole "Giants as significant other" analogy has been done. I think I’ve done it a couple of times, usually portraying the organization as an unfaithful spouse asking for another chance. It just fits so well, though. You have an interest, the interest hurts you, you kick the interest out, the interest comes back to beg forgiveness, you think that things will be different, and you let the interest back in. What in the heck kind of metaphor are you supposed to use?
The Giants are like that middle school gym teacher who says he’s going to leave his wife and move into your treehouse: Things get worse, never better, and only in hindsight will you realize just how disturbing things really are.
Don't look at me. I'm already working on my Mike Aldrete post for the Underappreciated Giants series in the offseason. I can't watch this stuff. Are you kidding? I need to keep the hair I have, and I'd like it to be the same color.
Fine. I'll watch the series. But you can't force me not to have acid reflux the entire time.
Brian Johnson. Edgar Renteria’s grand slam was Brian Johnson-esque. If the Giants lost the Brian Johnson game, they would have been two back of a playoff spot. Instead, it put the Giants into a tie. This game was one of the best regular season games since the Johnson game. It might not even need the qualifier. Amazing, amazing, unexpected game.
The season is over.
The season is over.
The season is over
Whoops. What kind of idiot would have written that? You wouldn’t find that kind of pessimism on a fan site like this. The Giants may, in fact, after further review, be somewhat in this, where "this" is defined as a highly contested playoff race.
I can get over the inherent dislike of Brad Penny pretty quickly…as others have pointed out in the last thread, we rooted for Orel Hershisher. I cheered on Orel Hershisher. That’s like sleeping with every member of a hair metal band in the beginning part of this decade. It wasn’t cool even adjusting for the different era, and just thinking about it makes me want to take a shower. Orel Hershiser. Guh.
So welcome, Buster (nickname: Bustery Poseyey). No pressure. Just rescue the Giants' offense while you're up. Oh, and teach the rest of the team how to work the count. Also, dispel the myth that rookie catchers cause entire pitching staffs to implode. Also, I'd like a glass of iced tea.
Worth nothing: If Posey were catching, there would have been 17 passed balls that led to 15 unearned runs, and every hitter that Penny struck out had would have reached first as the ball rolled to the backstop. Clubhouse chemistry would have been at an all-time low, and Eli Whiteside would have started a Lord of the Flies-style clubhouse revolution, which would have ended in a large fire that canceled tomorrow's game and forced the Giants to play a doubleheader on the day after the season ends. So be careful what you wish for. Have you ever seen Reefer Madness? It's kind of like that, but with inexperienced catchers.
Soaring indifference, or the kind of jubilation that will make you want to set cars on fire downtown. It should be fun, unless it isn't.
Counterpoint: Bengie Molina…
Point: Obviously, you’re not listening. I get that the Giants have a lot of cod liver oil in their lineup smoothie, but that doesn’t preclude the hope of something unexpected, and…
Counterpoint: Wait, I’m not done. Bengie Molina…cleanup hitter.
Point: Niners looked good yesterday.
So let’s just review what Tim Lincecum said about Posey’s defense:
I swear to all that is holy, if he starts one game, I’m walking off the team. When he showed up to catch my bullpen session, he had one of those novelty "#1" foam oversized fingers, and when I asked him about it, he sincerely thought that was a catcher’s mitt. Like, he wasn’t kidding. And then when he started calling pitches, he called for, and I quote, "a quick slant or an alley-oop."
I’m sorry, but rookie catchers need decades of apprenticeship before they start. End of discussion. That would have ended our season if he started.
McC: Thank you for your time. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go commit hari kari.
Giants Brass: Good luck! I don't even think he's broadcasting for the Cubs anymore, but he is crazy. I saw a documentary once where he talked about the moon being made of spare ribs. Crazy stuff!
The Giants were officially eliminated from the playoffs tonight. I can't stress this enough, people: The next time you put a team in that thing, please poke some air holes.