Tag Archives: SF Giants

Emil Guillermo: SF Giants may miss Panda more than they think, but maybe they can build an identity around Nori Aoki?

For non-fans of the SF Giants, “C. Heston” is Chris, not Charlton.

But the way the team is running these days, they can use a guy who can walk on water.

Still, they’d settle for someone who could hit with men on base.

In the home opener, the Giants left 12 men on base and went 0-7 with runners in scoring position.

That’s a lot of offensive tease and fail. It’s a pattern Giants observers have seen before.

The Giants lost to the Rockies just 2-0, making the home team’s opening day highlight Heston’s good pitching which kept the game close. (I mean we’re not counting Madbum on the horse as a game highlight, are we?)

On these kind of pop-less bat  days, Giants fans may have to grow to love Nori Aoki.

noriaokiondeck

That’s Aoki doing his impression of Buster Posey.

From the first at bat at the leadoff position, Aoki was  offensive spark on Monday.

The new Giants left-fielder has a 16-game hitting streak dating back to last season with World Series opponent, the Kansas City  Royals, who incidentally  have started the new season undefeated.

Aoki, a skilled contact hitter, finished the opener with two hits and is now hitting .412. .

Shouldn’t take long for fans, especially with the Giants large Asian American fan base, to warm up to Aoki.

But maybe the Giants will end up missing Kung Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval more than they think.

Sandoval  made his mark in October and with his  big personality, it all contributed to the Giants identity as a champion.

Now that he’s gone, the team is really all about Posey and the pitchers.

And almost all of them  are “lead by example” guys.

Sandoval led by his gut, literally and figuratively. Even when he was in a down cycle production wise, he was still entertaining to watch.

Maybe Pence will come back after his injury and spark the team.

But I sure felt the loss of Sandoval in the home park when I was there on Monday.

It’s just strange not seeing any panda hats in the stands for the first time in years.

Remember those days?

pandapandas

This was from the2014 post-season.

I guess we can’t expect them  to be playing like that in April.

That’s why they play 162.

UPDATE: Again on Tuesday night, Giants abysmal with runners in scoring position.  Hudson, like Heston on opening day, pitched well enough to keep the game close. If he had any run support, it would have been good enough. But it’s  tough when you have three-run pitching and a no-run offense.

Giants score to make it 3-1 in 8th,  as Matt Duffy  gets an RBI on a sacrifice fly to right. It comes  only after a runner moved up on a foul-out.  Sound familiar? That’s the Giants post-season offense last year—the productive out strategy. But then Posey’s 8th inning blast to center turns into a long non-productive out.  And the inning and the threat ends.

Two runs in the 9th to extend, three to win? It’s not October.

UPDATE: Game ends, 4-1, Rockies. The last two out by the two early season heroes. Justin Maxwell strikes out looking. And Aoki strikes out swinging.  Five losses in a row. The champs rely on the Freak to play stopper on Wednesday.

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

LIKE  and FOLLOW us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media

And FOLLOW my latest tweets  on  Twitter    http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

 

 

 

SF Giants’ Lincecum still has homer-itis, but keeps team in game till it decides it wants to win in 12th; After nearly five hours, Giants beat Dodgers 3-2 on Jackie Robinson Day

 

On the night when all the heroes wore No. 42, it was too bad the San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum couldn’t get the win.

On Jackie Robinson Night, the Giants sent Lincecum, the premier Filipino American player in baseball to the mound. The Filipino fan favorite pitched well enough to win. In a 93 pitch performance in 5 innings, he struck out 5 and had zero walks. The Dodgers managed just five hits, but that included a solo home run in the 2nd inning to former teammate Juan Uribe. On a full-count, Lincecum challenged with a slider, and Uribe pounded it half-way up the left field bleachers.  The Dodgers coasted on that run most of the night. By the time the Giants tied it on a Brandon Crawford sac fly that scored Hunter Pence, Lincecum was out of the game–but off the hook.  He’s still looking for his first win, but so far he’s got 17 Ks and 1 walk in 15 innings pitched, indicative that the mustachioed Lincecum isn’t plagued by some of the control issues he had last year. Indeed, this year, he’s not wild, just prone to the fat pitch and the homerun ball—he’s given up 5 in 15 innings.  Uribe got him on this night. After the Dodgers took a2-1 lead, the Giants tied the score again  in the bottom of the 9th, but left the bases loaded ( as they did three times in the game). The game went into extras, past midnight. Nearly five hours after the start, the Giants finally pushed through a winning run when Hector Sanchez singled in Brandon Crawford for the 3-2 final. The walk-off win gives the Giants a first place tie with LA in the NL West.

 

Linceblog: If you were the fan who threw that banana at Orioles’ Adam Jones, you are a jerk; incident adds racial ugliness to SF Giants loss; UPDATE: SF Giants issue apology; UPDATE: Fan comes forward says not a racial incident

It was a good day for Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones in San Francisco in all ways except one.
The banana part.
First the good. In the top of the 8th, Jones gave his team some insurance with an RBI double that padded the O’s lead over the Giants to 5-2.
Just for good measure, in the top of the 9th, Jones hit a a three-run homer to pad the score even more, 10-2.
In the last inning, some frustrated  fan apparently got Jones’ attention.   And Jones tweeted the incident.

 

 

The Giants are reviewing the surveillance shots to see what exactly happened. If it’s true,  and there’s no reason to doubt Jones, then it’s a sad fact of fan hooliganism. When the game is uninteresting, fans can be unruly. Giants fans, generally are better than that.  But fans are fans and the lack of civility in our culture only encourages behavior like a banana throwing incident.

What’s worse is that a banana thrown at a black athlete like Jones, is a racial thing. Hadn’t heard of that, though I have  heard bananas used in context of Asians and Asian Americans. Specifically,  Filipinos were often referred to by racists as “monkey.”

This I know because my father told me stories of being called that regularly in San Francisco—in the 1920s, where “monkey” was a racial epithet.

So a thrown banana isn’t so innocent when the target is a  person of color.

San Francisco of the ’20s is a much different  city from the tolerant, multi-cultural San Francisco of today. Or at least, we’d like to think so.

If Jones was a victim of a stupid and ignorant act, the Giants, their fans and the city, owe Jones and the Orioles, an immediate and unequivocal apology.

Let’s hope one comes quickly, and because Jones is an avowed “foodie,” maybe  the Giants can toss in some Dungeness crabs. Jones probably has enough of those Blue Crabs from the Chesapeake.

Sports is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. But that shouldn’t mean we’ve lost our values and sense of  sportsmanship.

 

UPDATE FROM SF CHRONICLE’S JOHN SHEA, regarding apology from the San Francisco Giants:

Statement from the San Francisco Giants Regarding Incident at AT&T Park Yesterday

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — We were extremely disappointed to learn about the incident involving Adam Jones at AT&T Park yesterday. The Giants have a zero tolerance policy against this type of behavior, which results in immediate ejection from the ballpark. While we have been investigating the matter since we learned of the situation, unfortunately we have been unable to identify the person responsible. We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Adam and the entire Orioles organization for this unfortunate incident. The inappropriate actions of this individual in no way reflect the values of our organization and our fans.

UPDATE : 8/14/13  2013

New report yesterday identified  a fan coming forward saying banana throwing wasn’t a racial incident. He threw the banana out of frustration. It was just a coincidence it went Jones’ way.

Jones still concerned about safety. We should be too. Not sure about fan’s credibility. According to the report I saw on (KOVR-TV),  fan grabbed a banana from a cart and hurled it on the field. Of course, just like that lost verse from  the ballpark anthem,  “Take me out to the ball game,” the part that goes,”Buy me some peanuts and bananas, I don’t care if I never get back….”

Doesn’t rhyme.

Maybe the fan should throw crackerjack next time. Won’t be seen as a slur, though it is caramel in color.

Certainly won’t do any physical harm. Or how about not throwing anything, period. It’s baseball, not soccer!

More concerned about surveillance cams. I suppose at a ball park you are in a de facto TV studio. And you do give up your rights. If fans thought of that, maybe they’d behave better. Though we see how well they behave on Kiss-Cam, Fist-Cam, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Immigration bill, Boston, and baseball?

The Boston blasts have knocked even the grand leakage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 AKA “The Immigration Bill,” down a few notches in the news ladder.

 

Going over the details now and will post on www.aaldef.org/blog. Initial reaction is it’s “not great,” and forgets why people immigrate here in the first place. There’s an “F” word that seems forgotten.

 

In the meantime, speaking of words and language, look at all the news stories and  if anyone says “illegal immigrant.”

 

We didn’t see that faux pas yesterday, but look at how quickly we launched into profile mode.

 

Yes, we were kind and all to the innocent. But not so much to people of color when the word went out that police were looking for a “dark skinned male, possibly with an accent, and a black sweat shirt.”

 

Certainly let the white terrorists off the hook.

 

That kind of profiling shows we haven’t learned much from 9/11.

 

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve got this thing for baseball, and covering the San Francisco Giants and their half-Filipino pitcher Tim Lincecum.

 

He’s a real Asian American, not some imported star from Korea or Japan. He’s from the Seattle area.

 

For me baseball and his struggles to date are the human story of the game that provides real perspective. I use it as an antidote to the reality known as “the political process,” where the glacial pace of change makes a nine-inning game go by in a wink. Read the posts under the heading: Linceblog.

 

It’s my form of escape that gives me a sense of balance.

 

It also works both ways. Too much time in the candy store of life, and

you get a day like yesterday.

 

Yesterday’s violence—amid the intense competitiveness of a marathon hailed as one of the iconic events in U.S. sports—brought us all back to that reality as we prayed for the dead and counted the wounded.

 

By the way, yesterday was another milestone day in sport: Jackie Robinson Day.

 

Read my take at  http://diverseeducation.com/article/52621/

 

And please read my other work at the archives :

 

http://aaldef.org/blog/archive/

Linceblog: Lincecum has the Chicago Blues–another big inning that’s done him wrong–but Giants’ offense, Pence, save day

Just as the full “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire fizzled, the Giants’ half-Filipino flash, Tim Lincecum. was rocked in a first-inning that began with a walk to the first batter he faced.

It was the only walk he allowed the whole game.

That’s the positive.

But then he gave up two 2-run homers in that same first inning. That’s a four-run inning, a typical Lincecum start.

Lincecum has given up three-or-more runs in an inning 10 times from the start of the 2012 season to date.

But the Giants’ offense eventually picked him up. Pinch-hitter Nick Noonan (batting .600 on this road trip) lined a single to left to give the Giants a 5-4 lead, and cap a 4-run inning in the 6th.

Lincecum was still in for the win. But the Cubs came back to regain the lead 7-6 in the 8th.

That set up a 2-strike homerun by Hunter Pence to tie and extend the game at 7-7.  Lincecum was off the hook totally for another no-decision start. And then the Giants with some clutch hitting pulled away with a 3-run 10th, 10-7.

Suddenly, the Giants  aren’t reliant on pitching so much. They are confident and showing enough offense to erase deficits late in the game.

Mark of a champion? Team is going well at 9-4.  And Lincecum? Well, the team has won his last three starts.

Tim’s next start is likely Saturday night against the Padres at AT&T.

 

Linceblog: Lincecum battles Cubs, and more on that little fight in the Big Apple

Tim Lincecum, the half-Filipino flash, pitches today for the Giants against the Cubs in Wrigley, and that’s good news for the Giants.

Winners of two of three 1 run games vs. the Cubs, the Giants will have a pitcher who has never given up more than 2 runs per game at Wrigley Field. With a 1.82 ERA in five starts, Lincecum loves Wrigley.

If he pitches to his record,  the Giants may be able to muster just enough run support to take three out of four in this Cub series, and give Lincecum his 2nd win of the year.

Lincecum had that rocky 2nd inning against the Rockies this past week. In an answer to my post-game question, he said he saw video in-between innings  and saw something he was able to correct.

 He didn’t say what it was , but added it wasn’t a mechanical or timing thing.

“Rhythm,” was the word Lincecum used. He went on after that to give the Giants a solid four innings.

We’ll see today if he’s still on the beat and can avoid a bout of the Chicago blues.

 

RIGONDEAUX-DONAIRE FIGHT:

The Big Apple played host to the best small guys in boxing, the 122 lb. super bantamweights.  But it’s hard to say what was on Nonito Donaire’s mind last night at Radio City Music Hall?

Was he waiting for the Rockettes?

It  sure didn’t seem he wanted to fight Guillermo Rigondeaux.

I was hoping Donaire would take advantage of Rigondeuax’s lack of pro experience and school him into pronouncing his first name the Filipino way (not Gee-air-mo, but Gil-yer-mo).

But my loyalty to  Filipino American Donaire was all off.  On this night, Donaire was neither linguist or pugilist.

I had seen both fighters’  televised bouts over the last year, and never was all that impressed with Donaire.  He always showboated with his left hand down. I just couldn’t imagine him so much quicker than opponents that he could avoid telegraphing his punch.

Rigondeaux, on the other hand, I’ve always thought was fairly quick and elusive.  And he’s a lefty, which meant that with luck, he could possibly catch the righty Donaire flush in the face.

Sure, enough, the left caught Donaire, puffing up his eye, and essentially ended all chance before the 12th was done.

Indeed, the so-called “Filipino Flash” hardly flashed a thing all night, unable to jab or catch up to Rigondeaux.  For at least the first six rounds, it was like Donaire wasn’t even in the fight.

Later, in the post-bout interviews on HBO, Donaire admitted, “I never studied (for) the fight. “

It was a stunning admission on his lack of preparation. HBO commentators said that trainer Robert Garcia had been so involved with his other top fighter Brandon Rios, that much of his time with Donaire was spent on the phone.  Maybe that’s why Donaire looked like he was “phoning it in.”

It all leaves Filipino American fans wondering if Donaire really has what it takes to replace Manny Pacquiao, a loser in his last two fights.

 

Linceblog: It’s Lincecum night–but not Posey night at AT&T

Bruce Bochy insists that it’s no big deal, that Buster Posey wasn’t going to catch both Tuesday night and Wednesday’s day game against the Rockies, so he chose to let him rest tonight and play tomorrow.

Oh, by the way, Tim Lincecum is pitching tonight.

Coincidence? A Posey aversion to Lincecum? A full-fledge conspiracy going into Game 8 of the long season?

Bochy was cagey in his dugout interview tonight and pretty much said what he’s been saying all along about the “Timmy/Buster” catching situation.

In the political realm, you would say he’s pumping up  his cover-story– a scenario that satisfies the need for an answer.

What is puzzling is if Hector Sanchez becomes Lincecum’s “personal catcher,” say like the Green Hornet’s Kato, does that help the Giants more than Lincecum?

Sanchez was not exactly doing Lincecum any favors behind the plate in the Dodger game. Lincecum is hard to catch, true, but Sanchez wasn’t making him look better.

So it’s Sanchez’ bat the Giants want in there? Well, what about Posey’s bat? Don’t you want your first string catcher in there?

As Bochy puts it, it’s just coincidence.

“Most of this will be how it falls,” said Boch. “It’s not a bad thing when a back up catcher ends up with the same pitcher.”

OK, and then when it’s not coincidence, then what is it?

Conspiracy theorists start your engines.

Incidentally, it’s the 71st Anniversay of the fall of Bataan, offically known as the “Day of Valor.” It’s a national holiday in the Philippines, but also an important part of America’s WWII history.

Lincecum won’t be facing the odds of those Filipino scouts in Bataan, but he will be going to battle tonight without the National League MVP behind the plate.