Monday, September 8, 2014

WHY NO LONGER GREAT TEAMS IN BASEBALL? WHY NO 100-GAME WINNERS?







2001 Seattle Mariners led by Ichiro was the last team to win 100 games with  a MLB record 116-46
No team since has managed to win 100 games    Greatest Teams, steroids in baseball, drug use in baseball, #Giants PEDs, #PEDs, Banned substances in baseball, baseball drug testing, baseball players on drugs, cheating in baseball,The History of Baseball, Best Baseball Teams

WHY NO LONGER GREAT TEAMS IN BASEBALL?   NO 100-GAME WINNERS SINCE 2001.


Top 100-Game Winning Teams:

1928 New York Yankees 101-53          (154 game seasons)
1929 Philadelphia Athletics 104-46
1927 New York Yankees 110-44
1932 New York Yankees 107-47
1939 New York Yankees 106-45
1941 New York Yankees 101-53
1954 Cleveland Indians 111-43
1942 St. Louis Cardinals 106-48

-teams only played 154 games prior to 1960-

1961 New York Yankees 109-53           (162 game seasons)
1968 Detroit Tigers 103-59
1969 New York Mets 100-62
1967 St. Louis Cardinals 101-60
1970 Baltimore Orioles 108-54
1975 Cincinnati Reds 108-74
1976 Cincinnati Reds 102-60
1984 Detroit Tigers 104-58
1995 Cleveland  indians 100-44
2001 Seattle Mariners 116-46

(above courtesy of Bleacher Report's 50 Greatest Teams)

Bleacher Report has ranked the top 50 teams including ones winning less than
100 games. Not surprising they don't include either of the 2010 or 2012 Giants
teams but they do include some, like the 1989 Oakland Athletics, for, which we would NOT include or give a PED-aided askerisk  


1927 New York Yankees, backed by the Sultan of Swat won 110 games - in only  154 games. (Teams prior to 1961 only played 154 games.)



Interesting to note the dearth of great teams today. Sure, it's great to have competitive  races but this is ridiculous. Only one team, the Los Angeles Angels currently has a record
over .600 on a pace  to win 100 games - and that could change in a flash, just as have teams' records this year. If it does, it would be the first team since 2009 to win 100 games.  What's even more shocking is that teams play more games now (162 per year) vs. 154 prior to the mid- 1960s.  This makes all the pre-1960s 100-game teams that much more amazing. In the prior 4 decades before 2009 (1969-2009) 45 teams have won 100 games but in the last five years NONE have won 100 games




Since 2009, no teams have won 100 games, yet prior to that 45 teams had 100 wins in the four decades prior - that's over 10 teams per decade.    There have been no dominant teams since then, only sporadically effective ones during seasonal streaks. Even those that have won over 100 were usually by one or two games. Why such a drop-off in quality teams, despite 
the advantages of free agency and no salary cap?  




 If anything , one would think there would be more disparity among teams since free agency. When wealthier teams today CAN PAY - as we have seen most recently in the Los Angeles Dodgers and its $220 million payroll faring less well than, say, the Oakland Athletics with a payroll in the low $100 millions.




In recent years we've never seen such mediocrity,or , shall we say, ups and downs, in baseball,
where teams will have great streaks only to suddenly drop off to bad losing streaks, ending up
with so-so records - no longer any 100 game winners. This is especially surprising that even
since free agency in 1975 the richer teams and lack of salary cap are not necessarily performing better. Richer teams are not necessarily faring better than than lower salaried teams. 
One might expect just the opposite, that there would be a much greater discrepancy than pre-free agency baseball. 



So, again, why no great baseball teams in over a decade?









The only theory we can come up with    focuses on   the steroid or PED  era.
Since the 1990s - or even the late '80s - estimates of up to 50% of major leagues players have
been using performance enhancing drugs. (We saw 20 players CAUGHT through the Biogenesis leak last year, without 
benefit of effective MLB drug testing - no major leaguers have been caught in years to our knowledge, not due to a lack of tainted players.)  Players must go off and on the drugs around
testing times, resulting in spikes of lower performance  . With slightly more frequent testing and stronger penalties today, players must be more careful and when they temporarily go off the drugs, the performance drops. The drug tests are - for whatever reasons - usUally announced ahead, and this is likely why we may see mass drop-offs by teams weeks before and after testing. It may take some time for a player to get back to his 'enhancement' , thus, the prolonged drop-offs of sometimes 2-4 weeks or even months - as we saw with the Giants.




With new baseball rules, testing is required a minimum of two times during a baseball
season (to our knowledge) - it used to be only required in spring training. So, once
tests are given , say, for example early and mid-season,  players can go back on
the juice knowing they probably won't be tested again and, if they are they'll usually
be given advanced notice, anyway.  This is how we see the Giants go on their late season
surges with even the weakest players hitting 30-80 points above their non-enhanced
(prior) averages.


300x250


The trend has  never been more apparent this year than with the San Francisco Giants. People actually thought the Giants had the NL West wrapped up after the first two months of 2014
with a better than .650 record and eight games ahead of the second place Los Angeles Dodgers.
But as quick as they could do no wrong, the team could do no write, finishing with
the worst losing streak in baseball over most of June and July. Once again,
the Giants turned this around with one of the best records during late August and
early September as they closed the gap to two games behind the Dogers as of September 7.
The Giants have done similarly  in recent years they won the World Series, 2010 and 2012
finishing with majors' best win loss records in September both years. 
Other streaky teams have included the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, BalTimore Orioles,and Washington  -depending upon what you call a streak.The San Francisco Giants have had the longest overall streaks  of any team as described above.




What happened to consistency by teams? A good team should stay generally 'good'
through the season without drastic ups and downs. Even a blockbuster trade or
acquisition shouldn't make that much difference in baseball where you have teams
of 25 players including strong backups. Nor should injuries make that much difference - all
teams have injuries - and with good backup players it shouldn't be a problem. And, we see similar trends happen year after year as described elsewhere.



Now with numbers of KNOWN PED users allowed back in the game after their 50 (now 80) game suspensions, we've seen  most of  teams with 'PED' players making the playoffs, perhaps thanks to at one or two of those players.    It's not to say they're all still 'using,' but one doesn't have to be blind or 'dumb or dumber' (to quote Balco's Victor Conte) 
to see some of these players continue to hit well above their career averages - and getting
away with it, propelling their teams often to playoffs and World Series victories.  So, PEDs not only make for an uneven playing field , they pose a threat to player health and now, also seem to be bringing mediocrity to the game.(Perhaps the powers that be and others like the more even distribution we're now seeing but baseball without great teams - or real weak ones, for that matter - is NOT baseball.  It's ARTIFICIAL baseball - in more ways than one, in our opinion. 




GOLDEN YEARS OF BASEBALL - Which were the truly greatest teams


Giants' Juan Marichal with Willie McCovey, 1962 World Series runner-ups, Runners-up best team



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WHY NO LONGER GREAT TEAMS IN BASEBALL?   NO 100-GAME WINNERS SINCE 2001.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

20 Reasons #SFGiants Won World Series with #PEDs

20 NEW

REASONS

GIANTS

USED

PEDS

TO WIN

WORLD

SERIES





 



20 NEW REASONS GIANTS
USED #PEDS TO WIN WORLD SERIES

No one thing alone spells #PEDs but when you add them all up plus previous, well it’s pretty convincing stuff


1) #Foxgun RT @dmill885: @hankschulman: According to FanGraphs, Vogelsong’s fastball in 2012 averaged 90.8 mph. During playoffs and world series He was 92-94 Ryan Vogelsong’s 1.09 ERA in 24.2 IP this #Postseason is lowest since Orel Hersheiser had 1.05 in 42.2 IP in 1988 (min. 24 IP).  #PEDS




2) Two teams have won 6 straight elimination games. Both – the 1985 Royals and 2012 Giants   – got win #6 with a shutout of the Cards in Game    7




3.) Detroit had not lost a game at home in the last month and now the Giants SHUT THEM OUT  2 GAMES IN A ROW



4) The Tigers were only shut out twice ALL SEASON. Now they are shut out TWO GAMES IN A ROW by the #Giants



5) Lincecum FB suddenly up to 93 mph



6) Are Detroit fans on to it – booing Sandoval?



7) Only 10 pitchers have ever posted a lower ERA in a single #Postseason (min. 13 IP) than Tim Lincecum’s 0.69.



8) After Sandoval’s 3-HR Game 1, no HRs at all in 2 straight #WorldSeries games for 1st time since 1996 Games 5 & 6. Not so supprising last two games without homers in tough, cold park but SAYS ALOT ABOUT SANDOVAL’S  3 HOMERS in game 1



9)  Two consecutive shutouts in #WorldSeries for 1st time since 1966 (Orioles shut out Dodgers in Games 2, 3 & 4). RT




10) The @SFGiants have now won 6 straight #Postseason games for 1st time in franchise history. #WorldSeries RT









11) The @SFGiants have not trailed for 54 straight innings, 6 full #Postseason games since NLCS Game 4 loss. This against some excellent competition that blew by Yankees and A’s, Cincinatti and Atlanta



12) The @SFGiants have not trailed for 50 consecutive innings, since losing Game 4 of NLCS.RT



13) RT If @SFGiants go 7 innings tonight w/out trailing, will be longest streak in #Postseason history (at 54 now, ’04 Red Sox went 60).



14) Buster Posey was the only Giants player NOT to defend Melky Cabrera and his rather extreme violation of the drug test and his subsequent attempted coverup. Posey may be the only Giant , himself, not using PEDs






15) MARCO SCUTARO and his otherworldly numbers since joing GIANTS: .362 in over 200 at bats since August 1 which is leading the league, only 15 strikeouts as compared to batting .271 the first half season at Colorado where he struck out twice as often in the same amount of at bats.

Even though Scutaro has (purposedly?) cooled in the Series – actually striking out twice – it could be to make things look a little more respectable after his rather unbelievable prior  three months to now.



16) PABLO SANDOVAL : What can you say about this guy who only hit 12 homers all season  and now near-recordbreaking 6 in the postseason and  3 in one game against the best pitcher in baseball. Announcers also commented that Sandoval’s batting practice clouts in Detroit were Ruthian,hit further than perhaps anyone else.




17) PITCHERS SUDDEN SUCCESS in PLAYOFFS  - Giant pitching .089 ERA in post season. After opening two blowouts    to Cincinatti, the Giants have unnaturally ratched it up and dominated with eveyone pitching otherworldly, with higher radar readings and all.
I mean there hasn’t been one pitcher NOT doing well.
The guys who weren’t doing well in September, eg BumGardener, Vogelsong and even Zito are outperforming ace Matt Cain, perhaps one of two Giants most likely  not using.




18) HITTERS who hadn’t been doing well are suddenly becoming the big guns. While Posey is holding his own, Sandoval, Pence and Blanco are suddenly getting the key hits, very reminiscent of
2010 when the Giants brought in Ross, who suddenly and inexplicably hit 5 homers in the playoffs.




   Scutaro had been doing spectacularly until Detroit and the rest of the time since coming to Giants.






19) SAME PATTERN for GIANTS in 2010 repeated in 2012: Sabean brings in a couple of journeymen, cheap, other teams don’t want who are suddenly transformed into stars, ie Jose Guillen (until drug suspension)  and Cody Ross in 2010 and this year Scutaro (.362 since coming to Giants after hitting only .271  at Colorado)) and now Pence hitting big  in World Series. Meanwhile, team suddenly performs like world beaters late season – in 2010 they were .500 before August and this year they’ve become unstoppable in September-october with mostly same players who couldn’t hit a lick in June.
Would have probably won Series in 2011 , too, if it werent for losses of Posey and Wilson (not  that Wilson, or Cabrera for that matter have hurt them. they just go out and get another body to use, if you know what we mean…I.E.:





    

20: PERFORMANCE

ENCHANCING DRUGS! (PEDs)


20 New Reasons Giants Used PEDs To win World Series

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why #SFGiants Big Drop Off - Past Catching Up?


"To me, personally, I think you should be out of the game if you get caught...It takes away from the guys that are working hard every day and doing it all-natural."
  -MIKE TROUT, Los Angeles Angels interviewed on Boomer Esiason's ESPN radio show



Why #SFGiants Big Drop Off - Past Catching Up? 


How does one explain the #SFGiants nearly unprecedented drop (from 10 games ahead in first place to one game behind in the West in a 22 day period).   We need to look at current symptoms as well as review the past few years to see what led up to where the Giants currently stand.  #Giants PEDs, #Michael Morse, #PEDs, #steroids, .  Tim Lincecum, Balco, baseball PEDs, baseball steroids, baseball without drugs, Bruce Bochy, Jose Guillen, MARCOS SCUTARO, san francisco giants, steroids, 



1) PREDOMINANCE OF INJURIES - PED RELATED? 

First, before we look back,  It's unusual to see so many current back injuries including serious ones to Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro, which have kept them out of the lineup for long spells, and lesser back problems for Michael Morse, a previously indicted #PED user. Others on the team, like Sandoval and Vogelsong, have been out of the lineup often, too, with nagging injuries.  Certain back problems have been tied to steroid use, where the kidneys are affected, leading to lower back pain. Other nagging injuries are also often the result of PED use.  PED use could be a factor in the sudden Giants drop off, in our opinion, especially when on looks at the history of, i.e.San Francisco Giants and its large number of indicted PED players. 


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2) LARGE NUMBER OF PED USERS ON GIANTS - Their Game Winning Hits Alone  Enough to Have Put Giants into both World Series

Perhaps the Giants' luck has run out.  Despite lack of a deep farm system, the Giants were able to skate  to two world series victories in 2010 and 2012 with marginal players and two great months at seasons' ends both in 2010 and 2012. .  While other teams were feeling the summer heat, the Giants were playing with extra bounce in their collective step August through October with almost two complete different teams 2010 and 2012. The Giants benefitted  enough to put them ahead with  players of PED pasts, such as Melky Cabrera in 2012 and Jose Guillen and Guilllermo Moto in 2010 plus likely other users not yet caught  . How else does one explain the Giants' sudden surges in August - October, both years, with newly acquired players like Cody Ross and Marcos Scutaro, in 2010 and 2012 , respectively,  who would see their numbers skyrocket once with the Giants? Remember Ross' astonishing eight homeruns in October, 2010 while Sandoval did it in 2012, hitting three in one game against Detroit after only hitting six the entire season and Scutaro raising his average 100 points to .350 after leaving colorado mid-season for the Giants?



3) ENTIRE LINEUP MAY HAVE BEEN USING PEDS IN PLAYOFFS/SERIES

Even the regular lineup may have joined in the Giants drug culture
for the late season heroics including the playoffs and World Series.
Even the older players on the Giants, such as Sandoval,as noted, got hot late season and in the playoffs, interestingly after Jose Guillen (2010) and Melky Cabrera and Scutaro (2012) joined the team.  As with any culture where there's smoke there's fire and there were too many mediocre players suddenly getting hot at season's end - both years with largely two different teams - to call it a coincidence, what with the Giants history. 



You had pitchers past their primes like Vogelsong and Lincecum suddenly making a joke out of  top hitters on Detroit and Saint Louis in the World Series. Much like Huff and Burrell, Even the estranged  Barry Zito - left off the World Series Giants in 2010 -  somehow got off the deck and suddenly went from the Giants doghouse with a 6.00 ERA to   World Beater for a few short weeks in the 2012 playoffs and Series, only to go back to his old self the following year, before being released. 



"Some people  are just trying to find that extra edge," Trout told Esiason. "It's tough as a guy that goes out there and plays hard every day and puts [in] 110 percent effort ... to wake up, see there's a list of guys that are on the list (of  indicted PED users)."


4)    MLB TESTING HAS NOT KEPT UP WITH LATEST PEDS, Making it Easy To Get Away and Succeed with Performance Enhancers - Giants Have Had Most PED players since Bonds

MLB has still not implemented the available test that can detect the new 'designer' testosterone PEDs players are using. Players can simply inject the steroids into their bodies the day of a game and the drug can be out of their systems hours later. Under latest testing rules, MLB only has to do as little as one test during the season and usually lets players know in advance of testing. So, as Victor Conte of Balco fame said , players have to be 'dumb or dumber' to get caught.  It's become somewhat of a tradition since steroids came into baseball in the 1980s but became especially popularized with Barry Bonds for players to go to steroids late in their careers to give them one final boost and help with nagging injuries. The sad part is that the steroids, themselves, often result in more nagging injuries down the line. Remember first baseman Ken Camaniti, one of the early (admitted) steroid users who lost his life, in part, to PEDs.


Note: Different Steroids affect players in different way with different results. For example, 'Cream'and 'Clear' Testosterone , as used by Barry Bonds, could put bulk and greatly enlarge some party parts and shrink others - and contribute to baldness and impotency while giving a hitter more power , ie homeruns. Barry Bonds took a great variety of other drugs, in combination, that may have exagerated to his extreme change.  Newer 'designer' Testosterones appear to do the opposite, helping one stay in shape and not putting on bulk or affecting homeruns so much as helping to improve bat speed and batting average. 



5) GIANT QUICK FIXES FINALLY AT AN END

The Giants had made a  habit of getting quick fixes for holes on their rosters with known and suspected PED players - largely Venezuelans - and in 2010 and 2012 it worked for them. It's amazing how GM Brian Sabean was able to know so much about the underground PED use because seemingly every 'no name'player he acquired went on to have at least temporary success with the Giants - enough to help their cause. Kansas City was like the Giants' 'minor league' source for such players , from where they aquired pitchers like Mijares, Machi, Gutierrez and Petit (Machi , Gutierrez and  Petit all have had that sudden success once with the Giants and continue to this day). Other players like Torrez, Huff and Burrell would come  to the Giants at advanced ages and have 'carreer seasons' only to suddenly drop off the radar only  after helping lead the Giants, in this case to a 2010 World Series.



6)  'IF YOU CAN'T BEAT THEM, JOIN THEM' : OTHER TEAMS NOW FOLLOWING GIANTS LEAD, PURSUING PED USERS, SHRINKING AVAILABLE PED POOL FOR GIANTS

Today, after over a decade of playing the PED game,the Giants may finally be slowing down. Due to the lack of REAL testing and Giants' lead, other teams have finally said 'If you can't beat them, join them ' and are now going after the tainted players only the Giants once pursued.  (Note, every team in Final Four last year had indicted PED user(s) on their team.)    President of the Giants Larry Baer  , while not saying the team would stop going after PED players, did express a note of caution (SFGate)  because of the team's reputation for having had so many players on PEDs.   


Now would be about the time of year the Giants would normally start going to their bag of tricks following their June swoons but, so far, we haven't seen it; it still may be early. Knowing Sabean, never a great trader  but one to go for the occasional big name and overpay his current  better performing players , if the Giants continue to crumble he will once again resort to  the easy way out - that of finding low-cost, tainted players other teams may not want - IF THEY ARE AVAILABLE. Like with any trend that catches on, perhaps Sabean now has competition for PED players and has LOST HIS EDGE - for now,anyway. But don't give up on him. Knowing the Giants, they'll find a way back, illegal or otherwise in their liberal town - and nobody will seem to notice or care.. So, the Giants are down now  but they're not out.   They've just got NEW competition.



How long Sabean and company can get away with what  they've been doing for over a decade is anyone's guess. As Esiason noted, many fans don't seem to care anymore. Yet, as he also noted, Cooperstown still does, fortunately , as do some baseball writers  who may not say so publicly. But, with time and  more and more kids brought up on the PED culture, this may fully change in time with steroids and PEDs  becoming a totally acceptable part of baseball and all sports, perhaps like the legalizaition of marijuana in more and more states . 


A good number of the players that Sabean has brought in have been using PEDs and that's why Bochy has often looked like a magician with the pitching staff and lineup. But, take away the drugs or lose these players to injury and Giants and Bochy become mortal. In fact, if you look at Bochy's overall managerial career he is exactly at .500 as a manager, .490 at San Diego and .510 at San Francisco.  

(opinion)

***************************************

SF Giants Players Linked to Steroids and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Admitted Steroid and HGH Users  and Implicated Players and
MLB Positive Tests/Suspensions: (Mitchell Report,  http://www.baseballssteroidera.com/ and other sources)


Matt Williams 1986-1997
*Barry Bonds 1993-2007
Rich Aurillia 1995-2005 and 2007-2009
Marvin Bernard 1995-2003
Glenallen Hill 1995-1997
FP Santangelo 1999
Wilson Alverez 1997
Bobby Estalella 2000-2001
Armando Rios  2001
David Bell 2002
Benito Santiago 2001-2003
Matt Herges 2003-2005
Alex Sanchez 2005
Abraham Núñez  2006
Yamid Haad 2006 
Matt Kinney 2010
Eliezer Alfonzo 2006-2008
Jose Guillen 2010
Guillermo Mota 2010-2012
Miguel Tejada    2011
Melky Cabrera 2012
Mike Morse 2014



*Affect of steroids -example: Barry Bonds had never hit more than 34 homeruns and batted over .300 only twice in his seven years at Pittsburg  (1986-1993). After coming to San Francisco he only hit LESS than 34 homeruns once and only batted UNDER .300 twice in his thirteen years except for his last three years when he was injured

Not Implicated but Very Possibly on PEDs with Giants
JEFF KENT 1997-2002- - Power numbers suddenly soared when coming to Giants in 1997, peaking     in 2002 World           Series year with 37 homers and .313 average (career year) 
ANDRES TORRES 2010  - Had career years in 2009 and 2010 once coming to Giants at age 30
MARCO SCUTARO   - Most surprising increased numbers, this for a 37 year old player     playing in the difficult San Francisco  hitter’s park. Batting average up an otherworldly 90 points in a full half season since coming to Giants from Colorado, again hitting in an unfriendly hitters park. But even perhaps more amazing is Scutaro’s strikeout ration, indicative of possible PED use with increased vision and hand-eye coordination ala Bonds; he cut strikeouts down less than half with only 14 strikeouts since coming to San Frnacisco in July – that’s only one strikeout per 37 at bats!
 ANGEL PAGAN power numbers up since coming to SF with Melky Cabrera – from 24 to 38 doubles and from four to 15 triples this year with homers about the same (8    vs. 7).
 GREGOR BLANCO who was red hot, ala Torres (2010)  in 2012 for first half of season,  hit more homers this year(5)  than in all previous seasons combined
 SANTIAGO  CASILLA  suddenly halved his ERA after coming to Giants in ‘magic’ year, 2010 – from 5.96  in 2009 at Oakland to 1.95 his first year , 2010 with the Giants – and it’s remained there ever since.
PABLO SANDOVAL - Unlikely huge spikes in performance late seasons 2010 and 2012 and World   Series and   since.  
 JOSE MIJARES 2012 - Relief numbers up dramatically after joining Giants
 CHAD GOUDIN  2013 -  Near all-star pitching numbers after joining Giants
 JEAN MACHI - Sudden success with Giants
 YASMEIRO PETIT  - Cut his ERA in half and raised strikeouts, one per inning after joing SF from Arizona 
     

References: Mitchell Report,  http://www.baseballssteroidera.com/ and other sources
(Opinion column) 



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Sunday, July 6, 2014

#San Fran Giants - Interesting look back at Bruce Bochy Era - Bochy Over-rated?


 

San Francisco Giants - Interesting look back at  Bruce Bochy Era - Bochy Over-rated?

  Boche padres jpg

  Caminititi cropped

Ken Camanitti, Padres

How  Did Bruce Bochy Become Giants Manager? Bochy Overated?





Tony Gwynn's recent passing brought to light some interesting connections
between the Giants and Gwynn's long-time San Diego Padre team.Bruce Bochy SanFrancisco Giants, Pablo Sandoval, med peds, san fran giants


Giant manager Bruce Bochy was San Diego Padre's and Gwynn's manager from 1995 to 2001, when Gwynn retired. It was also during those years that  Gwynn, then   in his late thirties, had   three of his five best years, hitting over .350 at an age  most players are retired. Ken Camaniti, an admitted steroid user who lost his life at 35 due in part to performance enhancing drugs, had among his best years, certainly his best power numbers  with as many as 40 as a Padre when he had never hit as many as 20 before; he received MVP and propelled the Padres to the World Series in 1998.  Caminitti took advantage of the emerging drug culture in the San Diego clubhouse, then largely a steroid   called creatine that would become popular with Oakland A's player and San Diego native Mark McGwire.  The trend would escalate especially to the San Francisco giants, though the drug s of choice would change.   Barry Bonds and at least seven other (later indicted) Giants would favor a testosterone-based steroid known as the 'clear' and the 'creme' 
the Mitchell reports).


Bochy ,  as manager, would witness  cartoon-like numbers in Camaniti and Gwynn and later Bonds when Bochy came to the Giants in 2007.   Bochy  likely knew he was coming to a team featuring another cartoon-like character, both in changed appearance and statistics in Bonds, who was having his best seasons and breaking homerun and other records and doing things never done before , again, at an age when most players were either retired or nearing it.
(Note: We don't believe Gwynn used PEDs most of his  career but became caught up in the team culture with Caminiti and perhpas others in his later years when he could most benefit , much like his friend, Barry Bonds on the Giants





It's possible at the time  Bochy wasn't aware of a drug culture while Caminitti was still with San Diego, but he would  find out  a few years later while still managing San Diego when Camaniti came out with his own book in 2002 about his admitted steroid use in San Diego that would , in part, end up killing him  . 


When the Giants tabbed Bochy to replace Dusty Baker as manager in 2007 he certainly knew , post facto , if not before , what had happened around him during his San Diego days, yet  Bochy would accept the managerial position with the Giants knowing of the controversary surrounding Bonds'  astonishing late -career numbers .  If anyone should have drawn connections between his own now-deceased  ex-player, Camaniti, and Bonds ,  it was Bochy.  No doubt the Giants knew something when they hired him, i.e. as a sympathetic figure who would put up  with Bonds - and even let the Giant's star player control the clubhouse, including what trainers could come in to work with him. The Giants own team trainer, Stan Conte - no relation to Victor-would later leave the team for the hated Dodgers, just to get out of   a toxic situation. 


In a much forgotten or overlooked interview in 2002 , Bonds promised to share his 'secrets' with teamates.  That he did , we would later find out,  with seven  Giants indicted for illegal drug use (Mitchell Report). Other players that may NOT have joined Bonds, such as Jeff Kent, would  have nothing to do with Bonds.

When Bonds propelled the Giants   into the World Series in 2002 with his 'bag of secrets'  , Giants management no doubt would overlook  negative  Bondsian antics so much they rather lose a popular manager in Dusty Baker than a .370 power hitter (2002) who seemed to keep getting better  with age!

No doubt  Baker  had had enough of a dysfunctional clubhouse, and the Giants of him - and Baker was sent packing. Thant's when, in 2007,  Bruce Boche came on the scene.  Recently fired as manager of a  dysfunctional San Diego Padres team,  no doubt with similar problems as the Giants,  in  Bochy no doubt the Giants figured there was a match. On one hand one would think Boche would run the other way fromthe Giants, but, heck, it was   a job - and managerial positions in major league baseball don't come up often.
In  Bochy,   the Giants management found a tolerant manager who didn't mind playing second fiddle to Bonds;  one who would look the other way when the Bonds' entourage appeared. trainer and drug guru Greg Anderson in tow.  A  couple of brave and astute San Francisco baseball writers writers would eventually expose what was lurking in those shadows of AT&T Park and finally put an end to a decade of Giants   and Bonds living a lie, Bonds    walking away with a bunch of MVPs  and the Giants nearly pulling off a World Series in 2002.  Pressure mounted and the Giants begrudgingly  said goodbye to the man for whom AT&T was built - or who built AT&T-  Bonds, then 41 and still capable of hitting more homers than anyone half his age.  But the fun down by McCovey Cove  was far from over...

The loss of Bonds proved a mere blip on the radar as the Sabean and the Giants would take what knowledge  they had gleaned from Bonds and -without much of  a farm system and nary a World Series victory in 50 years - parlay that into a couple of unlikely World Series victories  in 2010 and 2012.  This time they didn't rely on one man alone, but a cast of characters... Melky 'Milk Man' Cabrera, Jose Guillen, Guillermo Moto and many more... and , with ownership , fans  and  a Commissioner  willing to look the other way, the Giants haven't stopped since . Despite the problems and expense he may have cost, Bonds may bave been the Giants best deal ever,for those  concerned most about the profit movtive.


 


Bochy  .500 manager

 


Bruce Bochy seems   a very likeable guy and certainly a 'player's manager'  but is he truly one of the premier managers of baseball?
He has been given credit especially for his handling of the pitchers and bullpen. But, when one looks at  his record he is a .500, (.501 to be exact as of 7/5)  manager with as many losses as wins over his 20 year managerial career.

 

Even with the Giants,who have been helped out with both natural and unnatural talent, he is only .514 , with a winning record only  the two world series  years of 2010 and 2012 plus 2011 of  his seven years in San Francisco prior to this one.
And, again, those winning years were certainly aided by  at three known PED users    (People may have already forgotten or don't care that  the Giants have had, since  Bonds,  a notorious reputation for having PED players, morseo than any other team.) In 2010, indicted PED users Jose Guillen and Guillermo Moto gave the Giants probably 5-10 wins between them, enough to propel them into the series that year.In 2012 it was Melky Cabrera leading the way, giving the Giants more
winning hits than any other player during his half season before getting suspended - again, enough to propel the Giants to thte World Series.


Where there's smoke there's fire:


Teams not hesitant to take aboard PED players are likely to perpetuate the trend - now having gone on so long it's hardly a trend anymore.
 It's likely, in our opinion, that there were others, too, like Marco Scutaro,
who came to the Giants from Colorado  about the time Cabrera was suspended; he raised  his average nearly 100 points,. from .267 to about .350 where it remained the rest of the season.  As in 2010, the Giants had unlikely late season surges with players like new acquistioni Cody Ross
and Pablo Sandoval each  hitting 8 homeruns in their respective years of 2010 and 2012 - more than they'd hit the entire year. Sandoval  hit three home runs in one playoff game against Detroit after only hitting three homeruns the entire year.

 



“It helps late in the season,” says Rangers designated hitter Mickey Tettleton, in Pete Williams’s 1997 USA TODAY story titled “Lifting the game: Creatine is baseball’s new gunpowder" (thanks to FanGraphs recent reprint  http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/ken-caminitis-goody-bag/)  he does not bother with nutrition supplements.
 “When you feel sluggish, it makes you feel like you have a little left in your gas tank.”

  So, we're saying, we believe that manager Bochy got some significant help to his managerial career .514  record with the Giants and even with San Diego where he was . 494 when he had Camininiti and Gwynn and others.(As reported before, we don't believe Gwynn used PEDs his entire career but became caught up in the culture when he could most benefit in his later years, much like his friend, Barry Bonds on the Giants.)


Interesting to note that the Giants-despite team President Larry Baer's comment that the team doesn't like to go after PED players for the very reputation the team already has- continue to sign known PED users such as Michael Morse this year. This strategy may be catching
up with them as we note in a coming article.

 


Way back in 1997, Sabean in his second  year as GM with the Giants already was virtually sanctioning the use of PEDs, believing that players were going to use anything that would give them that edge.  Ever since then we've seen Sabean and the Giants resort to the 'if you can't beat them join them' philosophy and has accepted that so-called inevitability of steroid use by signing many a known and suspected player.



From Pete Williams’s 1997 USA TODAY story titled “Lifting the game: Creatine is baseball’s new gunpowder" we have this key quote, reprised in Fan Graphs (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/ken-caminitis-goody-bag/)

In my mind, the most important quote comes near the end from Brian Sabean, then in his second year as Giants general manager (notable in itself):

Steroid use “wouldn’t surprise me,” says Giants general manager Brian Sabean. “If it gives somebody an edge, guys are going to use it. Look how it’s affected other sports. We’d really have our head in the sand if we thought it wasn’t here in baseball.”


Again, that was back in 1997. Nowhere has Sabean said the team would not bring in players with a PED history and he's been doing it ever since.



 The list of Giants who have used PEDs since then is longer than that of any other team. Rather than working against such an acceptance, Sabean and the Giants have lead in the open-door policy for drugs which has, in our opinion, severely tarnished , if not ruined baseball. Now, PEDs are commonplacein baseball. If not 50% of players are using, per the late user, Ken Caminitti, himself, or Balco's Victor Conte in more recent times, a good percentage are
due to MLB''s continued weak or ineffective drug testing program, which has not caught a single player in the past two seasons, to our knowledge -
and not because the sport is clean. All or at least four of last years division winners had indicted PED users on their teams. We could name names but we won't get into that;
hopefully that will come to light sooner than later by authorities higher than ourselves.  And, the PED beat goes on...

 San Fran Giants - Interesting look back at Bruce Bochy Era - Bochy Over-rated?
Bruce Bochy, SanFrancisco Giants, Pablo Sandoval, med peds, san fran giants, doping in sports

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#Tim Lincecum #No Hitter - 5 Reasons Unlikely Coincidence - Tim Lincecum Fangraphs, Tim Lincecum Twitter, Tim Lincecum



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 Tim Lincecum #No Hitter -   Unlikely Coincidence?  -  #Tim Lincecum Fangraphs,  Tim Lincecum, SanFranciscoGiants.com, SFGaints, No Hitter - #PEDs?



It seems like whenever the Giants are on a skid, something like this happens, eg Lincecum no-hitter, the second in two years and against the same team.  One just has to wonder at least a little bit...
The Giants had just lost 10 of 13 and two in a row to San Diego and suddenly Lincecum, now 30, blows away San Diego, this year more with   cut pitches more than the fastball. Last year he was suddenly throwing mid-90s fastballs and 140 total pitches, unheard of for most pitchers, especially the diminutive Lincecum. This year he did it with the cut stuff and seemed to do it effortlessly and as if he knew it it was coming. Tim Lincecum No Hitter , Tim Lincecum Fangraphs,  Tim Lincecum Twitter, Tim Lincecum, SanFranciscoGiants.com, SFGaints, No Hitter, #PEDs?




WHY UNLIKELY TIM LINCECUM NO HITTER?

1) First Pitcher in 100 Years to Throw Two No Hitters for San Francisco Giants
  (Christy Mathewson through the other). Even the great Juan Marichal didn't throw two.) 
   
2) First Pitcher to Throw Two No Hitters Against the Same Team

3) One of Only a Handful of Pitchers to Throw No Hitter After Age 30

     On the Downside of His Career

4) Perhaps the only Pitcher to throw Two No Hitters Despite a near 5.00 ERA


5) Threw No Hitter Almost Effortlessly, Almost Expected





Lincecum is only the second pitcher in the history of the Giants to throw two no-hitters...and he nearly threw a third last year against Chicago and he's doing it well past his prime Cy Young seasons, which makes things seem even more odd. This year he's been able to throw 93 mph on occassion but used other pitches, too. In addition, Lincecum got two base hits, more than his total for the whole year.



Again, one just has to wonder at least a bit how this could happen. We've seen Sandoval suddenly hit three homeruns against Detroit top pitching in playoffs and more homers in October than the rest of the season. We've seen other late career players like  Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell suddenly ramp it up for the playoffs and World Series -in fact the entire Giants team has almost
magically 'caught fire' late in seasons with different cast of characters.  It was very unlikely and perhaps unbelievable to see the Giants, led by players like Lincecum to blow out much better teams in those 2010 and 2012 playoffs
and series.




And, again, this time, when the Giants needed a lift, almost magically, probably the Giants weakest starter(near 5,00 ERA for the season) puts up a no-hitter, something he couldn't even   during his prime - and now he's done it twice in two years at age 30.
San Diego may be the weakest hitting team in baseball but they've been hot lately, beating the Giants twice.
Tim Lincecum No Hitter - Unlikely Coincidence?, Tim Lincecum Fangraphs,  Tim Lincecum Twitter, Tim Lincecum, SanfranciscoGiants.com, SFGaints






The Giants are known to look for things like this to spark not only the team but the fan base - and have long turned the other way concerning the use of Performance enhancing drugs. No , we're not saying Lincecum used them, yet there are too many coincidences here. We can't say for sure - the fastball wasn't a key factor here by which  we often use to help measure performance trends and likelihood of PED use - but  PEDs work for other pitches, too,  adding dip, curving action, etc. NOW WITH THE LATEST DESIGNER DRUGS- FOR WHICH MLB HAS STILL NOT  INSTITUTED TESTS (WHICH DO EXIST) THAT CAN DETECT THEM - PLAYERS CAN GO ON AND OFF THE DRUGS ON A WHIM AND HAVE THEM OUT OF THE SYSTEM WITHIN HOURS, eg Lincecum can take a dose before the game and have it out of his systems hours later. Why do you think players like Sandoval and others have sudden spurts of success amidst failures. 



 Furthermore, we can look at empirical data of known #PED users   such as Bartolo Colon,    comparing F/X (FANGRAPHS) (velocity) stats with those of Lincecum. We DON'T see an expeced increase in velocity, but a natural age-related decrease in velocity. For Colon, the fastball showed a drop from 92.1 to 90.9 and for Lincecum the fastball dropped  from 93.6 mph to 89.8 in a seven year period from 2007 and 2014.  No, we can't be sure Colon and LIncecum were users the entire seven year period but we can assume that Colon probably was. And, instead of an expected increase of velocity from the PEDs we actually see a drop. Likewise with Lincecum.  Then, of course, there are different types of  PEDs. Steroids such as creatine used by Mark McGwire ,   popular earlier, add  mass and bulk, thereby especially enhancing one's bat speed, ie power, while also aiding in hand-eye coordination, ie seeing and hitting the ball better. 


SO, HOW DO THE NEWER DESIGNER PEDs HELP PLAYERS? Today , the newer designer drugs like testosterone may not add the bulk but ,rather, still improve accuracy/hand-eye performance , ie  we may not see a huge rise in homeruns but we see improved batting averages and reduce strikeouts while on the PEDs. In pitching , with the newer drugs , we would see similar changes, including ball movement. Pitches  will do unusual things such as giving exaggerated movement to the pitch/ball.   Players have become smarter and have learned to 'hide' their improved performances. No longer do we see cartoon-like homerun totals but higher batting averages, take known PED user Melky Cabrera  who suddenly raised his batting average  50 points when he joined Kansas City / San Francisco before being suspended as a Giant. The above is our take / opinion on a subject that we hope we can stop writing about one of these days , but for now we feel, as 'old-school' baseball fans, needs to be brought before the public.




SEE LINCECUM FIRST NO HITTER: Unlikely 148-Pitch No Hitter, Giants Up to Old Tricks Again?


SEE MORE GIANTS


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Tim Lincecum No Hitter - Unlikely Coincidence?, Tim Lincecum Fangraphs,  Tim Lincecum Twitter, Tim Lincecum, SanfranciscoGiants.com, SFGaints

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A's Win On One Hit and Three Runs in Bizarre Game for the Record Books

 

 First - Ever Regular Season A's Win With Only One Hit
 
 
If Your Team Gets Nine Hits and the Opponent Gets 1 Hit  You Would Expect Your  Team To Win. Not so for the poor Tampa Bay Rays, May 21.
Furthermore, your team gets two runs but the 'one hit wonders' still beat  you. How is that possible?  And, we're not talking music here...
 
The Oakland A's won their 11th in 12 games in unlikely fashion in one bizarre game at the Tampa Bay Dome, or whatever you call the indoor stadium. The A's  were able to bunch their one hit  , a homerun by Brandon Moss  with  walks and errors  by Tampa Bay;.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay was NOT able to bunch their NINE hits.
Credit Oakland relievers Abad for getting out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth and Doolittle for blowing his fastball by the Rays after a ceiling-aided single in the ninth. 
 

CEILING-AIDED SINGLE

That's right. Even with the assistance of a 'sky rule' base hit in the ninth inning, Tampa Bay was unable to beat the dominant Oakland A's , who seem to find new ways to win. Tampa Bay's second  batter in the ninth hit a high  popup that hit the dome ceiling ring cross bar, altering the downward flight of the ball, causing John Donaldson to miss the ball. Perhaps an odd baseball book ruling allows such balls in play.
 
 
Oakland has never before won a regular season game when only scoring one hit and they managed to still win when the other team scored two runs. They did win on one hit in the 1974 World Series when Catfish Hunter - who else? - was pitching for them.  Only four teams have one a game on one hit in the last five years, but none scoring as many as three runs on one hit.
 
The A's also managed to win against their old closer, Grant Balfour, who closed out the ninth inning for Tampa Bay.  A game for the books...The Oakland A's have been called many things before and now they can be called One Hit Wonders.
Hopefully ,for the A's - who now have the best record in baseball -  they'll get more hits next time and not count on such an unlikely game.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

INSTANT REPLAY IN BASEBALL BECOMING A JOKE WITH GIANTS 'STALL BALL'

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INSTANT REPLAY IN BASEBALL  BECOMING A JOKE WITH GIANTS 'STALL BALL'



Bruce Bochy didn't get mad. He got critiquin'. The Giants manager went into his studious mode, getting a signal from his first-base coach, Roberto Kelly. Watching the body language of his runner, Juan Perez. Most of all, waiting for his video guy on a walkie-talkie, Shawon Dunston, to confirm the umpire got it wrong. In other words, in the Giants' first spring-training crack at exercising their replay rights, Bochy took his sweet time alerting the umpires he was challenging the call. On that front, the new replay system is over the top. It allows teams to use replay to determine whether to go to replay. Is that...more »  *(SFGate 3-18-14, John Shea)



SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS  FIRST TO WORK INSTANT REPLAY IN BASEBALL TO ITS BENEFIT



Leave it to the San Francisco Giants to figure out the latest loophole/cheat in baseball - and Major League Baseball either not notice and/or not do anything about it... First it was the Giants   popularizing illegal PEDs with Bonds and friends while continuing to seek out known tainted players to this day, then  'selling out' 250 straight games without really selling them out and now  beating the replay game while stalling games and continuing to make a mockery of the grand old sport .   



 It goes something like this, in case you haven't noticed, eg: 

A close call happens late in the game with the score tied 1-1, eg a runner is called out at first base on a close call. Manager Bochy SLOWLY walks out to complain while the Giants video department is looking at it's own video replay of the close call. Only after the Giants video people see close up and personal that the umps blew the call does Bochy speed his step and lodge a complaint with the umps. The umps then check with MLB video headquarters in New York. Of course, the call is overturned. The Giants win all these replay challenges because they see it first! 



INSTANT REPLAY IN BASEBALL MAKES FOR UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD



On one hand, slap the Giants for , again, taking unfair advantage but on the other hand give the Giants credit for taking advantage of the loophole that MLB continues to allow - again, falling down on the job as it has done for years with it's lax drug testing, failure to take a position on the Bay Area baseball stadium issue , etc.  Perhaps other teams have fallen in the Giants footsteps by now but the Giants didn't HAVE to go to the extreme measure, whether one calls it cheating or not - and baseball should have caught and tightened this loophole by now...




 Now, that   the Giants have got this 'stall ball' tactic down to a science they are , not surprisingly,  winning all of their replay challenges,  which have resulted in a number of wins they wouldn't have had last year before replay .  Lets see how long it takes until other teams finally wake up  and either play the stall game with their videographers, themselves, or MLB  comes out of its latest stupid, er, stupor... . REAL accurate, effective Drug testing STILL hasn't been actuated more than 10 years  since Bonds made PEDs vogue (see previous posts in these pages),   so this replay flaw could go on indefinitely. You'd think other teams would either complain about the Giants or join the stall game themselves if MLB continues to allow this unfair 'loophole 'and the Giants , of course, happily taking advantage of it.