Another $35 Million. Madison Bumgarner, come on down! You’re the next winner of Millionaire!
Is it just me or do the San Francisco Giants suddenly have tons of cash? Maybe $2 Billion for the Dodgers was accurate after all.
The G-Men now have $175M tied up in two pitchers, Matt Cain and Bumgarner. And this is before they resign Tim Lincecum, who is likely to get at least $100M. So, is the writing on the wall for Mr. Lincecum? I think so. He’ll be gone within the next two seasons, maybe as early as this year if the Giants fall behind in the division. And the way things are going in LA and AZ, that could be a real possibility.
Westside Culture is moving up in the world. The world of baseball blogging that is. From 28th up to 23rd (Ryne Sandberg style) and taking a shot at the Top 20 next month. To celebrate I’ve decided to give you, the fans of Westside Culture, an exclusive interview. (For those of you who may not know, I Kevin Rehberg, aka Westside Culture, do most of the interviews for Westside Culture, thus I will be interviewing myself. Or is it my alter ego? Either way.)
WestSide Culture: So, what’s it like being
the biggest bad ass on the planet ranked 23rd in MLB’s Fan Blogs??
Kevin Rehberg: You know, it’s a daily grind. Let me put it this way. Beat writers constantly talk about the daily grind for baseball players and having to get up for 162 games per year, even when you’re playing the Rockies and the Mariners. For me, I have to be ready 365 and always prepared. I’ve found shots of espresso and RedBull throughout the day do the trick.
Recently Ubaldo Jimenez threw at Troy Tulowitzki and was suspended 5 games, what are your thoughts?
Troy, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Ubaldo and Tulo had been yapping back and forth for weeks, Troy had to know in the back of his mind getting thrown at was a possibility. Get over it. It’s baseball. With that being said, a 5 game suspension for a starting pitcher means he misses one start. What Ubaldo did was bush league and warrants at least missing a couple of starts.
D’Backs take on the Giants tonight in Arizona. Predictions?
D’Backs win. Ian Kennedy owns the Giants, although any time your opposing pitcher is Tim Lincecum, you cannot guarantee a win. I’ll say 1-0 Arizona and Paul Goldschmidt’s solo HR off of Lincecum in the 4th is the only scoring.
Sorry to cut you short, but I’ve got shit to do. Do you mind if I post this as is and we can reschedule for later this evening to finish up the rest?
Do what you gotta’ do.
## update, interview continued
Well, you were wrong about the Giants v D’Backs game.
Yes, still I picked the correct winner and nailed the Paul Goldschmidt solo HR off of Tim Lincecum. So there.
Give me your 2012 World Series picks.
A please would be nice. An American League team will play a National League team.
Who is your favorite MLB Blogger, besides yourself?
Hmm… I’m really feeling Dallas Latos’ blog, I also like Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend, and for obvious reasons, Down the Line with the Phillies Ball Girls. Although that blog is definitely not West Coast. Shame on them.
I haven’t seen a line-up yet for today so not sure if Mike Trout is playing or Pujols (they better be). But, Tim Lincecum is. And I will be there. The Freak is in the building. Keep checking back. I’m going to try to get technology to work for me today and blog live from the game. No promises though. After all it is technology.
#### Trout DNP. No surprise there. Pretty much the rest of the Angels were in the lineup versus Lincecum, including Pujols, Howie Kendrick, Mark Trumbo, Erik Aybar, etc all. Both teams appear to be serious contenders in their division, with pitching and depth being the keys.
This was my first look at Albert Pujols in person and I’ve gotta say, I came away quite impressed. Dude just looks smooth out there, on defense and at the plate. Still not sure why the STL decided to give up on him.
Speaking of fun to watch, is there anyone more entertaining than Pablo Sandoval? I have no idea what he’s doing up there, but Kung Fu Panda just goes up to the batters area and starts kicking dirt around. Strange. Can’t argue with the results though.
A sad side note from today’s game came off the bat (literally) of Mark Trumbo. He broke his bat which went flying into the stands, just above the Angels dugout, about 5 rows away from where I was sitting. The lady it hit was clearly knocked out cold. I’m hoping she’s ok. Play was stopped and she was taken out on a stretcher. She did walk to the stretcher so that is a good sign. I’m certain she is in the thoughts and prayers of young #44 this evening.
The San Francisco Giants are starting to scare me. The NL West might be the Arizona Diamondbacks division to lose, but it appears the Giants may have figured out how to hit. Not good for anyone wearing Sedona Red.
Melky Cabrera continues his torrid Spring. Another 2/3, 2 RBI performance and he continues to launch homers from both sides of the plate. Think he can break Barry’s HR record? I joke.
Others who put the fear of God into me (besides Brian Wilson and that beard) are Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, Angel Pagan, Brandon Belt and Brett Pill. Their shortstop, Brandon Crawford, who last year couldn’t hit his way out of a cardboard box, seems to have gained a ton of confidence. Aubrey Huff continues to stink, but no surprise there.
With the pitching rotation of Lincecum, Bumgarner, Cain, Vogelsong and Zito, the G-Men are stacked. They’ll keep opponents to a low score and just need to put up 3+ runs in offense. Last season, that was a problem. This year it appears they’ve improved enough to make the D’Backs shake their rattles at least a little.
The San Francisco Giants are no longer the hunted. A year removed from their World Series Championship and subsequent feature on HBO’s The Franchise, the Giants are flying a bit under the radar.
Last year was a mess of a season where the Giants held first place for much of the season, only to cough up the lead to the D’Backs down the stretch. Perhaps it was that hideous Brian Wilson beard, or his terrible Taco Bell, ESPN and PlayStation commercials. Maybe it was their appearance on the afore mentioned HBO show. It could have been the nightmare injury that occurred to Buster Posey. All of these could have played a factor, but at the end of the day, the problem was, the Giants couldn’t hit.
They lost tons of games 1-0, 2-1, 2-0, etc., so you can’t fault the pitching. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelson and Madison Bumgarner did their parts. Wilson was ok, but nowhere near his 2010 dominance. Sergio Romo is a basket of nastiness. Expect the trend to continue.
So what did the Giants do about the offense? Essentially they cleaned house. Bye bye Beltran. C-ya C. Ross. Burrell, DeRosa, Keppinger, Torres, all gone.
Newbies Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera will provide much needed speed. The Milk Man (Cabrera) will give them some pop. Buster Posey will be back. Pablo Sandoval, aka Kung Fu Panda is the man. I like Brandon Belt a lot more than Aubrey Huff. Freddy Sanchez is okay at best and after that there looks to be a big drop off. So, it looks like the lack of offense trend will continue, too.
Expect much of the same as 2011. Dominant pitching. Spotty hitting. 2nd place in the NL West. The good news? Scottsdale Stadium is the best place to watch a Spring Training game. And I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.