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Egan2581 Profile
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HALL OF FAME POSTER

Registered: 12-2006
Posts: 1594
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This article provides a lot of confidence and hope for 2008


UNINSPIRING SPRING
Giants are not doing the little things to win
John Shea, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, March 21, 2008

  
 (03-21) 04:00 PDT Tempe, Ariz. --

The Giants are supposed to be "gamers," as their ad campaign screams out. Without Barry Bonds, they're supposed to revert to small ball. They're supposed to execute properly. They're supposed to play the game the right way.

They're supposed to do the little things.

"We're not doing them," manager Bruce Bochy said after another uninspiring performance in the desert that left him annoyed and searching for answers. "We have lapses on defense right now. It's going to be the difference between being a pretty good ballclub and being mediocre. Right now, we're not even playing decent ball."

With Thursday's 8-1 exhibition loss to the Angels, the Giants are 6-17-2, the worst record in the majors, covering both Arizona- and Florida-based teams. They've had losses in six straight days, dating to Saturday's two-game split, and won just one of 11 road games.

If it were one area that needed attention, perhaps it would be easier for Bochy to grasp. But with 10 days before he begins his second season as Giants manager, the issues are multifold. The Giants stress pitching and defense, but their ERA (7.11) is highest in the majors, and they've committed the most errors (30).

They're hitting .253, the lowest average among the 12 teams training in hitter-friendly Arizona, most of which are in the high .200s or low .300s.

The five starting pitchers have produced an 8.11 ERA, led by Opening Day starter Barry Zito's 14.92, but the pitching appears to be the least of Bochy's worries.

Thursday, fifth-starter Jonathan Sanchez gave up 10 hits in five innings (four runs, two earned), but Bochy defended him, saying, "Maybe three of those were hit hard."

Sanchez got his pitch count up and threw strikes, issuing no walks, and maybe that's all Bochy could ask from a fifth starter in these conditions. Then again, the conditions didn't bother Angels prospect Nick Adenhard, considering he blanked the Giants for six innings and allowed three harmless singles.

Bochy had other reasons to be troubled.

The offense failed to produce after two runners reached base with no outs in the second inning, in large part because Daniel Ortmeier hit into a double play. Ditto after the Giants put a man on third with one out in the fourth - Eugenio Velez was a routine out at the plate after mistakenly breaking home on Aaron Rowand's grounder to third.

"We're not getting a hit or getting them in," Bochy said. "We talked about this."

It gets worse. Defense was a struggle again, and Bochy said with a straight face, "We're going to have to catch the ball." Catchers Eliezer Alfonzo and Guillermo Rodriguez each was charged with passed balls, Rodriguez's permitting a seventh-inning run.

The Giants haven't decided who'll be the backup behind Bengie Molina. Rodriguez is hitting .118, Alfonzo .075.

"I don't think anybody has stepped up and won that job," Bochy said.

Then there's Velez's two-out error at third that ignited an Angels three-run rally.

One run scored on the misplay, another on Chone Figgins' follow-up double.

Bochy remains patient with Velez, who's still looking for a position he can handle. "He's learning," Bochy said.

"He hasn't played over there. With two outs, he just needs to keep it in front of him."

Thursday was a single exhibition in a six-week training camp, but the negative numbers aren't going away, and Bochy knows time is running out before the March 31 opener at Dodger Stadium.

"We're still optimistic," Bochy said. "The pitching is coming around. We've got to keep our heads up, keep working. We're aware we're not winning games here, and it's something we would like to do before we break camp. I don't know if a few of the guys are tight right now, but we'll be out here working on it tomorrow."

E-mail John Shea at jshea@sfchronicle.com.

Yikes

 emoticon

I am fully in favor of rebuilding. I have tried to prepare myself for this long arduous season ahead, but it still sucks... and it's still hard to watch this franchise fall this far. My expectations are low, but geez, can't we do AT LEAST one aspect of the game well? So far we haven't pitched, we can't hit, and we can't field. What happened to fundamentals? Execution? Small ball? 4 hits yesterday? This is painful..... and it's only ST.

Last edited by Egan2581, 3/21/2008, 5:50 am
3/21/2008, 5:13 am Link to this post   
 
tommsfgiant Profile
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ALL-STAR POSTER

Registered: 03-2008
Posts: 338
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Re: This article provides a lot of confidence and hope for 2008


I've lost all confidence in this team and at this point would be open to seeing any trade made absent Cain. It will be almost impossible to watch this team in 2008 unless something changes QUICKLY.
3/21/2008, 8:45 am Link to this post   
 
losgigantes Profile
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HALL OF FAME POSTER

Registered: 12-2007
Location: South Bay
Posts: 1935
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At least they're saying they suck right now. I'd much rather they admit it and try to get better than say "everything will be fine, we're just rusty"

---
Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!!!
3/21/2008, 9:50 am Link to this post   
 
tommsfgiant Profile
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ALL-STAR POSTER

Registered: 03-2008
Posts: 338
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Re: This article provides a lot of confidence and hope for 2008


They are going to have to shake things up big time if they don't start moving in the right direction these next few games- and I think they will. The team will not want so many empty seats this season and all the abuse that the fans will rain down. By june we will hear "WE want BARRY" chants!
3/21/2008, 10:11 am Link to this post   
 
smac49 Profile
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PROVEN VETERAN POSTER

Registered: 03-2008
Location: ~Sunny South~
Posts: 173
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I don't know if it those chants will be as late as June.

How soon do you think we will hear "boos" from the overall team? I say Zito gets it 2nd start.
3/21/2008, 10:20 am Link to this post   
 
tommsfgiant Profile
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ALL-STAR POSTER

Registered: 03-2008
Posts: 338
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Re: This article provides a lot of confidence and hope for 2008


Zito is definitely going to have a huge target on his back!
3/21/2008, 10:46 am Link to this post   
 
Bhaakon Profile
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HALL OF FAME POSTER

Registered: 10-2006
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What a masterful stroke of marketing. By focusing on the team's minor problems (aka: "the little things"), attention is drawn away from the massive and overriding fundamental flaws (like having no talent). Bravo.
3/21/2008, 2:21 pm Link to this post   
 
Cameron Frye Profile
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HALL OF FAME POSTER

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1194
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Re: …


quote:

Bhaakon wrote:

What a masterful stroke of marketing. By focusing on the team's minor problems (aka: "the little things"), attention is drawn away from the massive and overriding fundamental flaws (like having no talent). Bravo.



I've heard various members of management on the radio over the winter and each one of them at least once has pointed to the fact that the SF Giants have the third best collective winning percentage of any team's minor league affiliates over the past three years.

I have zero doubt that Brian Sabean has used that tool at least once to keep his job; and Magowan, who obviously knows nothing about the game, goes along with it.

The scary part is that not one of the hosts has ever called the member of management for the comment. The first time I hear a KNBR (or other) host mention that it SHOULD be successful considering the fact that most teams in the Giants system have been 2-4 years older than their collective competition over that time frame I will probably have to check into the hospital for cardiac monitoring.

---
The designated hitter rule is like letting someone else take Wilt Chamberlain's free throws.

~Rick Wise, 1974


3/21/2008, 2:37 pm Link to this post   
 
Bhaakon Profile
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HALL OF FAME POSTER

Registered: 10-2006
Posts: 3591
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I don't know how Magowan could attend the majority of the home games and not see through that rash of !@#$. Hell, I only get to a half dozen games a season and I can see through it.
3/21/2008, 2:46 pm Link to this post   
 


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