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thecove Profile
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ROOKIE PHENOM
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thecove is in AZ


 =D

I have reports from ST on the other board.

Stop by and check it out or Feel free to copy and paste it here if you'd like.

Last edited by thecove, 3/19/2006, 7:46 pm


---
"Never Let Your Success Go to Your Head or Your Failures Go To Your Heart"
3/19/2006, 7:44 pm Link to this post   
 
merkin Profile
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Re: thecove is in AZ


Sweeet
thx for the heads up

Hope you are having fun in the desert

Dont come back without a hang over and a sunburn

 emoticon

---
"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/19/2006, 7:59 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thecove is in AZ


March 19, 2006 - Brewers 4 Giants 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(reproduced with permission of Cove)

So after nearly 6 months of no baseball, light offseason activity and yet another Barry Bonds steroid scandal, I finally got to see our boys in person and in action again. SF Giants Baseball 2006 is under way.

We woke up to rain this morning and the sinking feeling that we would have our first spring training rain out since we started coming to AZ 4 years ago. But nothing was going to stop us from our first trip to Scottsdale Stadium this year.

Walking into the stadium about an hour and a half before game time with the tarp on the field, the first thing we noticed were the changes in right field.

Gone is the entrance behind the right field foul pole and the parking lot beyond it. Rising up from right behind the right field wall is a picnic table area and concessions. Replacing the parking lot are two practice fields. The additions are nice and make Scottsdale Stadium a lot more functional as a Major League Spring Training Facility.

I haven't had a chance to walk around that area but plan to do so next game.

The other major change is that the Giants dugout is no longer in a tent. They have an actual store near the players parking lot.

Okay enough with the facilities, let's get to some baseball. By now you all know the final score, a 4-2 loss unfortunatley. So I will give you some highlights and observations.

They pulled the tarp off of the field to the cheers of the fans. And the game was on shortly after the teams warmed up.

Matt Morris was pitching with Mike Matheny catching. Is there any doubt that the battery of Morris/Matheny will not be broken this year?

Morris started off well striking out 2 in the top of the first. But throughout his start, he was giving up some stinging hits to the Brewers. I'm not worried, since it is only Spring Training. Nevertheless, it's still a little concerning seeing our big offseason acquisition giving up ringing hits like he did today.

But the home plate umpire was really squeezing the strike zone today and many fans were giving plate umpire grief. Unfortunately, he would get the last laugh. More on that in a bit.

Omar Vizquel looks great. He made some difficult plays look easy and smooth. He also laid down a slick bunt single that trickled down the left field line and stayed fair on the muddy basepath.

Even Ray Durham made a nice diving play. I cringed when he dove, begging him to take it easy on those troublesome legs.

Linden had a chance to cash in early, but took strike 3 looking. He made up for it with a Sac Fly later in the game.

Steve Kline came in, got himself into a little jam but luckily got out of it.

Back to the home plate umpire. Like I said, he was getting grief from the fans during the game. So in the 9th, the youngsters mounted a rally and got two runners on. With two outs and two strikes, on the batter, Tyler Von xxx (I forgot his last name) took a questionable pitch. The home plate umpire delayed, took a step back and called strike three. Game Over. The Umpire Strikes Back. (Cheesy description, I know.)

This was a split squad game, so there were a lot of minor league players in the game, including Shabala and McMain.

The other sqaud lost to the Royals in Surprise, but Kevin Frandsen hit a 3R HR in that game.

No Bonds today. That was not surprising, especially with the wet field.

It was freezing cold and I thought my ears were going to fall off but it just brought back memories of Candlestick Park. Others were not so brave as there were plenty of empty seats.

Carlos Lee of the Brewers is a bad role model for the younger guys in their camp. We were sitting three rows back of LF and watched the Brewers warm up. As one of their coaches was running warm up drills for the team, Carlos Lee was barely participating or listening. He half heartedly did the drills and was too busy messing around with other players. It's one thing not to participate in the drills, like Barry, but it's another thing to take part in them and be a distraction to others doing the drills.

Lastly, one of the Brewers pitchers was practicing throwing his knuckleball right in front of us. He was actually throwing it in our direction and another player was catching him. If you have never seen a major league knuckleball up close, it is nasty. The ball doesnt rotate and floats and dives and is completely unpredictable. No wonder Tim Wakefield makes guys look like complete idiots.

The Giants are off tomorrow so being the baseball fans that we are, tomorrow we go to Tucson to watch the Cubs v. the Diamondbacks. We have never been to the D'backs Spring Training Stadium and we want to see them all.

Update you tomorrow.

---
"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/19/2006, 8:01 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thecove is in AZ


Another post from AZ is up on the other board.

Feel free to copy and paste it here as well as subsequent reports.

Later!

---
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3/20/2006, 8:46 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thecove is in AZ


March 20, 2006 Cubs 10 Diamondbacks 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  

Tucson

For anybody who has never been to Arizona, Tucson is about as far away from the Spring Training scene as you can get.

The Diamondbacks and White Sox Spring training facilities are about an hour and a half drive from Tempe. We had never seen it before and since the Giants weren't playing today, we scheduled a trip to see it.

We give it pretty good reviews. It's a nice place and the prices were very inexpensive. For example, $4 at Socttsdale stadium yesterday got me a plain armor hot dog that you can buy from the local grocery store. While $[sign in to see URL] got me a foot long super dog with the works at Tucson Electric Park. I was filled for the entire game.

That being said, we probably won't be going back there in the future unless the Giants are playing there. It's just too far away.

Now to the game. The dbacks got whipped. Plain and simple. They managed only two hits with the second coming in the 9th inning.

Orlando Hernandez started the game for the D'backs and did not look good. He is just not fooling people the way he did with the Yankees. Neifi Perez jacked a HR off of him for crying out loud.

Scott Eyre got in the game and was well, Scott Eyre, pitching a scoreless inning.

Another former Giant, Terry Mulholand got in the game. He is now with the D'backs. He has been in the league for 20+ years now and believe me he looks every bit the 20 year veterean with a gray beard and long gray hair. Nothing wrong with that, more power to him. Lots of guys would kill to have a Major League career like him.

The D'backs were frustrated all day and Luis Gonzalez was a prime example of those frustrations. Gonzo took a called third strike for the third out on a quesionable pitch. He kept talking to the home plate umpire as he was taking off his batting helmet and gloves. He proceeded to drop them more in the direction of the umpire than the dugout and got tossed out of the game. Bob Melvin then came out to argue and got tossed as well.

The one bright side of the D'backs day was their defense up the middle. Orlando Hudson and their highly touted SS prospect Stephen Drew (JD's brother) put on a show. They made some sensationals plays and turned some crisp double plays. Drew will be pressuring Craig Counsel for playing time.

Cubs fans showed up in full force. I could not tell which team was the home team.

The other thing that stuck in my head was seeing 2005 World Series Champ Chicago White Sox around the ball park.

I want to say that about the Giants so badly.

Tomorrow we're back in Scottsdale for the Giants v. the A's.

Stay tuned.

---
"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/20/2006, 8:57 pm Link to this post   
 
thecove Profile
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Re: thecove is in AZ


Yet another upadate is up from AZ.

Todd Linden is beginning to get on my last nerve.

---
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3/21/2006, 11:26 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thecove is in AZ


quote:

thecove wrote:

Yet another upadate is up from AZ.

Todd Linden is beginning to get on my last nerve.



he got on everyone's never last season. looks pretty, but if he can't hit he can hit the road.

---
Hamels started toward the dugout after what he thought was a strike. Lincecum didn't get the call & buzzed ump Dana DeMuth w. a fastball that slammed off the backstop & then froze Hamels w. another 3rd strike. 4/28/10 Timmy the ump killer.
3/21/2006, 11:35 pm Link to this post
 
thecove Profile
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Re: thecove is in AZ


He killed two rallys today.

I cringed when he stepped to the plate today. Everyone else in the stands felt the same way.

---
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3/21/2006, 11:40 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thecove is in AZ


quote:

merkin wrote:

March 20, 2006 Cubs 10 Diamondbacks 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  

Tucson

For anybody who has never been to Arizona, Tucson is about as far away from the Spring Training scene as you can get.

The Diamondbacks and White Sox Spring training facilities are about an hour and a half drive from Tempe. We had never seen it before and since the Giants weren't playing today, we scheduled a trip to see it.

We give it pretty good reviews. It's a nice place and the prices were very inexpensive. For example, $4 at Socttsdale stadium yesterday got me a plain armor hot dog that you can buy from the local grocery store. While $[sign in to see URL] got me a foot long super dog with the works at Tucson Electric Park. I was filled for the entire game.

That being said, we probably won't be going back there in the future unless the Giants are playing there. It's just too far away.

Now to the game. The dbacks got whipped. Plain and simple. They managed only two hits with the second coming in the 9th inning.

Orlando Hernandez started the game for the D'backs and did not look good. He is just not fooling people the way he did with the Yankees. Neifi Perez jacked a HR off of him for crying out loud.

Scott Eyre got in the game and was well, Scott Eyre, pitching a scoreless inning.

Another former Giant, Terry Mulholand got in the game. He is now with the D'backs. He has been in the league for 20+ years now and believe me he looks every bit the 20 year veterean with a gray beard and long gray hair. Nothing wrong with that, more power to him. Lots of guys would kill to have a Major League career like him.

The D'backs were frustrated all day and Luis Gonzalez was a prime example of those frustrations. Gonzo took a called third strike for the third out on a quesionable pitch. He kept talking to the home plate umpire as he was taking off his batting helmet and gloves. He proceeded to drop them more in the direction of the umpire than the dugout and got tossed out of the game. Bob Melvin then came out to argue and got tossed as well.

The one bright side of the D'backs day was their defense up the middle. Orlando Hudson and their highly touted SS prospect Stephen Drew (JD's brother) put on a show. They made some sensationals plays and turned some crisp double plays. Drew will be pressuring Craig Counsel for playing time.

Cubs fans showed up in full force. I could not tell which team was the home team.

The other thing that stuck in my head was seeing 2005 World Series Champ Chicago White Sox around the ball park.

I want to say that about the Giants so badly.

Tomorrow we're back in Scottsdale for the Giants v. the A's.

Stay tuned.

Good stuff.

That D'Backs defense up the middle sounds good, Brandon Webb is going to love Orlando Hudson.

Of course Orlando Hernandez looks bad, must be 45 years old by now LOL.


---
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3/21/2006, 11:40 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thecove is in AZ


March 21, 2006 A's 5 Giants 4

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scottsdale

The weather was erratic today, it started off sunny and warm and quickly turned to cloudy, windy and rainy. The game wasn't much better for our boys.

Both teams started their A team except for Bonds on the Giants side.

And when they announced the A's lineup, I fully realized how very strong their lineup is now. Chavez, Bradley, Crosby, Kotsay et al. The lineup is solid and I believe they have a great shot at the AL West Title and they have great pitching.

We know the outcome so I will break down some performances for you.

Noah Lowry - He was not fooling anybody today. He gave up quite a few solid hits including a shot off the wall by Bobby Crosby that would have been a HR anywhere else in the Cactus League. And he gave up a no doubt HR to Bradley. Lowry looked confident but didn't seem like he was hitting his spots. He got behind a few hitters and that led to trouble. Noah is going to have to realize that one adjustment is not good enough in this league. It seems opponents have readjusted to him so now he will have to adjust back. I hope that is what he is working on this spring.

Omar Vizquel - He made a couple of nice plays and had some hot shots glance off of his glove and into the outfield. Just to get his glove on some of those drives were great plays but 2-3 years ago, Vizquel turns those plays into outs. It's just a natural part of aging, but we are going to see more plays not made by Vizquel than were are used to seeing.

Dan Haren - Did a number on us and had our guys off balance all day. The A's rotation is solid as always.

Steve Finley - what can I say? I was not happy that our outfield got older when we acquired him and I still haven't forgiven him for the 2004 grand slam. But he had a nice day today, getting two hits when the rest of the lineup was struggling.

Todd Linden - What can I say about this guy? When they announced him as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded, I voiced my displeasure. But being the consumate Giants fan I yelled out "C'mon Rally Killer, One Time!" that got a few laughs out of the other Giants fans around me. Which leads me to believe that more and more fans are losing patience with this kid. So what does Linden do? He weakly grounded out to end the inning. He grounded out to end another rally later in the game. The fifth outfield spot should be Jason Ellison's.

Randy Winn - Don't be fooled by Winn's HR, it should have been an out. Everybody, including the A's rightfielder thought that ball was in the park. But the unstable weather was pushing a jet stream to right field and the ball that Winn hit simply rode the wind over the fence. The wind was so strong that it took some of the picnic umbrellas in the new picnic area above right field and flung them across that section. Very dangerous and as soon as that happened, those umbrellas were folded up.

Merkin Valdez - He looked very sharp and I think he could be a factor in the bullpen. It looked like he was working on a new pitch or couldn't get a feel for a certain pitch because during warmups he was bouncing a pitch to the plate. His fastball had good life and when the inning started it was all business. He tried that pitch one time during the inning, bounced it and that was the last we saw of that. We might finally get to see a little bit more of Merkin this year.

Mark Sweeney - A couple of balls got by Sweeney and he also had a throwing error. And after each one of those plays, I could hear "JT would have had that one". We will definitely miss that gold glove at first. What's the saying? You don't know what you had until it's gone. Well, get used to saying that this year. Sweeney will just need to make up for it with his bat.

Tomorrow is a double header for us.

We head to Maryvale to watch the Rangers v. Brewers in the afternoon and then it's a night game in Scottsdale for Angels v. Giants at 7pm.

---
"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/21/2006, 11:45 pm Link to this post   
 


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