As the Giants’ season comes to an end, those of us who’ve lived and died with every pitch know the highs and lows of trying to do the near impossible… repeat as World Series Champions.  But they sure have been fun to watch.  There are new kids coming into their own.. Brett Pill, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Madison Bumgarner.  And Ryan Vogelsong has been the feel-good story of the year.  But I don’t think I’ve seen anyone play the game with more joy, more enthusiasm than the Panda.  Pablo Sandoval. He looks like he embraces every moment of every inning with a free-spirited, unapologetic love of the game, and it infuses those around him with the same spirit.  The other night, I saw his reaction when a teammate hit a home run.  With legs that must be bone-weary, the Panda jumped so high, his head hit the top of the dugout.  Watching Panda.. has been a joy.  Now, Brandon Belt?  He’s kinda dour.

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September 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

The Silence Of The Lambs…

If it wasn’t so painful,  it’d be laughable.  Where’s Carlos Beltran?  Brian Wilson?  How about Andres Torres, Sergio Romo?  Is Miguel Tejada a double play waiting to happen or am I just being a cruel pessimist?  This is crunch time, and the Giants are playing their worst baseball of the year.  When the Pirates had a Ten Game Losing Streak…  the Giants were just what the doctor ordered.  Florida had lost 7 in a row…  hey, bring on the Giants.  You get the picture.  And Houston, who’ve already lost nearly 100 games… slapped the Giants around all week.  Had Panda not gone deep yesterday, I’m telling you, Bruce Bochy was on the verge of taking hostages and barricading a convenience store.  And stop saying the Giants are set to play some losing teams.  I promise you, they’re all lickin’ their chops to get at the World Champs.  I know we’ve got more than a month to go.  But with apologies to Yogi Berra…. It’s getting’ late early.

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August 22, 2011 at 11:28 am | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Giants Tie Phillies.. Of 1914…

In the midst of this feeble stretch of excruciating Giants losses, they actually tied a home run record. Well, it’s not one you’d want to brag about.  When Pablo Sandoval cranked one out yesterday, it was the 19th consecutive SOLO home run the club has hit.  Way to get on base.  No Major League team has had that many solo shots in a row…  since the Philadelphia Phillies of 1914.  Their star pitcher that year was Grover Cleveland Alexander. As a matter of fact, if the Hall of Famer were still around, he could have entered the game for Jonathan Sanchez.  Although he’d be 124 years old, I still think Mr. Alexander would have had better command of the strike zone.

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August 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

MLB Hands Down Brawl Suspensions For Giants-Phillies Brawl

Who would have thought that the San Francisco Giants would have walked away unscathed in the punishments for the Phillies/Giants brawl? Not I, that’s for sure. Quite frankly Shane Victorino probably got off at just three games. He instigated the fight, shoved an umpire and beat up a coach. That’s three games? If he shot someone, would that be three and a half?

From the San Francisco Giants side, they also got off. Having Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez and Eli Whiteside get fined only, you could argue was an escape. How about all of those replays of Pablo Sandoval throwing and landing a punch and not getting anything? Is that World Series champions respect? Is that Joe Torre’s influence in the league office? Either way, Giants fans will take it.

August 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Derek Moore's Blog | No comment

Giants On A Roll…

The Faithful got through the All Star Break… and you’ve got to admit, we’re feeling pretty good.  Ryan Vogelsong was introduced as an All Star (unthinkable in the spring), Panda ripped a solid double to drive in a run, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain got to rest…. and The Beard slammed the door.  Props to Bruce Bochy for runnin’ the show his way.  Oh, and the Giants, even with their impotent offense….. still lead the NL West.  And if you need a little more excitement, don’t forget tonight’s premiere episode of the Giants docudrama “The Franchise” on SHOWTIME.  Get an inside look at some of the young season’s highs…. and lows, including one of the most talked about incidents of the year, the devastating injury to Buster Posey.

July 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Now I Have To Watch The All Star Game…

I guess the Major League All Star Game doesn’t carry the same weight as it did in the days of Henry Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays.  Some guys just don’t seem to want to play.  They need the rest instead.  I understand.  But this time, I’m gonna see FIVE Giants introduced, along with Giants skipper Bruce Bochy and his staff.  While it’s great to see Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson make the roster, last minute addition Pablo Sandoval has really got to be in seventh heaven.  The kid nearly ate himself out of a job last season, and rode the bench a lot during that memorable post season run to the Championship.  But I think the best story is Ryan Vogelsong, the washed up big leaguer who was cut, toiled in mediocrity in the Japanese League… and was a walk-on in spring training.  I imagine Giants fans will have goose bumps when he’s introduced tomorrow night.  Ryan Vogelsong is an All Star.

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July 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Pablo Sandoval Talks About His Injury

It turns out Pablo Sandoval wasn’t bluffing last night when he told reporters his quad injury was fine, while smiling. Last night, he said it was a precaution, and he didn’t want to be on the disabled list again. It looks like he will play in tomorrows double header against the Chicago Cubs.

June 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Derek Moore's Blog | No comment

Should Pablo Sandoval Catch When He Returns

The debate rages on. Should Pablo Sandoval become the Giants everyday catcher when he returns tomorrow? I’m not sure everyday is a good idea, although I think a spot start or two a week would be better. The one guy he should be catching is Tim Lincecum. The Freak won’t admit this, but the ERA tells the story. With Eli Whiteside catching, Lincecum’s ERA for his career is around 5. It’s half that for Bengie Molina and Buster Posey. Lately though Lincecum’s ERA with Whiteside is close to 8! Not to mention, Whiteside isn’t the best fielder of wild pitches or passed balls.

Asking Pablo to not only get re-acclimated, but handle a pitching staff is probably too much to ask. However, if the Giants lead starts to slip in the NL West in the next month or two, changes are going to have to be made.

June 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Derek Moore's Blog | No comment

Make Your Catcher Proud…

The furious, dramatic rally the Giants pulled off to tie the game seemed like an afterthought.  The soul of their team, young Buster Posey, was writhing in pain after a devastating collision at the plate.  The sellout crowd fell silent, as if a black cloud had descended on the park…as if Buster was the only thing that mattered…. because he was.  As someone in the clubhouse was heard to say..”It’s way serious.”  There’s no denying it… Buster Posey won’t be catching for the Giants any time soon.  So what now?  Do you kiss off the rest of the season?  Only losers do that.  It’s time for the players… and the fans… to suck it up.  Panda will return soon… maybe he continues to pound the ball.  Brandon Belt has to contribute, just as Buster did exactly a year ago as an unproven rookie.  Better at-bats… clutch hitting… keep the line moving.  No time to hang your heads.  Rededicate yourself.   Win this for your catcher…. the soul of your team.

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May 26, 2011 at 11:51 am | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Watch Pablo Sandoval’s Off Season Workout Video

First off, we are going to have to figure out what to call the Panda now. Koala bear is being tossed around. After San Francisco Giants 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval’s 40 pound weight drop, he doesn’t resemble his former self. Now, we get to watch what he went through during the offseason to lose that weight.

Check it out here.

March 29, 2011 at 10:15 am | Derek Moore's Blog | No comment

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