Bay Area Sports Notes, by Chuck Strom

noah syndergaard

On Sunday, we got a definitive evaluation of Chip Kelly’s San Francisco 49ers, and the news wasn’t good. Their loss to the Seahawks in Seattle wasn’t nearly as close as the final 37-18 score, since the Niners scored their two touchdowns in what was essentially garbage time in the fourth quarter. The . . . → Read More: Bay Area Sports Notes, by Chuck Strom

Twilight of a Dynasty: The Giants Approach That Good Night, by Chuck Strom

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

–Dylan Thomas

The San Francisco Giants’ even-year championship dynasty is coming to an end. It may seem premature to write their epitaph with two weeks left in . . . → Read More: Twilight of a Dynasty: The Giants Approach That Good Night, by Chuck Strom

Johnny Cueto and the Giants are Rolling Right Along, by Chuck Strom

Johnny Cueto, whom the San Francisco Giants acquired last winter, is the hands-down best free-agent signing thus far in 2016. Yesterday, he won his tenth game and reduced his season ERA to 2.10, which would actually be about half that total if you subtracted the five-run innings he suffered on two occasions in April . . . → Read More: Johnny Cueto and the Giants are Rolling Right Along, by Chuck Strom

April Baseball in San Francisco, by Chuck Strom

I once heard a fan at AT&T Park say that he liked pitching duels when watching baseball on television, but when he was at the park, he wanted to see runs scored. I understood his perspective; hits and baserunners are a lot more interesting from the upper deck than a continual succession of pitches . . . → Read More: April Baseball in San Francisco, by Chuck Strom

2016 Giants Fan Fest: The Future is Now, by Chuck Strom

Fan Fest

One person much on people’s minds at last Saturday’s San Francisco Giants Fan Fest wasn’t even in the house. For the first time since 2008, the Giants are beginning their season without one of the most iconic players in their history: Tim Lincecum. Questions on his status came up in several of . . . → Read More: 2016 Giants Fan Fest: The Future is Now, by Chuck Strom

A Farewell to Timmy? by Chuck Strom

This recent post in Grantland is a nice take on the news that Tim Lincecum may have thrown his last pitch for the San Francisco Giants due to his recent injuries.

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/2015-mlb-tim-lincecum-san-francisco-giants-career/

Lincecum 2012 NLDS

I would add that somehow the Giants should find a way to get him out onto the field at . . . → Read More: A Farewell to Timmy? by Chuck Strom

View From The Skybox: The Chicago Cubs Are For Real, by Chuck Strom

My brother, who works in San Francisco, got an invitation to see the Giants play the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night from a luxury skybox. The accommodations were nice: no standing in line for bathrooms or concessions here. The play on the field, at least for Giants fans, was not. Pitcher Matt Cain didn’t have . . . → Read More: View From The Skybox: The Chicago Cubs Are For Real, by Chuck Strom

Grateful Dead Night at AT&T Park, by Chuck Strom

Buster Posey RBI

Last Thursday was Grateful Dead Night at AT&T Park. Before the game a cover band serenaded the fans from the top of the visitor’s dugout, and Bill Walton, the world’s most famous Deadhead, showed up to announce a $23,000 donation to Grateful Dead Charities. Lots of good feelings to be had, . . . → Read More: Grateful Dead Night at AT&T Park, by Chuck Strom

The Sacramento River Cats: 85 Miles From the Major Leagues, by Chuck Strom

Game Action

At the end of last season, the baseball Triple-A Sacramento River Cats changed their major league affiliate from the Oakland A’s to the San Francisco Giants. Naturally, this enhanced their appeal greatly for me, so I paid them a visit. Raley Field, a 10,000-seat ballpark, gets good online reviews, and I rated . . . → Read More: The Sacramento River Cats: 85 Miles From the Major Leagues, by Chuck Strom

Throw Day for Madison Bumgarner, by Chuck Strom

Madison Bumgarner

One of the benefits of arriving early at the ballpark is that sometimes you get treated to a little extra entertainment for the price of your ticket. Yesterday was Madison Bumgarner’s between-starts throwing day. There weren’t many fans in the park yet, but most of those who were crowded near the Giants . . . → Read More: Throw Day for Madison Bumgarner, by Chuck Strom

An Uncharacteristic Day at AT&T Park, by Chuck Strom

James Shields

Lately, the San Francisco Giants have followed their usual script of good pitching and weak hitting, as illustrated by the last three starts by Madison Bumgarner, losses by scores of 2-0, 1-0, and 3-2. They are doing much better in the standings than they should, mostly because they have owned the NL . . . → Read More: An Uncharacteristic Day at AT&T Park, by Chuck Strom

Grantland Article – The Odd Year Hangover‏, by Chuck Strom

Here’s a pretty good Grantland piece on the Giants’ recent fall from grace. Jonah Keri zeroes in pretty accurately on their problems. He is , if anything, too optimistic on their season prospects. They play like a banged-up collection of spare parts, which in fact they were in 2014, and their championship seems all . . . → Read More: Grantland Article – The Odd Year Hangover‏, by Chuck Strom

Opening Day 2015: Prelude to Garbage Time? by Chuck Strom

Success often breeds higher prices, and Opening Day at AT&T Park was no exception. Up to the day of the game, I waited for online ticket prices to drop to a level I was willing to pay, but despite some late movement by a few desperate sellers, they never did, with the cheapest seats . . . → Read More: Opening Day 2015: Prelude to Garbage Time? by Chuck Strom

Prelude to A New Season: the SF Giants 2015 Fan Fest, by Chuck Strom

With the glow still fresh from the San Francisco Giants’ recent championship, there was no question that I would attend their Fan Fest last weekend. I took both of my daughters with me, and I looked forward to seeing its attractions and avoiding the autograph lines, having spent the previous two Fan Fests standing . . . → Read More: Prelude to A New Season: the SF Giants 2015 Fan Fest, by Chuck Strom

An Established Routine: The 2014 Giants World Series Trophy Tour, by Chuck Strom

2014 World Series Trophy

The triumphs of ancient Rome were something of a victory parade on steroids. Usually celebrated after a major conquest, they were long processions that included captives on display and soldiers of the victorious army marching and singing salacious songs at their leader’s expense. In the midst of the procession, the . . . → Read More: An Established Routine: The 2014 Giants World Series Trophy Tour, by Chuck Strom

Had Them All The Way – Giants Win Game 7, By Chuck Strom

Concrete Baseballs

Middle relief pitching is perhaps the least glamorous position in all of sports. Those who make a career of it rarely win lucrative contracts, at least by major league standards, but they can be as crucial to success as anyone else on a baseball team, particularly in October. No one has demonstrated . . . → Read More: Had Them All The Way – Giants Win Game 7, By Chuck Strom

The Series Moves to San Francisco: Some Observations, by Chuck Strom

Concrete Baseballs

Today is a travel day, and after two games the teams look as evenly matched as I had anticipated. This seems a good time to don my manager’s hat and make some observations.

Madison Bumgarner is the most dominant pitcher still throwing in October. Especially if he faces Royals pitcher James Shields . . . → Read More: The Series Moves to San Francisco: Some Observations, by Chuck Strom

The Even-Numbered Magic Continues: Notes on the 2014 World Series, by Chuck Strom

Ryan Vogelsong

It has been fashionable among San Francisco Giants fans, myself included, to talk about the magic of even-numbered years, as if deep playoff runs were somehow ordained by the ones digit of the annual Christian calendar. Up to now, I had not taken the idea seriously even while repeating it, but with . . . → Read More: The Even-Numbered Magic Continues: Notes on the 2014 World Series, by Chuck Strom

Time Again For October Baseball, by Chuck Strom

National Anthem

When I grew up, the prospect of seeing the San Francisco Giants play in October seemed outside the scope of reality. In 1971, at the tail end of the Mays-McCovey era, they lost the National League Championship Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. I was eight years old at the . . . → Read More: Time Again For October Baseball, by Chuck Strom

Another Year, Another No-No, by Chuck Strom

Tim Lincecum on Opening Day

For those of you who don’t follow baseball, I am happy to report that San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum pitched his second career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. At 112 pitches and only one base-runner allowed, this no-hitter was a model of decorum compared to . . . → Read More: Another Year, Another No-No, by Chuck Strom