San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy paces the dugout during a loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver on May 17, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey
Kleenex sales went through the roof the week that the 2011 MLB All-Star Game rosters were announced. That’s because from coast to coast, everyone from media pundits to MLB managers were crying about some of Bruce Bochy’s choices for the NL squad. Two skippers in particular, the Marlins’ Jack McKeon and the Pirates’ Clint Hurdle, were publicly vocal about Bochy’s perceived favoritism to some of his own players.
I wonder what McKeon and Hurdle have to say now after the National League downed their AL counterparts 5-1 on Tuesday night. Granted, the victory was largely thanks to Prince Fielder’s three-run dinger, some solid pitching performances by the NL staff, as well as the unavailability of some of the AL’s best pitchers. But just like in the 2010 postseason, Bochy managed yet another perfect game. He was aggressive on the base paths (particularly in the fifth inning when Angels reliever Jordan Walden took the hill), he made all the right moves with his pitching staff and he played the matchups incredibly well. He also didn’t even use Tim Lincecum or Ryan Volgelsong (two pitchers in which Bochy was accused of showing favoritism), and wouldn’t have used closer Brian Wilson in the ninth had Starlin Castro and Joel Harahan not allowed two runners to reach base.
If the Marlins or Pirates somehow manage to make the World Series this year, they’ll be the host team thanks in part to Bochy. Any chance that McKeon or Hurdle pick up the phone in that instance and show their appreciation for Bochy’s hard work over the last week with the NL All-Star team?
More Quick-Hits for Wednesday:
– James Harrison shared, uh, some interesting takes on Roger Goodell in the August issue of Men’s Journal. James used the words, “crook,” “devil,” “stupid,” “puppet,” and “dictator,” while describing Goodell, then threw in an anti-gay slur for good measure. “If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it,” Harrison told the magazine. “I hate him and will never respect him.” Tell us how you really feel Eminem James.
– I wish FOX had mic’d the head groundskeeper for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game because I would have loved to have heard what he said after watching Padres closer Heath Bell tear a big divot out of the infield when he slid into the mound. “Thanks a**hole, you know someone has to repair that right? Couldn’t have ran onto the field like a normal human being, huh?”
– Don’t expect the Mets to trade Carlos Beltran as fast as they did K-Rod. Not with Jose Reyes, David Wright and Ike Davis all injured. And I don’t think Beltran is a sure-bet to land in ‘Frisco either. If I’m Scott Boras, I’m telling my client to choose an American League team to waive his no-trade clause for, so that he can show his stuff as a DH for next year.
– Apparently Mike Shanahan is set on John Beck as his starter in 2011. That makes sense considering that when he benched Donovan McNabb last year, he immediately inserted Beck as the starter to get him ready for this season. Wait…what?
– I can’t wait for the NFL lockout to end so I can see how quickly teams sign free agents. Because I refuse to believe that these teams haven’t somehow been in contact with these players throughout the last couple of months. I know league rules prohibit teams from trying to contact players, but come on – this is the NFL. You know these teams have been sneaking around for months now. It’ll be interesting to see how much time elapses from when the lockout officially ends until when a team signs that first new free agent. If it’s more than 12 hours, I’ll be shocked.
It’s been a rough couple of days for Giants closer Brian Wilson. He blew a 1-0 lead in the ninth on Thursday at Wrigley Field when he fell behind Aramis Ramirez and had to challenge the Cubs’ third baseman with a 3-2 fastball that Ramirez promptly crushed over the leftfield wall. The Cubs went on to win the game in extra innings and the Giants had to settle for a split in the four-game series.
On Friday in Detroit, Wilson was again called upon to save a 1-0 lead and again he mucked things up when he allowed a single to Tigers’ right fielder Magglio Ordonez in the bottom of the eighth. The Giants managed to score three runs in the top of ninth off a wild Detroit bullpen to make it a 4-1 game, but Wilson could only muster one out in the bottom of the inning while jamming the bases and allowing two runs.
When skipper Bruce Bochy pulled him in favor of Jeremy Affeldt, this is what the bearded one did in the dugout:
Wilson also punched a wall (which wasn’t shown in the video), making it one of the better dugout meltdowns I’ve seen in a while.
The Giants eventually hung on to beat the Tigers 4-3 so when reporters approached Wilson in the clubhouse, he was back to being his jovial self. Below is an exert from Giants beat reporter Andrew Baggarly’s blog.
“I’m fine,” he said. “Ask the wall.”
Wilson’s other deadpan gem, after he was asked if it would be difficult to have his Happy Gilmore swing played on a loop on television: “Why would it be difficult?” he said. “I squared it up.”
At least one media member took to Twitter last night to insinuate that Wilson’s freak out was all for the cameras, and maybe it was. But despite his, uh, outgoing personality, Wilson rarely shows emotion on the mound. (Anyone who actually watches the Giants and who doesn’t just insinuate things would know that.) He’s usually cool and collected, but he’s intense and obviously blowing two saves in two days would make any closer a little cranky. As long as he didn’t hurt himself, I think everyone should just enjoy the water cooler beatdown and not look too deep into Wilson’s antics.
I’ve never been one to discover YouTube clips that go viral overnight. Usually my co-worker John Paulsen sends me something on Skype or a friend e-mails me a link. And even then, I open it, I laugh (sometimes), I delete it and I move on without sending it to someone else. I’m bad when it comes to these things, which is kind of ironic considering most of my day is spent online.
With that in mind, you’ll have to excuse me for not knowing who Keenan Cahill is. For those who are also unaware, he’s the 16-year-old who has found YouTube fame by lip-syncing and dancing to pop songs on his home computer. If you go to his YouTube page, you’ll find all of his videos, including one that he did of the Ghostbusters’ theme that I thought was pretty funny.
What makes Keenan’s story touching is that he has a rare genetic disease that has stunted his growth. When he’s not traveling to L.A., France or the Bahamas, he goes to school and undergoes weekly enzyme replacement therapy that doctors hope will extend his life. You can read about his story in this Chicago Tribune article.
Since we’re a sports blog and I’m a huge Giants fan, I thought I would post one of Keenan’s latest videos (which, of course, was sent to me by a friend), where he performs Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” with Brian Wilson and Cody Ross. The Giants put the video together as a fundraiser for Keenan and besides Wilson’s facial expressions, you have to check out Giants’ mascot “Lou Seal’s” dance moves. It’s rather amazing that a man dressed in a huge seal costume can move like that…
As a Giants fan, I just went from six to midnight watching the trailer for the new “Hard Knocks”-like documentary “The Franchise,” which will be featured on Showtime this summer.
I’m biased, but could Showtime have picked a better team to follow for its first season? Brian Wilson’s popularity has grown overnight, but there are some other great personalities on that team, including Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and Sergio Romo (the reliever who found himself locked in Wilson’s unmarked police car in the clip). Then you’ve got Andres Torres chucking around a freaking cinder block in the middle of the field – are you kidding me? I’m in.
Given how popular “Hard Knocks” has become, the “The Franchise” should have no problem taking off as well.
San Francisco Giants pitchers Brian Wilson (L) and Tim Lincecum stretch before the start of Game 3 of Major League Baseball’s World Series in Arlington, Texas, October 30, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
A headline like that can only involve Brian Wilson.
The 2010 MLB saves leader wore a pair of green shoes during a spring training game against the Angels on Thursday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. He will auction off said green spikes, with all the proceeds going to help the relief efforts in Japan. (Visit his website for the deets.)
In a small twist of irony, the green kicks didn’t bring him much luck. Wilson strained a ribcage muscle in the same game and might miss Opening Day now. He will be re-evaluated on Monday and if he’s out for an extended period of time, there’s reason to believe he could start the season on the DL.
Fantasy Spin: Owners trying to prepare for their upcoming draft can probably draft Wilson with confidence, although it might not be a bad idea to snag Sergio Romo or Jeremy Affeldt with one of your last picks because they would fill in for the breaded one if need be. Affeldt collected four saves last year for the Giants, but Romo is actually the more logical choice to take over the ninth inning duties. He was lights out down the stretch last year as Wilson’s setup man, finishing with an impressive 2.18 ERA and a 5.00 K/BB ratio.