Giants owner has his priorities in order

Leave a comment

New York Giants uniforms.gifI generally stay out of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry because I really don’t have a dog in the hunt. There are years that I like to see the Giants get the best of the Dodgers and vice-versa. It usually depends on the makeup of the rosters, how it impacts postseason matchups, and whether or not one or the other of them beat up on the Braves that given year.  At present I’m favoring the Giants because of my crush on admiration for Tim Lincecum and the fact that the Dodgers media people are acting like jerks. That could easily change, however depending on how awesome Matt Kemp or Clayton Kershaw decide to be this year or whatever.

But after scanning the newspapers this morning, I may have to go all-in with the Giants. Why? Owner Bill Neukom has made retro-style, orange-striped socks available to his players and strongly encourages their use:

In addition to the standard sanitaries and the all-black socks, the
Giants also made a deluxe version available to their major leaguers
this spring. They’re black with three horizontal orange stripes that
are only visible when their pant legs are worn high.
They’ll be required at Single-A San Jose and other minor league stops that share the Giants’ color schemes.

“I think it’s a great look,” Neukom said. “I think it looks like baseball. I also think it’ll make them faster runners.”

Frank McCourt can have his Chinese soccer team and football stadium in the parking lot. I’d prefer the owner of my team to care about baseball stuff. Especially trivial and wonderful baseball stuff like striped socks.

The Astros gave the Yankees an opening. Keuchel and Verlander will try to close the door.

Associated Press
Leave a comment

If Game 4 of the ALCS had been even remotely conventional, it’d stand at 3-1 in favor of Houston right now. The Yankees’ starter pitched well but got no run support. A mighty Astros team with an ordinarily good closer in Ken Giles had a 4-0 lead in the late innings. As the Yankees set out to mount a comeback, a base runner fell down in between first and second and should’ve been dead to rights. This is playoff baseball, however, so stuff, as they say, happens. The runner was safe, the closer struggled, the Yankees rallied and now we’re tied 2-2.

But are we even at 2-2?

On paper, no, because the Astros now will send Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander out in Games 5 and 6, and that gives them a clear advantage. Keuchel dominated the Yankees in Game 1, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out ten batters. Verlander struck out 13 batters in a 124-pitch complete game in which he allowed only a single run. Beyond the mere facts of the box scores, however, the Yankees have looked profoundly overmatched by both of the Astros’ aces, in this postseason and on other occasions on which they’ve faced off against them. Most notably in the 2015 wild-card game at Yankee Stadium when Keuchel pitched six scoreless innings in the 3-0 victory.

But remember: stuff happens.

Stuff like Aaron Judge‘s and Gary Sanchez‘s bats waking up. The two most important sluggers in the Bombers lineup combined to go 3-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, a walk and five RBI in last night’s victory. Each of them had been silent for the first three games of the series but if they’re heating up, the Yankees will be a lot harder to pitch to.

Stuff like Masahiro Tanaka showing that he can tame the Astros’ lineup. Which he did pretty well in Game 1, giving up only two runs on four hits in six innings. He was overshadowed by Keuchel in that game, but it was a good performance against a strong lineup in a hostile environment. Tanaka pitches much better at Yankee Stadium than he does on the road, so don’t for a second think that the Astros bats will have an easy time of it today.

Stuff like the Yankees bullpen still being the Yankees bullpen. Yes, the Astros got to David Robertson yesterday, but it’s still a strong, strong group that gives the Yankees a clear advantage if the game is close late or if they hold a lead.

All of which is to say that we have ourselves a series, friends. While, 48 hours ago, it seemed like we were on our way to an Astros coronation, the Yankees have shown up in a major way in Games 3 and 4. If you’re an Astros fan you should feel pretty confident with Keuchel and Verlander heading into action over the next two games, but we have learned that absolutely nothing is guaranteed in the postseason.