Archive for the ‘Giants’ Category

3rd and King Borders store to close

SFist reports that “store closing” discount signs have appeared in the aisles of the Borders bookstore on Third and King Streets, depriving Giants fans of a rendezvous spot and after-game shopping experience. The store, whose cafe was usually lively, has been open pretty much ever since the ballpark opened ten years ago, is another victim of the changing book retail industry. A bowling alley may go in its place, SFist reports. LiveSOMA has more details, and the closing date, Oct. 16.

Uniform FAIL

San Francisco Giants utility man Eugenio Velez played the last three innings of today’s game in Houston before anyone told him he was wearing a jersey with the name of the city misspelled.

Death and the Giants

Villalona. Photo by Tony Medina, courtesy San Jose GiantsNineteen-year-old Giants prospect Angel Villalona, a first baseman who hit .267 for the minor-league San Jose Giants this year, is the prime suspect in a killing last night in his home country of the Dominican Republic, the Associated Press and other news organizations reported today.

Villalona, a 2006 draft pick, turned himself in to police twelve hours after the killing of 25-year-old Mario Felix de Jesus Velete in a bar in the coastal city of La Romana. He could face up to twenty years in prison. Villalona, who had been ranked among the top 50 minor league prospects by MLB.com, had returned to the Dominican Republic to play winter-league baseball.

Meanwhile, the big club’s prospects for the postseason continued to fade as they dropped two out of three games in Los Angeles this weekend even as the team they’re chasing in the Wild Card standings, the Colorado Rockies, won two out of three. The Giants’ 6-2 loss to the Dodgers today (scoring summary) was painful for many reasons, but I think a new low for the season was reached when the Giants batted in the top of the fifth inning.

Trailing by a score of 4-1 on a hot day, 2008 Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum was clearly already exhausted. He had just suffered a long fourth inning in which the Dodgers had scored twice, and he badly needed a breather. As he was due up third in the inning, it was up to the usually ineffective hitters Ryan Garko and Aaron Rowand to, at the very least, extend their at-bats and give Timmy time to catch his breath. Instead, Lincecum hardly even had time to sit down before Garko popped out and Rowand struck out. Utterly gassed, Lincecum (14-6) grounded out quickly, then in the top of the inning walked the first two batters and was pulled from the game.

The Giants scored only one run the rest of the game, and were left to watch the scoreboard helplessly as the Rockies overcame a one-run deficit and overpowered the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Giants’ loss and the Rockies’ win puts the Giants four and a half games back with just 13 games remaining in the season.

Former SJ Merc sportswriter Ann Killion goes solo

Former San Jose Mercury News sportswriter Ann Killion, who left the newspaper at the end of July, now has her own sports blog at annkillion.com. You can also follow her on twitter @annkillion.

I would say her blog needs more frequent updates — the most recent post is 5 days old — but I think anybody who loses a job they’ve had for more than 20 years is entitled to some time for readjustment. I love her writing, so here’s hoping for more of it.

Creature feature on Giant scoreboard

Wish I’d been paying attention to this before it happened so I could have gone, but the account by Bob Calhoun on the Open Salon site of the showing of Night of the Living Dead on the scoreboard at AT&T Park last Friday is still totally worth reading. Check out the appearance of Judith O’Dea, the film’s dumb blonde, who was interviewed at the event.

Sandoval marks one-year Panda-versary

panda_smashOne year ago today, Pablo Sandoval of Venezuela made his big-league debut with the Giants.

Today, he is quickly becoming the team center. Fans are wearing panda masks (some frightening, some just plain stupid) around the ballpark, getting jerseys made with “PANDOVAL” on the back, and generally acting like grateful fools. It’s been a long time since we had someone we could really, truly love on the Giants — as opposed to someone we admired but who made us nervous (Bonds), someone we adored but whose godlike talents in the field set him on a pedestal (Vizquel), and someone before whom we simply stand in awe (Lincecum).

Sandoval’s Kung Fu Panda nickname was bestowed by Barry Zito after a play last year where he jumped over a Dodgers catcher to score a run, but it just as fittingly applies to Sandoval’s quickness at third base, where his acrobatics have been compared to Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson. He can and has done all of the following this year: play catcher, first base, and third base; hit 17 home runs and lead the team in RBIs; shown startling quickness and a terrific arm at the third base corner, fallen down on the base paths a couple of times; and yesterday sparked a benches-clearing tussle after being grazed by a James McDonald pitch and then angrily barking and gesturing at the pitcher.

Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is called “the Franchise” for his potential long-term value to the team; fellow pitcher Matt Cain has matched him win for win this year. But it’s Sandoval, who plays the game with joy, who is the heart and soul of the team, and the hands-down fan favorite.

Best travel blog entry about SF evar

Old Ship Saloon Highway 101 Kearny Post Sutter HSBC House of Nanking flowering blossom tea Muni 30 Stockton 9x AT&T Park Angelina’s 22 Avenue and California fog son mist fog Stanford ELMI McCovey Marichal Mays Cepeda Portsmouth Square Ghirardelli Square Mechanics Institute Library Post Giants Winn Eugenio Velez Bay Bridge Adobe Saint Gregory’s of Nyssa Sara Miles Federal Reserve Bank Powell & Hyde Powell & Mason Van Ness Third & King Chronicle beach siren artichoke hearts salmon Golden Gate 1 Marin Vista Point yes yes yes Saint Francis!

That’s our Tim

lincecum_at_all_star_presserSan Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, slated to start the All Star Game Tuesday, attended a press conference in his usual casual fashion. From The Splash blog of Chronicle sportswriter John Shea:

Lincecum … just appeared at a news conference with the managers and the other starting pitcher, Roy Halladay. While Halladay was dressed as if were attending a business meeting, Lincecum showed up in torn blue jeans, an untucked shirt and a wool cap.

The picture is from the MLB.com coverage of the event.

Giants’ lefty Sanchez tosses no-hitter

jonathan_sanchez_victory_celebration_by_david_gallagher
Players mob pitcher Jonathan Sanchez after completion of his no-hitter. Flickr photo by David Gallagher

The Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez, a 27-year-old left-hander who had recently been demoted to the bullpen, threw a no-hitter tonight in a 8-0 win over the visiting San Diego Padres.

Sanchez was perfect into the 8th inning before third baseman Juan Uribe booted a ground ball. Ignoring the anomaly, Sanchez pitched a perfect 9th, assisted by a stunning play against the center field fence by Aaron Rowand for the second out. (See video of the catch.) Sanchez tossed his 11th stikeout of the game for the third out of the 9th. Box score.

Catching was backup receiver Eli Whiteside, a 29-year-old rookie who was in the game because regular catcher Benjie Molina was at the side of his wife, who was giving birth.

The Giants’ offense was led by fan favorite Pablo Sandoval, whose three-run home run in the 5th was hit to the deepest part of the right-center field arcade.

Sanchez, who was demoted to the bullpen two weeks ago after a 2-8 start to the season, made the start only as a replacement for injured pitcher Randy Johnson.

Giants on sale

Perhaps frightened by the acres of empty seats at San Diego’s Petco Park this week, the Giants are selling half-price tickets to some of next week’s homestand through the Travelzoo website. Click this link: http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ticketing/supergroup.jsp?group=travelzoo and enter the coupon code MAY to get the discount on games of May 25, 26, 27, and 29 — including the day game on Monday, May 25, Memorial Day. However, they add their fees onto the order, so check the total before you pay.

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