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Remember when Baseball Tonight said the NL West race was over?

Baseball-Tonight-logoWhen the month of June began, the San Francisco Giants were one of the hottest teams in baseball. Those same Giants have now lost 15 of their last 19 games. It was not long ago that Bruce Bochy’s team was 9.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West division. Now, the two teams are tied.

While the Giants were streaking in May and June, the Dodgers looked lost. LA quickly turned things around and ended the month of June with a 17-10 record after Sunday night’s win over the St. Louis Cardinals. That brings us to the following tweet from “Baseball Tonight,” which was sent just over two weeks ago.

Oops. Fortunately, MLB Memes was not about to let that one go. Dodgers fans can’t help but smile when they look at this graphic:

This is baseball. We haven’t even gotten to the All-Star break yet, so every divisional race across the league is still open. Teams get hot and cold all the time, and you can never tell exactly where they will end up by looking at the standings in June.

Baseball Tonight could probably learn a thing or two from Seth.

Barry Bonds will be special hitting instructor at Giants spring training

Barry BondsYou could build a pretty convincing case for Barry Bonds being among the top two or three hitters in Major League Baseball history. Some of the numbers on his Baseball Reference page look like they were produced in a video game, not against real pitchers.

There is proof that at least a decent portion of those statistics were aided by performance enhancing drugs, but the talent and ability has always been evident. It’s because of that the San Francisco Giants have extended an invitation to Bonds to be an instructor at the team’s spring training this year.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, manager Bruce Bochy had this to say on Bonds’ role.

“I know he’s had some things on his plate. Now it looks like he’s got some time on his hands. He has a passion for hitting and a strong intention to get back in the game and help out hitters. He’s going to be part of the great Giants who come in here and help out, the Hall of Famers, J.T. Snow, Will Clark, everyone. Barry is part of that group.

“To have his knowledge, and have a guy who’s one of the great hitters of all time talking to hitters, it’s going to be beneficial to everyone. Barry had talent, sure. But he was a very smart hitter. To hear what he has to say about hitting gives us another set of eyes and a brain to help out.”

Looking at it from a strictly a baseball standpoint, having a Hall of Fame caliber player and one of the greatest the sport has ever seen around to provide pointers and advice can only be seen as a good thing. Of course, outside of that there is the potential for the media circus Bochy later mentioned in his comments. It appears the team has decided the positives outweigh the negatives in this instance.

San Francisco Giants rookies dress up like Naked Cowboy, meet Naked Cowboy

San-Francisco-Giants-Naked-Cowboy

The San Francisco Giants chose the perfect day to pull the hazing card on their rookies. After their series with the New York Mets ended on Thursday, the Giants’ veterans made their new guys dress up like New York City’s infamous Naked Cowboy. That meant the rookies had to take to Times Square wearing nothing but their undies and holding a guitar. As luck would have it, they ran into the original Naked Cowboy.

As you can see, rookies Juan Perez, Nick Noonan, Roger Kieschnick, Johnny Monell, Ehire Adrianza, Mike Kickham, Jake Dunning and Heath Hembree posed for a fantastic photo with the real deal. Walking around in Times Square wearing nothing but a grape-smuggler is a move that has been used for rookie hazing before, but the Naked Cowboy element made San Francisco’s night special. Bravo, defending champs.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo: Twitter/George Kontos

JT Snow: All the marketing could be distracting Giants

tim-lincecum-champagneThe San Francisco Giants have won two World Series titles in the past three years, but they do not look like a championship contender this season. A win on Thursday night against the San Diego Padres was only their third in the last 17 games, leaving them with a record of 41-50. Former Giants first baseman JT Snow has an interesting take on where the problems may be stemming from.

Snow, who now works as an assistant to the general manager in San Francisco, worries that the team has gone too mainstream.

“What I see sometimes is the Giants have a great marketing train and these guys are well-marketed and they’re out there in commercials and they’re selling hats and books and we’re seeing them in all kinds of different things,” Snow said, via CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Steinmetz. “But you need to re-focus and baseball comes first. These guys are baseball players, and they’re not media stars.”

More specifically, Snow feels that social media plays a role in distracting players of this generation.

“The blogging, the texting, the tweeting … that stuff wasn’t around when I played, and we were concerned about showing up to the ballpark and playing hard for three hours and giving everything we had – going home and coming back the next day,” he said. “Now there are so many other distractions. There’s so much media, there’s the internet, there’s every channel and talk show.

“You have to say ‘No’ sometimes and you have to remember why you’re there and the reason you’re in the big leagues.”

Snow could be right. We know sites like Twitter can get players into trouble and serve as a distraction, but my guess is the issue with the Giants is more about complacency. It’s hard enough to stay hungry after winning your first World Series ring, let alone doing it again two years later. The Giants may not have as much talent as they had in past years, or they may simply not want it as much.

PS: Chad Gaudin’s recent Las Vegas debacle probably hasn’t helped.

San Francisco Giants lose run for batting Buster Posey out of order

A blunder with the batting order cost the San Francisco Giants a run scored on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Leadoff batter Gregor Blanco started off the bottom of the first with a double off Stephen Fife. Marco Scutaro moved Blanco to third on a sacrifice, and catcher Buster Posey came up after that. Posey knocked in Blanco with an RBI double, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly noticed something was wrong and protested.

Mattingly recognized that the Giants’ official scorecard had Pablo Sandoval batting third and Posey fourth.

Giants lineup

Mattingly said something to the umpires before the first pitch to Sandoval. The umps convened and ruled that Posey was out for batting out of order, nullifying the run. Posey then came up again in the proper spot, but he flied out to end the inning.

The rule in question was 6.07 b. Here’s the rule (PDF):

[Read more...]

Which Giants pitcher farted in the bullpen?

Alright, so which Giants pitcher did it? Was it Jean Machi, who’s on the left and gets blamed for the fart, or was it Jose Mijares, who was on the right and smelled it first?

The world may never find out.

GIFs via Carmen K
H/T Eye on Baseball

Kevin Durant visited the Giants, hung out with Tim Lincecum (Picture)

Kevin-Durant-Tim-Lincecum

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are in the San Francisco area this week as they set to take on the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. On Wednesday, Durant decided to drop by and hang out with Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants.

So what’s the big takeaway from this photo? If you thought Lincecum looked like a little kid now that he is sporting a new haircut and ditched his long locks, you must love seeing him with his boys regular haircut next to KD. I know I do.

Photo via Instagram/Kevin Durant