161 to go...

By Governor X

Smile Tommy, the Dodgers won today. Two factors contributed a great deal to today's win:

1) I wasn't there. I'm going on about three years now where the Dodgers haven't won a game I attended.

2) The Giants, as documented here, are awful. They couldn't muster one run against the Dodgers today. Their starting shortstop is named Brian Bocock...I'm not kidding.

Blake DeWitt, the 4th string third baseman forced into a starting role when a comet hit the Dodger Dugout taking out Nomar, LaRoche, and Abreu in one swoop, got his first big league hit and only narrowly missed his first home run. AndrEw Jones, whom I have slammed as hard as anyone ever to wear a Dodger uniform, also got his first hit with the team.

Another Dodger Attendance Record

By Governor X

The MLB franchise with the most attendance ever set another record Saturday night when 115,300 showed up at the LA Coliseum to see the Dodgers and Red Sox. The game was set up by Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to honor the team's 50th anniversary in Los Angeles and benefit the team's cancer charity Think Cure. Their first few seasons were played in the oddly dimensioned Coliseum (200ft down the left field line with a tall net) before they moved to Dodgers Stadium in 1962.

The Giants are Awful: Part 2

By Governor X

The Giants have lost their second baseman for the 2008 season.
Kevin Frandsen (who sucks to begin with) ruptured his achilles tendon

The Giants Are Awful: Part 1

By Rich Funk

See the desolate wasteland pictured above?

Welcome to the 2008 Giants season.

Never mind the fact that Bengie Molina is their cleanup hitter. Never mind the fact that coming into yesterday, Barry Zito had 0 strikeouts this spring. Never mind the fact that most of the everyday lineup will be over 35 years old.

All you have to know is this: FRESNO 4, GIANTS 3.

That's right folks...the Giants lost a spring training game to their own AAA team. If that happens, shouldn't the AAA team become the MLB team and the MLB team be demoted in their place? Seems only fair, right?

By The Numbers:

Giants Spring Training Record: 8-20
Combined age of the Giants starting lineup: 269
Millions of dollars owed to Barry Zito: 114
Number of "The Giants Are Awful" posts I'll write in 2008: 120

A's/Red Sox Game Recap, Part Deux

By ,

Ok...I realize I am posting this a little late, but I had to go out of town for work today, and sometimes, earning money trumps my mediocre A's musings...

But anyway, the A's won this morning! Woo! Rich Harden pitched himself quite a nice game - giving up 3 hits and one run over 6 innings. Let's hope he doesn't wake up tomorrow with "shoulder stiffness." The bullpen pitched well, and Emil Brown made up for yesterday's little baserunning blunder by hitting a 3-run homer. All-in-all, it was a good win.

After watching this series, I am really excited for Oakland's season. I thought they played a couple of good games against the defending World Series champs. The pitching looks pretty good. If Harden can stay healthy, I think he and Blanton will make a good 1-2 punch. And although the bats of Travis Buck, Jack Cust, and Daric Barton (although he walked quite a few times) were pretty quiet, other members of the team were able to step it up and string together enough hits to get the job done. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I wouldn't count the A's out just yet this year - especially with the pitching injuries the Angels are dealing with.

I'd also like to add that I've been pretty impressed with Jack Hannahan. With Chavez recovering from multiple offseason surgeries, it's good to have another 3rd base option. If Chavez still isn't at 100 percent, maybe the A's can use him as DH and put Hannahan at 3rd. The other day, my other half was trying to pick a 3rd baseman for their fantasy team, and there weren't many choices left. So I suggested he pick up Hannahan because I thought he might do well this year. We'll see what happens. I'll either end up looking like a mastermind or a moron. Whatever...I've been called both.

I'd like to end on a completely random note: I had to drive from San Diego to LA and back for work today. During my journey, I heard Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes" three times. How random is that?


By Rich Funk

We all know that Blown Saves happen, even to the best closers. Sometimes it's because of a few bad breaks and broken bat singles. Sometimes your team's closer just sucks. I'm here to try and tell the story behind the BS. Every time one of the teams SFWH covers blows a save, we'll be here to cover it with Total BS!

Victim: Huston Street, Oakland Athletics
BS On The Year: 1

The Situation: With Oakland up by one in the top of the 9th, Huston Street got Mike Lowell to fly out to center. Then he gave up a game tying home run to rookie right fielder Brandon Moss. Street then struck out Jason Varitek and got Jacoby Ellisbury to fly out to end the inning.

BS Scale: I'm giving this blown save a 1.5 rating out of 5, one being an unlucky blown save and 5 being a blown save of the Brad Lidge/Albert Pujols variety. Sure, you never want to blow the first game of the year, especially to someone who has only 25 Major League at-bats coming into the game, but I don't blame Street too much. He's probably had a very long week in Japan. And since Moss was in for J.D. Drew, Street probably just assumed that he was also terrible. Blowing the first game of the year is no big deal. Expect Street to lock down the save his next time out.

A's/Red Sox Game Recap

By ,

The A's kicked off their season early this morning by losing to the Boston Red Sox in heartbreaking fashion...

Huston Street gave up a home run to Brandon Moss in the ninth to tie the game...And then Manny Ramirez hit a double off Street in the 10th, scoring David Ortiz and Julio Lugo to give the Red Sox the victory. By the way, I hope you weren't talking on the phone while Ortiz was working - you know how he hates that. Does he come to your job and talk on the phone while you're working?!

The A's did make somewhat of a comeback in the bottom of the 10th, though. Daric Barton scored on Emil Brown's double, but Brown was tagged out in a rundown. Then Bobby Crosby and Jack Hannahan hit a couple of singles to keep Oakland's hopes alive, but Kurt Suzuki grounded out to end the game.

Ok - so the A's lost and Huston Street blew it royally. But I have decided to look at the positives of this game: The A's held up pretty well against the defending World Series champs. Blanton pitched fairly well, Crosby went 2-for-5 without hurting himself, Embree and Foulke pitched well in relief, and the A's were able to get a few hits off closer/dancer Jonathan
Papelbon. I'd say that's not a bad way to start off the season - considering a lot of people don't expect the A's to do too well this year.

And although Street got worked and the majority of the A's bats were pretty cold (Crosby and Hannahan had 4 of the team's 7 hits...but the A's did have 7 walks, too), you can never tell whether the trip to Japan took a lot out of the players.

So although the A's lost the game, I wouldn't say it was all bad. We'll see what happens tomorrow when Harden takes the mound in the second game of the series. With the A's luck, he'll pitch a no-hitter, and then suffer a season-ending shoulder injury while trying to lift his carry-on bag into the overhead bin on the trip home. Sigh...*

* If it seems like I make a lot of cracks about players getting hurt, it's because humor is the only way I can deal with Oakland's injury issues without reaching for a bottle of hard liquor. They used the DL 22 times last year. 22 freakin' times!!

SFWH Card of the Week

By Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Each week I'll dive into my old card collection and pick out ones that I found humorous, memorable, absurd, and/or awesome. I'll then showcase these classics to you the readers.

Make: 1993 Fleer
Card: #453 Henry Rodriguez

A young Henry Rodriguez, the Dominican Matt Stairs.

Meet The Athletics

By ,

Due to the frequently rotating roster of the Oakland Athletics, I have decided to compose a short bio of some of the players that may be unknown to the masses. You never know - you might read one of these bios and find a new favorite player...Or you might think to yourself "Wow - how can I get those 2 minutes of my life back?" Either way, today I'd like you to meet: Right Fielder Travis Buck...

Travis George Buck was born on November 18, 1983 and hails from Richland, Washington. Since I can't seem to find any interesting tidbits about his childhood, I'll just assume that he grew up doing whatever kids living in Washington do - riding his bike in the rain, drinking coffee, listening to grunge music, cursing the Sonics owners, ignoring the Mariners (hmm...that sounds familiar), etc.

Moving on...

Buck was drafted by the Mariners in 2002, but he didn't sign with them. Instead, he attended college at Arizona State University. I'm guessing he was tired of his hair frizzing during the rainy Washington winters...And springs...And autumns. He received a few honors during his college career, including being named a Pac-10 Conference All-Star in 2004 and 2005.

Buck was then drafted by the A's in 2005. He spent a couple of years in the minors, and made his debut in the majors last year. In fact, Travis George Buck was such a badass, he didn't spend any time in Triple-A. Either that, or the A's needed him due to the 8 million injuries on the team. Buck showed flashes of a possible rookie of the year candidate last year, but - like most of the Oakland roster last year- he kept getting hurt. He played 82 games, batting .288 with 7 home runs.

According to the projected lineup on the A's website, it looks like Buck will be batting leadoff. However, that could change if the A's end up trading for Coco Crisp. If Buck can stay healthy this year, I think he'll be a valuable asset for the A's. He probably won't be an MVP candidate, but he's decent at the plate and his defense is pretty solid. Not to mention he has some of the loveliest locks in the majors.

Seriously...I'd like to see your hair hold a curl like that...

SFWH Season Preview: Anaheim Angels

By Rich Funk

Continuing the tradition we started...yesterday, we here at SFWH are bringing you more hard hitting analysis of your favorite West Coast baseball teams. Today we bring you the Anaheim Angels, or as The Governor calls them from time to time, "Those rat bastards down the 5". Today's review is brought to you by our very own Brant Brown, and the letters "F" and "U".

2007: 94-68 (1st)

So Long: SS Orlando Cabrera, P Bartolo Colon, 3B Dallas McPherson

Welcome: P Jon Garland, OF Torii Hunter

1. Chone Figgins 3B
2. Gary Matthews RF
3. Vladimir Guerrero DH
4. Torii Hunter CF
5. Garret Anderson LF
6. Howie Kendrick 2B
7. Casey Kotchman 1B
8. Mike Napoli C
9. Erick Aybar SS

Starting Rotation - John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, Jered Weaver, Jon Garland, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana
Setup - Justin Speier, Scot Shields
Closer - Francisco Rodriguez

While the prospects for the season, particularly considering the state of the division, are good, there is mild discontent in Angel camp. Vlad, Hunter, Anderson, and Sarge, Jr. all want to play the field, but someone is going to have to DH. The likely pick will be Anderson for most games, as Matthews and Hunter have the defensive tools. If Vlad wants to play in the field, Scioscia will have to allow him, with the occasional spell for all involved. You have to make Vlad happy. Sure, Anderson has been with the club since the Donnie Moore incident, but he's a shell of the player who won the home run derby in 2003.

Bartolo Colon's bloated carcass is finally gone. If Hideki Irabu was the Japanese fat toad, Colon was the Mexican version. Or is he Dominican? Venezuelan? They all look the same. He's replaced by Jon Garland. Ugh, Jon Garland. Fortunately for all of the Angel fans that love whining ever so much, the club has retained Ervin Santana's services. Perhaps this year Scioscia will decide to only start Santana in home games. Seriously, look at his home and away splits. The Halos will also be throwing out the two-headed catching monster of Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis. When is the last time a club that split catching duties made it to the World Series? Was it pre or post Great War? While Erick Aybar looks at a substantial chunk of playing time, it appears that perennial phenom Brandon Wood will once again wallow on the bench or in AAA, further deteriorating any trade value he has. At least Bill Stoneman is finally out the door as GM.

Mr. Sexy Time: OF Torii Hunter - He has a lot to live up to, but he's totally qualified. The Angels have needed an extra bat for years. He may not be the slugger everyone has envisioned, but he's as solid of a package as Angel fans could have hoped for. The stellar defense and baserunning will make up for a few less homers that a Jason Giambi would have given you.

The Elijah Price (Mr. Glass) Award: 2B Howie Kendrick - Howie Kendrick. For the love of all that is holy, let this kid play a season without a fluke injury. I swear he will hit if his fingers remain unbroken.

The John Wooden "Yep, I'm Still Alive" Award:
P Darren Oliver - Still gainfully employed, at 37 ripe years of age. He's just one of those guys that lingers, like a pedophile at a playground. He also probably belongs in the Reggie Cleveland Hall of Fame.

Halos Heaven
Big 'A' Baseball

SFWH Season Preview: Oakland Athletics

By Rich Funk

In what will probably turn into a yearly tradition around here, Steve Finley Was Here will be running previews of every West Coast baseball team, providing hard-hitting analysis with quirky jokes and probably an 80's pop culture reference or two. First up is the team that will play in the first game of the year (unless their opponents boycott the game for not having enough warm towels in their hotel rooms): The Oakland Athletics. E-Claire, our resident A's fanatic, supplied this preview.

2007: 76-86 (3rd)

SO LONG: C Jeremy Brown, OF Jeff DaVanon, P Dan Haren OF Shannon Stewart, OF Nick Swisher, OF Mark Kotsay, INF Marco Scutaro, DH Mike Piazza

WELCOME: OF Emil Brown, P Dana Eveland, P Keith Foulke, C Matt LeCroy, DH Mike Sweeney, OF Carlos Gonzalez

1. Mark Ellis 2B
2. Travis Buck RF
3. Daric Barton 1B
4. Jack Cust DH
5. Eric Chavez 3B
6. Emil Brown LF
7. Bobby Crosby SS
8. Chris Denorfia CF
9. Kurt Suzuki C

Starting Rotation - Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, Chad Gaudin, Justin Duchscherer, Lenny DiNardo, Dallas Braden, Dana Eveland
Setup - Kiko Calero, Keith Foulke, Alan Embree
Closer - Huston Street

2007 was an injury-riddled year for the A's (They used the DL over 20 times), and things were looking iffy for 2008 - 3/5 of the projected starting rotation (Harden, Duke, and Gaudin) were coming back from injuries/surgeries, Chavez had 3 offseason surgeries, and Bobby Crosby is...well...Bobby Crosby. So Billy Beane decided to pull the trigger and "rebuild," trading Dan Haren, Nick Swisher, Mark Kotsay, and Marco Scutaro for a grip of young prospects. And to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if more trades were made before the deadline (Blanton and Street could go, along with Ellis, and Chavez if he gets healthy). The majority of opinions seem to say that with all the prospects the A's acquired (Carloz and Gio Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, etc), it'll probably be a year or two before they start to get good. But if the A's keep their current roster, they could have a decent 2008. Harden is lights out when he's healthy (granted, that's not very often, but whatever. We'll go with it), and Blanton is solid. If Duke makes a good transition to the starting rotation, and Gaudin pitches like he did during the first half of last year, I'd say the A's have a pretty good starting rotation. And if Chavez has a good year, Barton lives up to the hype, Buck can go 10 minutes without spraining something, and Jack Cust proves last year wasn't just a fluke, you've got some pretty decent bats in the lineup. So I wouldn't completely count the A's out this year. On the other hand, everyone could get injured again, the rotation could suck, and Beane could trade all the prospects away for Single A players so he can rebuild the rebuilding project. We'll see what happens.

Mr. Sexy Time: Stomper Ele Phant - There have been a lot of players to come and go through the Athletics organization over the past decade or so, but you can always count on the familiar face of Stomper. According to his homepage, Stomper enjoys vacationing at the All-Star game, likes peanuts, and he can beat box. I bet the damn Rally Monkey can't beat box...

The "If You Don't Stay Healthy I'll Beat Your Ass" Award
: SS Bobby Crosby - Seriously. Stop. Getting. Hurt.

The "If You Don't Stay Healthy I'll Beat Your Ass" Award, Part 2
: SP Rich Harden - (see above)

The "Most Entertaining Quote of the Offseason" Award:
Billy Beane - During the Winter Meetings, a rumor spread about the A's, the Twins, and the Mets being involved in a 3-way trade that would send Jose Reyes (and some other prospect) to the A's. It wasn't true, and Beane responded to the rumor by saying "There's a better chance of me breeding unicorns than there is of that deal happening." I dunno Billy, if the A's have a crappy first half and you need a way to keep the fans coming to games, unicorn breeding might be something you'd want to consider. Especially if the unicorns can play defense and have a good OBP.

Athletics Nation
Athletic Supporters

This Guy Hasn't Retired Yet???

By Rich Funk

File this story under "Doesn't Surprise Anyone". Nomar Garciaparra broke his hand. How did he do it? Who knows. Maybe he was reaching for his bottle of Metamucil and fell down or some such nonsense. I can tell you how he didn't do it though. He sure didn't break it from signing too many autographs.

On a side note, did you know that Garciaparra is only 34 years old? Doesn't he seem like he should be at least 57 at this point?

SFWH Card of the Week

By Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Each week I'll dive into my old card collection and pick out ones that I found humorous, memorable, absurd, and/or awesome. I'll then showcase these classics to you the readers.

Make: 1987 Topps
Card: #155 Eddie Whitson

Nothing too spectacular, much like Whitson as a player. No, the real beauty of this card is on the back. Behold!

Below his stats, instead of a blurb about some statistical achievement or memorable moment, they bust out a classic non sequitur. Eddie never did anything special, but damn does he love some Willie Nelson. While it's only speculation, I'm gonna say his favorite album is probably 'Shotgun Willie'.

Saturday Night Special: Kung Pao Baseball $4.99

By Governor X

As you know from Brant's breaking news below, the Dodgers and Padres played a two game series in Beijing, China over the weekend. Naturally, the Dodgers got beat by the fucking Padres, but its exhibition season so it doesn't sting quite as bad as during the year when these losses to the inferior team down the I-5 come back to haunt the boys in blue. Lucky for me, the Saturday game was on live at 10pm as I hid in the house burning TJ Simers columns for warmth as Southern California suffered from an unseasonable cold spell. Here are my observations for you, the reader (do we have any yet?):

The Chinese Police are Ubiquitous Assholes

By now you've probably heard about Chan Ho Park's run-in with Chinese police as he attempted to sign autographs for Korean fans. This was Park's own tank moment. Honestly, if it would keep him off the team this year, I would root for the tank. Aside from this unpleasantness, the Chinese police were crawling all over the stadium during the game. At one point, the camera zoomed in on one interrogating a fan who had inexplicably brought a mannequin head to the game. Sure, thats a little weird, but hardly worthy of police attention.

The Stands Were Full of White People
China has a population of something around 18 billion, but probably one third of the fans in the stands were white people. What are they doing there? Maybe they're teaching English. Unfortunately, those assignments don't pay very well. Also, China is a brutal fascist dictatorship (no, they aren't really communists anymore) - why would anyone want to live there for a year? Maybe they were tourists. Attending a baseball game in Beijing is the sports equivalent of going overseas and eating at McDonalds.

Tanyon Sturtze is on the Dodgers
Boo. Nothing further your honor...

Beer is $1.50 a Cup
OK, finally the Chinese get something right. Last year I paid $10 for a cup of Heineken at Dodgers Stadium. Thats highway fucking robbery. Frank McCourt needs a kick in the gnads for this one. Now that I think about it though, it was probably that awful Tsingtao swill. I don't tolerate beer that makes you thirsty. Its one of my guiding principles.

Apparently Kevin Kennedy Went to China Once
I can't listen too closely to Kevin Kennedy or I get mad. He brings us wisdom like "if the Dodgers can win two in a row, they have an excellent opportunity for a winning streak". Thanks. I couldn't have figured that out without a baseball expert telling me. Today, as I phased in and out, he was mostly talking about a trip to China he did once. I can't remember most of it. Its like hearing about your Great Aunt's trip to the Dead Sea. Who the fuck cares? The one bit I took away from it is that he was served a plate of deer tendons and was told it was a delicacy. I guess he did better than CNN's "medical expert"/insurance industry stooge Sanjay Gupta who went to China and was served a big plate of cocks.

Is Chin Lung Hu in Danger?
Chin Lung Hu, the Dodgers 75 pound Asian wunderkind is from the Renegade Province. Will Chinese officials try to detain him? I hope not. We need him at SS after we're finally rid of Furcal and his drinking habit.

Chinese Baseball has Cheerleaders

A Pleasant Surprise?

By ,

According to the Oakland A's website, former manager Ken Macha paid a visit to his old team at Spring Training over the weekend - you know, to chat, catch up with his former players, re-live the good ole' days when he was fired after the A's got owned by the Tigers in the 2006 ALCS...

Macha said he wanted to thank his former players for everything they did for him.

That had to be really awkward. It's like an old boyfriend who can't deal with the fact that you've moved on, so they show up at all of your favorite restaurants, and send you e-mails talking about the "good times," and you eventually have to get your phone number changed because they won't let you enjoy your newfound freedom. And then once you change your number, your stupid friend Joan gives them your new one, and you've gotta deal with their shenanigans all over again. Wait...What were we talking about?

Oh yeah - Ken Macha. I wonder if he said anything to current manager Bob Geren...And if he did say anything, I wonder if phrases like "You guys practically finished in the basement last year," "I took them to the ALCS in '06" or "Neener, neener neener" came up at all...

The article also says he showed up wearing a green windbreaker. Wow, Kenny. You really need to let go. Plus, windbreakers haven't been fashionable everyday wear since the mid-80's.

On a final note, Bobby Crosby said he did a double-take when he saw Macha. Knowing Crosby, that double-take caused him to strain his neck, and he'll be out 4 to 6 weeks. Zing!

Barry Zito Sucks at Life

By Governor X

Barry Zito has pretty much blown ass since signing that 7 year $100 bazillion dollar contract with the Giants before the 2007 season, but he's taking his sucktitude to new heights this spring:

"Barry Zito allowed a grand slam in the first inning Saturday, didn't throw a fastball harder than 84 mph, has a 14.92 ERA this spring and has faced 67 batters without recording a strikeout."

Barry isn't worried though. Honestly, if I had an 8 digit income and had a habit of banging models two at a time, I wouldn't worry either. The Giants should be though. They're stuck with Barry for a long time and its not likely that his fastball is going to speed up again.

It doesn't get any better for the Giants either. Noah Lowry, who was giving Zito a run for his money in sucking this spring, is now out until late April with "exertional compartment syndrome". What the hell is that you ask? I don't know, and the Giants training staff has found no record of any pitcher ever being treated for it in the past.

Pour yourself another glass of wine Mr. McGowan, its going to be a long season in San Francisco.

Juan Gone?

By Brant Brown

It seems as if someone finally put smelling salts under the noses of Dodgers officials. In this piece by Tony Jackson, there are rumblings that the Dodgers may have come to the dramatic realization that Juan Pierre does not deserve a starting role. While they may be handcuffed by his 5 year, $44 million contract (ladies and gentlemen: Ned Colletti) his frustratingly streaky offense and inept defense in no way justify consistent playing time. The alternative options of young and vigorous stallions Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier (no, not this Andre Ethier), are having fantastic springs. Does Pierre have any value on the bench? Unquestionably, no. The only situation in which it might be logical to bring Pierre in to pinch hit is if the Dodgers are down by a run or two and the pitcher's spot is leading off the inning. The man can't even be brought in as a defensive replacement. He cannot be counted on to provide a clutch hit in the late innings. The only reason his average ends up around .300 at the end of the season is because he never walks and ends up with nearly 700 ABs. Can you simply cut Pierre? No. Can you trade him? Not for much more than a low grade prospect. It's a dismal situation, and hopefully the Dodgers have the good sense to sit him in favor of a daily dose of Kemp and Ethier.

Well, the Angels gave up on the Bartolo Colon fat toad project. Now he moves over to the Red Sox, where reports say that he's throwing well. Granted, he'll probably only end up as a 5th starter or long reliever for the Sox, but don't you think the Angels wish they had him back? John Lackey is now out for what appears to be four weeks with a strained triceps. Prospect Nick Adenhart will get a shot at the rotation, but with the perennially unreliable health of Kelvim Escobar, and the sketchy effectiveness of Ervin Santana, the Angels rotation could quickly succumb to dire straits.

Last but not least, as a scant few of you may know, the Padres and Dodgers played a couple exhibition games in Beijing over the weekend, prompting a spat of "cultural genocide" after their first game ended in a 3-3 tie. That's West Coast baseball at it's finest.


By Rich Funk

With a title like 'Lost', one may think that I'm only trying to drive traffic to our page by coming up in searches for a certain TV show about people stuck on an island. But that's not the case. Besides, I was never a fan of Gilligan or his crazy buddies.

What I mean is, I'm kind of out of my element. I spent the first 23 years of life living in the midwest, and moved across the country to California in 2006. Now I'm stuck in a state where the Cubs only visit twice a year and I don't know any of the teams that I'm surrounded by. Think of me as Will Smith and the West Coast baseball teams as his wealthy family in Bel-Air. It's just going to take some time for me to get to know them.

And because I can't resist, if the West Coast teams were cast members of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, here's who they would be:

Oakland A's: Carlton Banks - With the A's, and Carlton, it's all about the numbers. Trigonometry, OBP, walk rates, stock market figures, Moneyball...everything is broken down into numbers and dissected intelligently.
LA Angels: Hilary Banks - Will you just please leave already? Every time I see you, you just annoy me!
LA Dodgers: Geoffrey - Classy and dignified, with a lot of tradition. However, aside from stepping up from time to time, never really able to become a focal point instead of a supporting role.
San Diego Padres: Jazz - Laid back and always coming up with crazy ideas ("Let's build a stadium that has an old factory sticking into it!"). Much like the Padres, Jazz was inconsistent and wandered in and out of our memory without any real lasting impression.
SF Giants: Vivian Banks (The First One) - The Giants transition from 2007-2008 is much like the transition between Aunt Vivian's in the show. The old, aging way of the past wasn't working, so the media nuisance was sent packing and replaced with a younger, friendlier version.
Seattle Mariners: Any of Will's Family - Remember when Will's family or friends from Philly would just randomly show up for an episode or two, and you'd remember "Oh yeah, Will has family. I forgot about them." Those episodes were boring and sucked for the most part. That's how the Mariners are. Aside from when they make the news (Erik Bedard trade, overpaying Sexson and Beltre), you pretty much forget that they exist at all.

But I've decided to make the most of my situation. My top priority will always be the Cubs, but I'm going to eventually settle on a team out here in the West to have at least a passing interest in. This process will last for several weeks I imagine and will take all things into account, including coolness of stadium, fans, players, food served at games, etc. So keep checking back for that, and everything else that will be popping up on this site.

Now if you'll excuse me, Uncle Phil is out of town with Aunt Viv on a business trip and I'm going to let Bell Biv Devoe film a music video in the living room.


By Brant Brown

Welcome to the new sister site of Thunder Matt's Saloon, Steve Finley Was Here. This site will be dedicated to filling the void in quality informative, yet humorous, coverage of all California Major Leage Baseball teams. Why all of California? Well, to put it simply, it's tough to be a California baseball fan. Now, most of us in here claim allegiance to the Chicago Cubs. However, we now find ourselves out West, only able to witness our beloved Cubs live when they are playing in the enemy's stadium. What we see in these crowds often baffles us, sometimes bemuses us, and occasionally infuriates us. Fans arrive late. Fans leave early. Fans of the Padres cannot take criticism. Fans of the Angels are often delusional. Fans of the Dodgers under-represent themselves in the stands (even though every game is technically sold out). Fans of the Giants are desperate and in Bonds denial. A's fans are generally delinquent and sit too far away from the field. Televised games, particularly during the playoffs, begin when most West coasters are still at work. ESPN largely neglects the West in favor of the continuous Yankees/Red Sox orgy. You get the point. It's hard work being a West coast fan.

Having established this, why would we care about these teams? Well, we're stuck with them. Their's are the only games easily accessible on the radio during the drive home. Bars often don't have an MLB package, so we're forced to watch within our local market. We are the invading parasites, and we must learn to adapt to the host. What we can provide while we muddle through is a sounding board for the disparate views for and against these teams. We intend to give a detached analysis of the current state of each organization, with humor, biting criticism, and occasional praise.

If you're a fan of The Saloon, should you expect a carbon copy of TMS material? Absolutely not. You won't find the same staple of themes such as War Heros, the Realm of Red, etc. New concepts and running gags will evolve. Will there be a live drunk blog at some point? Surely there will. But this is not a clone of TMS; it will have its own unique place in the baseball blogosphere, and we hope you enjoy it. And if you don't? Whatever, you probably root for a California baseball team, so the rest of the nation doesn't care about your opinion.