The McCovey Chroncast
Summary: Bryan Murphy & Doug Bruzzone bring the McCovey Chronicles' comments section to life discussing the latest news in San Francisco Giants Baseball.
This is not, not, not, not an hour-long conversation about the beauty of Golden State Warriors basketball. Just wanted to get that out of the way right up front. There will be no references to Steph Curry's jumper or Klay Thompson's defense or Draymond Green's energy or Kevin Durant's completely dominant game or how they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers and won a championship *in the Bay Area* for the first time in something, like. 40 years. But at least my writing all this stuff made you think about all that instead of the Giants for any extra time than was necessary. Because, you know, the Giants are still a thing. We *do* talk about how being a casual to intense fanatic of baseball does offer you some refuge during a long losing season, better than the other sports, in that there are other things to look forward to and focus on as the year slogs on. In this week's case, there's the MLB Draft, which Doug and I know very little about, *but* it's exciting to talk about nonetheless. We also discuss the goals of any organization as it relates to winning and losing and keeping Hunter Strickland around. And, of course, we answer your sharp Twitter questions.
The Giants are, of course, famously bad and unlikely to get better soon. What does that mean for the Chroncast? We think the franchise’s descent into Rebuilding Mode will bring about some of our best work, actually. And this week is definitely proof of that concept. I go in on Hunter Strickland, Doug comes up with an idea to monetize the podcast that will net him a million dollars, we come up with some truly exquisite punishments for various Giants players for being so bad and/or selfish, and, as always, we answer your Twitter questions. Some additional warning: there are more swears than usual in this week’s episode, but no F words.
We pack a lot into this week's hour and hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. First up, it turns out Buster Posey has beef with Brandon Belt. We get to the bottom of it without forgetting to stop to reflect on the Giants taking 2 out of 3 in St. Louis against Baseball's Greatest Team, the Cardinals. Always a pleasure to watch those wins. We also follow up on our trade proposal segment from a couple of episodes back: since the 2017 Giants are toast, how can they improve the team going forward? I nominated Joe Panik to be the player the Giants try to trade for prospects while Doug pitched Mark Melancon. Do you agree with our suggestions and/or rationale (probably not, and we're both definitely way wrong about what will actually happen, but it's fun to pose the question in this particular forum: an article on the site you're unlikely to read in the course of going to stream the latest Chroncast)? We also look ahead to this week's big series in Chicago, where the Giants will be helping the Cubs regain their mojo. But most importantly, we bring back our Game segment and this week we've got a really fun one with some terrific answers. And, of course, we answer your Twitter questions. Oh, and one last thing: during the part of the podcast where we talk about who might play Buster Posey and Brandon Belt in a season of FX's Feud, I completely forgot -- despite specifically making a note to mention it -- that Uproxx's Brian Grubb had already submitted the best idea for how to cast each season of Feud on FX and so I must mention here because after you read the Grubb article, I think you'll agree that he's got the right idea.
It should come as no surprise that the Buster Posey Death Watch has watched anything but the death of Buster Posey's baseball career. He's still pretty good! And he's hitting for more power than most Giants, which I think you'd agree are still struggling as a whole to hit for team power. We also look ahead at the Giants potentially bright future with their outfield. There are some interesting prospects down on the farm, so interesting, in fact, that following them might just be the best distraction from, you know... what's going on at the major league level. We also answer to excellent Twitter questions this week.
There's no logical explanation for the Bay Area media's intense scrutiny of Giants' first baseman Brandon Belt when the entire organization is currently in the midst of its worst start ever and every single player not named Brandon Belt (or Buster Posey) is performing well below the caliber of a Major League Baseball player, so we decide to come up with additional irrational reasons to dislike the guy. #BeltBash is all the rage and we here at the McCovey Chroncast didn't want to miss out on the fun. And you won't want to miss out on the fun that comes from our *two* guests this week, both from the site -- skyblue17 (Joanne) and sami. (Sami Higgins)! They get in on the #BeltBash, too, but also talk about their Giants fandom and what attracted them to this wacky website in the first place. We also reflect on the career of Tim Lincecum, which really raised the question, "Is it better to burnout or fade away?" Also, last week was Willie Mays' birthday. We celebrate it in our own special way. And finally, as always, we answer your Twitter questions, but this week, we field the best #BeltBash from Twitter, too. Oh, and perhaps most importantly, we begin our proposals for rebuilding the Giants. You won't want to miss that discussion, unless you're steadfastily against the idea of the Giants tearing it all down, in which case, you'll still want to hate hear what we have to say about the Giants' new direction
A 9-17 start is, as the kids say, a "suboptimal" start to the season, and there's no question that the team has a nearly impossible chance of making the postseason... so where does that leave our weekly podcast if there's nothing really to root for? Well, that's the thing -- there's still plenty to root for and plenty to talk about. What is there to root for, you may ask? Why, friendship and camaraderie. This Chroncast wouldn't have come into existence without the bonds formed on McCovey Chronicles during those post-2004 lean years. And Matt Cain being the only beacon of hope in terms of the Giants' next window of success begat such wonderful images as this (the Millenium Falcon racing away from an exploding Death Star -- courtesy of @SeanGothman), so, consider that the Giants being bad now could still be very, very good for you. We also rank the worst pitches to get hit by and give our theories as to why Brandon Belt of all playes gets all the blame for the Giants' current woes.
So, 2017 isn’t what you hoped it would be, but that’s okay. The Giants were never going to win every game and they were never built to be the best team in the league. Sure, they have been the worst team in the sport since last year’s All-Star Break, but they have a bunch of guys on the roster we and you really, really like. So, let’s still get together and talk about them. This week, we follow-up on Doug’s article which asked if “This is who the Giants are” — is the team really this bad? Is the franchise doomed? What did I have to do with a 6-13 start? Surely, I must’ve done something. And what about Gorkys Hernandez? Is he a major league baseball player? That seems like a question worth asking, given the circumstances. The Giants have to face off against a lot of major league teams over the next several months and it would be good for them to match those major league teams with major league hitters. But fielding a major league roster is sometimes difficult for major league baseball teams to do. We’ve seen the Giants struggle to field a competitive team before, only McCovey Chronicles didn’t have a podcast back then. Now it does, so come listen and enjoy the sarcasm. Oh, and Doug gives us some a AAA scouting report to fuel our hopes and dreams for how the farm might help the major league roster (although... yeah, don’t get your hopes up). We also answer your Twitter questions and play a couple of fun games, though I think you’ll admit that my answer for one of the games was Gorkys Hernandez-level bad.
Sure, the Giants haven’t had a comeback win in the ninth inning since May of 2015, but as we approach the two-year anniversary of this bit of history, is there enough evidence on the current roster to explain or disprove just why it is that they’ve been so unlucky in this specific way? And how have the staples of the Giants’ lineup looked in the early going? More than a few of the hitters seem to get worse as the game goes on, and we try (in vain, to be sure) to diagnose just what it is that might be ailing them. Is Denard Span the best leadoff hitter? Does Chris Marrero have left field on lock?
We're back to talk about the Giants' first week of the season. Did blowing two saves in one game set them up for a historic run? Is there anything to the idea that the Giants' bullpen isn't hitting luck it's actually carrying over the same performances from last year because it's basically the same composition? We also look at the performances of each significant player from the past week and wind up honing in on left field, also known as a performance graveyard to start the season. Seriously, left field is so bad that the Giants started Aaron Hill out there. There are also some Twitter questions and the results from our first ever McCovey Chroncast poll: if you were a closer, what would your blown save style be?
There are 13 rankable managers in the National League and by gawdness, we rank the everlovin' heck out of 'em. This comes just before the first pitch of the 2017 season and on the heels of the national baseball writers anointing Cool Joe Maddon as the greatest manager in the game. We think there's something wrong with that label and try to sort out just exactly where Joe and the other NL managers fall on that list of 13. But then, and perhaps most importantly, we mourn the loss of Buster Posey's peak performance. He just turned 30, you see, the age at which most baseball players begin to enter the "decline phase" of their careers. But catchers have a steeper slope on that phase and we can't expect Buster Posey to be an exception to that. Was 2016 a harbinger of 2017 results or is the unstoppable stampede of time just taking a minor detour on its way to dragging the beauty of Buster Posey's peak away from our collective consciousnessness? Oh, and we also answer your Twitter questions.
It's difficult to look at the San Diego Padres and think "now there's an exciting baseball team!", but it's a lot easier to look at the FOX-TV show Pitch and think "now there's an exciting TV show about baseball!". We used that reasoning this week to close out the NL West preview as writer Jason Holtham of the aforementioned FOX-TV show Pitch joins us to discuss the fictional Padres, a far more entertaining subject. If you haven't watched Pitch yet, the entire first season (just 10 episodes!) is available to stream on Hulu. It's fun and interesting and has for a backdrop a recognizable world of Major League Baseball. They even managed to characterize the fictional Giants in ways that are familiar. That said, listen to Jason's story about when the TV show shot at AT&T Park... We also talk to Adam Peterson of Purple Row about those Colorado Rockies. It turns out, while the Giants have been focusing their attention on the Dodgers, the Rockies have been stockpiling pitchers. Will this obnoxious team annoy the Giants even more this season? Probably. But will that annoyance propel them into a playoff race? And, of course, we answer your Twitter questions. They were a bit more existenstial than usual, and that's okay.
This week’s show begins our preview of the rest of the NL West, starting with the loathsome Dodgers and followed by the gritty Diamondbacks. We invited a couple of guests to help us out with those previews and we think that makes them far more entertaining than you, a single-minded Giants-only fan, could ever possibly imagine. Eric Stephen of True Blue LA helps us understand just how it is that the Dodgers seem to have a Springfield-esque roster of obnoxious characters (obnoxious, of course, from the Giants’ fan perspective) and how their incredible roster just might manifest this year and where we can expect a couple more surprises – because, really, what a team that’s projected to win 99 games needs is even more talented surprises. And then we bring back Mike Ferrin of SiriuxXM and the pre and post-game show host for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Is Paul Goldschmidt as amazing as Tim Lincecum thinks he is? What did the Mariners get wrong about Taijuan Walker and how is the superior scouting of the Diamondbacks about to cause a world of hurt for the National League. We also answer some Twitter questions which I think you’ll agree were extraordinary this week.
We’re back! And it’s — wait, what? Spring Training has been going on for a couple of weeks already? We’re still shaking off the podcasting rust, but we do manage to talk about some key items of Giants baseballery, including reasons to be optimistic this season. It’s a striking departure from the usual back and forth and we’re cautiously optimistic it will be a new trait of ours going forward. But the meaty goodness of the season’s first show is a how-to guide by our own kdl for getting to experience the entire Giants organization at Spring Training through the minor league camps. It’s literally the knitty-gritty... where to go, how to get there, what to do once you get there... even the best place to sit and when to grab a seat. So, if you’ve ever wanted to know how to best experience Spring Training as an absolute baseball junky, then you’ll want to listen to all of kdl’s gems. We also answer some of your Twitter questions and make jokes.
It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that the Chroncast is at it again, but just one last time in 2016. That's right, after this week's episode, you won't have me or Doug to kick around anymore! Joining us this week for an appropriate send-off is Baseball's Grant Brisbee. What's the best course of action for the Giants to take heading into 2017? Do the recent Gold Glove awards make a whole lot of sense? What does it mean that the pitching is good? Who were the top 2 homegrown Giants by OPS last season (without looking it up!). Beyond that, we answer one last round of your always excellent Twitter questions and decide, once and for all, what band reminds Joe Maddon reminds us of the most. Doug and I thank you for listening to and supporting us all season long. We'd also like to thank all of our wonderful guests, from Grant Brisbee to Grant Brisbee, and all the Grant Brisbees in between. Actually -- seriously -- thank you to Jen Mac Ramos, Roger Munter, Wendy Thurm, Reuben Poling, Carmen Kiew, Bryan Srabian, Mike Ferrin, my buddy Joe, Jason Wojciechowski, Dan Szymborski, Goofus, thirteenthirteen, jponry, and kdl for taking time out of your busy schedules to help make this thing a real thing. We'll be back next season
The Giants' farm system has experienced a dramatic shift in quality over the past few years: they can grow position players now! That's cause for excitement, because in the coming years, the offense is going to need a boost from somewhere given how no free agent bat wants to sign with San Francisco. Is Christian Arroyo worth all your hopes and dreams now? One thing's for certain: the Giants' bullpen isn't going to get a whole lot of help from the farm. But there's still plenty of intrigue on the horizon.