For Love of the Game


OK then. Baseball is finally over for my beloved Giants. Thank goodness. This leadership pair of Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler has created a baseball team and method that’s just pitiful. It’s painful to watch. And boring. Tedious. A struggle. Never knowing from day to day who is going to be on the club as players or where they might be in the batting order or what positions they might play. No stars. The way Kapler handles pitchers makes it even worse. One result of the inconstancy in player positions is that the Giants lead all of baseball in errors committed in an era of lower error rates in baseball. I can’t be the only one who sees the problem and the source of said problem.

It’s no puzzle why the Giants find it impossible to sign truly first rate talent. I’m a big fan of Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Crawford, but, other than that…….Who would want to subject themselves to that nonsense, anyhow? It’s no wonder that the ballpark is habitually empty, or nearly so.

All that aside, I need to mention broadcaster David Fleming. When he started years ago, he was good, but he’s devolved. He should listen to some really talented broadcasters and learn how to call a game. Long as I’m at it, he should remove the word “literally” from his dialog altogether. It’s trite. Juvenile. Irritating. And learn how to criticize an umpire without sounding like a whining little girl. Jesus.

In general, baseball announcers should quit reporting launch angles and speed of baseballs off the bat in MPH. No one gives a shit. Really. No one. If you know anyone who DOES give a shit, then they’re not really baseball fans, but video game idiots. Or something. But baseball isn’t their primary thing. It’s something else.

In general, announcers should quit using fighting terms and military terms when describing the game. I can only imagine that they have all been given their marching orders from the High Sheriff's at MLB to use terms like “barreled up”, “battling”, and “fighting” as often as possible. I suppose they’re trying to attract some viewers who have their background in first-person shooter video games. And I note that the aforementioned Kapler also uses these terms in abundance.

Another thing—I’d like the management to choose some National Anthem renditions to be respectful of the song, the flag, and the nation. Just quit with the stylings, the warbling, and all the singers who try to make the song their own. It’s the national anthem for crying out loud. Quit allowing the featured rendition sound like a try-out for a hip-hop recording contract. The anthem should be handled respectfully.

Kapler. That’s another issue altogether. I don’t like the cut of his jib. I don’t like his hipster beard. Or his trendy glasses. Or the “uniform” he wears. Or that moronic tattoo on the back of his hand. Or the way he chews gum. Or his interview style. Or the way he handles the team and the pitchers. I don’t like the coaches he picks. I could get along with most of that, however, if he just wasn’t an un-American, anti-American, unpatriotic ass-hole who sits for the national anthem. Jerk. Remember that 107 win season a couple of years back? First place finish? Manager of the year? Yeah. That was an aberration. A matter of luck, and nothing more. Subsequent results show that in full color display.

The Giants have specific coaching issues too—All related back to Zaidi and Kapler, I’m sure. The primary, and talented, Director of Pitching Brian Bannister made tracks before the season ended, resigning from the Giants after 7 years and signing on with the White Sox. Good for him. Then, the first woman to coach in MLB history, Alyssa Nakken, announced that she is with child. By all accounts she’s a qualified outfield coach despite having never played baseball at a high level. She will also be missed, and will have to be replaced.

I read that there’s a two-team expansion in the works. From what I understand, Oakland will get a team to replace the soon-to-be-departed Athletics, and Nashville will get the other. I don’t see how that will make things any better unless one of those new teams takes on Kapler (to hide during the National Anthem) and Zaidi (to hire a dump-load of aging veterans and second-tier talent).

One can only hope.

Look…..Baseball isn’t a “highlight” sport, no matter how they try to sell it. Baseball is long term. The game and the season. Watch a game, or listen to one (baseball really is a radio game anyhow) on a summer afternoon…..leisurely. On the deck. In the sun. Think about heroics from years past. That’s baseball.

And make those “bat-flips” cause for ejection.

Yeah, the Giants are still my team. They’ll outlast Kapler and Zaidi and I’ll dance a jig.


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