Friday, April 17, 2015

Early Baseball Blues

A terrible start for the San Francisco Giants, and not much better for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Both have won three games each.  The Giants started well, plucky and opportunistic until they got hit with more injuries.  Thursday night I listened to the last several innings of a home game (it went 12 innings) with the surprise first place club of Colorado, in which they came back several times to tie the game but could not seal the deal (which could have been taking that ball four with the bases loaded).   They lost their seventh in a row, and have yet to win at home.  Their pitching is wobbly (starting, relief), their hitting pale, their scoring nonexistent and their fielding is not great.  Can't get much worse.

Adding insult to much injury even before the season started, Pablo Sandoval starting bad-mouthing the entire team (except for a few) and its management (except for Bruce Bochy), stating that he'd decided very early last year that he wasn't returning to the Giants because salary negotiations showed a lack of respect to him and his agent.  This despite his postseason declaration that he wanted to remain a Giant forever.

Though Sandoval has been doing pretty well so far on his new team of the Boston Red Sox, and they are leading the league at the moment, his comments probably helped the separation process in San Francisco, among fans as well as players.  Turns out he's a hypocrite.  So good riddance.

The Giants faltering is expected, though not so early or so thoroughly--they're bound to get better than this--but the Pirates slow start is more puzzling.  Still, they may well be coming around, with the Cutch feeling better.

When I lived in or near Pittsburgh, going to opening day of the Pirates was a tradition.  This year the opening day crowd--which looked large and enthusiastic--was treated to a Pirates home run on the first pitch of the game, by Josh Harrison.  They also have the early season distinction of being the only team so far to beat the Detroit Tigers.