Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Early December

The San Francisco Giants made a deal to address their biggest need by signing former Pittsburgh Pirate closer Mark Melancon.  Reportedly, ex-Giant and a Pirate last year Ryan Vogelsong was instrumental in praising the Giants team culture, and Melancon--like Durant to the Warriors--really wanted to play for them.

Another Pirates to Giants move is still possible but looks less likely now--the Pirates are less than quietly shopping around their star, Andrew McCutchen.  I was surprised to see what a bad year he had last year, even defensively.  But he played center well enough to beat the Giants (with Vogelsong on the mound) when I saw them play each other in August.

  Cutch would be a huge loss to Pittsburgh--he's always said he wanted to play there forever, and he was a star there on bad teams before they got good.  Now they may be on the wane again, and Pittsburgh has to watch its payroll still it seems.  He would fit in well in SF, though it poses questions for who plays where in the outfield.  But Giants officials are playing that possibility down, expressing faith in farm system grads Parker and Williamson to share left. And probably figuring a healthy Hunter Pence and better years by one or two others will add to the long ball totals.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors are rolling.  Their top four have all set some sort of record already in this young season, including Steph Curry's record 13 treys in a game and last night, Klay Thompson dropped 60 points in less than 30 minutes of playing time--for the first time in the shot clock era.  It's also the highest point total by anyone this season.

The offense is fast, sharing and joyful--breaking records for assists, and putting up lots of points.  The defense is a work in progress but there are brilliant plays every game, most often by Durant and especially Draymond.