Aubrey Huff

Ryan Vogelsong gets early second half head start on Barry Zito

I think I’ve given everyone enough time to watch the first episode of The Franchise if they were planning on checking it out, so I don’t feel bad giving away details now. Especially highly judgmental, snarky opinions of the players’ actions … just like you’ve come to expect from this site for almost four years!

From what I saw, Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong not only are competing with Jonathan Sanchez for the final two spots in the rotation, they also don’t like each other all that much (I thought I might be the only one who noticed this, then my buddy Carp voluntarily texted me a few days ago with, “And u can tell he and voglesong are not fans of each other.”)

They also both love the camera … although perhaps not as much as Vogelsong’s wife, Nicole.

Don’t get me wrong, The Franchise is good television. They tried to cover too much in the first episode, but it’s pretty much premium cable disguised as crack for Giants fans. However, Zito was in rare form, especially the shaving scene (the moment after Zito finished shaving his favorite possession, then did that little shimmy/smirk for the camera, demanded to be paused and captured for posterity, don’t you think?). Compared to the shaving exhibition, the yoga bit was downright humble. I can’t wait for the next episode, when Zito makes a hemp necklace, does a fashion shoot and converts his Ferrari to biodiesel.

Ah, Zito jokes. The only advantage to outings like Saturday night’s bed-crapping against the Padres is that when Zito opens himself up for ridicule, smart-asses like myself can try out new material. And after Voglesong followed up Zito’s bullpen-killer of an outing two nights later with 6 2/3 scoreless innings (enough to make Vogelsong eligible for the ERA title), he moved even further into the lead over Sanchy and Zeets.

Current Bottom of the Rotation Power Rankings:
1. Vogelsong
2. Sanchez
3. Zito

Sanchez, even though he gave up 6 runs in 2 2/3 for San Jose on Sunday night, took the lead over Zito because two of the six hits Sanchez gave up in his Minor League rehab start were infield singles to second baseman Mark DeRosa, and because Zito ran out of rope at the end of last season. A few good starts in a row aren’t enough to change things, as Bruce Bochy said last night when he left open the option of skipping Zito’s tentatively scheduled Friday start against the Brewers.

Ribbons, clutch hits, incredible pitching, injuries and … trades?

— Pretty fun little non-story that blew up on Twitter Monday night, with Ryan Vogelsong going ribbon-less during Until There’s a Cure Day. According to Vogelsong he has two jerseys, he wears the heavier jersey on night games, and the ribbon was sewn on the other one.

— I know I’m getting old when I’m one of the only people who still remembers that Until There’s a Cure Day used to mean the Giants were guaranteed to engage in a bench-clearing brawl.

— Everyone seems to be calling for Brandon Belt to replace Aubrey Huff in the lineup. That may come fairly soon, but at this point they should at least swap Cody Ross and Huff in the order.

— (Hopefully) minor injuries: Chris Stewart took a swing follow-through to the dome, and Miguel Tejada pulled an ab muscle or something. Pretty much a standard day at the Park!

— Can Pablo Sandoval win the MVP award after missing six weeks? If he keeps this up it isn’t out of the question, since the top two candidates are Jose Reyes and Matt Kemp, two guys who (unless Reyes gets traded) won’t sniff a pennant race.

— Hank Schulman indicated he thought the Giants would end up “pulling the trigger” on Reyes’ teammate Carlos Beltran, explaining the Mets would go with the deal that saved the most money and the Giants have a lot of money. Schulman’s generally been a pretty conservative guy when it comes to his predictions about what the Giants would do at the deadline in previous years, so his stance on Beltran is worth noting.

— Hopefully if the Giants did add Beltran it wouldn’t mean less Nate Schierholtz, who collected a couple more hits on Monday. If the Giants are fine with playing Tejada at short, maybe they’d be adventurous and stick Beltran back in center, where he hasn’t played regularly since 2010 (or all that well since 2008).

— Sandoval’s impressive home run to right was on a Chad Billingsley fastball at the letters, a pitch he never would have gotten around on last year. Actually, that’s completely wrong, as Rory Paap pointed out with this video of Sandoval crushing an even higher fastball off Mat Latos last year. I think the aftermath of the World Series, during the same week I got married, wiped away my memory of most things in 2010 that occurred before October.

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