Back in Arizona, this time with my dad. Less press box, more beer. Not that much beer, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be writing coherently at midnight about the game we saw.
Now that I’ve written three sentences that could lead to about 50 jokes at my expense, who’s ready for a helping of “EXTRA BASGS”???
On second thought, I can’t afford a lawyer. Let’s leave that name alone…
— Matt Cain gave up two homers in a row at Surprise Stadium on Thursday evening. One to Mike Napoli (pretty well crushed to center) and another just a minute or two later to Mitch Moreland (an impressive line shot to right), and that was it. Only one more hit and a walk allowed, and his breaking stuff was out of control — in a good way.
— How good is Cain’s negotiating position right now? He could hire Master P as his agent and still come out of this with a 9-figure deal (except Percy would probably force Cain to pitch 450 innings and win 35 games per season to reach all his incentives).
— Will Cain budge one inch on his demands? Clearly the Giants have to raise their offer from whatever it was initially, but if Cain holds strong at one set of years/dollars, the Giants may let him walk. While they don’t want to see Cain sign with the Dodgers, they don’t want to project the image of a team that’s scared of the Guggenheim group, either.
— The fans all agree: sign Cain, sign him now and give him whatever he wants. Larry Baer’s “plugging along,” which kind of sounds like Larry Riley’s infamous “work like the dickens” line.
— Like I pretty much said earlier, Cain’s agent has the easiest job in the world.
— Brandon Belt not only went 3-for-4 and increased his Spring average to .407, he was the only Giant who came over and signed autographs right before the game. The only reason why he stopped was because the national anthem interrupted him.
— The place was nowhere near full, and Ron Washington had Pablo Sandoval intentionally walked with first base open and runners on second and third at one point. People are ready for the regular season to start.
— Non-baseball highlight of the night. My dad and I ordered a couple Sierra Nevadas, and after pouring one bottle into a giant plastic cup, the vendor knocked the cup he was going to pour the second beer into onto the floor. He picked up the cup, pulled a cup that was lodged inside the original cup out, and then readied himself to pour the beer into the interior cup. I was dumbfounded, paralyzed. Luckily my dad wasn’t, and said, “I don’t want that cup, it was on the floor.” The guy seemed pissed, like we should’ve been happy with the floor cup. IT WAS INSIDE ANOTHER CUP, YOU SPOILED BRATS. ONLY THE LIP OF THE CUP TOUCHED FLOOR! FIVE SECOND RULE DOESN’T EVEN APPLY HERE!!!
— The only other time my dad got upset during the game was when I informed him Barry Zito would definitely start one of the next two games we’re attending. He didn’t agree with me when I suggested that watching Zito would be fun in a morbid, comical way.
— Aubrey Huff absolutely raked a double to center (only Moreland’s home run was louder) … and struck out 3 times.
— Nate Schierholtz (who hit a HR on Wednesday) made a nice play on a fly ball he caught at the wall, but he looked lost at the plate. He ran an 0-2 count to 3-2 against Matt Harrison, then struck out looking on a curveball. Schierholtz went 0-for-2, dropping his average to .212.
— I wondered aloud tonight if Schierholtz is reliving 2010. Remember when he had the RF job, then John Bowker took it away with an incredible Spring, then Bowker did nothing in the first month of the regular season and ceded the job to Schierholtz again? I’m not saying Gregor Blanco is Bowker since they’re very dissimilar players, but let’s just say it wouldn’t be a major upset if Blanco didn’t look quite so great once the games start counting.
— That being said, Schierholtz can’t assume he’ll keep a corner outfield job unless he becomes either a .300 hitter or a guy who can hit 15-20 home runs. The arm’s great, but it isn’t THAT great.
— Brett Pill’s leading the team in ribeyez. 12 runs batted in for the future third baseman, after going 0-for-5 with a run-scoring groundout.
— Right after I told my dad how Joaquin Arias can’t hit, he hits a homer to center field. I should approach sports agencies and pitch my best, most reliable service: if I slander your client, he WILL prove me wrong within 24 hours.
— By tomorrow we’ll find out if Ryan Theriot (whose left eye has quite the shiner after taking a ball to the face earlier this week) and/or Mike Fontenot are still on the team.
— We’ll also find out later whether Hector Sanchez makes the final roster along with or instead of Eli Whiteside (who played tonight and threw out David Murphy at second on a stolen base attempt) and/or Chris Stewart.
— My prediction: these are the Giants, the predictable, veteran-loving Giants. So, we’ll see both cajuns and Eli in there on Opening Day. I may or may not be using my magical jinxing powers here.