Following Barry Zito's first rehab start

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Following Barry Zito's first rehab start

June 6, 2011
URBAN ARCHIVEGIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO
Editor's Note: Mychael Urban is at the Stockton Ports - San Jose Giants Single-A game, following Barry Zito's first rehab start. Follow @MUrbanCSN's real-time updates on Twitter.

9:14 pm: Reliever came on with one on, two out, gave up a walk and single to stick Zito with a run.

9:11 pm: Zito out of the game. 82 pitches, 2 hits, zero walks, HPB, 2 DPs, 1 over minimum, 6 23 innings. Standing ovation from SF Giants fans. Zito waves to the crowd.

9:03 pm: Zito's seventh; FB 86, 6-3, one down. Curve called. Curve, ball. Curve HBP. Batter didn't even try to get out of the way. Choice vs. Zito: change-up, ball. Cutter, foul. FB 85, ball. Slider, ball. FB 84, F8, two down.

8:54 pm: Zito six Ks, 2 hits, zero walks, faced minimum 18 batters so far. Nothing down middle with exception of some freeze-me called third strike fastballs.

8:53 pm: Zito. Back for sixth. Official pitch count is 59, not 57. Curve, ball. Change swinging. FB 88 swinging. Cutter foul. Curve, ball. Curve foul. Curve foul. Change 65 swinging K. FB 86 called. Curve, ball. Curve, swinging. FB called K, 86. Two down. Curve, foul. Slider, foul. FB called K. Inning over. 74 pitches though six innings.

8:35 pm: Carter vs. Zito II: FB called, curve called, FB squeezed on corner, 86mph. Change-up off end of bat, single up the middle. Cutter ball, FB ball, 84mph. FB 83 swinging, FB 84, ball. FB 85, 5-4-3 double play. Curve ball, curve ball, cutter called strike, cutter 4-3, inning over. 14 pitches, 57 total through 5 innings.

7:59 pm: Zito's fourth inning: Fastball 83mph, ball. Change swinging. Change swinging. FB 85. Squeezed. Cutter 80, 5-3, one out (dealing). First-pitch fastball, 85mph, F7, two out. Zito vs. Choice: FB called, two sliders both balls, FB, ball 84mph, FB foul, full count. FB 84, F8, inning over. 12-pitch inning, 43 pitches through 4 innings.

7:51 pm: Zito back on mound. Change looking. Slider ball. Curve swinging. Curve swinging K. Real sharp. One out. Cutter ball. Fastball off end of bat doinked for opposite field single. Cutter 83mph called. Change called. Curve, 4-6-3 double play. Inning over. Eight-pitch inning, 31 total over three innings. One hit, zero 3-ball counts.

7:37 p.m: Scout just told me his gun is probably a couple mph slower than most, btw, so Zito's sitting between 84-86 with fastball. Curve called. 81 cutter swing, 0-2. 78 cutter high. FB 83 3unassisted. 11-pitch inning. 23 total. Two perfect innings. Great command.

7:19 p.m: Zito wearing No. 7. Nice ovation from Stockton fans. Zito's first batter: 6-3. Fastball 83. 82. ... Great curve 67 ... Slider ball. 2-2 ... 81 FB for 4-3. Change 75 ball. FB 82 foul, 1-1. Nice curve foul. Curve foul. Slider swinging K. Inning over.

Scout w gun on Zito's velocity: "Can't accuse him of being too amped up." But added: "Looks like he' focusing on addingsubtracting. Nice."

Stojakovic won't be surprised if Curry, Klay finish 'one and two' in career 3s

Stojakovic won't be surprised if Curry, Klay finish 'one and two' in career 3s

SACRAMENTO -- The NBA game is changing. League records are in jeopardy all over the place, but it’s hard to imagine a bigger statistical shift than that of the 3-point shot. Instituted to start the 1979-80 season, the 3-pointer isn’t just a gimmick, as first thought. It’s the lifeblood of a league that is growing at an incredible pace.

The ability to make the long distance shot used to be a rarity, now it is a prerequisite to enter the league. Even centers like DeMarcus Cousins and Marc Gasol are letting it fly as the game shifts to the perimeter.

The leaderboard is being rewritten and it’s will likely continue to change as more and more players are lining up from behind the arc.

Sacramento Kings executive Peja Stojakovic knows this fact all too well. Out of the league just six years, the Serbian-born sharpshooter has seen his place in the standings diminished almost every season.

“Every decade, every 10-15 years, there is some new, great player that comes in that take the game to a different place we haven’t seen before,” Stojakovic told CSN California earlier this week. “That’s what’s so special about this game.”

When he retired following the 2010-11 season, Stojakovic ranked fourth all-time in made 3-point shots with 1760, trailing only Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Jason Kidd.

Since leaving the game, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Jamal Crawford, Kyle Korver, Joe Johnson, Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant and Rashard Lewis have all passed him, leaving Stojakovic in 13th place on the list, but only for another game or two.

Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry is hot on Stojakovic’ tail, trailing the 3-time All-Star by just 11 makes coming into Wednesday night’s matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Be it Wednesday or sometime late in the week, Curry will almost assuredly surpass the former Kings star.

“Records are meant to be broken,” Stojakovic said. “Steph is definitely a guy, that if he continues to shoot - him and Klay (Thompson), if they continue to stay on the same pace, they can climb all the way to one and two.”

Curry, 28, has led the league four straight seasons in makes, setting new standards multiple times. His 402 triples last season is an NBA record and he holds three of the top four spots all-time for 3-balls in a single season.

Thompson is right behind Curry in most seasons. His 276 makes during 2015-16 is the third most in a single season and he is on pace to hit over 250 shots from deep this year. Through five-plus seasons in the league, Thompson has hit 1182 3-pointers and at age 26, he has plenty more left in him.  

“Our league in general has shifted,” Stojakovic said. “It’s more of a guard’s league and the pace is different. A lot of teams are shooting a lot of threes and Golden State - it suits them pretty well with the personnel they have.”

Both Curry and Thompson are a long way from tracking down Allen’s top spot of 2973, although Curry can get there quickly if he continues to drop in 400-plus bombs a season.

Injuries could play a role in where each of these players end up career-wise, but they are well on their way to shattering the record books.

“They are young enough and the way the league is going, I think if they stay healthy, they can really climb up there all the way to the top,” Stojakovic said.

Still on outside, Bonds, Clemens have become invaluable to Hall

Still on outside, Bonds, Clemens have become invaluable to Hall

The Baseball Hall of Fame becomes yesterday’s news Friday, as it always does. Three months of buildup, one day to announce the names, one day to castigate the voters for their willfully negligent slights, and then nine months of hibernation.

So much for the concept of “joining the immortals.”

But at least Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez never have to go through this annual pageant of nonsense again.

Barry Bonds does, though, and so does Roger Clemens, and to a lesser extent, so does Curt Schilling. They are the new litmus strips for the Hall, and they will more than replace Raines (voter ignorance division) and Bagwell (presumption of guilt with evidence division) for self-involved debate.

And in that adjusted role from doomed outsiders to serious candidates, Bonds and Clemens – and to a lesser extent again, Schilling – have become invaluable to the Hall, and their eventual election and induction will reduce the Hall’s ability to inflame passions outside the seamhead community.

On a day when Bagwell and Raines finally cleared the 75 percent threshold and Bonds and Clemens moved from 45 percent to 53.8 and 54.1 percent, respectively, the Hall of Fame Debating And Chowder Society saw the end times for its power as a multi-month debate-churner.

The blatherers are dead, long live the blatherers.

An entire mini-industry of Hall watchers has been spawned, in part by the now-feted Ryan Thibodaux and his exit polling but also by the debates about what the Hall should be and who should get to decide it. It has made days like Wednesday event viewing when it hadn’t been for years. For that, the Hall owes Bonds and Clemens a debt that the powers inside Major League Baseball wishes it didn’t have to pay. But the day they are inducted is the day that PEDs die as a debating point. The answer will have been provided, and there will be no more need for discussion.

Worse yet, the BBWAA’S new voter transparency rules may unfortunately impact our pal Thibodaux, whose seminal work in this understudied area of social science undermined ballot secrecy. In short, if everyone has to fess up, the desperate need to know early returns may dry up.

Oh, there will always be the day of post mortem-ization, as those who didn’t clear the threshold are subject to a few rounds of the popular parlor game, “Who Got Snubbed, And The Tedious And Half-Informed Reasons Why.”

For instance, the big debating point from today’s results will not be about Raines and Guerrero getting in, but what happened to the Bonds and Clemens votes. People have already postulated that a lot of the jump in their respective votes can be directly linked to Bud Selig’s election from the Veterans Committee. Voters who had previously ridden the Hall-as-temple argument suddenly lost their raison d’etre and realized that the PED problem was an industry matter rather than a greedy players’ matter.

In short, they saw Selig getting in as tacit approval that the PED issue was no longer a moral one in baseball but a cynical one, a way to blame labor for management’s culpability. That is an irony whose existence Selig will almost surely deny, but it’s there anyway, and it represents one more non-glacial change in a system that has been nearly immovable for most of its existence.

The next change, of course, may be removing the vote from the BBWAA and turning it over to a more malleable panel of “experts” who may not skew as young and values-neutral as the BBWAA of the future seems to be heading. That course may be hastened if/when Bonds and Clemens are elected, because halls of fame in their more traditional role have been more about rewarding friends and punishing enemies, and a large and shifting electorate makes that harder to accomplish.

The argument against such a course, though, is that the current system of three months of fevered public debate about the same old stuff works for the Hall’s sense of its importance. I mean, MLB Network and its fetish for shrill argument only has so much reach.

By Friday, though, all of this will revert to its typically inert state. Bonds, Clemens (ATALE Schilling), PEDs, morality, practicality, secrecy, old voter/young voter – all of it will fade back into insignificance.

And in a year or two or maybe three, Bonds and Clemens will wipe it all out by being included in the one club that we once knew would never tolerate their presence, and the Hall Of Fame’s Golden Age Of Shrieking Argument will end.

In a weird and largely unpleasant way, it will be missed.