The Giants' 5 biggest losses

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The Giants' 5 biggest losses

Chris Alvarez
CSNBayArea.com

Last year "Torture" was a good thing. This year, not so much. Granted, I have been one of the few around this newsroom that have been saying the Giants are still in it (you can check my tweets). But last night really set me off. I sat staring blankly at the TV for about 5 minutes after the game in shock at the 8th inning at-bats that failed to produce anything with the two best hitters on the team in the box.You can say the baseball season is too long, but at the end of the day, every game in the 162 game season counts. Just look at last year if you need any evidence. That being said there is still baseball left to be played, but here are my Top 5 "Torturous" losses of the 2nd half that may come back to haunt the Giants.
5. August 7th vs PHI (W, 3-1): The Giants won the game, but lost Carlos Beltran for significant time after this game. San Francisco went 5-8 in his absence.4. August 16th @ ATL (L, 2-1): The 2nd walk-off loss in as many nights against the Braves proved to be bad omen in the middle of a 4-6 East Coast roadie.3. August 28 vs HOU (L, 4-3 in 11): Losing games to sub .500 teams could be the ultimate undoing of the Giants when all is said and done. A blown call in the 10th by the umpire on Mark DeRosa's attempted double was the play of the game.2. September 9 vs LAD (L, 2-1): A 2-out swinging bunt by Matt Kemp in the 8th, need I say more?1. September 20 @ LAD (L, 2-1): Clayton Kershaw dominated again, but the 8th inning at-bats with Sandoval and Beltran failed to produce against relief pitcher Kenley Jensen.With 8 games to go all Giants fans can hope for is that by the time the weekend set with Arizona rolls around, the Giants are still playing for something. Until then watch keep scoreboard watching and hope the "Torture" regains it's 2010 form.Chris Alvarez is an associate producer with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisAlvarez559

What they're saying: 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame class

What they're saying: 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame class

The National Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez Wednesday. Here's what they and their peers are saying.

https://twitter.com/baseballhall/status/821855144681897988


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.