Paterno's disgrace like no other


Paterno's disgrace like no other

Joe Posnanskis upcoming book on Joe Paterno has been universally slagged as a valentine to a disgraced man, based on no readings at all. Hey, we are a community of pre-judgers, and no matter how bad we are at it, we do it cheerfully anyway, typically on command.Or have you never asked, What do you think the Giants are going to do in September? or Will the 49ers get to the Super Bowl?But the brief GQ excerpt of the book is actually a look at a man who dies of disgrace in slow motion, and not the love letter to the image he crafted. And the one paragraph that shows him in the most horrible moment of self-realization makes all the pre-criticisms of the book moot.On Thursday (the day after his firing), Paterno met with his coaches at his house. He sobbed uncontrollably. This was his bad day. Later, one of his former captains, Brandon Short, stopped by the house. When Brandon asked, How are you doing, Coach? Paterno answered, I'm okay, but the last syllable was shaky, muffled by crying, and then he broke down and said, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. Nobody knew how to handle such emotion. Joe had always seemed invulnerable. On Thursday, though, he cried continually.My name, he told Jay (his son), I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it's gone.You are not required to have sympathy for him even now. The misdeeds are too great, the misplaced priorities too horrendous. His disgrace is well-merited.But this is no love letter from Posnanski, as had been feared. This is a train wreck from the view of the engine, a look at the depths of disgrace that Chad Johnson couldnt possibly match in HBOs Hard Knocks when he was cut on camera by the Miami Dolphins after allegedly assaulting his soon-to-be-ex-wife Evelyn.Who, weirdly enough, he was going to appear on a VH1 reality show come September. Live by TV, die by TV, its all the same, because theyll both have new shows eventually. It is the nature of the beast.But there will be no new show for Paterno, not that there should be. Posnanski is allowed to capture him confronting his own doom, once and for always, and there is something both devastating and forlorn in all that, something television and the law of the observer effect cannot recreate.The observer effect states roughly that measurements of certain systems cannot be made without affecting the systems, a scientific way of saying that if you know you are watched doing something, it changes what you do. Johnson knew HBO was in the room when he was cut, because Johnson is a child of the age of intrusion television, and he reacted in full knowledge that he was being watched, and had the time to reinvent himself or his surroundings with time.Paterno knew he had no time left. He was dying, all he had known was being demolished, and his name and reputation was being reduced to rubble, not one brick at a time, but in an enormous explosion, and he would never be able to repair it. He may have been delusional about his importance, or his sense of his morality, but he knew what hed done, he did it anyway, and he was reaping a horrible whirlwind.You see, theres disgrace, and then theres disgrace. The difference was that in Paternos case, there was no TV camera there to somehow trivialize it, or promise a new exciting episode. This was his end, as captured not by a camera but a man with a pen. It will be remembered far longer than Chad Johnsons last HBO cameo for that very reason.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start


Madison Bumgarner was back on the bump Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL due to a dirt bike accident on April 21.

Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants against the Arizona Rookie League Angels and did not allow a hit in three innings pitched. The Giants' ace also struck out two and walked one. 

In both the first and third innings, Bumgarner pitched a perfect three up and three down frame. 

Bumgarner was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of his left throwing shoulder and sustained bruised ribs from his dirt bike accident on an off day in Colorado. Pitching in a game for the first time in over two months, Bumgarner was throwing between 88-91 miles per hour, according to Tommy Stokke of FanRagSports. 

After finishing his three innings of work, Bumgarner went down to the bullpen to increase his pitch count, reports Sande Charles of FanRagSports

Before sustaining the injury, Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts this season. 

The Giants have gone 21-41 since Bumgarner's injury. They are 27-51 on the year and sit 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. 

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after yet another missed opportunity at the plate Sunday, a voice came over a speaker in the press box at AT&T Park and announced a 524th consecutive sellout. It nicely summed up this current stretch of Giants baseball. 

The seats are emptier than they used to be at first pitch, and they were just about abandoned in the ninth inning of an 8-2 loss, but for the most part the fans are still showing up in droves. One woman brought a toaster by the dugout Sunday morning and asked players and coaches to sign it, hoping to recapture the magic from across the bridge. Another, Bryan Stow, made his first appearance of the season at AT&T Park, met with Bruce Bochy, and said he hoped to see a win. As Matt Moore started warming up, a band set up on top of the visiting dugout to play hits that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. 

For a while, AT&T Park was rocking. And then, as has happened so often this summer, the game started. 

The Giants turned in another epic clunker in a season full of them. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games and 21 of 26, but it’s worse than the raw numbers. On most nights, some in the organization have noted privately, they are simply boring. It’s one thing to lose, it’s quite another to do it in this way. 

“There’s no getting around it,” Bochy said after the sweep. “I’ve been through some tough stretches here and this is as tough as any stretch I’ve seen. For some reason the baseball gods are really testing us here and (testing) this group. It’s not that they’re not coming out ready or trying, but enough is enough.

“At some point, we’ve got to find a way to get this thing turned around.”

Even a slight pivot would be welcomed by the faithful. There were scattered boos Sunday, the latest in a growing trend. This is a fan base that has seen the highest highs, but rarely in franchise history have the lows been this low. 

The crowd no longer turns to the rally lights that were used so often in an awful April, but the noise still grows with each new rally. And then, every single time Sunday, the Giants killed off any hope. 

In the second inning, a Brandon Belt bunt single and Brandon Crawford bloop put two on, but a pair of rookies flied out. 

In the third, the bases were loaded ahead of Buster Posey. He flied out to bring one run across, and there were still runners on the corners for Belt, who leads the team in homers. On a 2-2 count, Hunter Pence inexplicably took off for second. He was caught, the inning was over, and the two-run Mets lead was intact. Bochy said he did not send Pence. 

In the sixth, there were two on with no outs for Posey. Both runners bolted to stay out of a double play. Posey popped up to first -- for a double play.

“He’s not a guy that strikes out, so I’m pretty confident sending runners with Buster,” Bochy said. “We can’t keep laying back. We’re trying to force the issue a bit and stay out of double plays.”

In the eighth, the Giants loaded the bases for Posey and Belt. Posey grounded out. Belt struck out for the third time. 

“We’re getting guys out there,” Bochy said. “We’re not doing enough damage.”

Matt Moore’s damage was self-inflicted. He twice gave up homers to the guy — Rene Rivera — hitting in front of the pitcher. Moore said he has stopped throwing his cutter the past three starts and tried to get his four-seamer going, but the Mets were teeing off. Moore gave up five runs on seven hits. He was pulled in the fifth, left to think about mechanics that still aren’t right. 

“The cutter is a little bit different of a pitch and at times it can take away from the four-seam fastball location-wise, and command of the four-seam was starting to go down the more I threw (the cutter),” Moore said. “I’m anxious to get back to it, but the foundation has got to be throwing the four-seam fastball. I need to execute where they’re carrying through the zone, not running or cutting.”

Moore said his confidence is fine and his problems are not physical. Others can no longer say that. Austin Slater, a rare bright spot in this five-win month, was pulled with a tight hip flexor. He was headed for an MRI. 

Slater is too young to be one of the players Bochy approached after the game. He said he talked to a few, though, passing along that “enough is enough” message. Moore, last in the National League in ERA (6.04), was not one who needed a reminder. 

“I’m sitting on a six right now with not a lot of wins and not enough team wins when I’m throwing,” he said. “It’s been 'enough' for me for the last couple of months.”