Month: September 2013

A Giants’ Fan’s Perspective on the Dodgers Winning the Division

June 25, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) speaks to San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) following the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. I came out of the womb as a Giants fan, so, from a young age, I’ve strongly disliked the Dodgers. Over the years, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with a rivalry like this.

This season’s rivalry with the Dodgers was bound to be a competitive one. The Giants entered this season having won two World Series titles in the past three years. Meanwhile, the Dodgers were off spending tons of money of any remotely talented player they could find, because that’s the only way they could try to win a World Series title. They couldn’t compete with the Giants’ chemistry, so they had to use their checkbook instead.

Before this season started, Brandon Belt was asked about the Dodgers’ big spending, and he responded in a way that caused a little bit of controversy.

“All I can say is, you can’t buy chemistry,” Belt said.

Matt Kemp of the Dodgers responded to Belt’s comments and fueled the rivalry even more.

“We really don’t care about what people say or how they feel…” Kemp said. “We’re going to be good. We just have to go out there and do our thing. So let them go out there and say what they want.”

This back-and-forth banter was actually quite ironic because the Giants have had a poor season, and the Dodgers won the NL West. It’s also ironic that the thing that made the Giants so successful these past few years and what Belt was referring to was one of the reasons why they struggled this year.

Besides fatigue, the Giants struggled this year because of their chemistry. They play for each other, and when one of them started struggling, others started struggling. Then when it became a team-wide slump, every single player wanted to be the one with the big hit with runners in scoring position, the one to make the big defensive play, or the one with a strong pitching performance that would turn things around for the team. Unfortunately, that never happened.

The Dodgers won the NL West not because of team chemistry, but because they have the largest payroll in MLB. They have the same philosophy that the New York Yankees and Miami Heat have. All of these teams spend the big bucks to get superstars or whatever big-name players are available, because they believe that it will lead to championships.

Although this philosophy works at times, it’s not the respectable way to win. The Giants won because of their team chemistry. That’s the right way to win.

Not only do the teams have different philosophies, they play different styles. The Giants play as a team and for the love of the game, and the Dodgers play for the spotlight and the fame. For example, they signed Brian Wilson, who’s the poster boy for chasing fame. Many Giants fans were crushed when news broke out that he had signed with the Dodgers.

Sep 24, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brian Wilson (00) pitches the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at AT

However, he’s not worth mourning over. Yes, he was a big part of the 2010 World Series team, but that’s in the past. He needs to be forgotten. The Giants don’t need that egocentric maniac.

To add even more fuel to the fire, when the Dodgers clinched the NL West at Chase Field, they decided to jump into the pool out in center field to “claim their territory” or for some other dumb reason. Thankfully, the fans had already left, so there weren’t any witnesses…besides several camera crews.

They knew that this incident would be played on SportsCenter and other sports shows, and this gesture showed who they really are. The Dodgers always want to be the center of attention. They’re a bunch of drama queens who feel entitled to fame. Just look at Yasiel Puig and all his drama and theatrics. That’s also exactly why Wilson immediately fit in.

At the end of the day, this incident isn’t really that significant. However, it was disrespectful, and it proved how cocky and arrogant the Dodgers really are. Again, this just shows a different team philosophy.

The Dodgers deserved to win the NL West, because even if it’s painfully obvious to say if your a Giants fan, they were the best team in the division. The Giants dealt with injuries and struggled all season, the San Diego Padres played like the Padres normally do, the Colorado Rockies started off strong but faded, and the Arizona Diamondbacks were never better than just mediocre.

With that being said, that doesn’t mean the Dodgers will win the World Series this year. They don’t play like a World Series team, and there are other teams in the National League that have more experience and are more suited for a championship run, like the St. Louis Cardinals, for example.

This also doesn’t mean that the Dodgers will win the NL West next year. The Padres certainly won’t be in contention, because they are still in re-building mode. The Rockies are so dependent on everyone being healthy, but their star players, such as Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, are injury-prone. The Diamondbacks could contend for the NL West title but most likely won’t win.

Next season’s NL West title will come down to the Giants and Dodgers. The rivalry will be better than ever, because both teams will have something to prove. The Dodgers will want to show why they’re reigning NL West champions. The Giants will want to prove that their World Series titles weren’t flukes, and that they are prepared to get back to the playoffs and win another World Series.

The Dodgers might have won the NL West this year, but I’m just going to sit here and enjoy my team’s two World Series titles in the past three years.

Let’s Go Warriors: It’s All About Family at the Dell and Stephen Curry Camp


The Currys are all about family. Dell Curry even said it himself. At the State Farm Dell and Stephen Curry Parent/Child Basketball ProCamp this weekend, Dell told all the participants that family is the most important thing to the Currys. Anyone in attendance could see the camp’s focus on family bonding, not just basketball.

Read the rest of the article on Let’s Go Warriors.

What Seth Curry Brings to the Golden State Warriors

Mar 24, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Seth Curry (30) celebrates making a basket during the second half against the Creighton Bluejays during the third round of the NCAA basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Center. Duke defeated Creighton 66-50. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

There’s a new Splash Brother in town. The Golden State Warriors signed Seth Curry, Stephen Curry’s younger brother, to a non-guaranteed contract on August 23rd, which happened to be his birthday. Curry went undrafted out of Duke University. Since his contract is non-guaranteed, he will have to earn his spot onto the active roster, but there’s a good chance he will be able to grab one of those final roster spots.

Even if Curry makes the final roster, it’s unclear how many minutes, if any, he’ll play this upcoming season. Curry could end up playing with the Santa Cruz Warriors for parts or the majority of the season, like what the Warriors did with Kent Bazemore during last season. If Curry gets any playing time, it will most likely be in garbage time when the Warriors have a significant lead or are down by a large amount.

Regardless of how many minutes Curry plays for the Warriors this season, he provides a skill that any NBA team could use. He’s an incredible shooter, just like his brother. In his final season at Duke, Curry averaged 17.5 points on 46.5 percent shooting from the field and 43.8 percent shooting from three.

He was able to shoot this well despite having a stress fracture in his right shin. He sat out almost all of Duke’s practices, so he could rest, not risk further injury, and conserve his energy for games. After successful surgery and rehab on his shin, Curry is ready to play basketball again and help out the Warriors in any way he can.

“I’m an established shooter who can come in right away and not go through an adaption period to the NBA,” Curry said. “I’ve been around this game my whole life. I can come in right away and fill a need. It helped that I spent four years in college, too.”

Curry’s biggest strength is obviously his shooting. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor, and he can create his own shot too. He’s not just a catch-and-shoot player. He’s not super quick or athletic, but he finds ways to get to the basket. The Warriors don’t have many three-point shooters on their bench, so Curry’s pinpoint shooting could certainly make him a valuable asset to this team.

Mar 9, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Seth Curry (30) shoots in the first half at the Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There are a few areas in which he can improve though. He became a better defender over his college career, but he can still improve. He could also improve on rebounding. Curry only averaged 2.5 rebounds last season at Duke. He’s only 6’3″, so he’s not expected to rebound like David Lee. However, he could earn more playing time if he crashes the boards more. Also like his brother, he could bulk up a little more. This would help him rebound more too.

The biggest part of Curry’s game that he can improve on is his playmaking ability. As mentioned before, Curry is 6’3″, so he’s a little small for a shooting guard, which is his primary position. Curry is a combo guard, but he didn’t get much experience playing point guard at Duke. He played point guard for parts of his junior season, but he’s naturally more of a shooting guard, so he ended up playing the majority of his minutes at that position.

Last season at Duke, Curry averaged only 1.5 assists. If he wants to earn more minutes with this Warriors team, he has to work on his playmaking. With the additions of Toney Douglas and Nemanja Nedovic, Curry won’t be expected to be the primary point guard, but, by learning to get his teammates involved more, it will make him more of a versatile player.

Since he’s such a good three-point shooter, defenders will likely try to chase him off the three-point line. If he added a pump fake to his game, he could then drive to the basket and swing the ball out to an open teammate. Stephen has mastered this skill, and if Seth can learn this from his brother, he could become a valuable asset to this team.

Seth Curry is somewhat of a long-term project for the Warriors. However, he will be worth the wait. He’s a hard worker, he’s passionate, and he’s determined to get better and learn as much as he can. He’s also extremely close to Stephen, and those two will push each other to be better. Plus, having Seth on the team is certainly a big marketing opportunity for the Warriors.

The newest Splash Brother is in town, and he’s going to do everything he can to make a splash with the Warriors.

What Areas Do the San Francisco Giants Need to Address This Offseason?

Jun 14, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco (7) is greeted at the dugout by team mate left fielder Andres Torres (56) after a lead off home run against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

After winning two World Series in the past three years, the San Francisco Giants have failed to live up to expectations this season. They have struggled all season, and they have several areas of concern that they will need to address in the offseason.

The primary concern for the Giants this offseason is to find a serviceable left fielder. Last offseason, this was one of the Giants’ biggest areas of need as well. Going into this season, the Giants decided to go with a left field platoon involving Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres.

When Angel Pagan got injured, Blanco and Torres had to share not only the left field duties, but also the center field duties. This, unfortunately, exposed each player’s weakness. These two players were meant to platoon, because they’re not everyday players. Blanco is fantastic defensively, but he hasn’t proved that he can be consistent offensively. Torres was weak defensively in left field but looked much more comfortable when he played in center field. He also was inconsistent offensively.

If Angel Pagan hadn’t gotten injured and had played in more games this season, maybe the left field platoon would’ve worked. However, the Giants are going to need to bring more of a consistent offensive presence into left field. Blanco could still be used as a defensive replacement, spot starter, or pinch runner or hitter, but the Giants need to find a left fielder who is fairly solid both defensively and offensively, and, ideally, has some power.

The next area that the Giants need to address is depth. Entering this season, the Giants had a pretty solid starting lineup. However, they lacked some depth off the bench pretty much all season. Joaquin Arias is a great player to have on the roster, because he’s versatile and solid defensively. For next season, the Giants need more versatility off the bench than just Arias though.

Tony Abreu was injured most of the season, and Nick Noonan didn’t prove that he can hit consistenly at the major league level. The Giants need to add more depth in the middle infield, especially since Marco Scutaro has had back issues all season long and his dependability for next season is questionable. If the Giants could sign someone with some power off the bench, that would be especially helpful too.

Another important area that the Giants need to address is how many of their key free agents they will be able to re-sign. It should be their top priority to re-sign Hunter Pence because of his power, defense, speed, work ethic, passion, and veteran leadership.

Jul 13, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) is congratulated by starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) after a diving catch during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

If possible, the Giants should also re-sign Javier Lopez and Tim Lincecum, because they are both key elements to this team for different reasons. Lopez is, arguably, the best lefty specialist in all of MLB, and he has become more valuable to this team than Jeremy Affeldt is.

Lincecum has been a fan favorite for a long time, and he’s shown this season that he has evolved as a pitcher. At the right price, the Giants should definitely make a push to re-sign Lincecum.

The Giants should also solidy who will make up their bullpen next year. The Giants saw some promising relief pitchers come up this year from Fresno including Jake Dunning, Sandy Rosario, and Heath Hembree. Some of these decisions will be dependent on if they are able to bring Lopez back, but, otherwise, Giants management will have to decide if they want to bring back George Kontos, Jean Machi, etc.

They will also have to figure out their starting pitching rotation. Although Matt Cain has struggled this year, he’s still one of the aces of this pitching staff, along with the consistent, reliable Madison Bumgarner. It’s unclear if Lincecum will come back, and the Giants will also have to decide if they pick up Ryan Vogelsong’s team option for next season, which they probably will.

After that, they have to decide who else will start. The Giants will most certainly not be picking up Barry Zito’s team option for next season. They will have to decide if Chad Gaudin should start or come out of the bullpen, if Yusmeiro Petit should start, or if someone else like Eric Surkamp should start.

Although this has been a disappointing season for the Giants, they should have a pretty good idea what they need to improve on in the offseason. Hopefully during the offseason, the Giants get some serious rest too. Fatigue has seemed to be a big issue this season for many Giants players. If they’re able to get the rest that they need after two long seasons in three years and if they’re able to address the areas of need that were mentioned before, the Giants could easily be a playoff contender again next season.