As the Giants have started their second week of the season with I record of 4-3, I wanted to review how the young season has treated the Giants. The pitching, lead by aces Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner have done really well. Although Ryan Vogelsong’s first start was a concern, I think he will bounce back on his second start. The offense however is pretty miserable. Aside from hot hitting Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval, the Giants have about no hot starters with Buster Posey and Brandon Belt struggling.
Down at the Farm
The farm system has been very impressive as of the first season. 3rd round draft pick Mac Williamson has been tearing the ball of the cover by hitting 0.333 with 2 homers. Also, Grizzles outfielder Roger Kieschnick and Francisco Peguero have been hitting above the 0.400 mark. Another hot hitter is slugger Adam Duvall who is hitting 0.438 with 2 homers. The San Jose Giants starters have been doing well with Clayton Blackburn and Kyle Crick leading the way. 1st and 2nd round draft picks Chris Stratton and Martin Agosta have also have pitched really well for the GreenJackets. However, top prospects Gary Brown and Joe Panik have been hitting a lowly average of 0.182 and 0.200 respectively.
Why do I have such bad luck at fanfests?
Lines, lines, and even more lines. That was the main attraction when I went to 2011′s San Francisco Giants Fanfest. With more than 50,000 people there, the day was not that pleasant. You could barely move without bumping into people and the food lines were crazy long.
Fast forward to 2013. When the SJ Giants announced that they were hosting a fanfest on April 2, I was ELATED! I pestered my dad into taking me as I knew that there were not going to draw huge crowds like the ones in SF.
We drove to Muni Stadium at around 5:15 and got there when the gates were “supposed” to open at 5:30. Somehow, the gates were not letting people in after 5:30 so the crowd of 500 people were left waiting outside. I was kind of annoyed by this so I walked to the front to see what the problem was. I would not know why as even the staff did not know what was going on.
Finally after 30 minutes, the gates finally opened and people were lead inside. Me and my dad hurried inside only to find ourselves stuck in another line for autographs. We decided to first get some food with consisted of hamburgers and hotdogs. (Later, after I had gotten home, I found out that I maybe was food poisoned by that hamburger which was not fun). After another grueling 30 minutes wait, we were let into the autograph booth which consisted of all the players and coaches.
The tables looked like this.
After making my way through all the booths and chatting with player like the newly acquired pitcher Jeff Sopic and top prospects Mac Williamson and Clayton Blackburn, I had collected many autographs.
Then my bad luck struck. when I had gotten home,I looked at my autographs to find that most of the signatures had smeared. Only one signature had survived because it was signed with pen, not Sharpie. I will try to replace the bad ones in the future when I go to the games but sadly, my bad luck while attending fanfest continues.
Top prospect Kyle Cricks Autograph(this one was not badly smeared)
Baseball is BACK! My dad decided to take me to my first ever game at Oakland Coliseum. I was excited as this was an exhibition game against my Giants. We arrived at about 11:05 and thankfully, there were about only 20 people in line. We got our ticket scanned and I head straight towards the visitor’s dugout.
There was already TONS of Giants fans lined up trying to get autographs so I decided to go to section 106 where the Giant’s bullpen was located.
View when I got into the stadium
None of the Giants player walked to the bullpen area so I was disappointed. I saw that only one player, Brandon Crawford, signed autographs but I was too far away.However, as the game neared, all the Giants pitchers came over to my side! Ryan Vogelsong was pitching today but he did not sign to my disappointment. The only autograph I got was from pitcher George Kontos.
Vogelsong’s Bullpen Session
I found out after going to At&t Park so many times that Oakland Coliseum was totally not the same as At&t Park. Their concession stands did not have much choices like they do at At&t Park and were a bit pricy(8 dollars for a burger). Nevertheless, I enjoyed the entire atmosphere of the ballpark and especially section 149. The Giants lost however but my first game this season was memorable.
And finally…Josh Redick’s HUGE BEARD
The Rockies were in town and on the mound that day was Barry Zito. It was my first game of the 2012 season and boy, was I excited. I hadn’t been able to get any autographs last time when I came here in the 2010 season. We got to San Francisco at around 10 AM as it was an 1:05 game. Once we had gotten into the stadium, I headed straight toward the home dugout. Thankfully, there was only about a couple people there when I got there. After Sergio Romo and George Kontos walked past me, I was able to get my first ever ball of the season when one of the coaches threw it right at me. After that, everything seemed to go uphill for me. I had managed to get about 4 autographs including one from former Giant Shawn Dunston which I had wrote about last week at http://baseballatthebay.mlblogs.com/2013/03/13/an-autograph-from-a-legend/ . The players I gotten included Hunter Pence, Santiago Casilla, and Joaquin Arias.
Santiago Casillia’s Autograph. Kind of looks like Santa Claus. Haha
After, me and my dad watched the Giants pound the Rockies 9-6 and I left the ballpark happy with the win and my new autographs.
As I went to the Giants game last year, I had no idea what to expect. I was only an rookie autographer and I had no idea how to get autographs, thankfully, everything panned out and I managed to get a couple of autos and even a game used ball from the bullpen coach. The best autograph I got that day was not on the active roster, he was a retired assistant named Shawn Dunston. Yes, thats the same one that was drafted first overall in the 1982 MLB draft. I was really happy about this autograph as this was also my first ever auto at AT&T Park.
As of now, none of the mail I sent during spring training has arrived. I’m a bit worried about not receiving any so far. I have not written in over a week so I’m going to show you readers some more in person minor league autographs.
The first autograph is San Francisco Giants 2011 draft pick Joe Panik. After the MVP season in short season ball, Joe couldn’t achieve the same success in the CAL league. However, I do hope Panik can make it to the bigs soon. I had gotten this autograph after some unsuccessful tries because I often mistaken him with outfielder Jarrett Parker.
My first autograph… It was a year ago at the San Jose Giants game. I was clueless on how to get autographs. It was after the game and players were leaving to go to the parking lot. I spotted a player that was getting many autographs so I went up to him and he signed my first ever autograph. I didn’t know who the person was until the next day. It happened to be top prospect Zack Wheeler. This was about 1 month before he had gotten traded to the Mets.
This was a pretty nice signature but I kinda wish he had signed it on the sweet spot.
The next autograph I got was another talented player. Prospect outfielder Gary Brown. Brown signed a lot of autographs while he was at Single-A and I managed to get a couple before he got promoted.
Finally. After the last 3 Giants games ended in a tie, this game actually ended up with a team winning. Although the Mariners won the game, I was overall pretty happy on the outcome of the game because Brandon Belt belted a home run in the loss anyways.
Recently, I bought a box of Topps 2012 Pro Debut hobby box. I was excited to see what I would get as the box contained 2 autographs and 2 relics. I opened the box yesterday to see what I would get. I got 1 auto and 1 relic card that I thought was exceptional but I thought the 2 other cards were so-so.
The favorite card I got in this box. This is a pretty cool hat relic and I really think Christian Yelich can be a good started in the bigs.
This was a Robbie Grossman auto that I thought was just okay. I actually had no idea who he was until I got his card. It turns out that he is a Pirate and was drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 MLB draft.
This card was okay. I liked the bat relic but I thought Ryan Wheeler wasn’t a well known player to have his own relic card.
This autograph card was my second favorite card I got aside from Christian Yelich’s. After Didi got traded to the D-Backs, I think he would have a better chance of being an everyday started in the bigs in a year or two.