2014 Giants Preview

Coming off a disappointing season in 2013 where they didn’t even make the playoffs, the Giants are ready to come back and are in prime position to win the NL West. With new additions of Tim Hudson and Michael Morse the Giants have upgraded their lineup and their rotation.

Starting Rotation
1. Madison Bumgardner
2. Matt Cain
3. Tim Hudson
4. Tim Lincecum
5. Ryan Vogelsong

The Giants have a better rotation then they did last year mainly with the departure of Barry Zito and the arrival of Tim Hudson. They also have a sixth starter if they need him in Yusmero Petit, who had a breakout year last year and almost pitched a perfect game (remember that?).

Lineup
1. Angel Pagan- CF
2. Marco Scutaro- 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval- 3B
4. Buster Posey- C
5. Hunter Pence- RF
6. Brandon Belt- 1B
7. Michael Morse- LF
8. Brandon Crawford- SS
9. Pitchers Spot

The only change in the lineup is the inclusion of Michael Morse. This is a huge upgrade from the platoon of Blanco/Torres/Francour/Perez/Kishnek last year. Morse is a power hitter and that’s why he landed in SF. He is expected to hit some bombs into the cove but loose some in triples ally according to his HRs last year superimposed over AT&T. But truly anything was an upgrade from the platoon last year.

Bullpen
Sergio Romo- CL
Javier Lopez
Jeremy Affeldt
Santiago Casilla
Heath Hembree
George Kontos
Kamron Loe

The Giants picked up Kamron Loe and David Huff in the offseason. I expect Heath Hembree to make the big league club over Huff, who will be called up when Affeldt does some stupid thing to get injured (it’s gonna happen, it does every year) .

Bench
Hector Sanchez- C
Gregor Blanco- OF
Joaquin Arias- INF
Juan Perez-OF

The Giants have a strong bench which would include call ups from the minor leagues, Tyler Colvin and Tony Abreu. The best player on the bench will be Arias who can play all infield positions, and I would not be surprised if he got some time in the outfield this year. He is a consistent hitter who plays a great defense. Arias will not overwhelm you with his power but rather with his line drives and seeing eye ground balls.

Overall I expect the Giants to win the NL West in 2014.

Projected NL West Standings
1. Giants
2. Dodgers- Wild Card
3. Padres
4. Diamondbacks
5. Rockies

Team MVP
This guy, duh

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6/14/13 Mariners at Athletics

We left my house around 4:30 to get to a 7:05 game. The gates opened at 5:30 and I thought we would get there with time to spare, but luck wasn’t on our side. We got to the Coliseum around 5:50 due to the heavy rush hour traffic. Right as I got inside the stadium I ran to the visitors bullpen. At the Coliseum the bullpens are in foul ground, like at AT&T. When I got there there were a lot of younger kids and the players were not tossing up many baseballs. I stayed there for 10 minutes then I roamed the stadium. Right as batting practice was ending I went behind the visitors dugout and got Blake Beaven to sign my hat.

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After that there was a lull in the activity on the field. I eventually made my way back to the visitors bullpen where I snagged my first ball of the 2013 season and my first of the game. It was a warmup ball from Joe Saunders, Seattle’s starting pitcher for the night. It was tossed to me by Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis. Soon after that I went back to the Mariners dugout and got another ball from a coach who was walking back into the clubhouse. I then went near the M’s bullpen to try to get a ball from the Mariners warming up. I didn’t get a ball from then but soon after they finished throwing Kendrys Morales came over and signed a ball for me.

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Then the game started. As you can see I forgot my camera to this game so there wont be many pictures. The game was fun, the Mariners won 3-2 and Mike Zunino hit his first MLB home run. I tried to sneak into the sections right behind the dugout but the ushers were checking tickets constantly and were being very stingy with who sat in their section. Near the end of the game I went back to the Mariners bullpen hoping to get a lineup card. Right after the game ended I ran down the stairs but there was no lineup card in sight. Suddenly another coach came out with two balls. He threw one to me and one to another fan. I made a barehanded catch and the odiously drunk guys next to me acted like it was the greatest catch they saw. And that was the game, It was fireworks night so I couldn’t look for tickets or get to the dugout so we left around the park 10:30. Fun day and a great way to finally kick off the 2013 season.

Ballhawking Stats
– 3 balls at this game
– 3 balls in one game this season= 3.00 balls per game
– 7 total MLB baseballs

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WBC 3/18/13

I know that this post is long overdue, but I didn’t take any pictures at the game so here is how i enjoyed the WBC about a month ago. I got to AT&T around 3 with the gates opening at 3:15. The game started at 5:00 so i got there right in time. I went to the game with my friend and we ran into line, being near the front when the gates opened. Right as we got in we went to the left field line hoping for a toss-up. The Japanese were taking BP and they didn’t even look our way. I was asking in Japanese but my pronunciation was probably way off. When we got shut out for 5-10 minutes, we went up to the outfield seating.

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If you didn’t know AT&T is a crazy place for ballhawks. There are so many people trying to get balls and many are bigger and older than me. I tried to go for home runs, but the Japanese and Puerto Ricans were not hitting anything out. Because nothing was being hit out and if something was hit out i would get trampled, I started focusing on balls that rolled up to the wall and cuptricked them. At AT&T it is very hard even to get a ball of the warning track because there are many people with retrieval devices. The best ones I saw were a long pole that had a suction cup on the end and a space-ship looking device.

This is my cup trick.

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I cuptricked a ball hit by a Puerto Rican player here:
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My First ball of the 2013 season!

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Odd that it was a MLB ball, but most were MLB balls during BP.
That was my final ball on the day. But right before the game I met up with Nick Badders, who also writes a blog that you should read. We chatted about baseball and how hard it was to get balls when you cant speak english. During the game I sat allover the stadium. Japan was upset by Puerto Rico, and Carlos Beltran had a huge home run in the 8th.

Ballhawking Stats
-1 ball at this game
-1 WBC game
-AVG= 1.00/1 game

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1st Ballhawking of the Year

Today I hawked my local California Community college. It was pretty cool getting in ballhawking form for the season. I pretty much got there in the second inning and was astonished by how many foul balls there were! There was tennis courts right behind home plate and at the end of the tennis courts was where I stood. Occasionally running to the other side of the tennis courts for left handlers, I got three balls in the first inning. But this is a Junior College, so they didn’t let me keep the balls. I got one foul in the third and one foul in the fourth, then I had to leave. I didn’t get any pictures, but it was nice to get ready for the season, and five balls in three innings isn’t that bad! Well when does real baseball start? Thanks!
-Max

How I Found Out About Ballhawking

So, I was thinking what I should post for my next blog post and I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if ballhawks told each other how they found out about ballhawking, the main thing that has brung us together? So I started thinking about how I had found out about this wonderful thing.
Before I started ballhawking, I was just your average baseball fan, although I was considered the “fan of the grade” (do you guys get that too, or is it just me?) I was adamant in my love for the Giants and everything baseball. Last year my school baseball team and I went to an A’s game, note my school was in SF, but our coach LOVED the A’s. We went to a game against the Texas Rangers and I was amazed to how cheap the tickets were, $10 for lower level seats, and how many people were there, around 4,000. Before the game my friend got two balls, one from the A’s pitcher warming up and a toss-up from Neftali Feliz. I started thinking this seems pretty cool. But then during the game my other friend got a foul ball. But I still didn’t know what ballhawking was.
A couple months later, I was on MLB.com’s CUT4, which if you haven’t checked out go there right now, it is awesome. While on the website I saw a picture of a guy with a big glove, wearing a Rays shirt, holding three baseballs, and standing in AT&T park. The headline read something like “Don’t tell anyone, he’s not a Rays fan.” I was like, now that seems cool, so I clicked on his name, which was a hyperlink to Spencer Sanborn’s mygameballs.com account. I could see he had gotten lots of balls at AT&T. So I eventually found my way to the homepage and saw the season leaders column and I saw the name Zack Hample- 400+ balls. I was amazed that he had that many so I clicked on his name, hoping for a guide on how to do this. Then, while on Zack’s page I saw the word blog. I clicked on it, and the rest is history.

I would just like to thank Zack and Spencer for introducing me to ballhawking!

I would also encourage all of the other bloggers in the MLBlogs community to write an entry like this!

Spencers mygameballs account- is here

Zack’s mygameballs account- over 6,000 balls!!!

Goals For 2013 Year in Ballhawking

So this is my goals post. I know this is a little after the new year and behind the other blogs goals posts, but better late then never. A little background. I only started ballhawking a little after the all-star break in the 2012 season. This means I have ball-hawked at two games and I have only gotten four balls. This means this is going to be my first full year of ballhawking and I am pumped. And also, as I write this there is only 81 days until Opening Day! So here goes nothing.

    goals

Ballhawk at more than ten games
I look foreword to this goal because this means going to more games, seeing more baseball, and getting more balls. As mentioned before I only ballhawked at two games last year, but I went to at least 15 games, but I had not been introduced to ballhawking.

Gat more than 5 balls in one game
This is a special goal for one reason, if I did this at one game, I would double the number of balls I had gotten last year. I am not only shooting for five, but as a beginner I feel that getting 10 balls in a game is a little bit too much, maybe next year it will seem more manageable.

Get another piece of game used equipment
Last year I got Dustin Pedroias bat at an A’s game, but this year ill also be trying to get smaller things like line-up cards and batting gloves, although another broken bat would be nice!

Go to a Minor League stadium
This is one of my favorite and important goals. I am trying to going to try to go to a Ports/ SJ Giants/ or Rivercats game. I hear it is easier to get balls and autographs, and I also hear the atmosphere is amazing.

Get one autograph per game
I will not be going out of my way to get autographs, but accepting them as they come. Last year I got autographs from 4 players in 2 games and that is an average of 2.00 auto’s per game. I feel like this is one of my more accomplishable goals.

Thats it but if you want to see some other cool blogs by ballhawks and their goals go to Nick Badder’s blogQuin Imiola and Paul K’s Blog

¡Thank You For Reading!

Mail Time #2

Sop today when I went to the mailbox, I got some pretty cool things. So I decided to share it will all of you. First I got a package and it had no return address, and it was a box sent to me, so when I opened it up I was very excited/surprised what had come in the mail for me. When I opened up the package from DC United (MLS), the first thing I saw was this.

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I was ecstatic, people always need drawstring bags. I then noticed there was other stuff inside of the package. First I pulled out this hat.

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A hat from a soccer team, thought it was a baseball thing. The next thing I pulled out of the bag was this…

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…bandana. I guess ill use it while skiing. There was also a couple small things in the bag.

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A letter, pencil, and a player card of Brandon MacDonald.

My next letter was from the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL). The first thing i pulled out was these stickers and tattoos.

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But there was more. I also pulled out these…

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…player cards and “GO Hurricanes” cards. The back looked like this

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And that was it for today. Some cool stuff from both teams. Looking foreword to the next post which will document my game used collection.

Thanks for reading and helping this blog get started on the right foot.
Max

Mail Time #1

So like Nick Badders, I sent e-mails to various teams asking for free stuff. I have gotten plenty of packages back and thought i would share what I got with you. I sent an e-mail to every minor league team, about 1/2 of major league teams, 10 NFL teams, and 5 NHL Teams. So here is everything I have gotten all compiled into 1 blog post.

These are all the pocket schedules I have, 25 so far.

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These are the magnet schedules I have, 3 so far.

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Then we have my obscure items.

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This includes a thing so your phone doesn’t slip (sent by the snappers), a mail opener (Indy Indians), a keychain (El Paso Diablos), and sillybandz (Timberwolves). In my next picture are the small pamphlets or magazines.

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Then I have some stickers.

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Player/ mascot cards

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And two pictures sent by the Bills and a magazine from the Lugnuts.
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And finally, my favorite thing that I have gotten from all the teams.

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A Richmond Flying Squirrels Tie, pretty awesome.

Hope you look back soon, Max

Autographs

So this is my first real post and i decided it would be dedicated to showing off my three autographs. I got all of these last year as an afterthought, I’m mostly going for balls. I got all three last year at A’s games. First a little background on my ballhawking. I didn’t start ballhawking until the halfway point of last year. My first A’s game was against the rangers, and there was about 5,000 people there. I was not expecting anything and was not trying to ballhawk, but i had always wanted an autograph. So when Joe Nathan, who was the nicest player (I think he sighed 150 autographs that day) came behind the visitors dugout i went to get a chance.

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I know the ball is in really bad shape, but i didn’t know that mattered way back in April. My next autograph I got at the game I also got my 1st ball.

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The one on the top is Pedro Ciraco and the one on the bottom is Daniel Bard. My next Auto was from an Indians pitcher

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Justin Masterson. My final auto i got on 2009 where my friends and I were sitting in a box at AT&T. A man appeared in the box next to us and guess who it was

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Yup. Will “The Thrill” Clark.

Thats all I have today. I might get another blog post up next week sometime, be sure to check back!

Max

My Blog

Welcome to my blog. This blog will be for talking Bay Area Baseball, my Ballhawking, and during the offseason ill talk about Giants and A’s hot stove and replies from teams (just like Nick Badders) so all I have to say is welcome and hope you come back.

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