Sports Corner

Great expectations for the Giants in 2014

Giants Manager Brucy Bochy (photos: steve hermanos)

Finding myself in the Giants clubhouse on Friday afternoon, the day after TV cameras zoomed in on the glistening hand of Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda, I asked some Giants about their opinions on the use of the spitball. Since the spitball is against the rules, and has been for almost a century, players’ sentences can twist into verbal spaghetti — and non sequiturs — to avoid directly addressing the subject. Further complicating the issue is pitchers’ use of pine tar to get a better grip on the ball; the use of pine tar, too, is a no-no, though some in the world of baseball are advocating for its legalization.

First question of the day: What do you think of a TV broadcast clearly showing Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda with a shiny substance on his pitching hand?

“Everybody has something they tend to do. When they single somebody out it gets you thinking about it.”
—Brandon Hicks

“Nothing I can say about it.”
—Hector Sanchez

“If it’s for a grip, as a hitter I’d want to make sure the guy has a grip on a mid-90s fastball. How long balls have been rubbed up before the game varies. Especially when it’s cold, the ball gets slick. With the rosin bag there’s only so much you can do. If he’s doing it for the grip, it’s all the same mind [as the rosin bag].”
—Tim Hudson

“I don’t watch much baseball; it’s kind of like a doctor watching videos of surgery.”
—Michael Morse

Second question: With the Giants at six wins and four losses, I asked folks, “Where do you think the Giants will end up in 2014?

“People will have my head if I don’t say they’re going to win the World Series. When you go to the playoffs, it’s a whole new ballgame. I’ll say the NLCS for sure.”
—Amy Gutierrez (a.k.a. Amy G.), in-game TV reporter

“Barring injuries, they can do really well. The pitching’s got to get better. The lineup is a lot better. You can’t control the injuries — look at the Dodgers; they’ve got significant injuries.”
—Joan Ryan, author and consultant to the Giants

“High hopes … high hopes.”
—Brian Thacker, Giants customer service specialist, Ticket Department

“World Series. Absolutely. Every other year.”
—Bob and Betty Dana, fans, Oroville

“I’m hoping that we’ll win again. It’s an even year, isn’t it?”
—Sandra C., usher, American Canyon

“Fabulous. We’re gonna be great…Another day in paradise.”

—Bella, beer vendor, Burlingame

“Return to torture. Torture to where we look like we’re hurting. We look like we’re down and return to the magic of 2010.”
—Steven S., Giants photographer, San Jose

“Our pitching needs to be better. However they do, we’re glad to be here (at the ballpark).”
—Dale and Kate B., fans, Stockton

“Champions! Seven games against the Yankees. Not sure who’ll win.”
—Ed D., fan, South San Francisco

“Same as 2012. We’ll try to be in the postseason. We want to go all the way through.”
—Yusmiero Petit, Giants pitcher

“Another Bay Bridge series. No earthquake this time.”
—Will G., fan, The Mission

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Steve Hermanos is the author of Orange Waves of Giants! The 2012 Championship Season. E-mail: [email protected]