Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Turning the Blog Red, Cincinnati Red, that is

Today I turn this blog red.  I literally do so in a pathetic attempt to push the Reds past the Giants.  I guarantee that this transformation is temporary, but another Giants success story this off-season will make things unbearable for years to come.  And I will turn this blog into a Washington Nationals or St. Louis Cardinals cheering section if the Giants advance past the Reds this week.

The Reds were never a club that I ever pulled for.  The 70s Big Red Machine was our arch nemesis for a number of years.  Morgan, Rose, Bench, Concepcion, Perez, Griffey, etc, playing on that plastic grass with the ridiculous dirt cut outs around the bases.  It was seventies baseball and trips to Riverfront Stadium were always pennant race wars.

They were hated by the Dodger faithful.  Hated, but respected.   Why?  Because they were the best team in the league.  Arguably the best team in baseball for a time.   Who can forget Hal King in 1973?  Don Gullett in his prime?  Johnny Bench and that gun of an arm that he had, or the fact that the Dodgers won 95 games and didn’t even make the playoffs because of them.  Now, after all those years, there is one particular Cincinnati Red that I have always had a soft spot for.  You’ve gotta love Mat Latos.  

(photo by Lance Iversen/SF Chronicle, June 30, 2012)
I can respect the fact that he shut down the Dodgers during the pennant stretch.  He was simply doing his job and he’s a fine pitcher at that.  Now it’s time to lead the Mat Latos cheering section.  A player who is easily my favorite non-Dodger due to his hatred of the San Francisco Giants and his outspoken nature about it.  They loath this guy in Frisco.  It’s kind of like the Ron Cey type loathing, caused by success against their ball club.

With a lifetime ERA of 1.67 at AT&T Park, Latos has dominated the Giants like no other team in the majors. And he’s let the world know his feelings about the NoCal Halloweeners.: 

“They’re a bunch of mercenaries while we’re a real team,” he said in 2010 when referring to the Giants and Padres who were embroiled in a race for the division title.  He referred to the Giants additions at the trade deadline of players like Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Janier Lopez, Jose Guillen, Ramon Martinez and Mike Fontenot.  “Yeah, we could  be like the Giants and go and change our whole lineup, go and put ‘San Francisco Giants’ across their jerseys.  We didn’t.  We haven’t just gone and grabbed guys from other teams.”

It was a legitimate complaint.  Heck, when the Dodgers turn over their roster with trades, at least they suck after doing so.  The Giants are unfair about it and actually get better.  That’s just plain wrong.

The first ball signed by Mat Latos, expressing his feelings on San Francsico.
The 2010 Giants championship prompted Latos to sign balls for charity inscribed with “I hate SF!” on them.  (He wasn't referring to Santa Fe, New Mexico either).  It was something that played real well in the Bay Area and increased his popularity.  It didn’t matter though.  Latos continued pitching well up there.  Even after the Giants silently rejoiced as the Padres traded him out of the division.

“I’m just comfortable here.  I pitched here for three years.  Just familiar with the ballpark,” he said after defeating the Giants in San Francisco, a 2-1 complete game back on June 30th of this year.  So, Dusty Baker holds Latos back to pitch game 3 at San Francisco in this all important best of 5 series.  A prospect that I’m sure Giant fans are not too thrilled to hear.

Grant Brisbee over at McCovey Chronicles refers to him as “a repugnant human being.”  Yeah, it’s said in "tongue in cheek" fashion, but truth is, they really hate the guy over there.  The San Francisco faithful are able to say with pride that they watched their team beat him in the biggest game he ever pitched in their ballpark, (the final game of the 2010 regular season when the Pads could have tied them for the division lead).   There must be some confidence that they can get to him in a pressure packed playoff game.  I wouldn’t bet on it happening again.

1 comment:

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