Inside China Basin and San Francisco 49ers Extra: Exclusive Podcasts for the San Francisco Giants and 49ers

Catch It! Exclusive podcasts for the San Francisco Giants and 49ers sports fans

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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, FORMER GIANT MARK SWEENEY

Posted on April 30th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Welcome to the another episode of INSIDE CHINA BASIN, your San Francisco Giants Player Podcast featuring Jeremy Affeldt, with your host Joe Castellano and Michael Duca out of the pen. Our special guest from AT&T Park in San Francisco is former Giant Mark Sweeney.

INSIDE CHINA BASIN has found a webcasting home on Spreecast.com and we’re available on itunes.

Listen up Giants fans! Join us every homestand this season here on thesportsvirus.com for in-depth discussions with Jeremy Affeldt, other Giants players and specials guests from around Major League Baseball. If you have a question for a player, email us at thesportsvirus@gmail.com and we’ll ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Mark Sweeney Photo courtesy of stickerbandit on flickr.com.

Mark Sweeney played for the Giants in 2006 and 2007. He finished his 14-year career ranked second in Major League history with 175 career pinch hits and he is first in career pinch hit RBIs with 102. Sweeney also played for the Cardinals, Padres, Reds, Brewers, Rockies and Dodgers. Currently he is part of the San Diego broadcast team.  Mark joined Michael Duca during the Padres first 2012 visit to San Francisco.

Listen to Interview with Mark Sweeney

This interview is sponsored by:

San Anselmo Innand

WestCoastGear.com


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New Webcast/Podcast, IT’S YOUR PITCH WITH ANGEL BORRELLI

Posted on April 30th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Joe Castellano and pitching mechanics expert Angel Borrelli talk about injuries: cause and prevention. Our first live webcast can be viewed on Spreecast.com, Tuesday, May 1 at 11:00am PT. You can also catch the podcast here on TheSportsVirus.com, where you can send questions and comments to thesportsvirus@gmail.com.

Our first show, IT’S YOUR PITCH: THE FIRST PITCH, will have special guest Joe Janish, who writes a blog called Mets Today.

The webcast can be found here: Spreecast.com

Later this week, go to our navigation page and click on the IT’S YOUR PITCH PODCAST WITH ANGEL BORRELLI to listen in.

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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, JEREMY AFFELDT

Posted on April 30th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Welcome to the another episode of INSIDE CHINA BASIN, your San Francisco Giants Player Podcast featuring Jeremy Affeldt, with your host Joe Castellano and Michael Duca out of the pen. Today’s guest from AT&T Park is Jeremy Affeldt.

INSIDE CHINA BASIN has found a webcasting home on Spreecast.com and we’re available on itunes.

Listen up Giants fans! Join us every homestand this season here on thesportsvirus.com for in-depth discussions with Jeremy Affeldt, other Giants players and specials guests from around Major League Baseball. If you have a question for a player, email us at thesportsvirus@gmail.com and we’ll ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Jeremy Affledt photo courtesy of laheringer on flickr.com.

Jeremy Affeldt assesses the Giants recent road trip which ended in Cincinnati, recently a difficult place for his club to get a win. Michael Duca had this conversation with Jeremy before a game against the Padres over the weekend at AT&T Park.

Listen to Interview with Jeremy AffeldtThis interview is sponsored by:

San Anselmo Inn

Cain’sTire

WestCoastGear.com

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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, TODD LINDEN, WORKING HIS WAY BACK

Posted on April 28th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Welcome to the another episode of INSIDE CHINA BASIN, your San Francisco Giants Player Podcast featuring Jeremy Affeldt, with your host Joe Castellano and Michael Duca out of the pen. Our special guest from Fresno is former San Francisco Giants outfielder and current Grizzlies first baseman Todd Linden.

INSIDE CHINA BASIN has found a webcasting home on Spreecast.com and we’re available on itunes.

Listen up Giants fans! Join us every homestand this season here on thesportsvirus.com for in-depth discussions with Jeremy Affeldt, other Giants players and specials guests from around Major League Baseball. If you have a question for a player, email us at thesportsvirus@gmail.com and we’ll ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Todd Linden Photo courtesy of mdoeff on flickr.com.

Todd Linden might have disappeared from your AT&T Park radar, but he hasn’t vanished from the Giants plans. During a long pro baseball journey that has taken him abroad to Japan and Canada, Linden is back in the San Francisco organization as a first baseman at AAA Fresno. There were high hopes for Linden after the Giants selected him in the first round of the 2001 draft out of LSU. He made it to the Major Leagues in August of 2003 and spent parts of his first three seasons struggling with San Francisco.  In 2005 at Fresno he showed that he had nothing left to prove at AAA when he hit 30 homers in just 95 games. But, when he failed to produce with the Giants 2007, he was waived and claimed by the Marlins. That began an odyssey which took him to from the A’s, Indians and Yankees organizations to Tohoku of the Japanese Pacific League and Edmonton of the independent North American League. Can he make it back to San Francisco? We’ll find out. You have to admire his desire and perseverance. Linden talked about Barry Bonds’ influence on him as part of our conversation in Fresno.

Listen to Interview with Todd LindenThis interview is sponsored by:

San Anselmo Inn

Cain’sTire

WestCoastGear.com

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CATCH IT! Hard Work Doesn’t Always Equal Success

Posted on April 26th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Welcome to the first edition of CATCH IT! These blogs will be filled with my observations of the sports world. Basically it’s something to read and comment about in between podcasts.

The other day I read a Facebook post about kids receiving trophies no matter where they finished in sports competitions. Most of the commenters thought this was the wrong message to send to kids. The prevailing thought was that children need to strive to win above all else or not be rewarded. It was mentioned that hard work always pays off. Some people said that if you work hard you WILL have success. Now, while I don’t think every kid deserves a trophy and I do think you should learn to work hard, I don’t think it’s accurate to teach anybody that hard work always equals success. Better yet, why not teach youngsters that hard work IMPROVES your chances for success. But, there are so many roadblocks out there that you just have to keep trying and trying. You may not get a trophy, but embrace the challenge of success. In sports it’s a misconception that the best players are the hardest workers. I’m sure the All-Stars work hard, but sometimes the guy hitting .230 or sporting a 9.75 ERA is working just as hard, but he doesn’t have the same talent. Remember that the next time you boo a player.

Speaking of player criticism. I think the Aubrey Huff situation is a perfect example of fans needing to back off sometimes. Yes, he has struggled this year and you can say what you want about Brandon Belt getting more playing time than Huff. During spring training I wondered if the Giants should just cut Huff and eat his contract. The more I thought about it, the more I leaned in that direction. But, no matter how he performs you can’t question his work ethic. He came into camp in great shape and you have to commend him for being able to improve defensively over the years at first base and in the outfield. You just know it’s killing him to not perform the way he did in 2010. When Huff left the team the other day speculation about his future was rampant. Were the Giants going to cut him? That certainly seemed possible given his .182 batting average and only 4 RBIs. I saw where some people thought he was quitting on the team and that’s where I have to jump in. Please, please don’t speculate like this folks. I would have been shocked if that were true. Today we find out that Huff has been placed on the DL, suffering from anxiety disorder. Let’s give the guy a break and support him in his recovery. There might be personal issues there that we don’t need to know about and no matter how much money he makes, those problems may be serious.

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis could be in serious trouble if you believe the ESPN report accusing him of listening in on the game-day communications of opposing coaching staffs from 2002 through 2004. If this is indeed true, does he deserve more punishment (fines and loss of draft picks) than Bill Belichick received for Spygate? I think not.

Oh yeah, draft picks. Is the NFL draft really here tomorrow? Couldn’t we just take all of the ESPN and NFL Network programming from the last two months and consolidate it into one show tonight? After getting so slammed with coverage the draft seems anticlimactic. Now that I know Andrew Luck will be a Colt, just tell me who the Niners draft when it’s all over.

Hard to believe it’s all over for the Sharks. Many of my colleagues disagree. They say they saw this coming. They are looking for big changes. I’m not. Maybe they should make a goaltender change. Antti Niemi has never looked unbeatable as a Shark and we all know you need great goaltending to win in the playoffs. Adding another defenseman also seems important. They need another Mark Edouard Vlasic, who does whatever it takes to stop the opponent from scoring. Please, no talk of breaking up the big scorers. Just because Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski didn’t score in the St. Louis series doesn’t mean you give up on them. Each player had a 30-goal season. It’s still an explosive group including Joe Thornton and Logan Couture. It’s time to tweak the roster, not blow it up.

As I get ready to cover the NBA Playoffs as a field producer for Turner Sports, I can’t help but shake my head about Metta World Peace. Sure he was celebrating after a dunk, but you can’t swing your elbows like a maniac. Poor James Harden didn’t know what hit him. Ron Artest can change his name, but there’s no peace of mind surrounding him anytime soon.

Please email all comments and questions to: thesportsvirus@gmail.com.

Photos and artwork courtesy of: Suzie Armagost, Aunti Juli, Chris Corwin, Corak76,

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Last summer we started a series of interviews focusing on pitching and defense and here we go again. Next up in 2012 is Phillies outfielder Juan Pierre.

Juan Pierre Photo courtesy of Steve Trapani on flickr.com.

Juan Pierre put the art of centerfield defense on display on May 9, 2006 when he robbed Barry Bonds of a career 714th home run, which would have tied Bonds with Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list, by leaping and catching the ball right before it topped the fence. That was just one of many great plays he has made in the outfield since breaking into the Major Leagues with Colorado in 2000. The Phillies are his sixth team in a 13-year career. He was the first Marlin to collect 200 hits in 2003 when he helped Florida win the World Series Championship. Pierre has over 2,000 hits in his career and he has led the league in stolen bases three times (twice in the NL, once in the AL). From 2003-2007 he played all 162 games each year for the Marlins, Cubs and Dodgers. He has played over 1,100 games in centerfield and that positon was the focus of our conversation during the Phillies recent series in San Francisco.

Listen to Interview with Juan PierreThis interview is sponsored by:

San Anselmo Inn

Cain’sTire

WestCoastGear.com

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Last summer we started a series of interviews focusing on pitching and defense and here we go again. Next up in 2012 is Phillies catcher Brian Schneider.

Brian Schneider Photo courtesy of begreen90 on flickr.com.

Brian Schneider first broke into the Major Leagues with the Montreal Expos in 2000. Now the veteran catcher is in his 13th year in The Show and third season with Philadelphia. He and Carlos Ruiz have the privilege of catching a dominating staff that includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Schneider talked to us about the nuances of his position and let us in on how a backstop thinks when he joined us during the Phillies recent series in San Francisco.

Listen to Interview with Brian Schneider

This interview is sponsored by:

San Anselmo Innand

WestCoastGear.com


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Last summer we started a series of interviews focusing on pitching and defense and here we go again. First up in 2012 is Phillies reliever Chad Qualls.

Chad Qualls Photo courtesy of jrab on flickr.com.

Chad Qualls is in his ninth year in the Major Leagues and first season with the Phillies. He has pitched exclusively in relief in his big league career, beginning in 2004 with Houston. A year later he was in the World Series with the Astros. Eventually he was traded to the Diamondbacks and he collected 24 saves with Arizona in 2009. The Phillies are Qualls’ third team in the last three years. He made a team high 77 appearances for the Padres last year. Since 2005, Qualls has made more appearances (512) than any other pitcher and ranks second in relief wins (34), trailing only Jesse Crain (38). He joined us during the Phillies recent series in San Francisco.

Listen to Interview with Chad Qualls

This interview is sponsored by:

San Anselmo Innand

WestCoastGear.com


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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, ANGEL PAGAN, STARTING TO HEAT UP

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Welcome to the another episode of INSIDE CHINA BASIN, your San Francisco Giants Player Podcast featuring Jeremy Affeldt, with your host Joe Castellano and Michael Duca out of the pen. Our special guest from AT&T Park in San Francisco is Giants outfielder Angel Pagan.

INSIDE CHINA BASIN has found a webcasting home on Spreecast.com and we’re available on itunes.

Check out our next Spreecast episode, Friday, April 20 at 8 pm PT : http://www.spreecast.com/events/inside-china-basin-giants-vs-mets

Listen up Giants fans! Join us every homestand this season here on thesportsvirus.com for in-depth discussions with Jeremy Affeldt, other Giants players and specials guests from around Major League Baseball. If you have a question for a player, email us at thesportsvirus@gmail.com and we’ll ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Angel Pagan Photo courtesy of lyndsey on flickr.com.

Angel Pagan has started to heat up at the plate after a slow start that saw him go 3 for 27 his first seven games as a Giant. The San Francisco lead off hitter produced time after time during the first homestand of the season with 8 hits in 23 at bats against the Pirates and Phillies. He already has three triples, one shy of his season total last year with the Mets. Speaking of New York, that’s where he and the Giants are headed for their second road trip of the year. Pagan joined us during the recent homestand and said he had fun playing in New York, but now he’s very happy with his new teammates in San Francisco.

Listen to Interview with Angel Pagan

This interview is sponsored by:

San Anselmo Innand

WestCoastGear.com


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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, MATT CAIN, ALMOST PERFECT

Posted on April 18th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Welcome to the another episode of INSIDE CHINA BASIN, your San Francisco Giants Player Podcast featuring Jeremy Affeldt, with your host Joe Castellano and Michael Duca out of the pen. Our special guest from AT&T Park in San Francisco is Giants pitcher Matt Cain.

INSIDE CHINA BASIN has also found a home on Spreecast.com. We’re also available on itunes.

Check out the latest Spreecast episode : http://www.spreecast.com/events/inside-china-basin-013

Listen up Giants fans! Join us every homestand this season here on thesportsvirus.com for in-depth discussions with Jeremy Affeldt, other Giants players and specials guests from around Major League Baseball. If you have a question for a player, email us at thesportsvirus@gmail.com and we’ll ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Matt Cain Photo courtesy of jkorn on flickr.com.

Matt Cain had a spectacular outing in the home opener on Friday against the Pirates. He pitched a one-hit shutout with only one baserunner (a single by Pittsburgh pitcher James McDonald) and 11 strikeouts. It was the third one-hitter of his career and fifth shutout. Cain recently signed a six-year, $127.5 million contract extension with San Francisco. He joined us before the Giants/Phillies game on Tuesday.

Listen to Interview with Matt Cain

This interview is sponsored by:

San Anselmo Innand

WestCoastGear.com


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