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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Our series of interviews focusing on pitching and defense continues. Next up is Giants right fielder Nate Schierholtz.

Nate Schierholtz Photo courtesy of SB Grad on flickr.com.

Nate Schierholtz has made his mark in right field for the Giants with good speed, instincts and a strong, accurate throwing arm. Playing the AT&T Park outfield wall can be unpredictable, but Schierholtz reads the caroms well. He also can save a game defensively every once in awhile. Last year he caught a sinker liner in Los Angeles that was the difference-maker in a Giants win over the Dodgers. Nate was a valuable pinch-hitter and late-inning defensive substitution in 2010 as he helped the Giants win the World Series. Defense was the focus of our conversation before a recent game in San Francisco.

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Our series of interviews focusing on pitching and defense continues. Next up is Rockies first baseman Todd Helton.

Todd Helton Photo courtesy of Walter G. Arce on flickr.com.

Todd Helton holds the Colorado Rockies club records for hits, home runs, doubles, walks, runs scored, RBIs, on-base percentage, total bases and other offensive categories. The five-time All Star won a batting title in 2000 and has a career batting average over .320 as of May 2012. In addition to all of those offensive accolades, Helton is also known for his glove at first base. During his 16-year career he has garnered three Gold Glove awards. Defense was the focus of our conversation during the Rockies recent series in San Francisco.

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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 Travis Blackley.

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 try to ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Travis Blackley photo courtesy of LI Phil on flickr.com.

Travis Blackley saw both sides of the Bay recently as he pitched for the Giants then against them in an Oakland uniform. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Blackley has pitched all over the world including a stint in Korea in 2011. After first reaching the Major Leagues as a 21-year old for six starts with Seattle in 2004, he battled injury and spent time in the minors before resurfacing with San Francisco for two appearances in 2007. Blackley started this season with the Giants’ AAA affliliate in Fresno and went 3-0, 0.39 ERA before getting the promotion to San Francisco. After four relief appearances with the Giants, he was claimed on waivers by the A’s. Travis joined us before a game against the Giants at AT&T Park.

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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, TIM FLANNERY, 3RD BASE COACH DELUXE

Posted on May 21st, 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 Tim Flannery.

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 try to ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Tim Flannery photo courtesy of Brian Rothmuller on flickr.com.

Tim Flannery has been on the  Giants staff since 2007 and his third base coaching style is recognized around baseball because of his energy and agressive nature. He also coached under Bruce Bochy in San Diego after a few stints as a manager in the Padres minor league system. In 1994 he led the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes to the California League title. Flannery spent 11 seasons as a Major League player in San Diego. He played in the 1984 World Series and singled in his only at bat as the Padres lost to the Tigers. Tim  joined us before a game against the A’s at AT&T Park.

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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, BABY PANDA

Posted on May 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. Today’s guest from AT&T Park is Hector Sanchez.

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 try to ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Hector Sanchez photo courtesy of Jonathan Korn on flickr.com.

Hector Sanchez made his Major League debut in 2011 and this season he surprised many folks around baseball when he made the Giants opening day roster as a 22-year-old with only 46 games of experience above Class A ball. Last season he had the opportunity to catch Barry Zito in Class A San Jose and AAA Fresno and things went so well that he has become Zito’s personal catcher. The switch hitter from Venezuela has a mentor in countryman Pablo Sandoval. Baby Panda gives his thoughts on Big Panda, Zito and his friend Jesus Montero of the Seattle Mariners. Sanchez  joined us before a game against the A’s at AT&T Park.

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Our series of interviews focusing on pitching and defense continues. Next up is Rockies right fielder Michael Cuddyer.

Michael Cuddyer Photo courtesy of Ben Krause on flickr.com.

Michael Cuddyer began his career with the Minnesota Twins bouncing between the infield and the outfield. In 2006 and 2007 he established himself as having an outfield arm that put fear in every base runner. He led the American League in assists in each of those two seasons. A 2011 All-Star who spent 11 years with the Twins, Cuddyer now plays almost exclusively in right field in his first season with the Colorado Rockies. That positon was the focus of our conversation during the Rockies recent series in San Francisco.

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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, PANDA ON THE MEND

Posted on May 17th, 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 Pablo Sandoval.

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 try to ask it on our next podcast.

Stadium Photo courtesy of Andy Lopusnak, Pablo Sandoval photo courtesy of Jonathan Korn on flickr.com.

Pablo Sandoval is on the DL and working hard every day to come back from surgery to remove the hamate bone in his left wrist. He had the same injury to his right wrist last year. When he went down he was batting .316 with 5 homers. The Panda gives his thoughts on turning around his career since a difficult 2010 and he discusses teammates Brandon Crawford, Melky Cabrera and Baby Panda Hector Sanchez. Pablo  joined us before a game against the Rockies at AT&T Park.

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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, JEREMY AFFELDT, BACK OFF THE DL

Posted on May 16th, 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 try to ask it on our next podcast.

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

Jeremy Affeldt talks about the knee injury that landed him on the DL and his return to the active roster. Affeldt gives his thoughts on Tim Lincecum, rookie Charlie Culberson, veteran reliever Javier Lopez and the LA Dodgers. We also get an update on Not For Sale, a charity that fights human trafficking with support from Affeldt. Jeremy joined us before a game against the Rockies at AT&T Park.

Listen to Interview with Jeremy AffeldtThis interview is sponsored by:

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INSIDE CHINA BASIN, CHARLIE CULBERSON, FIRST GAME, FIRST HIT

Posted on May 15th, 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 is new San Francisco Giants infielder Charlie Culberson.

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, Charlie Culberson Photo courtesy of Gamma Man on flickr.com.

Charlie Culberson had a special Major League debut in Arizona on the last game of the recent road trip. Not only did he get thrown into the starting lineup in his first game, but he also collected his first big league hit with his family in attendance. Culberson worked his way up to San Francisco after five full seasons in the minors. This year he was batting .284 at AAA Fresno with 5 homers. A first round pick of the Giants in 2007, Culberson is the son of Charles Culberson who played in the Giants’ minor league system from 1984-1986. Charlie joined us before his first ever game in San Francisco.

Listen to Interview with Charlie CulbersonThis interview is sponsored by:

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CATCH IT! Appreciating Honesty and Free Time

Posted on May 12th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Welcome to CATCH IT!– My observations of the sports world. Basically it’s something to read and comment about in between podcasts.

Honesty is the best policy, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. For Cole Hamels, being honest meant a five game suspension. Granted. that means he doesn’t even miss a start, but he was reprimanded for telling the truth and that’s something to talk about.  I’m a little torn on this one. On the one hand I want players to tell us the truth. I want them to speak up. It drives me nuts to hear “no comment.” Too many people in the sports world are afraid to speak their mind. They fear they might say the wrong thing. Hamels had no fear. He told us exactly what he did and why. But, I don’t like pitchers throwing at hitters, period. And to say that it’s “old school” doesn’t really work because even Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson and Randy Johnson didn’t have to plunk you to be intimidating. They threw brush back pitches to send their message. Hitting a rookie in the back doesn’t teach him anything. I’m guessing that Hamels is never again open with the media because he will be afraid of another suspension. In this case he should have kept his intentions to himself, knowing that MLB would nail him. By the way, memo to MLB: a five game suspension for a starting pitcher means absolutely nothing. You have to go with at least 10 games so he will miss a start.

The funny thing about Josh Beckett‘s comment about having 18 days off a year and deserving time to himself is that I actually agree with him under normal circumstances. Even though playing baseball or covering it is a dream job that many people envy, the season is a grind with little time to clear your mind and enjoy other parts of your life. Yes, there is a long off season, but consider that you are on the road a lot and baseball is your singular focus for six months of the year. Yes, Beckett and all Major Leaguers are paid handsomely, but no matter what the pay, everyone is entitled to a little time off and it’s really nobody’s business what you are doing on the rare day off. This time was the exception. This time off was made possible because of a back injury. I agree with Bobby Valentine about golf not being a sport where you worry about someone getting hurt. But, it seems like a back issue might be irritated by swinging clubs. The timing was wrong and Beckett was too defensive about it. It’s not surprising since the Beckett that I saw once in Oakland left me with a bad impression. I was grabbing a young Jon Lester for an XM Satellite Radio interview and Beckett asked me if Lester was going to be paid for the appearance. I laughed and said no. He said that he should be paid and it wasn’t right. I didn’t reply to that, but I wanted to say that for the millions of dollars being paid to players, it’s really not too much to ask for an interview before the game as a service to the fans. Josh didn’t get it then and apparently he still doesn’t know when and how to express his opinions now.

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

Photos and artwork courtesy of: Suzie Armagost, JPM Sports and Entertainment and TJ Perr.

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