All posts by fighton1984

Nationals Manager Dusty Baker and The Sports Virus Reporter Ryan Leong

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

Today we hear from Nationals Manager Dusty Baker, who also managed the Giants from 1993-2002. The Sports Virus Reporter Ryan Leong also joins us from AT&T Park in San Francisco.   

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The Sports Virus asked Baker if he thinks Barry Bonds will get in the Hall of Fame some day:

 … “I hope so. He certainly deserves it…I think Jeff Kent should be in. He’s not getting much consideration at all. If it’s going by numbers, then his numbers are amongst the top second basemen of all time. If it’s going on popularity, then it shouldn’t be a popularity contest. I think Barry and Jeff should both be in.”

Baker on Daniel Murphy’s season:

 … “He should be the MVP at this point. He’s had one of the best seasons I’ve ever seen (and) I’ve seen some good ones. Every time you think he’s going to slow down, he speeds back up again. This guy comes to play, he comes to play every day. He has a great idea of what he’s doing on the bases, in the field and at the plate especially. This guy’s a student. I see him over here studying all the time and he has a heck of an idea of what he’s looking for.”

Listen To Dusty Baker and Ryan Leong

Come back MONDAY when GIANTS OF GREGOR BLANCO is our guest.

Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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Giants RHP Sergio Romo Important Return To SF Bullpen In July

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

Sergio Romo got back on a Major League mound again this month after missing almost 3 months with a forearm injury. Today he chats with The Sports Virus about his return and what he is focusing on for the rest of the season.

romo

 The Sports Virus asked Romo what he’s doing to improve against left-handed hitters:

… “a little bit of an adjustment. I was a little too predictable, one dimensional. Most people think I’m one dimensional against righties also. I kind of feel that I’m starting to change that a little bit. I’m trying to adjust to the game because the game is always adjusting to you.”

Listen To Sergio Romo

Come back FRIDAY when we podcast from AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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COED Baseball: A Success In Sonoma, California – SPECIAL PODCAST

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Welcome to a special podcast and blog brought to you by The Sports Virus – Coed Baseball: A Success in Sonoma, California

The Sonoma Stompers made history on July 1, 2016 by becoming the first professional coed baseball team since the Negro Leagues Sonoma_Stompers_logo_2014_zpsf2fd8723in the 1950’s. The game, which featured Stacy Piagno on the mound and Kelsie Whitmore in the outfield became a national story. On July 22, additional history was made when Anna Kimbrell joined the team. She started behind the plate with Whitmore on the mound and formed the first female battery in pro ball in nearly 70 years.stacyanna

 

 

On July 26 The Sports Virus chatted with Stacy, Kelsie and Anna about their experience playing pro ball for the first time. 

Listen To Coed Baseball Podcast

 

kelsey

The Back Story

In an effort to promote the recruitment, development and advancement of women in baseball, virginia dareFrancis Ford Coppola’s Virginia Dare Winery in association with the Sonoma Stompers actively searched for the best women baseball players in the United States to come and join the team.

FRANCIS use for quote“My family would play coed baseball games and inevitably the star player would always be an aunt who could run and hit and that made the games so much more fun,” said Francis Ford Coppola. “When watching major league baseball, I always wondered why there couldn’t be a coed team. It’s the one major sport in which weight and strength come less into play. So when my Sonoma winery became involved with the Stompers, I had the opportunity to turn this thought into a reality and recruit these amazing women capable of playing alongside men.”

Joe Castellano has served as a baseball consultant on the project and conducted the player search with Stompers General Manager Theo Fightmaster.  Castellano provides an inside look at the recruitment process.

SAN RAFAEL, CA-April 1, 2016

“Who’s this?” read the text message from Kelsie Whitmore. It was Kelseymy first contact with the young lady who would help the Stompers make big news exactly three months later. I made sure she didn’t think this was an “April Fool” joke, explaining that we were interested in coming to watch her play in one of her high school games and there was a good possibly that we would invite her to  play some pro baseball this summer. Justine Siegal (baseballforall.com) identified Kelsie as a woman who would probably be interested in playing for us among a group of players from Team USA.

Kelsie put me in touch with Daniel Franklin, her coach at Temecula Valley High School in Temecula, California and I set up a date for us to go watch her play.

TEMECULA, CA-May 5, 2016

Cinco De Mayo is a time of celebration. But, for the Temecula Valley Bears baseball team it marked one week to go in a very long season. They were on the way to a 3-21 record, including an 11-game losing streak to finish the schedule.

FFCCOED,TEMECULACAPWe arrived at the field and watched Kelsie, a senior,  interact with her teammates. You could tell they had a lot of fun together despite the rough won/loss record. The first thing I noticed about Kelsie was the handshake – very strong. She was supremely confident and comfortable in her surroundings.

We interviewed her and one of her teammates, Simon Rangel, also a senior, before the game.  He said that when Kelsie first joined the team, the boys weren’t skeptical about her for long. They realized she could play right away when they struck out against her.

Kelsie started in left field for the Bears that day against Murrieta FFCCOEDTEMECULALINEUPValley High (she only made one pitching appearance this season, but is one of the pitchers for Team USA). We noticed on a base hit to left field that a runner was held up at third base, not willing to take a risk against her good arm.

Kelsie’s dad Scott chatted with us the entire game and told us about her athletic ability. She hits a golf ball 270 yards! Defensive Player of the Year as a goalkeeper on the soccer team. A softball scholarship is waiting from Cal State Fullerton even though she has rarely played softball.

At the plate in her first plate appearance of the game against hard throwing Ben Moralez, Kelsie was drilled in the ribs. After she reached first base she started to spit up blood. The trainer checked her out and she stayed in the game. Tough kid.

When we left Temecula, I knew we had someone who would be perfect for this opportunity. Once the details of her eligibility could be worked out with Cal State Fullerton she was inked to a deal.

CARY, NC-June 10-12, 2016

Kelsey pitching3High 90-degree temperatures and high humidity made for a sweaty three days at the USA Baseball complex, where we saw the open tryout for Team USA. A team that would compete in the 2016 women’s baseball World Cup in South Korea would be chosen from this pool of under 100 players, the best the United States has to offer.

There was a clear separation between the best players on the team and the ones scrambling for a spot. Unfortunately for us, several of the best players were not going to be available. Whether it was LHP Sarah Hudek believed to be the only female playing college baseball last season (Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana) or star SS Jade Gortarez (softball scholarship at University of Texas), conflicts stood in the way.Anna1

I spoke to catcher Anna Kimbrell before the USA tryouts and she was interested if she could make it work with her job as a groundskeeper in Birmingham, Alabama.

Tamara142-year-old Oakland, California native Tamara Holmes has been playing baseball longer than anyone on the field here. In fact, she was on the Colorado Silver Bullets back in 1996. 20 years ago she hit the first and only home run in Silver Bullets history. That power was still evident in Cary. She was unable to play for the Stompers this season because of her job running a cross fit and Olympic lifting gym.

Stacy pitching2Stacy Piagno threw a no-hitter at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto for the US against Puerto Rico. She didn’t pitch the first day of the tryouts, but I noticed her excellent and accurate arm playing third base.  The next day we saw her pitch with a big-breaking, knuckle-curve that was buckling some knees. Piagno told us she would be interested in playing in Sonoma and it could work out great since she is transitioning into a teaching career and has time to play in the summer. One of her teaching credential tests came on June 30 in Jacksonville, Florida. In order to make our “history-making” game Stacy would have to fly to the Bay Area late that night to be in uniform for the 6 pm game the next day.

SONOMA, CA-July 1, 2016

FIRST LINEUPGame day was a media frenzy at Arnold Field in Sonoma. A day after Whoopi Goldberg mentioned the game on The View, media members nationally and locally were there to report on the event.

Stacy was the starting pitcher and KNM_4557worked 2+ innings allowing 4 runs but only 2 earned. Kelsie started in left field and went 0 for 1 with a walk. The first pitch by Stacy was a called strike. Her scoreless first inning ended with a fly ball to Kelsie in left. Kelsie showed good patience in her first plate appearance, drawing a walk against a pitcher throwing 92 miles an hour.

KNM_4587

It was a great day and I really enjoyed doing play-by-play of the game with Stompers announcer Tim Livingston providing color, Kate Rooney doing fantastic reports on the field and special guest Scott Whitmore coming on while watching his daughter.

Check out the archive of the game on BAOSN.TV. Special thanks to Jim Petromilli at BAOSN for getting the game on the air.

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Check out some hometown stories on Kelsie and Stacy:

Kelsie in The Press Enterprise.

Stacy in the St. Augustine Record

Watch Kelsie’s first pro hit: Kelsie on YouTube

Photos courtesy of Kalman Muller.

Please email all comments and questions to: thesportsvirus@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FACEBOOK. and TWITTER.

 

Giants CF Denard Span and Dennis O’Donnell from KPIX

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

Our special guests from AT&T Park in San Francisco are  Giants CF Denard Span and KPIX Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell.

Spanphoto

  Span talked to The Sports Virus about new Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr.:

… “He’s one of the reasons why I played this game. He’s influenced this game so much. I think you could go around every clubhouse in Major League Baseball and I guarantee you probably 95% of the guys would say he was their favorite player growing up. Salute to him. Unbelievable career.”

O'DONNELL FEATURED

 O’Donnell talked to The Sports Virus about Bruce Bochy:

… “I think Bochy has done one of his best managing jobs since being a Giants manager. If you look at the first half they compiled the best record in baseball really without 30% of their lineup. If you miss that much talent and you have the best record, at some point you’re going to hit the skids. The 1-7 (to start the second half) doesn’t surprise me. They’re not a 1-7 team but I think this kind of streak was inevitable given the fact that so much talent is sidelined.”

Listen To Denard Span and Dennis O’Donnell

Come back WEDNESDAY when GIANTS RHP SERGIO ROMO is our guest.

Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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Sacramento River Cats Announcer Johnny Doskow

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

Sacramento River Cats Play-By-Play announcer Johnny Doskow   joined us Saturday to talk about the Giants Pacific Coast League affiliate.

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 Doskow was asked by The Sports Virus about Hunter Pence’s rehab assignment:

“ …There’s no reason to rush him. They are going to slow play it and I think it’s smart. You’d rather have a healthy Pence go in mid-August than rush him and have something else happen. Even watching him leg out a double, he’s obviously not 100 percent, but he’s gonna get there and I think the slower you play it the better.”

Listen To Johnny Doskow

Come back MONDAY when we podcast from AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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Former Giants LHP Jeremy Affeldt Analyzes Current Pen

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

We talk about the state of the Giants bullpen with former Giants lefty Jeremy Affeldt who now serves as an analyst for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

AFFELDT

 

 The Sports Virus talked to Affeldt about late inning relief for the Giants this season:

… “Because of the youth of the pen you don’t know your identity. Are we going to get a shutdown game? Are we going to get a panic scenario?… It’s about walking out and knowing who you are and saying to yourself, ‘I’m a Major League bullpen backend guy. When I go out you’re not supposed to beat me.’ The game is supposed to be over. That’s why you throw your 7th, 8th, 9th inning guys because it IS over…These guys are just missing that because they lack the experience.”

Listen To Jeremy Affeldt

Come back SATURDAY for an update on the farm system with AAA Sacramento announcer Johnny Doskow.

Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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USA Today Reporter Jorge Ortiz On 2016 All Star Game

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

Our special guest to talk about the All Star game and the Giants is USA Today Reporter Jorge Ortiz.

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 Ortiz talked to The Sports Virus about Santiago Casilla:

… “If they don’t pick up an elite closer he’s going to be a critical guy so (Bruce) Bochy needs to keep riding him because what are his options otherwise? You could go matchup, but Javier Lopez has not had a good year, (Sergio) Romo just came off the DL, (Josh) Osich is very young-sometimes good, sometimes not so great, Hunter Strickland throws gas but he is a home-run-giving machine.”

Listen To Jorge Ortiz

Come back WEDNESDAY when former Giants reliever JEREMY AFFELDT is our guest.

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Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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SF Chronicle Columnist John Shea, Part 2

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

We talk about the second half of the season for the Giants as our regular guest SF Chronicle Columnist John Shea joins us from San Diego in part 2 of our conversation.

John Shea revised

 The Sports Virus talked to Shea about San Francisco bench players coming through this season:

… “When (Hunter) Pence was lost last year the Giants were done. It was over. They never recovered from that. This year they lose him and don’t miss a beat and just roll into the All Star break…I think (Bruce) Bochy has a lot to do with this. It’s one of his best managerial efforts.”

Listen To John Shea

Come back MONDAY when JORGE ORTIZ from USA TODAY is our guest. Then on WEDNESDAY, we’re scheduled to chat with former Giants LHP Jeremy Affeldt.

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Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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SF Chronicle Columnist John Shea, Part 1

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

We talk about the 2016 All Star Game as our regular guest SF Chronicle Columnist John Shea joins us from San Diego in part 1 of our conversation.

John Shea revised

 The Sports Virus talked to Shea about the All Star Game winning league getting home field advantage in the World Series:

… “I asked Buster Posey, if there is one thing you could change about this All Star Game and it’s process what would it be? He said, ‘We play our tail off for 162 games and you’re giving home field advantage for the World Series to the league that won an exhibition game back in July when most guys are playing no more than 3 innings.’ … “Once the game starts who knows if anybody thinks, ‘I’ve gotta get this hit’ or ‘I’ve gotta make this pitch.’ It’s ridiculous.”

Listen To John Shea

Come back FRIDAY for part 2 of our conversation with John Shea.

Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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Comcast SportsNet Bay Area Anchor Ahmed Fareed

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Welcome to the INSIDE CHINA BASIN Giants Podcast

Updated 3 times a  week on TheSportsVirus.com!

Our special guest to talk about the All Star game and the Giants first half is Comcast SportsNet Bay Area Studio Host and Reporter Ahmed Fareed.

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 Fareed talked to The Sports Virus about Brandon Crawford not making the All Star team:

… “This is the shortstop that won the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove last year. It really is a very big oversight not to have him there. I don’t know how you can have Brandon Crawford in the prime, top defensive shortstop and a guy who’s knocking in runs every day (not on the team). He’s gotta be there. You’ve got to find a way to get him there. He’s an MVP candidate. I think he would be a top 5, top 6, 7 guy in the National League and you don’t have that guy on the All Star team?”

Listen To Ahmed Fareed

Come back WEDNESDAY when John Shea from the San Francisco Chronicle joins us from San Diego.

Check out our other Podcasts all year long. INSIDE CHINA BASIN is also available on ITUNES. PLUS YOU CAN NOW FIND US ON SOUNDCLOUD, PLAYER.FMSTITCHER and our STITCHER WIDGET.

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