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Previewing Reds/Giants with Grant Brisbee

Brisbee and his funny typing fingers were kind enough to answer a few questions before the Reds take the field in San Francisco.

MVPs MVPin'.
MVPs MVPin'.

I've always kind of liked the San Francisco Giants.

This was (duct) taped to the wall (sorry, Dad) in my bedroom growing up, and I once got a league champions t-shirt that was an adult large for winning Eastern Little League with the Giants when I was a four foot nothing 11 year old.  I still break that out on special occasions, too.  Most of it, at least.

I was especially a fan of the Dusty Baker years in San Francisco.  Much of what I've learned about the game of baseball came as direct result of watching Dusty manage, as you didn't have to go more than an inning or two without asking aloud "why the hell did he do that?"  Then I'd hop on webcrawler and find things saying he was wrong all the time until someone would pick up the phone and disconnect me.

The Giants have also been the one real constant over the last handful of years that has kept the St. Louis Cardinals off the top step at trophy presentations, and that's a damn admirable quality to have.

So yeah, there's a little affinity there.  But I don't like the Giants more than the Cincinnati Reds.

Mat Latos hates San Francisco and I like Mat Latos, for one.  Barry Larkin has a World Series ring and Barry Bonds does not, so the Reds Tebow'd the '85 draft despite what anyone else says.  I'm not avid endorser of the Pittsburgh Pirates, either, so that previous sentence sort of makes sense in this godawful preview.  I was in a bar in San Francisco surrounded by Giants fans when Angel Pagan got an ill-fated late timeout granted while leading off in Johnny Cueto's 8 pitch start in the 2012 NLCS.

Those guys have a pair of World Series banners hanging that just so happen to coincide with the best Reds seasons of my adult life.

So there's ample boo-ability to keep me uninterested in the Giants success while the Reds look to take the upcoming four game series in San Francisco.  They may be my number two team, but sometimes a number two needs a good flush.

The Reds are fresh off their 4th consecutive series victory, and their win in Wrigley last night means the Reds are back over the .500 mark on the season.  The last time the Reds faced the Giants in AT&T Park, Cincinnati took 3 of 4 and outscored them 31-11.  Let's hope for that.

For some insight into the Giants, I sent Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles a Pulitzer-worthy barrage of questions, and he was polite enough to send them back to me on quite short notice.  Thanks for that, Grant.


Wick Terrell:  So who's power outage do you thin is a bigger issue for the next 10 years, Buster Posey or Joey Votto?  Should I have started out with a less morbid question?

Grant Brisbee:  You should have! Buster Posey plays catcher, where almost no one hits for power, whereas Votto plays first base, so ...  Also, Buster Posey believes in RBI and Joey Votto doesn't.

WT:  Tim Bailey is following along the Homer Lincecum odd career arc.  No-no's are cool though, aren't they?

GB:  Wait, wait, wait. I know Tim Lincecum's odd career arc. I served with Tim Lincecum's odd career arc. Et cetera. Lincecum was at the top, pitching like a Hall of Famer and winning awards. Bailey's just one of those weirdos who's older than you think, like Jeff Samardzjia and Phil Hughes, who you're hoping will turn into Max Scherzer.

(He might turn into Max Scherzer, you know. Any day, now.)

(And no-nos are cool, especially two in a calendar year.)

WT:  How's Brandon Belt doing?  The Giants have mauled enough people in his absence that his absence hasn't really been nearly the big deal I thought it'd be when he first got hurt.  How does his return affect the Giants' plans as the trade deadline nears?

GB:  He was having a weird season, swinging and missing a lot and hitting a ton of dingers, without walking at all. The swinging and missing wasn't weird, but the rest was.

The Giants have been okay because Tyler Colvin hit above his head a little when he first took over in left, but as that slowly fades, they'll need Belt back.

WT:  Do Brandon Crawford, Mike Morse, and Angel Pagan have the same stylist? Asking for a friend...

GB:  Brandon Crawford's long hair makes him look like a chill bro from down the hall. He doesn't know who Magma are, but he's receptive when you turn off his Rush albums to play them.

Angel Pagan's long hair makes him look like the guy who approaches your wife in the resort pool while you're in your hotel room changing into your trunks.

Michael Morse's hair makes him look like a nice, well-meaning sidekick from a '90s high school show, like "Freaks and Geeks" or "Parker Lewis Can't Lose."

WT:  The MLB Draft wrapped just over two weeks ago.  Is there anyone among the Giants' draftees that you're preemptively super excited about?  Does anyone from the Reds' draft class stand out as a future Will Clark?  Tell me you've seen Stanford's Alex Blandino play 60 times and that his game is actually Interestingdino.

GB:  lol like i have any idea

I did a shadow draft for the first five picks, and I would have picked someone different with the first selection, but I know noooooothing. The Giants have a guy named Samuel Coonrod, and I'm okay with that.

WT:  San Francisco : Cincinnati as Hunter Pence : Todd Frazier.  Discuss.

GB:  The idea of Todd Frazier being a weirdo is new to me, but I'm for weirdos. We need more of them in baseball. In the last series, I ripped on Frazier's home run swings, and people corrected me. No, no, that's just how he is, apparently.

WT:  The Reds limped through the first 2+ months of the season, but now they're healthy and playing well.  What's your honest opinion of where they stand and where they could go in 2014?  What's your dishonest opinion?

GB:  They're about where I thought they would be -- trailing a couple of teams, but still dangerous. I wasn't sold on the offense, and if I knew that Jay Bruce was going to turn into Jeff Francoeur ...

They're good enough to make the playoffs, just like we might have guessed in March. They just took a roundabout way to get there.

WT:  What's Pablo Sandoval up to this time next year?

GB:  Enjoying the Los Angeles weather.

WT:  You've seen some mighty fine baseball played by the Giants in the last five seasons.  How does this year's club stand up to the 2010 and 2012 squads?

GB:  The pitching was better with both of those teams, but I'll take the lineup from this year over '12, certainly, and possibly the team that ended '10. It's hard to compare directly because we don't know what Sabean will do next month. The 2010 team was completely different than the one that started the season, for example.


Game 1 of that 2013 four game series in San Francisco started with an 11-0 victory by the Reds.  Jay Bruce, Devin Mesoraco, and Todd Frazier combined to go 6 for 12 with 5 runs scored, 2 dingers, 3 doubles, 7 ribbies, and a walk in that one.

More of that, please.

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