The San Francisco FlameThrowers, a professional ultimate team playing in the San Francisco Bay Area, play their next home game on Saturday evening, July 15, against the Seattle Cascades at 6  p.m. All FlameThrowers home games are played at the Laney College Football Field  in Oakland.  For information and tickets,  click here.
7-10-17 - Giants
World Series trophies for 2010, 2012
and 2014
7-10-17 - Giants
San Francisco Giants
Andy Dolich -- 2015
Andy Dolich

Case, Place, Ace, Face, Base, Baseball

By Andy Dolich
Admit it, the San Francisco Giants recent six-game winning streak reenergized your interest in the Season In The Drink. Before you get too sad, answer these simple questions.

Name the last team to win three World Series in a seven-year period? Other than the Giants in 2010, 2012, and 2014, that would be the New York Yankees three straight from 1998-2000. The Boston Red Sox won three World Series over nine years; 2004, 2007, and 2013.

Case --  The San Francisco Giants' World Series victories in 2010, 2012 and 2014 created the need for a much larger trophy case to display their hardware.

Place -- Name the last team to build a new ballpark which is viewed as the best in baseball? That would be AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

Ace --  Name a starting pitcher, other than Clayton Kershaw, who exemplifies the definition of an Ace? That would be the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, who will be back on the mound sooner than any dirt bike could have expected.

Face -- Name an everyday player who embodies the skills of a perennial All-Star, future Hall of Famer and the likeability of Tom Hanks? Buster Posey.

Base --  Name a fan base which has filled their home ballpark for 542 straight games through July 9th ? The only other team in baseball with more sellouts is the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, with over 700. Orange may be the new Black but Black and Orange are colors of team loyalty.

Baseball -- Who wouldn't take the roster base of Bumgarner, Crawford, Posey, Melanson, Belt, Pence, and future young players managed by Bruce Bochy, to come back strong from the 2017 season, which went wrong from the get-go?

If you are listening and reading about the San Francisco Giants' Season On The Brink in 2107, you might think that the franchise is about to fall into McCovey Cove and sleep with the fishes. When you take emotion out of the equation and add in some numbers from those who embrace analytics, metrics and institutional knowledge, you can take a deep breath and realize that the San Francisco Giants are in a position for a quick turn around in the upcoming even year.

A power-hitting left fielder is a void they must fill before next season but I'll take the Case, Place, Ace, Face, Base and Baseball over the competition as the Giants look forward to spring training in 2018.

Dolich has worked in all four major pro sports leagues and currently heads a 
sports business consulting firm.

7-10-17 - New York Yankees. - Rich Yee
"We need a strict limit on how often catchers can go to the mound ..."
Photo by Rich Yee.
7-10-17 - Giants - Rich Yee
"Managers and pitching coaches should be prohibited from visiting the mound."
Photo by Rich Yee.
Leland Faust
Leland Faust

How To Speed Up Play In Baseball

By Leland Faust
After the first two weeks of the 2017 major league baseball (MLB) season, it was reported that the average length of a nine inning game had increased to about three hours and six minutes, or about five minutes more than last season. So it would seem that so far MLB's efforts to quicken the pace have been a failure. Duh.

Some of the new rules affect things that consume almost no time, while leaving in place practices that when added together consume inordinate amounts of time. For example, the no-pitch intentional walk saves about 30 seconds in an average game.

I certainly do not have all the answers, but I have a few suggestions which would clearly speed up play and not affect the game. Let's start with an easy one which would nibble at the problem. We need a strictly enforced pitch-clock when no one is on base. The pitcher's failure to release the ball before time expires results in an automatic ball, unless the batter prefers the actual play that transpired, e.g., if the umpire signaled that time had expired while the pitcher still holds the baseball, then the batter is awarded a ball. If time had expired but the pitcher released the ball, then the batter's team would have the choice of accepting the ball awarded on the umpire's call for delay or the actual results if the ball was hit into play. Now someone might say this is rather draconian, but are we trying to speed up play or not?

We would also need a pitch-clock (with perhaps a slightly longer limit) with men on base, both to assure that pitchers are promptly delivering the ball to the plate and to prevent innumerable throws to first base to hold a runner or to delay so relief pitchers can to warm up in the bullpen.

We need a strict limit on how often catchers can go to the mound and how long they can stay. Similarly, infielders need to be kept off the mound.

Managers and pitching coaches should be prohibited from visiting the mound. It's usually just an excuse for the relief pitcher to warm up. The only exceptions should be for very clear injuries on a play, e.g., a pitcher is hit by a batted ball, the pitcher falls to the ground, or runs into another player. Alternatively, we could set rules limiting the number of times per game that a manager or pitching coach could go to the mound. This number should be small -- one or two -- and the duration of the visits should be strictly limited.

Now for a big one. For each at-bat, once the batter enters the batter's box he stays completely in. No one-foot-in and then backing out. No adjusting equipment (batting gloves, batting helmets, elbow guards, etc.). With a pitch-clock, the batter will know the pitcher cannot delay and he can be ready without all of the fiddling around, which wastes time and accomplishes nothing.

Pitching changes are a very significant source of delay. We need a strictly enforced time limit for the new pitcher to come in and face the next batter. If the pitcher wants to saunter in, all well and good, but then he gets less time for warm-up throws. Again, failure to conform will result in automatic ball calls, say one for every 30-second delay.

We should also consider having less time to change pitchers for the second or third time in the same inning. The pitcher can hustle into the game and quickly get his eight warm up pitches from the mound. Again, I think a solution might be a fixed time limit on the duration of the interval from when the last batter either made an out or reached base and when the first pitch is thrown by the reliever. We should have the umpire call automatic balls in the event of delays. Perhaps as an alternate we could limit the duration of the mound visits, both individually and cumulatively. That way a manager who gets his relief pitcher in quickly can make multiple changes in an inning while one who wants to dawdle will be limited and penalized for any time delay.

Resistance to change is always strong for those unwilling to be flexible. Do you remember how the old guard said preventing the catcher from blocking the plate would ruin the game? Those folks, of course, were right. It did ruin the game for the orthopedists, but not for Buster Posey nor any of the other major league catchers, the base runners or the fans.

Speeding up the game is the proverbial, "If there's a will, there's a way." But we will never succeed if we are not willing to do away with time-honored traditions that can be redesigned. 

MLB, welcome to the 21st century.

Leland Faust is an honors graduate from UC Berkeley (economics) and Harvard Law School. He was the founder of CSI Capital Management, where he served as chief investment officer from 1978 through 2011. Faust has represented hundreds of pro athletes over his career and Barron's has named him four times to its annual list of the top 100 independent investment advisers in the country. He has also been named to the Sporting News' list of the 100 most powerful people in sports, one of only two investment advisers ever to be
 included in that roster. Faust is also the author of the recently released book: 
A Capitalist's Lament: How Wall Street Is Fleecing You and Ruining America.

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit

Pops - Original
Pops Back Label