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A Bay Area lifer, Rich serves as the West Coast Correspondent for BaseballEvolution.com. Rich’s passionate, lifelong love affair with the game of baseball in general, and the Giants specifically, began officially on April 21, 1978 (retrosheet.org is really cool!) when he went to his first big league game and saw his hero Willie McCovey take on Tom Seaver and the Big Red Machine out at the ‘Stick. Rich has been writing for BaseballEvolution.com since 2006.
Richard Van Zandt Archive
October 20, 2014- 2014 World Series Preview - Royals vs. Giants - An in-depth look at the first World Series between Wild Card teams since 2002 and the first World Series between sub-90 win squads ever in a full-length season. Richard makes his none-too-surprising prediction for this ostensibly evenly-matched series.
October 11, 2014- 2014 National League Championship Series Preview - Giants vs. Cardinals - The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants have a rich history of facing each other in the postseason. No matter which team wins this NLCS showdown, it will be the fifth consecutive season in which one of these two teams has represented the Senior Circuit on baseball’s ultimate stage.
October 2, 2014- 2014 National League Division Series Preview - Giants vs. Nationals - The Nationals finished the season with the National League’s best record and are the better team on paper. The Giants are battle tested and proven, having won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, not to mention seven straight elimination games in post-season play.
September 29, 2014- 2014 National League Wild Card Game Preview - Giants vs. Pirates - The Pittsburgh Pirates have beaten San Francisco eight times in 13 tries the past two seasons, and are 14-11 overall against the Giants under manager Clint Hurdle. But these Giants boast loads of winning postseason experience and send a legitimate ace to the mound in Madison Bumgarner.
October 24, 2012 - World Series Preview - Tigers vs. Giants - Three times since the LCS expanded to a best-of-seven format has a team that completed a four-game sweep advanced to face a team that went the full seven. In all three instances, the team with less rest won handily. San Francisco looks to continue that tradition against Detroit. One thing is shaping up to be certain: Baseball fans are in for a wild ride.
October 14, 2012 - NLCS Preview - Cardinals vs. Giants - The 2012 NLCS features two teams that by all rights should not be there. Both teams have proven their ability to come from behind, and know how to win the close games. This series may well come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes.
October 6, 2012 - NLDS Preview - Giants vs. Reds - Two clubs who stared adversity straight in the eye and refused to blink will meet Saturday in Game 1 of the NLDS at AT&T Park, where ten years previously Reds manager John B. Dusty Baker had skippered the Giants into the World Series. This Division Series matchup features the best combined record of the four and promises to go down to the wire.
April 3, 2012 - San Francisco Giants Preview: Cain They Score Enough? - The Giants’ quest for back-to-back World Series
Championships in 2011 was derailed on the night of May 25. Without Buster Posey in the
middle of their lineup, coupled with injuries to several other vital players as
well as subpar performances from other key veterans, the Giants struggled to
score runs, as they saw just 570 runners cross home plate, or just 3.52 per
game. Only the Seattle Mariners offense floundered more than San Francisco’s.
Can this offense rebound in 2012?
The 2011 Giants: Defending the Title - Rarely do teams have a chance to do what the San Francisco Giants had a chance to do last season, which was to repeat as World Series Champions. The colorful Band of Misfits, that together had accomplished what no one else believed they could, had returned almost entirely intact and no one else in the NL West appeared to be an insurmountable threat.
It was easy to be optimistic in April, but things soon changed. Richard thoroughly dissects what went right and what went wrong in 2011 before suggesting what to do next for 2012.
It’s Time to Send a Message - The opportunity to repeat as World Champs doesn’t come around
every day and the San Francisco Giants’ chances are slipping away, not by the day or even by
the inning, but lousy at-bat by lousy at-bat. Hitting slumps are said to be contagious, but
this is getting ridiculous. Something needs to be done and a message needs to
be sent. Here’s how you do it.
Jose Reyes = Repeat - Rarely do teams have a chance to do what the San Francisco Giants have a chance to do this season, which is to repeat as World Series Champions. Richard has come up with a surefire way for an injury-plagued Giants squad to do just that. Despite the loss of catcher phenom Buster Posey, San Francisco has enough talent to go out and acquire another impact player: New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.
2011 San Francisco Giants: Ready to Repeat? - World Champion San Francisco Giants. If you ask Richard, it’s got a mighty nice ring to it. Since 1958, Giants fans in the Bay Area have ached to hear those words. In 2010, as we all know by now, that long suffering torture finally came to an end. So, what do you do for an encore when you’ve just brought home the franchise’s first title in 56 years? Well, how about you go out and win another?
2011 Oakland A's: Dangerous If Healthy - For the second consecutive offseason, the Oakland Athletics were rebuffed in their overtures towards free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, who spurned the Athletics' advances in order to sign a six-year, $96 million deal with their division rivals in Texas. Nevertheless, and perhaps because of it, the A’s had a successful offseason. In fact, Oakland could be the team that unseats Beltre's Rangers for the AL West crown.
World Series Preview - Giants vs. Rangers - Among four Baseball Evolution prognosticators, only Scott picked the Texas
Rangers to make the postseason and only Richard predicted the San Francisco
Giants would get there. But neither Scott nor Richard had either team
slated for 90 wins nor a World Series appearance. At the end of May, Texas
was two games over .500, San Francisco was three, and both teams appeared to be
the solid-yet-unspectacular teams that most people anticipated. But the
Rangers took steps to improve their pitching, the Giants took steps to improve
their offense, and the result was two teams who were well-rounded enough to
reach the postseason. Only one of them is good enough to be
World Champs, and it's apparently going to take five games to determine which
Giants in Five | Keith:
Rangers in Five
NLCS Previews - Phillies vs. Giants - Two of baseball's hottest teams square off in the NLCS this year. The Giants rode a 45-29 record in the second half and a 19-10 September record to overcome the Padres' early lead in the NL West while the Phillies went 50-25 in the second half and an absurd 23-7 in the final month of the regular season to finish with the best record in baseball.
The series begins - and potentially ends - with one of the best postseason pitching matchups our generation has seen: Tim Lincecum versus Roy Halladay.
Richard: Giants in Seven |
Asher: Phillies in Six
NLDS Preview - Braves vs. Giants - Back in March, four out of four
prognosticators all selected the Atlanta Braves as the 2010 World Series
Champions. Richard was the only one of the four who correctly predicted
that the San Francisco Giants would make the postseason, and he had the two
squads meeting in the NLDS with the Braves advancing in five games.
With the Giants entering the postseason as one of baseball's hottest teams,
will Richard change his NLDS prediction?
Giants Prospect Meter: Who’s Hot: May 22, 2010 - Buster Posey was the San Francisco Giants' top prospect entering the 2010 season, and he hasn't done anything so far to contradict that ranking. He leads a large group of Giants prospects who have been sizzling so far this season. Learn more in the inaugural edition of The Giants Prospect Meter, a look at who’s hot among the team’s minor league prospects.
2009 NL Cy Young Award Analysis
April 18, 2010 - The Giants Two Weeks In: Almost two weeks into the season the San Francisco Giants, by the estimation of some, have been among the surprise teams out of the gate. At 8-3 at this early juncture, they sit atop the NL West, but what's been most encouraging hasn't been the way they've played (which really has been very encouraging), but the obvious confidence with which they've been playing. Not surprisingly, their pitching has been strong, posting a 3.18 team ERA in the early going, second only to the Cardinals in that category.
Where the Giants have been surprising, however, has been at the plate.
There is no shortage of deserving candidates for the 2009 NL Cy Young Award. But according to Richard, the pitcher who has been the very best in the senior circuit is none other than San Francisco’s wunderkind, Tim Lincecum. Again.
The Giants at The Break
A status report on the 2009 Giants and a suggestion on how they should proceed.
Richard's Ultimate Guide to Hitting Streaks
Upon further review, Richard is able to confirm many of the official accounts of historical hitting streaks...and add plenty information of his own.
Who Are These Guys?
Six weeks into the season, Pedro Feliz and Barry Zito have been among the NL's biggest surprise players.
2009 San Francisco Giants Preview
Optimism is in the air for Gianrs fans, but most of it is unwarranted, writes one of the biggest Giants fans of them all.
Giants Sign Renteria and Howry: Youth Movement Bogus?
Here we go again. On successive days the Giants showed that, despite their publicly professed desire to get younger and more athletic, general manager Brian Sabean hasn’t lost his affinity for players on the wrong side of 30.
2008 NL Cy Young Award Analysis
There is no shortage of deserving candidates for the 2008 NL Cy Young Award. But according to Richard, the pitcher who has been the very best in the senior circuit is none other than San Francisco’s wunderkind, Tim Lincecum.
Top Giants Prospects:
CI | MI | OF | RP | SP
It’s Been a Long Year… Already
If its spring, you have reason to be optimistic. Unless of course, if you’re a San Francisco Giants fan in 2008. In that case, well, it’s been a long year…already.
2008 San Francisco Giants Preview
A New Era Dawns in the City by the Bay.
Revisiting Billy Beane's Perfect Draft
Two more years have passed... how does the Moneyball Draft look now?
The Five Worst Drafts of 2002
Rich may not be the biggest fan of Billy Beane's 2002 draft, but there are others he is far less on board with.
Richard's 2007 Roster Guide
Take a look at Richard's 2007 Roster Guide, complete with extensive stats for the 2006 season, both sortable and by team. - a Microsoft Excel download: unhide the hidden cells for all of the stats!
Richard keeps us up-to-date on the wheelings and dealings aroung Major League Baseball.
Acquisition Analysis: Giants Get Rowand
The Giants have made their first major acquisition of the post-Barry Bonds era and it’s... Aaron Rowand? You really can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
A Letter to Pedro Feliz
Dear Pedro: Why so sucky?
Giants Report - v. 1.7 (Starting Pitchers)
The starting pitching is not to blame for an abysmal 2007 season
Giants Report - v. 1.6 (Outfielders)
The Giants have productive outfieldes - but who should stay and who should go?
Giants Report - v. 1.5 (Infielders)
In short, the infield desperately needs an overhaul.
The Greatest Giant Ever
How is Willie Mays great? Let Richard count the ways.
Time to Blow It up
An Open Letter to Brian Sabean from one of his biggest fans.
Saying Goodbye to Shooter
Richard Eulogizes Rod Beck.
Top 2007 Hitting Streaks
Some general, rambling information you may or may not know about hitting streaks so far in 2007.
Ding-Dong, Armando's gone!
Giants Report - v. 1.4 (Hitting)
The Giants desperately need some protection for you-know-who.
Giants Report - v. 1.3 (Pitching)
A fabulous starting rotation leads a schizophrenic bullpen.
The Debut of Tim Lincecum
The Future arrived in San Francisco on Sunday. The present however, was just a little bit bumpy.
Giants Report - v. 1.2
At the second checkpoint, things are looking up.
The Return of Russ Ortiz?
What can we expect from Russ Ortiz for the remainder of the season.
Giants Report - v. 1.1
One week into the season, things are not looking good.
Richard's 2007 Season Predictions
See how Richard forecasts the upcoming season.
2007 San Francisco Giants Preview
Staff writer Richard Van Zandt outlines the Giants' 2007 season.
2006 News and Notes
Richard tours Major League Baseball daily and finds the most interesting facts, feats, and occurrences.
Pedro Feliz - Prodigious Out-Making Machine
This just in: Pedro Feliz isn't a very useful player. If you're still a doubter, you won't be after reading Richard's epic analysis.
Chatting with Chris Lincecum
Richard gets some inside info on the Giants' top prospect from his father, Chris.
2006 Giants Team Review
Richard considers the acquisition of Bruce Bochy and looks ahead towards some of the team's other offseason possibilities.
Richard remains convinced that Alex Rodriguez chokes when the game is on the line.
Don't Forget the West
Richard is baffled by Tony's disregard for the NL West.
Coors is no longer a hitter's park and Richard wants to know why.
Tim Lincecum - The Future
A scouting report on the Giants' #1 pick in 2006.
Save the Royals!
Tinker with a defeated club all you like, but only one move is going to ressurect this once-proud franchise.
Giants Quarterly Report - Pitchers
Richard looks at the Giants' pitching this week, and doesn't like what he sees.
Giants Quarterly Report - Batters
Richard examines how the Giants' position players have fared thus far and provides an eye to the future.
All Star Pick Defense
Richard has more to say about his All Star selections after Keith questions them.
Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T/Etc. Park
Semi-annual name changes to perhaps the best ballpark around leads to an innovation that could change ballpark names forever.
Billy Beane's Perfect Draft
Richard closely examines Oaklands 2002 draft and comes to an inevitable conclusion...
Brock's Not So Bad
Appalled at Brock's treatment on this website, Richard comes to his defense.
Richard's 2006 Season Predictions
See where Richard thinks things are going to end up at the end of the year.
2006 Chicago White Sox Preview
What's not to like?
2006 Seattle Mariners Preview
See what Richard thinks of the Mariners chances in 2006 (hint: they won't finish first, second, or third in their division).
2006 Toronto Blue Jays Preview
Richard lays out the gameplan for what is sure to be a successful 2006 season for the Toronto Blue Jays.
2006 In Depth San Francisco Giants Preview
Giants fan Richard Van Zandt foretells the Giants' future.
2006 In Depth Rangers Preview
See what Richard foresees for the 2006 Rangers.
2006 In Depth Red Sox Preview
Everyone has an opinion on the Red Sox. Read Richard's.
Questions? Concerns? Comments? Rich lives in San Francisco, CA, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.