Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hwang in the Orange and Black

It looks like Jae-gyun Hwang will be on the Giants opening day roster, per Grant Bisbee of McCovey Chronicles -- 

The award is for the best first-year player at spring training. You're a real Giants fan if you remember all of them

A list of the past winners:
  • 1988 - Joe Kmak, Francisco Melendez
  • 1989 - James Steel
  • 1990 - Eric Gunderson
  • 1991 - Mark Leonard
  • 1992 - John Patterson
  • 1993 - Greg Brummett
  • 1994 - J.R. Phillips
  • 1995 - Joe Rosselli
  • 1996 - Marvin Benard
  • 1997 - Dante Powell
  • 1998 - Russ Ortiz
  • 1999 - Damon Minor
  • 2000 - Ben Weber
  • 2001 - Pedro Feliz
  • 2002 - Felix Escalona
  • 2003 - Jason Ellison
  • 2004 - Brian Dallimore
  • 2005 - Scott Munter
  • 2006 - Derin McMains
  • 2007 - Tim Lincecum
  • 2008 - Brian Bocock
  • 2009 - Joe Martinez
  • 2010 - Darren Ford
  • 2011 - Brandon Belt
  • 2012 - Dan Otero
  • 2013 - Brock Bond
  • 2014 - Mark Minicozzi
  • 2015 - Matt Duffy
  • 2016 - Trevor Brown

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Welcome back, Barry

The Giants and Barry Bonds made it official today, per Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The last time Giants fans saw Barry Bonds, he was coasting by AT&T Park at FanFest on his bicycle and stopping to sign autographs.
Bonds is going to have his own parking space now.
It was contentious. It took years to negotiate. But the Giants and Bonds finally reached agreement on a front office position with a multiyear arrangement – a formal reestablishment of ties that is expected to pave the way for greater recognition between baseball’s all-time home run leader and the team that he lifted out of obscurity into one of the game’s preeminent franchises.
Someday soon, perhaps Bonds will pedal past a bronzed version of himself.
There’s the statue. Retiring his No.25. First up: A spot on the club’s Wall of Fame, for which Bonds is massively overqualified.
“We don’t want to do everything in 2017, obviously,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said. “The Wall of Fame is definitely in order. And down the line, we’ll plan for other things. It’s not like this is a one-year deal to see how this goes. It’ll be for a long time.
“I mean, he’s coming home.”

Bonds’ title is special advisor to the CEO, which will include a blend of coaching, marketing and ambassadorial duties. The seven-time National League MVP will arrive at the club’s spring training home in Arizona on Tuesday to begin a weeklong stint as a special instructor.
Bonds also will spend time as a coach and mentor in minor league camp. During the season, he will serve as a major asset to the club’s marketing, community relations and promotions departments. In a news release, the Giants said that Bonds would “represent the organization at various community and organizational events in San Francisco.”
“I am excited to be back home with the Giants and join the team in an official capacity,” said Bonds in the news release.  “San Francisco has always been my home and the Giants will always be my family.  I look forward to spending time with the team, young players in the system as well as the Bay Area community.”
It’s a role that the Giants long wanted to establish with Bonds, but negotiations were contentious ever since former CEO Peter Magowan declined to re-sign him after the 2007 season.
Bonds appeared as a special spring instructor for a week in 2014, and by all accounts, his visit was well received in camp. But he did not reprise his role the following spring, for reasons the team would not disclose.
Bonds spent last season as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins; he was not retained.
Baer said the best part of reuniting with Bonds would be to see him interact with young players in the system. The team is blessed with a rich history and has Willie Mays, Will Clark, Orlando Cepeda and many others speak in minor league camp. But for younger generations, Bonds is unmatched in his ability to inspire awe.
“When we started getting involved with Willie in 1993, you saw what a big deal it was just to have him in the clubhouse,” Baer said. “So one of the things I love is that the players today, the ones we’re drafting, were inspired by Barry. They were blown away by what he did on the baseball field.
“And the other part is for our fans, who want to interact with the guy who created so many memories for them in a Giants uniform.”
Bonds, 52, was born into the Giants franchise. His father, Bobby, was a star outfielder and one of the most talented players in the 1970s. Mays was his godfather. He grew up in San Carlos and starred at Serra High School in San Mateo.
When he signed his record-setting contract with the Giants’ brand new ownership group prior to the 1993 season, fresh off his third NL MVP award with the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was the turning point that eventually elevated a moribund franchise out of chilly Candlestick Park and into their jewel box home on the edge of McCovey Cove.
Baer would not disclose terms of the club’s agreement with Bonds, except to say it was a multiyear arrangement and not related to the 10-year personal services contract that had been negotiated as part of the $90 million extension he signed as a player in 2001. That personal services deal called for an annual salary of $1 million payable to the Bonds Family Foundation, but it never came into force and was intentionally vague in its language.
The Giants kept Bonds in a holding pattern while he was under federal prosecution for his role in the Balco case, and then in subsequent years while he was appealing a conviction for obstruction of justice. Bonds won his appeal in April, 2015, when a federal court overturned his felony conviction and federal prosecutors declined to litigate further.
For many people, Bonds will persist as the overriding symbol of baseball’s pernicious steroids era. But attitudes among others have softened a bit with the passage of time since the height of baseball’s steroid era. Over the past three Hall of Fame election cycles, Bonds has built from 36.8 to 44.3 to 53.8 percent – a significant amount of traction, even if he doesn’t reach the 75 percent required for enshrinement in his final five tries.
The Giants have not reissued Bonds’ No.25 since his final season with the club, and their consistent policy is to retire only the numbers of Hall of Fame players. Could they break that policy for Bonds?
“Could be,” Baer said. “That’s a discussion we’ll be having.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Manny going to Japan

Manny Ramirez, 44, plans to play in Japan this year. A fascinating story by the Boston Globe.

Manny Ramirez has arrived in Japan for spring training with the independent league Kochi Island Fighting Dogs, and the initial details of the 44-year-old’s interest in continuing his playing career are … fascinating. At a press conference at which his No. 99 jersey (identifying him simply as “Manny”), a translated summary of the proceedings on the website reveals that: 1) Ramirez will have use of a Mercedes and driver; 2) Practices are optional for him; 3) He’ll get a hotel suite on the road; and 4) He will receive unlimited sushi for the entire season.
According to multiple websites (filtered through Google translate), Ramirez suggested that he was motivated to resume his playing career in Japan out of his love of the game and desire to share that passion with the fans of Japan.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Yasiel Puig = Headcase Hall of Fame

The Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez writes a highly insulting column about how the dodgers have virtually no expectations of Puig. Nice work by the dodgers front office and managers to take a talented guy and help him  ruin himself. 

My takeaway is that he's a damn entitled crybaby, just like Donald Trump.

Here's part --  He pursed his lips and contemplated his response.He clearly didn’t like the question, which was basically this: How did he feel about no longer being considered an essential part of the Dodgers?

The previously carefree cadence of his speech was replaced by something angrier, as the former All-Star outfielder said in Spanish, “I’m not concerned with what is said or asked by people like you.”
He wasn’t finished.
 I don’t listen to that, what we could call, in my country, stupid commentary,” he said. “I’m focused on my work, not every stupid question.”
Asked by someone else what he would consider a smart question, Puig replied, “I don’t know. You can’t hope for anything from these people. They have never asked anything intelligent, anything important.”
Puig can refer to the line of inquries however he wants, but he can’t escape the reality of his diminished place in the franchise. He’s become an afterthought.
He’s entering his fifth season in the major leagues and 26 years old, too old to still be considered a prospect. He’s coming off a season in which he batted a modest .263 with 11 home runs and 45 runs batted in.
The Dodgers used to view him as a potential savior, either on the field or at the box office, often both. But they have finally outgrown their unhealthy codependent relationship with him.
With Corey Seager already regarded as the one of the top offensive players in the league, the Dodgers don’t have to count on Puig to bat in the middle of their lineup. As a legimate World Series contender, they don’t have to use him to sell tickets.
Never have the Dodgers been less reliant on him.
If he hits, great. If he doesn’t, oh well. They can turn to one of their million other outfielders.
The Dodgers made this point to him last year after determining his production, or lack thereof, didn’t justify their continued tolerance of his clubhouse indiscretions. They first attempted to move him at the trade deadline. When they failed to do that, they banished him to triple A, bracing themselves for the possibility he would never play for their major league team again.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Giants 4, Dodgers 2

Now we're talking. Matt Moore looking good, Clayton Kershaw not winning.

Here's the story, part of it ---

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw pitched three more hitless innings on Tuesday, but three Giants homered off Dodgers relievers in a 4-2 San Francisco win.
Giants starter Matt Moore was nearly as impressive as Kershaw, striking out five in three scoreless innings while allowing three hits.
"That was probably as free as I've felt this spring, as far as not really thinking about mechanics or a release point or staying at a certain effort level," Moore said. "I think today I just picked the glove up and just [was] athletic."
Kershaw walked Gorkys Hernandez on a 3-2 pitch to lead off the game. Hernandez was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Yasmani Grandal and Kershaw retired the next eight batters, striking out three. He hasn't allowed a hit in any of the six innings he's pitched this spring.
"He had a little edge from that first pitch on," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "Today obviously was productive for him."
The Giants scored in the fourth inning off Josh Fields, with a single by Joe Panik followed by Brandon Belt's triple past right fielder Yasiel Puig.
The Dodgers scored twice in the fourth off Joan Gregorio, on an RBI single by Logan Forsythe and a fielder's-choice grounder by Puig and error by Panik.
San Francisco tied the score in the fifth on a solo home run by Jae-gyun Hwang off Steve Geltz. Mac Williamson slugged a solo homer off Luis Avilan in the sixth inning for a 3-2 Giants lead, and Chris Marrero homered off Grant Dayton in the seventh.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Parker racks up RBIs