What Are the Giants Thinking Signing All These Infielders?

by
Greek Giant

With the acquisition of Aaron Hill, the Giants continue with their infielder buying spree. I never knew the infield positions were even a need for the Giants when you consider they already have Eduardo Nunez, BCraw, Joey Baseball, Conor “the High Fastball Killer” Gillaspie, and, until recently, Ehire Adrianza on the 40 man roster.

Maybe, as the old adage goes, Bobby Evans has something up his sleeve or he doesn’t like the health of one of the aforementioned players. Aaron Hill is one of those former DBacks who could always hit his fair share and who you thought would one day would like nice in a French Vanilla, orange and black uniform.

The problem is you thought that back in 2011.

Hill turns 35 later this season and is not quite the same athlete he used to be. But then again, who is? The minor league deal is good for one year. He will earn $3.4 million if he makes the Big League team.

This all begs the question: Why is Evans acquiring all these infielders?

Here is the list of recent offseason acquisitions:

  • Jae-gyun Hwang
  • Aaron Hill
  • Gordon Beckham
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Juniel Querecuto
  • Orlando Calixte

My guess is they are simply insurance moves in case of an injury to Eduardo Nunez or, Mays Forbid, BCraw, Joey Baseball or BB9.

  • Bapah

    Home again. Are there any teams around that are sketchy in the infield and have extra outfielders? Nothing much, even that, makes sense. Maybe JoeP pissed someone off, or they know there’s a hit out on BCraw.

  • 610nm

    Breckeroni likes the thought “Mays forbid” when it comes to injury.
    Last season just about every IF on the 40-man spent some time, unexpectedly, at the MLB level, so depth is good. Possibly Nunez will play some OF this year, and it is time for Crawford especially to have some days off. I’m sure hoping to see 5 bench position players this year, including two IF backups.

  • DrLefty

    Of all of those guys listed, only Calixte is on the 40-man roster. Alex mentioned the other day that Calixte looked sharp in the drills and that he can play some OF, so those are things to remember.

    If anything, the comments have been about Span and Pence–that Evans is concerned that they can’t play everyday and so the team needs to carry five outfielders (or four plus an infielder who can play outfield).

    As for the others, the Giants went to some trouble to scout and sign Hwang, and he’s already said he’s willing to go to AAA for seasoning, so unless he absolutely rakes in spring games, I assume that’s what’s happening. I also know they really like Beckham, he’s friends with Posey, and they’ve now acquired him twice in a six-month period, so clearly there’s some affection there.

    Hill seems like a legit option to make the team as a backup infielder unless spring reveals him as being D-O-N-E. I just am not buying Rollins, and I don’t know anything about this Querecuto guy except they signed him while he was playing winter ball (I think in Venezuela?–so shades of Blanco and Vogelsong).

  • Surf Maui

    Why does MLB keep f&$)ing with the game. New intentional walk rule saves on average 14 seconds per game according the the WSJ. What am I ever going to do with all that extra time? Maybe instead of getting. to sleep at 1:00 am I’ll get to bed at 12:59:46. Over the course of a season that’s 32. 8 minutes of extra sleep or about 5 minutes per month

    • crawnik

      I found this stat as well from High Heat Stats:

      An IBB takes about 45 seconds. There were 932 IBBs in 2016, saving 699 minutes, or about 12 hours in a season of more than 7,000 hours.

    • ManFURD’s never played!

      • steve k

        when i was younger, we would say guys like him “never wore a jock strap”, meaning, well you know what we meant..

    • Skweezplay55

      For a sacrifice bunt, instead of having to actually spend all that time having a batter attempt to bunt the ball, managers will now be allowed to spin the sacrifice wheel of fortune and accept one of five outcomes.

      • 610nm

        penalty kicks after 14 innings!

      • Surf Maui

        Don’t give those jerks any ideas

      • JStreet

        And for a HomeRun, any player above a certain OPS who hasn’t hit one in awhile and is due – the manager makes the Babe Ruth sign, and batter’s awarded his HR he probably would’ve hit anyway. Generates offense, And saves a lotta time. Plus he doesn’t even have to run the bases, because why run? (To become known as The PJ Rule.)

    • dgg

      Compared to some of the other possible unilateral decisions (with one year’s notice to the PA) the MLB could make, the IBB by point-and-walk seems mild.

    • JStreet

      Laughable when you consider how much pointless time is wasted on reply reviews. I’m telling ya Lon, this is brainless.

    • The Oracle

      Because they have a significant demographics problem.

  • HaakAway

    My25ManGuys™ 2017

    Pick who will be on the 25-Man roster at season’s open. …

    14 of us are “in”; one week to go; it is just for fun and some bragging rights and who doesn’t want that!

    Here are the obvious “Core 18”:

    Starters: Posey, Belt, Panik, Crawford, Nunez, Pence, Span
    Bench: Hundley, Conor

    Starting Pitchers: Bum, Cueto, Moore, Samardzija
    Bullpen: Melancon, Kontos, Smith, Law, Strickland

    Post the seven others you think will make it here in response to any HaakAway post.

    To save time do not list all 25 unless you think one of these 18 will not make the 25-Man.

    ”25-25 Deadline”. … By request here from some: You get two shots…
    February 25 is the deadline for your first picks … Spring Training is wide open then.
    March 25 is the deadline for your final picks … Spring Training is about to end then.

    *Questions? Write me at: My SF Giant Guy at g Mel d Ott com

    • Matthew

      Cain, Ruggiano, Okert, Rollins, Julio Franco, Hyun Myung Moon, Phil Nevin….

      Wait, I started out OK and got sidetracked…

      Cain, Ruggiano, Okert, Rollins, Hernandez, Tomlinson, SLANIA!

      (*subject to edit late March)

      • HaakAway

        Our first Dan Slania vote … Yes!

      • HaakAway

        Got it …thnx.

    • John Myhill

      Williamson (for sure), Tomlinson (almost for sure), Hernandez (I don’t see how not, no one else other than Span can play center), Guerrin (I hope to god), Cain (unfortunately)–after that it’s guesses. I’ll go with Okert and Ruggiano, but Blach will be up soon (I personally think it’s a lousy idea to have Blach on the 25-man roster if he isn’t going to start, he’ll be better off getting more experience in the minors).

      • The Oracle

        With all the acquisitions they made, I think it’s poor planning if Gorkys Hernandez is the only potential reserve who can play CF.

        • John Myhill

          Well that kind of is the situation, no? And the fact that they haven’t gotten any other cfer suggests pretty clearly that Hernandez has to be on the 25-man roster.

      • HaakAway

        Okay

        iSent from iJohn’s iBrain in a iPocket…

    • dgg

      Here goes again, Haak: (with changes, second-guessing my initial selections)

      Starters: Jarrett Parker
      Bench: Kelby Tomlinson, Mac Williamson, Gorkys Hernandez
      5th Starting Pitcher: Matt Cain (again, because I’m not in charge)
      Bullpen: Steven Okert, Josh Osich (because Will Smith will likely start the season on the DL), Ty Blach (who will be in the starting rotation by June)

      • HaakAway

        Got it.

        iSent from iJohn’s iBrain in a iPocket…

      • HaakAway

        Got it

    • crawnik

      Okay Haak, here’s my “Magnificent Seven”: Williamson, KT, Gorkys, Morse, Cain, Gearrin and Fried Okert.

      • HaakAway

        Love that term… got it.

        iSent from iJohn’s iBrain in a iPocket…

      • HaakAway

        Like the Title… got it.

        • crawnik

          Sorry for getting back to you so late, but thank you sir.

  • Panda Puffs are Delicious
    • John Myhill

      Oh crap.

  • Alvise Contarini

    Breaking news from NASA, just a few minutes ago. Found SEVEN Earth-size planets orbiting star Trappist-1, 39 light-years away. THREE in the habitable zone.

    Live streaming here

    https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#public

  • channelclemente
  • John Myhill

    Unless it’s Panik (which it might be), I don’t think that anyone’s questionable health is the issue. Unless it’s trading Nunez, I don’t think Evans has anything up his sleeve. I think the most likely explanation is that in the infield as in the outfield, the Giants are hedging their bets, otherwise known as throwing crap on the wall and seeing what sticks.

    • Bapah

      I have no idea what you think could involve Panik? Do you have an idea?

      • earlytimes

        He’s been doing eye exercises all winter to correct the “fuzziness”….hit .215 after the concussion

      • John Myhill

        I don’t have any specific idea, GG suggested that there might be an infield injury behind these and Panik is the only infielder who is showing any signs of having a problem (what earlytimes suggested).

  • Keep’n It Real

    Marc SteinVerified account‏@ESPNSteinLine 13m13 minutes ago
    Houston covets Iman Shumpert, but the Cavs want Patrick Beverley. And @calvinwatkins reports that Houston doesn’t want to surrender Beverley.
    (LeBron wants Beverley to help guard Dubs)

  • Lunch_Box

    Geez – I hope the team doesn’t look to the KNBR studios and asks Fransden to try out.

  • The Oracle

    I’d like to see a rule change that would limit, in some reasonable way, trips to the mound and pitching changes. I don’t ever again need to see Bochy, or anyone else, change pitchers on four consecutive ABs.

    • 610nm

      Such as, any pitcher entering the game has to face two batters minimum (except in case of an injury)? Or three batters?

      • 610nm

        Well, or require the new pitcher to run in from the bullpen to the mound, double time, and forbid the TV going away for 3 commercials.

        • Break out more John Deere Club Cars and get them to the mound in under a minute

        • SurfCity

          Yes, commercials should only be allowed between half innings.

      • Efrain

        limiting pitching changes is contrary to the fluid nature of baseball and managing a game on strategy and feel, silly suggestion.

        • The Oracle

          They’re already limited in that each pitcher has to face one hitter. That incredible silliness has been going on for quite a long time.

      • The Oracle

        I’m not sure what it would be. Yours is not a bad idea, but it might unnecessarily eliminate a specialist like Javier Lopez. Maybe something like each pitcher has to face at least one batter, but two consecutive pitchers have to face a total of three or four. Or, you’re only allowed to use one single batter pitcher per inning.

    • So let’s just mess with something that has actually been allowable for 100 years. OK, got it.

    • John Myhill

      I think the best solution is for the players to laugh at the manager if he does that.

    • Keep’n It Real

      I don’t agree. It’s part of the strategy of the game, IMO.

      • The Oracle

        Taken to the lengths Bochy took it last season, the strategy overwhelmed and got in the way of the game.

        • Keep’n It Real

          He did this one season…when roles weren’t defined because the FO “wished upon a star” and hoped Casilla would return as a closer. Let’s see what happens this season, before we start thinking about this type of change.

          • The Oracle

            The over-managing in baseball is becoming widespread and slowing down the game. There’s no reason it should take 3-4 pitchers to finish a low scoring inning, and baseball did just fine before managers started going overboard with pitching changes.

    • Keep’n It Real

      I didn’t see this coming:

      Alex Pavlovic‏@AlexPavlovic 10m10 minutes ago
      Bochy said he’s in favor of new intentional walk rule and he wants MLB to do more. He would be on board with limiting mound visits.

      • dgg

        Bochy managed Mr. IBB Bonds.

  • What Are the Giants Thinking Signing All These Infielders?

    Last year management LOST the annual – player vs management picnic softball game. This year any player cut plays on the Bobby and Sabes team. Evans-Bobby is going all out.

  • Good long watch (if rainy day) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMZzsV3xi8Q

  • Keep’n It Real

    Palex Avlovic‏@PalexAvlovic 5m4 minutes ago
    MLB contemplating move to allow “purpose pitches” to occur without hitting the batter and allowing them to automatically take 1B. Seems to be a viable solution to reduce injuries and prevent fights.

    • cynic

      I really don’t understand this. I know getting hit in the head has potential for injury, but batters unlike pitchers wear a helmet. In my mind telling pitchers they can’t throw pitches inside takes away the one thing they have to keep a hitter from gaining the advantage of hanging all over the plate and getting to the outside pitches.

      • Keep’n It Real

        cynic – If you look at the name of the person tweeting…I was joking.

        • cynic

          Ha missed that. But it would not have surprised me with the way they’re increasingly trying to stop confrontations.

  • Toussaint L’Ouverture
  • DrLefty

    Murph & Mac from KNBR are in Scottsdale and doing some great interviews with Giants players (and guys like Tim Hudson today and Javi Lopez yesterday).

    They had Jimmy Rollins on this morning, and I will say that he was personable and entertaining. However, he made one comment that made me raise my eyebrows. Murph asked something like “So how do you feel about trying to make this team, when they’re already got Crawford at short, Panik at second…?”

    Rollins: “Short? I’m not even thinking about short. I’m taking grounders at second and trying to learn how to turn a double play.” In context, the clear implication seemed to be that while he understands that he can’t displace Brandon Crawford, maybe Joe Panik’s job is there for the taking. I know Panik had a down year at the plate, but he did win a Gold Glove, he was an All-Star in 2015, and a World Series hero in 2014. And he’s still only 26 years old and hasn’t yet played a full season in the majors. I’m not imagining that 38-year-old Jimmy Rollins is displacing Joe Panik. Anyway, I didn’t like that remark very much. I expected to hear that he’s fighting for a bench job, not a starting 2B job.

    Overall, I’m not buying it with Rollins. He was being charming and saying all the right things, but don’t give me “he’s a local kid so we should root for him.” He may be from the Bay Area, but the fact is that he always said he was an A’s fan who hated the Giants (until about five minutes ago). And he was on that arrogant 2010 Phillies team that felt entitled to the NL pennant and that upstart Giants team had no business beating them. And he was on the Dodgers. And he picked the White Sox over the Giants last year (which he now says was “a mistake,” but it happened).

    If he makes the team, I’ll get on board, but I’d rather see other guys get those backup jobs, and I’ll be rooting for them.

    • dgg

      If Rollins makes the team, I’m not real sure I’m going to get on board.

    • Toussaint L’Ouverture

      Great interview with Rollins. I thought it was engaging and I enjoyed it. Especially the part about his basketball days.

      • DrLefty

        Yes, he was very charming. Murph is a good interviewer, too.

        • Keep’n It Real

          He gets so righteous…to a level that makes me want to turn off the radio.

          • dgg

            Murph or Rollins?

          • Keep’n It Real

            Smurph.

          • dgg

            Okay, thanks KIR.

        • I am not a Brian Murphy fan.

          • Efrain

            Love JR, Murph is a sniveling kiss ass

          • Murphy was actually a decent 49er scribe back in the day and a very good golf writer. He decided he wanted to be glued to the (cough) Sports Leader and babble about Led Zepplin with Pawly Walnuts

          • DrLefty

            He’s the only person who’s ever blocked me on Twitter, and the only reason I can think of is that my Twitter bio says I went to USC!

        • Lunch_Box

          I disagree and for almost all of the KNBR hosts, they are bad. For example, Murph and Mac interviewed Peter De Boer of the Sharks and those interviewers spent the first 2 mins talking about themselves.

          If it isn’t baseball, basketball or football, KNBR doesn’t know squad.

    • Kramerica

      I think his comment was more to the fact that he’s 38 and physically incapable of playing SS. I don’t know that he could even competently fill in on days off for Crawford. I understand how you might interpret it that he’s gunning for a potential starting job at 2B, but I just view it as he’s acknowledging he doesn’t have the athleticism to play SS anymore.

      Btw I’m sure Mac was the one asking the questions. He’s always so poignant when interjecting to ask who the players favorite 80s rock band was or his favorite movie line.

    • pacman68

      That’s why I love you!! Don’t buy Rolins BS one bit.

      • Don’t have to buy Rolins – but – Rollins is one of my guys

    • He grew up on “the Island” called Alameda so as a kid he was an A’s fan.

      Also turning the DP at SS – there is 2-3 max footwork steps. At second base there is as many as 4-6 different footwork manuevers.

    • Efrain

      JR is never going to take Panik’s job and that is not why he was picked up. But as backup sure. Sure he can speak about how much he wants to play 2B. He’s a pro. Ever heard of PR? About being positive and speaking openly on it.

      What do you want him to say? “Oh shucks, there is Craw and Panik, I have no way in hell to make this team”

      The answer is no. Rollins would be great as a backup and that’s all he is looking for. I see a scenario similar to what Utley provided the Dodgers.

      • DrLefty

        Why do you assume he’d be great as a backup? He hit .221 last year and hasn’t played in a game since early June. He hit in the .220s for the Dodgers the year before. He’s 38 years old and would be learning several new positions defensively. Every indication is that ship has sailed. Just because he’s a nice guy (for an A’s fan) doesn’t change that. Tim Hudson’s a nice guy, too, and I don’t want him in the 2017 rotation.

        I’d rather see Aaron Hill (who’s been a good utility infielder, had a decent 2016, and still has some pop) or Kelby Tomlinson get that spot. And I’m intrigued to see what Hwang can do, too.

    • paul in p.v.

      Two words: 38.

  • dgg

    Andrew Baggarly 48min ago:
    Giants rotation: Bumgarner/Cain on Friday, Blach on Saturday, Moore and Beede on Sunday, Samardzija on Monday.

    My interest in Cain: zero.

    • DrLefty

      I heard a quote from Kuiper’s show on KNBR this morning. He talked about the “circle of life” that Cain has gone through over the years–from being a young guy in his first camp hoping to make the team, to being a star, to being at the end of the road, trying to hang onto his job (Kuiper’s words). Anyway, I wouldn’t say it sounded like he thinks Cain’s a sure thing in the rotation. And really, how can anyone who’s watched that guy as much as Kuiper has be anything but dubious about Cain’s immediate future?

      • dgg

        Did Kuiper say how the Giants could manage the end of the road with Cain? Are they just going to let Cain take up a valuable spot?

        • DrLefty

          I just heard the quote–the whole podcast is on the KNBR site, though. I doubt he’d get very deep into those questions at this point.

          I’m guessing that this is THE most difficult and delicate problem with the Giants’ roster right now, and I bet Bochy and the coaches and the front office are agonizing about it.

          • dgg

            I’m having a hard time drumming up any sympathy for their predicament. The Giants knew about the floating bodies in Cain’s elbow for years and they still signed Cain to this contract.

          • DrLefty

            Sympathy? Nope, none here, either. They’ve trotted out multiple starting pitchers who were clearly finished over the last two years, and the one thing they all had in common was they were making a lot of money. I’m tired of it. I want to see the best five starters available in the rotation, period. In April, not May, and not “after the All-Star Break.”

            The Giants chose to do absolutely nothing to improve their offense, and their pitching has to carry them. They can’t waste one start on anyone for nostalgia’s sake or to get their money’s worth. They did that last year with Peavy and Cain, and I believe the cumulative effect of that in the first half partially led to the second half collapse.

        • Efrain

          they did with TL for two seasons, so yes the Giants would do that.

  • pacman68

    Giants outfield is a mess. Pence is hurt and will stay hurt all year long. And we still don’t have a left fielder.

    • DrLefty

      What are you talking about, Pac? We have like 12 left fielders:
      Mac
      Parker
      Morse
      Ruggiano
      Gorkys
      Bernard
      Kelby
      Belt
      Nunez
      Calixte
      Slater

      …I could go on. Still not impressed?

      • Efrain

        There is NOT ONE GUY on this list a team wanting to play deep into October would want to start 80% of the games in LF. Not one.

        • DrLefty

          I don’t want to speak for Pac, but I suspect that’s what he meant when he said “we still don’t have a left fielder.”

          • DrLefty

            On the other hand, the Giants won championships with the following guys playing LF in October:
            Pat Burrell
            Xavier Nady
            Gregor Blanco
            Travis Ishikawa
            Juan Perez

    • Kramerica

      You mean Parker’s career OPS+ of 51 against LHP pitching doesn’t inspire you? LF is going to be a mess all year barring Mac seizing the role or a trade. With Pence, I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping like hell.

    • Matthew

      Thank God the price of flat screens have lowered so significantly

  • DrLefty

    Regarding Will Smith’s injury, Baggarly observed that Ty Blach could fill in out of the bullpen if he doesn’t get the fifth starter spot and they need a lefty.

    Is it possible to work out of the bullpen and still stay ready for a start if needed? I know Blach pitched a couple of three-inning relief stints last September before making those two starts the last week–but he’d been starting all year for Sacramento.

    Blach was really good out of the bullpen. I’d rather see him in the rotation, but the Giants could do worse than having him as one of their lefty relievers.

    • Efrain

      Remember about a month ago a the Giants were rumored to be kicking the tires around the remaining FA relievers. I think they know they may have an issues with the the pen on the LH side during the season. Relievers get injured often and this team could be open to adding another LH arm somewhere down the line.

      And again I stress: You can’t just take guys you want to start and yank them around the bigs and AAA going back and forth from starter to reliever. Sure, it’s been done, but its also a recipe for destruction. It’s not as easy as some fans think. Guys need to own their lane early on.

    • Kramerica

      I agree that Blach might be able to aptly fill in. But the elbow inflammation from Smith still scares the $hit out of me. I hope it’s just ramping it up a bit too much a bit too early, especially since the MRI came back clean. But, man, I’m counting on him as a shutdown stalwart out of the pen. If that elbow has issues all of sudden the pen that I have such high hopes for takes a major body blow.

  • dgg

    Bochy: “Hunter wants to (play Friday). He’s ready to go. I’ll make that call tomorrow once I talk to the staff, but Hunter assured me he’s a full go with no limitations, and he really wants to play.”

    Of course Pence said “he’s a full go with no limitations.”

    • HaakAway

      We have had one TWG’er predict Pence starts on the DL.
      Creative and bold even if depressing.

  • Skweezplay55

    This just in — the 3-0 count has been eliminated from MLB. Henceforth, if a “ball” is thrown on a 2-0 pitch, the count automatically becomes 3-1. No reason to waste time with 3-0 pitches.

  • If Coach John Scolinos from Pepperdine and Cal Poly – were alive to day I think he might tell the Commissioner to slow his roll and Coach would send this to Manfred: (edited to redact political rhetoric)

    Seventeen Inches (get your minds out of the gutter)

    In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.
    While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”
    Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there.
    In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

    Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?
    After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

    Then, finally …“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

    Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?” more of a question than answer. “That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

    “Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach. “That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

    “Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident. “You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
    “Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

    “Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”
    “Seventeen inches!” “RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide is home plate in the Major Leagues?
    “Seventeen inches!”

    “SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

    Pause. “Coaches…” pause, “… what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?

    The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

    Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?” Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”

    I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate comically strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

    “If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard and with that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “… dark days ahead.”

    Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear:

    “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”

    “Don’t widen the plate.”

    (Note: Commish – Leave the game ALONE.)

  • DrLefty

    Well, the beat writers’ assessment is that Bochy’s spring rotation shows he’s already decided Matt Cain is the #5 starter. Done deal. Doesn’t need to earn it. Suck it, Ty.

    • Let it play out….

      • DrLefty

        If by “let it play out,” you mean, “watch Cain throw batting practice every five days while the team loses and the bullpen is torched” until such time (May? July?) as Bochy/Evans FINALLY decide to replace him”–well, I don’t WANT to let it play out. We did that LAST year. It was a failure. It’s absurd to do the same thing again when you don’t have to. There are AT LEAST five guys I’d rather see in the fifth spot than Cain.

        And you don’t have to tell me that Bochy, that coddler of rich veteran egos, makes the decisions and not me. But I don’t have to like it, and free speech says I get to complain about it. After all, it’s baseball, not politics, so I’m not breaking any rules.

        • Keep’n It Real

          OK, Lefty. You need to start drinking decaf. :-))

          Cain could totally suck and make things easy. Cain could also not be good as Blach and Evans/Sabes make it clear to Bochy that Blach is the guy…for the many reasons you’ve stated.

          I know there’s a history that backs your anxiousness, but we’ve also heard hints that the new marshall in town doesn’t 100% align with some of Bochy’s legacy decisions.

          If everything you stated come to pass, then you can worry to any level you want. Until that time, I’m sure there’s more important things to direct your energy towards. Heck… we haven’t even had the first Cactus League Game yet.

          Worse case scenario…I hear there’s a lot of professional protesters out there for hire. If Can pitches terrible and he’s still the #5 starter, the TWG gang can hire these people to revolt on Opening Day.

          • DrLefty

            So far I’ve heard…
            –Mac Williamson is probably going to the minors because Evans wants Parker to make the team
            –Kelby Tomlinson is probably going to the minors AGAIN because…well, I’m not sure why
            –Ty Blach is probably going to the minors for a THIRD season because Matt Cain’s bloated salary and ego is more important than the team

            I’m not just making these things up to worry. These are things coming out of camp from the beat writers. I know a lot of things can change in six weeks, too.

          • Keep’n It Real

            Just trying to help your nerves. Close your eyes…breath in deep…then exhale slow-ly 🙂

          • channelclemente

            Ain’t baseball great!

          • paul in p.v.

            You are being way too rational, Dr.

            It feels like 2011 all over again.

          • earlytimes

            And Blach of course, could suck as well..and then who knows?

          • Keep’n It Real

            yep…and that too.

          • channelclemente

            Cain may be out of the gate first, but let see what’s happening at the quarter pole.

          • DrLefty

            The quarter pole? 40 games? So choose to lose 8 games on purpose?

            I’m sorry, but aaaarghhhhh…just wasting games on someone who no-how, no-way should be in the rotation for ANY length of time makes no sense. If they had no one else, maybe you’re stuck. But that’s not the case.

          • channelclemente

            It, to me, makes a lot of sense for the Giants. Keep an open mind, and let’s see what develops.

          • DrLefty

            I’m not saying Blach should be THE guy, though he’s certainly earned an opportunity to try. It’s not about Blach or even about Cain. It’s about putting the best possible option in the rotation. Try Blach, Cain, Beede, Albert Suarez, Stratton, Blackburn…may the best man win. All I’m saying is that Cain no longer deserves to automatically be the best man without a competition.

          • earlytimes

            Well they are showing Cain the respect they feel he deserves. And it will be less pressure on Blach. I’m sure he’s fine with this based on his very limited time in the bigs.

          • channelclemente

            If you buy into this ‘We are Giants’ schtick, they are compelled to give Cain first shot at the #5.

          • DrLefty

            Imagine you’re a 26-year-old guy who’s paid his dues, ridden buses and eaten Chipotle for five years, waited his turn, had a chance and made good at it. And you’re told you have to keep waiting while your prime years tick by, while a guy who hasn’t pitched well since 2012 and has already made over $100 million dollars blocks you.

            How could Blach possibly be “fine” with that? It’s his life, his career, his shot. If he were 23, maybe. But well past 26?

          • earlytimes

            He’s getting his shot. He wasn’t very impressive until June of last yr.

          • DrLefty

            How is he getting his shot, if Cain is getting the spot without a competition?

            And your characterization of Blach’s minor league career is not really accurate. He won the ERA title in the California League when he was with SJ. He had a solid year at Richmond. His first year in Sac was so-so, but he did still lead the PCL in innings. And his 2016 was excellent–he started the PCL All-Star Game, he led the league in innings again, he was in the top 5 in ERA, and then he pitched impressively for the Giants.

            He’s not likely to challenge Bumgarner for ace status, but he’s demonstrated that he certainly should be considered for the back of the rotation.

            And when was the last time Cain was good? (We all know the answer to that one–2012.)

          • paul in p.v.

            June of last year is exactly when he got his chance – and he kicked arse.

        • totalfan62

          Take a deep breath, professor. We haven’t even played an exhibition game yet. I think Clutch means let’s see what spring training shows.

          Your outright disgust for Matt Cain is puzzling to me. We all know the problems and failures of the last four years. That being said, how about giving the guy a chance to earn a spot this spring? I think 12 years as a Giant earns him that. Way too early for your Cain firebombs. Let’s see what develops.

          • DrLefty

            Of course he should “get a chance to earn a spot this spring.” He’s under contract, and his history does demand that.

            But that’s not what’s happening. He’s being handed a spot, despite the fact that there is legitimate competition that most likely would be better than him, and despite the fact that he’s been hurting the team for the last four years now. I’d be fine with a fair and open competition that included him, Blach, and others. But that’s not what’s happening. That’s why I’m upset.

            I’m not mad at Cain himself, though truly I’d be happy if I never had to watch him throw another pitch in a Giants uniform. Enough is enough. It’s not personal. But I am extremely disgusted with Bobby Evans, who said (lied) back in November that Blach would have a fair shot–in fact, Alex described him as the frontrunner–and I don’t trust Bochy to do the right thing. Not even a little bit.

          • Matthew

            I think we have experienced a lot of PC talk out of Giants brass that is just obligatory responses to questions. I won’t read much into anything any of them say. We know what they say to reporters and interviewers…we have no idea what they say to the players or each other. I am worried, too…mostly by the rampant signings of old dudes…but I also believe they will choose the right guys for the right spots.

          • DrLefty

            I hope so. I know this is the team that won three championships. I also know that this is the team that demoted Brandon Crawford in favor of Orlando Cabrera and that Bochy is the manager who glued Belt to the bench and played drug-addicted disintegrating Aubrey Huff every single day–in a season they actually could have accomplished something with just a few more wins. And Bochy’s the manager who kept running Casilla out there against all reason last year.

            This is to say that I HOPE they will do the right thing, but I’m not anywhere near SURE they will. Bochy’s demonstrated some terrible judgment at times.

          • Bapah

            Eventually.

          • Sgbssfg

            I expect 2 starts followed by a mysterious hamstring pull

          • Efrain

            What I find hilarious is that TL never once got any of the same response, for basically taking up a spot on the rotation under similar circumstances. But good ol Timmy was a fan favorite, no matter how much he sucked in the end.

            Add to this that this is absolutely not only Bochy’s decision. It goes straight to the top, ownership, management, etc. Cain is is getting paid a stupid amount of money and they will recoup what they can till his arm drops off.

          • DrLefty

            I agree with that. The front office is all about recouping the money. The fans will still buy tickets and merchandise (seriously, who’s going to buy jerseys from that awful series against the Cubs???) and crab sammies and garlic fries. So why should they care about winning? It’s about getting their money’s worth.

          • paul in p.v.

            tf – Cain’s a washed-up bum, until proven otherwise.

          • totalfan62

            Could be, but he’s earned a chance this spring. That is all he deserves–and desires.

        • Hard to predict the future. Why not root for Cain to be good and healthy? Why the early venom.?
          Ty has time.

          • DrLefty

            “Ty has time”? He’s 26 years old. He’ll be 27 in September. He’s already spent five years in the minors and two in AAA.

            Cain already had a World Series ring and was a multi-millionaire by the time he was Blach’s age. He’s had his success and his memories and made all the money he’ll ever need. And he’s undeservedly blocking another guy from having a chance.

        • paul in p.v.

          Your ‘free speech’ clock is ticking. Somebody may have to tell you to ‘sit down.’

        • pacman68

          I agree. Don’t let the peeps who live in Alternate Facts here tell you your wrong. Cain is done. We don’t need to see him anymore.

      • Bapah

        I’m of the opinion that Cain is going to come around this year or pull the plug entirely. He was injured for a long time, but now he’s as good as he’s going to get. I thought the same last year, but we were mislead about his recovery and the things that remained unhealed and not fully rehabbed. This year there is no excuse. He either gets back to something resembling his better years or he’s done.

        I think having an even temperament over hysteria is advisable this early in a season. I’m anxious to see how it all plays out. Cain has been an important cog in the Giant’s machine for several years. I’m curious to see how it develops.

  • channelclemente
  • 610nm

    No matter what your opinion of Barry Bonds might be, his relationship to his organization is a lot better than Sammy Sosa’s:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-sammy-sosa-feels-persecuted-over-steroid-speculation-20170221-column.html

    P.S. Does anyone have a take on why the Marlins fired Barry last season? I never saw much about that.

    • DrLefty

      I read that Mattingly told Loria “It’s him or me.” I also read that Barry’s um, work ethic left something to be desired. He had an assistant who apparently did all the work.

      • 610nm

        I see. It is a little hard to imagine a former player having all that $$$, and putting up with the travel and the minor league time, to be a manager these days.

        It must be quite a bit different to drop in on Giants spring training for a week (which Barry seems to like doing) compared to 162.

        • DrLefty

          Yep. Apparently coaches put in long hours for low pay. You don’t often see a big star be a success as a coach. George Brett was a pretty big failure as the Royals’ hitting coach, too.

          • channelclemente

            Ted Williams was a face plant with the Senators as well. He got lucky that they lowered the mound height his year there, so he looked good as a covariant.

    • channelclemente

      To complement Lefty’s comment, Bonds was a downer about using new technology and metrics and Mattingly wasn’t. They could never reconcile Mattingly’s desire to approach the game more analytically, and Bonds desire not to. A few said Bonds was too lazy to learn the ‘new’ stuff.

  • channelclemente

    What The Boss has on his mind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4_A2psjCKE

  • channelclemente

    Oh what the heck. She’s good.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haekf6eKOO8

  • HaakAway

    In LA County putting a Giants Thumb in the eye of the Blue Machine … 2 yo grandson who lives there will have to get tough quickly. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2c1f89b59458522290b78c6af0adc7c2f2fc6e0cf3e8719bda13d735d80a60f9.jpg
    Sorry if it comes out sideways.

    Remember your My25ManGuy™ clock is ticking down.
    17 submitted; Bapah and CC have partial entries (but never “partial” opinions?)

    • totalfan62

      Attababe!

  • Matthew

    Watch this! I’m about to make Dr. Lefty feel way better about Matt Cain…seriously.

    Let’s all jump on the totalfan62 Way Back Machine to March 2012. Barry Zito. He had spent the previous 4 years making Peter Magowan look like the Vivek Ranadive Prequel Owner…he had a tremendously bad year ’08 (10-17, 5.15), and had done little to prove that he would ever get better. In 2010, in the next to last game of the season, I had spent about $750 on tickets to watch him walk in 2 runs in the first, barf on Bochy’s cleats, and murder a kitten on the mound – as we all honored him with courtesy barfs until Sanchie surprised us.

    In the spring of 2012, Barry was so bad that he stayed behind. That shutout in Coors, when Krukow deemed it The Greatest Performance in The History of Mankind, I grumbled that it was a mirage. We all had a season long Kumbaya sing along culminating as we were hoping the dude would save our season in St. Louis…and then he started Game 1 of the Series….against Verlande. And he won us over.

    Much of that was because, inside that clubhouse, Bruce Bochy let Zito know he believed in him. He did so not at the expense of younger guys, even if I thought he was. Nope. He did it because he is the Veteran Whisperer. He is the guy who gets more out of guys than anyone ever.

    So…thanks for the ride, tf62.

    And here we are. Bruce, Bobby, and Matt all believe in Cain. Underneath the surface, each one if them had doubts. But, on the surface?! Total support and belief.

    When Cain talks post game in a gruff and dismissive way to reporters, it’s in “response” to the hours and hours and hours of sweaty workouts climbing stadium stairs, and bullpen sessions, and therapy, and work. And more work. And more still. No one can relate except the dudes in that clubhouse…not us…not the guy with powdered sugar on his mustache from his doughnut as he asks the question.

    So, here is what is happening: Cain is getting first shot. And probably more than that. Has Blach fought hard and given everything for a chance? Yes. But so has Cain. We have enjoyed 3 titles, in great part because Cain sacrificed his body. We often honor Nen and Wilson. We honor Willie Mac as he rides in his wheelchair. And Mays. These guys sacrificed their body for their teammates, the fans, their bosses, and their love of the game. So has Cain.

    Cain is giving everything he has. He may fail, and not get that 5th slot. But, because of all of those years of 2-1 losses in which he never complained; for all of those performances that were integral to parades; for pitching through pain; for his community service; for his dedication ; for his quiet workmanlike efforts; for all he has done, Matt Cain gets first chance.

    Remember Barry 2012. Root that Matt does the same. If he can’t, let’s honor a warrior who sacrificed his right arm in a singular focus to get on that mound and help his teammates win. If he does, Blach knows that – if HE is fortunate enough to experience that kind of glory – he’s in an organization that errs on the side of loyalty. That is a big reason why, in my opinion, this ride continues. There is no better team and no better manager in the area of loyalty. None. He is an imperfect manager in a game built on response to imperfection. I’ll bet Matt is energized by that. He’s not alone.

    • Bapah

      Nicely done, Matthew. I don’t care what anybody says.

      • totalfan62

        Me too. Nice post. Thanks for the way back props. It’s been fun revisiting. Now I’m searching for my VHS tapes of the 1987 and 1989 postseasons. I know they’re here somewhere. Those were some *great* games!

    • channelclemente

      It’s their ethos, and giving it up costs them a lot.

    • Lunch_Box

      Aah memories, but sports is a “what have you done for me lately” mentality. He’ll have to show us on the field.

      • DrLefty

        I adored Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong. I thought Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy were great Giants, even just for a couple of years. And I wouldn’t want any of them in the 2017 rotation.

    • Efrain

      Great write up Matthew and a very positive spin and realistic take on the situation.

      The Giants made their bed, now they have to lie in it. They did right in their mind and gave Cain, the warrior, the big bucks over many years. Still we wish they had had the frame of mind and conducted all the research necessary to tell them it was going to end up like this.

      Part 1: they have to give Cain the opportunity one last time to prove himself and to recoup any what is left of the contract.

      Part 2: How long will this organization (if anyone here thinks its all up to Bochy that’s pretty sad in itself) give him? Do they go 6 weeks? 8 Weeks (2 mos.)? They have seen the Dodgers win the past 4 division titles. They have to make the call at that time and move on, whether it’s Blach or Stratton or Beede or anyone they deem at the time to move forward with that will give them a better opportunity to win.

      • DrLefty

        It would be malpractice worth firing if the Matt Cain we saw last year gets two months. If some miracle happens and 2011 Cain reappears, then yay. But if last year’s version of Cain–remember 13 runs in an inning on Cinco de Mayo? The blowout at Fenway? Etc.–shows up, he shouldn’t be in the rotation at all, and certainly not for two months.

        It is so frustrating to see the team learn NOTHING from its terrible mistakes last year. Bochy is still defending his use of Casilla and his choices in that last disastrous playoff game. He’s learned nothing. Everyone in every walk of life makes mistakes. It’s what you learn from them–or don’t–that defines you.

      • Matthew

        Exactly. I don’t think what they say in an interview has any bearing on what or when they decide. They are just giving him the public support.

    • DrLefty

      Sorry, but I disagree. I respect organizations that honor merit and fairness–not seniority, egos, and paychecks. I’m disappointed with the Giants organization post-2014 and I’m so far disappointed in 2017 (while acknowledging that the story is yet to be told).

      Also: The Zito story is awesome, but the analogy breaks down in two important ways. First, Zito did not have arm problems. Ever. Cain has been unable to stay healthy and on the field. Second, I remember 2012 very distinctly. I was at the spring training game when Zito made his horrendous second-to-last start at the White Sox facility. It was dreadful. He looked D-O-N-E. But on the same trip, Eric Surkamp, the only real competition for that fifth spot, came up with a sore arm and ended up having Tommy John surgery. In other words: There was no one else, and they had to stick with Zito, and so there was that happy ending. That is not true now. There are at least five guys besides Cain who could potentially hold down that fifth spot competently. Two of them made starts for the Giants last year and did way better than Cain.

      At the end of the day this should not be about Cain or Blach or anyone in particular. It should be about the team and what’s best for it. That’s why I’m so terribly disappointed in the Giants right now.

      • paul in p.v.

        Also – IRRC, in 2012 the Gints lost their first 6 games at home – went to Denver, where Zito started the first game, and THREW A SHUTOUT.

        Ne?

        • DrLefty

          Not quite. They got swept on the road in Arizona. Game 4 was in Denver, and that’s when Zito threw the shutout.

          • paul in p.v.

            Oh sure. But oh-and-six sounds better. ;o)

          • DrLefty

            It was still amazing. I was always a closet Zito fan. It wasn’t a popular position for a few years there, but I’m biased towards lefties to begin with, and Zito had a quirkiness to him that always appealed to me. I remember watching that shutout in Coors on TV, just a couple weeks after seeing him getting destroyed in Glendale, AZ, and thinking it was a miracle of Biblical proportions. Then a few months later there was the #RallyZito game that saved the season…another miracle.

            I got to be at the “Farewell Zito” game in 2013. It’s one of my favorite memories at AT & T. The photo I posted from my first guest post was from that day.

            And for the record, one of my other favorite AT & T memories (which I also mentioned in that post) was August 1, 2010, my 50th birthday. The Giants finished off a three-game sweep of the Dodgers. The bad guys started Kershaw. The Giants starter and winning pitcher…was Matt Cain. So it’s really not personal. I just want my beloved team to be the best it can be in 2017.

          • SurfCity

            It will be O and 6 in the movie version!

      • It is Feb 22nd
        Let it play out

        • DrLefty

          Fair enough. Things can change. But so far I hate everything they’ve done. I hate that washed-up old vets are taking playing time away from real prospects. I hate that Evans made that mean-spirited comment about Mac and Parker. I hate Cain being anointed without a competition–and yeah, maybe it won’t play out that way in the end, but even saying it is wrong. I hope they surprise me, but so far it seems like they’re falling into their destructive patterns from 2011 and 2016. But we’ll see where it leads.

          • pacman68

            They need bench help. BUT … and that is a big but. You have a manager who LOVES VETERANS. You are just tempting fate with these moves and a lot of us can see how this is all gonna play out. It just seems like the Giants have no real plan. They didn’t address left field and are hiding the fact that Pence is hurt and has been since the playoffs. A lot of these moves seem horrifying to me.

          • DrLefty

            You’re raising a really good point about Pence. The Giants may have two OF holes, not just one.

      • Matthew

        Fairness is subjective. Please believe me when I say that I, too, have concerns over Cain. But your description of fair seems to be that the guy with 3 good starts should be described by management as the heir apparent.

        If you say it to don’t necessarily about Blach and Cain, which probably means Mac, then again – in your eyes, he has “potential”. If it is an organizations practice to make young players over-prove, that’s their choice. Again, we are outside and can disagree, but I just think there is SO much we don’t know or see.

        I have faith that the Giants decision makers want to win as much as we all want them to win. It’s OK to differ in opinions on how to achieve that…but I get the feeling you think they don’t care or aren’t trying. I’m not sure your malpractice case would get very far.

        • DrLefty

          No, here’s what I really think about the fifth starter or left field: It’s NOT about anyone in particular. I don’t hate Cain, and I don’t think Blach or Mac should be handed the jobs. I just want to see an open, REAL competition, since there’s no obvious frontrunner for either position. Maybe Tyler Beede’s the guy. Maybe Chris Stratton or Albert Suarez. But let it play out. Don’t say “I hope Parker wins the job because I’d rather send Mac to the minors. Let it play out.

          Obviously that’s not how it’s going to work for shortstop or catcher. There are incumbents that deserve to be there, and they shouldn’t have to fight for a job every spring. I would have put Cain in that category two years ago, but not anymore.

          Anyway, that’s what it’s about for me: both being fair to everyone who deserves a shot (and that includes Cain but not just him) and doing what’s best for the team.

          • Matthew

            We totally agree. I am ignoring anything they say all spring. I’ll pay attention to what they decide in April

          • DrLefty

            I’ll try to suspend judgment until I see what the 25-man roster is at the end of spring.

          • So on 2/23 why not let it play out?

          • DrLefty

            No, you’re not listening. That’s EXACTLY what I want the Giants to do: let it play out.

            I want to hear Evans and Bochy say that it will be a fair and open competition for those positions (LF, fifth starter, the bench) and that they will make the best decisions for the good of the team when the time comes. But that’s NOT what they’re doing. Evans is publicly rooting for Cain instead of the others. What if someone else is the better choice? He said he doesn’t want Mac and Parker to both be on the team and he hopes Parker wins the job because Mac has options. What if Mac and Parker should both be on the team?

            It’s bad leadership to be saying those things publicly in February.

    • Spoken like someone who has played and been there before.

      • DrLefty

        Oh, gawd, here we go with the “some of us are morally superior to the rest of you because we played” song. I wish GG would ban THAT. It’s WAY more obnoxious than talking politics.

        • SurfCity

          That moral superiority once insisted to me that Romo would never be a starter, after I dared to suggest it before he ever was!

        • Its true tho. You’re a better Professor than those who are not and people IN the game of baseball and who have played have the honor of experience. You brought the word moral into it. You’re a mind reader now?

          • DrLefty

            As I said last season: Then perhaps you should start your own invitiation-only forum for people who played or coached baseball. This is a fan blog, not a baseball academy. We all get to have a voice. And I will object 100% of the time to those kinds of “only people who played really know” comments, because they’re condescending and frankly kind of mean. They belittle the rest of us.

          • paul in p.v.

            They are also offensive to those of us who tried to play but were lousy and sat on the bench.

          • dgg

            And to those of us who played softball.

          • The Oracle

            He’s a guy who worked at the post office and devoted a lot of his free time to youth baseball. Both are fine and even noble things, but neither makes him the expert he always claims to be.

          • The Oracle

            You’ve never been in the game of Major League Baseball.

          • I have Malloy. You worry about the SJ Floods. That’s more important now since the Mayor ripped his own public services on lack of notice. Have you tried Tether ball?

          • The Oracle

            How have you been in Major League Baseball, other than in sitting in the stands?

          • For about the 20th time Malloy, I was honored to be inside the clubhouse at Candlestick numerous times. I did not earn that because of what I accomplished in life but rather sometimes riding to the Stick with Davenport, wives, his sons and my dad and uncle.

          • The Oracle

            How does that make you an expert or insider?

          • Where have a used either word? I SAID that people who do I definitive job regardless of the level – have more of a semblance of the task at hand than does somebody who has never done a similar job.

      • pacman68

        Clutch… Cain is done. Love him but it’s time to move on. I really don’t need to see more bombs and Bochy saying….He had good stuff today.

        • DrLefty

          “I felt good out there. I liked the way the ball was coming out of my hand.”

          (…and disappearing over the fence)

    • SurfCity

      You left one thing out: they’re giving him a chance because he’s getting paid a lot of money. Take the money out and your comment also justifies giving the 5th starting job to Tim Lincecum this year.

      • DrLefty

        Or Barry Zito!

    • The Oracle

      This might’ve made sense if this only was the second or third season since Cain pitched well, but you said it: he hasn’t been himself since 2012. If you want make a list who pitchers who were once very good, then had four down years before emerging briefly as decent again, I don’t think too many names would be on the list besides Zito’s. Loyalty didn’t make Lincecum Lincecum again. And Cain didn’t sacrifice his body any more than any other athlete. He pitched well and he got paid. He’s rich and healthy, and has set himself up for a great life. He’s not owed any sentimental favors. He’s just owed a chance to compete.

      And what about the rest of the players? Are they owed anything? Shouldn’t they be given the best chance to win? That only happens when merit is the most important consideration.

      • DrLefty

        I think that the (mostly) untold story of 2016 is how the other players felt about the range of Bochy’s decisions that were loyalty-based and not merit-based. There were some recent references to frequent meetings where the other bullpen guys were unhappy about how things were handled. It also was made clear that the other players were over Angel Pagan, especially after he took himself out of the last two playoff games.

        You do have to wonder how it felt to be a starting pitcher (like Moore in that last game) watching the bullpen continually blow leads. Or a position player grinding it out for eight innings and watching Casilla give it all back. It has to wear on you after awhile. It just has to. That happens on every team (except, I guess, when Zack Britton pitches), but 32 times? Or how about Span starting out practically every game with a three-pitch 4-3 out–while a leadoff man having an All-Star season with 40 stolen bases is buried in the order? And so forth.

        I think some cracks started to show last year. Kelly and Hayes were the fall guys for the failures of leadership, but if the same mistakes are made this year–well, we’ll see how it all goes.

        • John Myhill

          in fairness to the relievers, the hitters did act as though ‘insurance run’ was a dirty word. The team’s gm/LI (average closeness of the game when they appeared) was the highest of any major league team since 2005.

        • The Oracle

          It isn’t a Disney movie. These are grown men trying to win games, and while I think they’re overwhelmingly good guys, I’d expect their patience is limited when it comes to teammates who aren’t getting the job done, and that includes the manager. Im sure plenty of them had problems with some of Bochy’s obviously awful decisions last year, even though only a couple showed their displeasure publicly. Bochy didn’t help by refusing to admit mistakes and trying, at times, to deflect the blame to his coaches. That’s not what a true leader does.

  • pacman68

    So who is going to play left field and who is going to play right when Pence goes on the DL before the season? That’s my question.

    • John Myhill

      They really do have a lot of spare left-and-rightfielders. They aren’t very good but there’s no shortage of bodies. Someone will perform passably.

  • pacman68

    I think what people are really missing here is. Cain hasn’t shown anything since 2012. That’s a huge stretch of suckiness. I hate that the Giants live in Unicorn land sometimes. Hey… let’s make Cain our 5th starter. It will be great. Hey…our bullpen has blown saves all year long. Let’s not address it at the trade deadline. Hey…let’s not play Mac or Parker and keep marching 95 year old Pagan out there down the stretch.

    Not to live in the past but the CUBS WERE TOAST. We had them with Johnny Q and Bum going in game 5. It was over.

    • DrLefty

      The constant thread in all of those examples was $$$$$$$. Cain, Casilla/Lopez/Romo, Pagan. It was/is about getting their money’s worth out of those big contracts before they ran out–to the detriment of both winning now or building for the future.

      • pacman68

        I agree. There was no explanation on why Mac and Parker were exiled and still belittled by the front office now. It just seems strange.

        • DrLefty

          Very bad planning. They knew that Blanco and Pagan would be free agents. You’d think getting more experience for Mac and Parker would have been a high priority. OR they should have obtained a new LF via free agency or trade. But they did neither–so now they have no experienced options except journeymen like Ruggiano or a DH-type like Morse–and they don’t know if their own younger guys can do the job. It’s bizarre.

          Contrast this to the Warriors. They know that guys like Iguodala, Livingston, West, Pachulia, etc. may not be around next year, so they’re making sure to work their younger guys in whenever they can. You ALWAYS have to plan for the next phase. Always.

          • Spot on. You know who is brilliant at not letting sentimentality get in the way of personnel decisions: Bill Billichick. That’s a big key to the Patriots success. He is always planning ahead regardless of the egos involved. The Giants need to take a page from that book. It’s unthinkable that they would hand Cain the 5th spot without a true open competition.

          • dgg

            And yet, that’s what the Giants seem to be doing: handing Cain the 5th spot without a true open competition.

            Andrew Baggarly wrote yesterday: ” The apparent rotation order to begin the regular season, then: Bumgarner, Cueto, Moore and Samardzija, with the current expectation that Cain will open as the No.5 starter.”

            This is the exact opposite of “Let it play out.”

          • John Myhill

            Don’t worry. He’ll have blown the no5 spot by June at the latest and it’ll be better for team morale if he loses it once and for all.

          • dgg

            That was my thinking, John, when I made my initial selections for My 25 guys: that Cain and Blach would both make the team, and Cain would be out by mid-May, June at the latest. But I still thought there was going to be an open competition in spring training for the 5th spot. I didn’t think the Giants were just going to hand the spot to Cain before spring training games even started, before Cain even threw one pitch. This decision is based on reverence for Cain’s history with the team not his current/recent performance.

          • John Myhill

            I’ve never thought there would be a serious competition during ST, they’ll give the spot to Cain unless he’s unimaginably awful but at a certain stage it’ll be too expensive in the standings to keep sending Cain out there. I don’t think it makes sense to have Blach on the 25-man roster until he’s about to take the 5th spot in the rotation.

          • buyselltrade

            No one has mentioned the scenario where Cain actually does a resurgence say enough to vest the option year on his contract and the SF Giants have Cain for another high priced season which is likely to be no better than mediocre at best?

            I really like Matt Cain and want the best and he has received his fortune actually earned during his low cost years.

            No one seems to mention that how long BB and the Giants stuck with Peavy and Cain last year put the team in a hole from the start and resulted in early wear and tear on bullpen.

            The Giants could have sorted through the various AAA starters and at least built experience and maybe one or more would have “clicked” into a rotation steady.

            Cain’s decline has been more abrupt than Tim L’s. Tim had good stretches in the last two or three years while Cain has shown next to nothing regards brilliance.

          • dgg

            From a historical perspective, I like Matt Cain.

            Lefty talked about the toll on the bullpen of the Giants sticking with Cain and Peavy last year.

          • DrLefty

            They have a team option on 2018, but it won’t vest automatically. I see no scenario where they’d choose to pay him $20 mil next year. He does have a $7.5 mil buyout like Zito did.

          • paul in p.v.

            Nice parachute. I bet Jake wishes he had that right now.

          • buyselltrade

            I am so very glad I was wrong!!

            I did not look it up but thought it was a player option that would vest.

          • Keep’n It Real

            Bill Walsh started what Belichick does now. It’s harsh, but after the years go by, the players step back and understand the decision.

          • earlytimes

            Unlike most football deals, Baseball contracts are guaranteed.

      • John Myhill

        The Giants are one of the biggest spending teams in the majors. We really can’t complain about them being cheapskates.

  • DrLefty

    Oh, a very sad update on Jake Peavy. Sorry to hear all this.

    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18742429/for-jake-peavy-baseball-take-back-seat

    • Sgbssfg

      Jake is such a compassionate person. His support of injured vets is just one example. Hate to see this happening to him.

    • just peachy.

      Sad to hear 😟

    • Matthew

      saw that…. I love Jake Peavy and hope everything works out for him, his ex-wife and his babies

    • buyselltrade

      That is very sad.
      I always follow and root for ex-Giants.

      Peavy was actually the rare player I followed and rooted for on other teams from when he was with Padres and I wished he was a Giant.

  • DrLefty

    Here’s a rather bizarre tale about how reporters would really, really like to know what Pablo Sandoval is eating these days and how he’s really, really not inclined to tell them.

    I’m very glad this is not the Giants’ concern anymore.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox/2017/02/drellich_pablo_sandoval_staying_mum_on_his_new_diet#.WK67_c1AyeI.twitter

    • That article is bizarre only because the so-called journalist is a hack, a gossip and a poor excuse for a professional. It’s a very rude and distasteful piece of writing and an example why so many people think Boston is the pits when it comes to the press. The writer is way way out of line and deserved to be decked for that piece of $hhhit. Thanks for posting this Lefty.

      • DrLefty

        You’d think they were about to file a Freedom of Information Act request for Pablo’s breakfast menu. Sheeeeesh.

    • BALDHEADSLIKK

      does he look smaller to you hell i cant tell lmao!

      • DrLefty

        Not as much as we’d been led to expect.

    • 610nm

      He’s gotten married. That might really help, depending on what she’s like.

      • DrLefty

        Maybe. He’s been married before.

    • John Myhill

      The problem with losing Sandoval was that his complete recklessness at the plate helped to create a general mood of aggressiveness on the team about swinging at the ball. The unfortunate truth is that the hitters haven’t been the same since he left.

      • DrLefty

        I don’t know about that. They were one of the top offenses in the league in 2015, even mostly without Pence.

        • John Myhill

          They stopped hitting in the clutch. That’s been the problem the last two years. And that’s what happens when hitters become defensive.

  • dgg

    John Shea’s article this morning on the Giants paying off their 20-year mortgage in mid-December, where they stand financially now and plans for the future, including Bumgarner’s contract.

    “On Dec. 15, six days after their news conference to introduce Mark Melancon as their $62 million closer, the Giants made the final payment on AT&T Park.

    The 20-year mortgage on the $170 million loan that helped fund construction of the waterfront park at Third and King was quietly paid off without fanfare or a news release.”

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/giants/article/Giants-pay-off-AT-T-Park-prepare-for-another-10952512.php

    • Kramerica

      That must be an awesome feeling for ownership. If I ever pay off my mortgage I likely will opt to have a loan doc burning party. Although my house is worth just *slightly* less than AT&T.

      The Mission Rock development is going to be *huge.* It’s going to be a cash cow because it will be an incredibly desirable place to live in a City where there isn’t enough housing and rents are astronomical. The fact that 40% is low-income is a win-win because not only is low-income housing desperately needed in SF but, of course on the other side of the coin, the Giants will get tax breaks on the development and post-development side.

      • dgg

        It’s wonderful when you pay off your mortgage.

      • DrLefty

        I sure would like an apartment there. By SF standards, we might qualify as low-income. 😜

        • The Oracle

          I don’t think so, even by SF standards.

    • 610nm

      According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Park, the stadium naming rights were sold up to 2020, bringing in $50 million. It would be great if the Giants skip selling the stadium name then, and if Willie last long enough to enjoy its re-naming party.

      • Efrain

        in your dreams, but will NEVER EVER happen.

      • The Oracle

        Why should the organization give up millions of dollars to name the stadium after Willie Mays? They’ve treated him very well and have already honored him in many ways.

        • 610nm

          True enough, but it seems a bit tacky to have names like “Phone Booth”. I like Dodger Stadium (as an example!!!!) or Comiskey Park or even the commercial ones that have been around forever like Wrigley Field. Enron or Safeco or AT&T, not so much. Giants Park has a nice ring to it, no?

      • paul in p.v.

        That sounds nice, but is against their corporate interest$.

    • Efrain

      The stadium that was made possible on the back of Barry Bonds and the infusion of $$$ he brought this team with his HR barrage.

      And no, the team will not stop selling the rights to the stadium, EVER. It’s a corporation, not a family. If the naming rights were only 50M BEFORE three championships and possibly more, then imagine what they can pull in next time they negotiate.

      • The Yankees don’t. The Dodgers don’t. The Giants need to get smart and rename the park Willie Mays Field. The Giants do not need the money and they can find other revenue streams to make up for the naming rights. They should also build a Giants baseball museum.

        • Efrain

          true but the Dodgers (long time owners of their stadium well before naming rights were a thing) and the Yankees (the most wealthy team, folklore of having a stadium be names only YS, etc.) are not in an area with a ton of new wealth in the Silicon Valley. There will always be someone willing to cough up a ton of cash.

          Also, it only matter to the older generation, I’m sure the younger baseball fans who will continue the Giants traditions most likely don’t care. I love the history of what Mays meant to the team. but this is not some necessary thing.

          Just too much money to leave on the table.

      • Keep’n It Real

        Hmmmm…the Orioles didn’t have Barry Bonds and their 3+ million annual attendance closely mirrored the Giants, when Camden Yards was first built.

        And yes…the Giants will continue to sell the naming rights of the stadium, but nothing prevents them from adding (in their next naming rights deal) the caveat that the field itself will be Willie Mays Field.

  • Keep’n It Real

    **Off-Topic**

    It looks like Boston is ready to allow their New Jersey pick to be in conversation for Paul George. They’re also rumored to be picking up Bogut (just traded as part of a Noel package to Philly). So if George and Bogut go to Boston, do the Celtics have a chance against the Cavs?

    I personally feel LeBron’s minutes will haunt him in the playoffs, but if Boston adds these pieces…being only 3 games back of the Cavs in the standings,,,it could force the Cavs not to rest LeBron down the stretch to protect home court advantage.

    • Efrain

      I like it. George is one of the top 5 players in the East (which is much different than the top 5 in the west of course. He and Thomas could wreak havoc on teams in the 4th Qtr and Bogut could give them some valuable minutes in the paint.

      I agree that it may force LeBron’s minutes. The Cavs have talked about limiting his minutes in the 2nd half.

      I’m a big believer that if Curry had limited his minutes more last year in the 2nd half instead of chase the record he would have been stronger in the finals.

      • DrLefty

        I would like to see another team(s) really challenge the Cavs. The Western Conference winner always has to survive a dogfight while the Cavs get a trip to Club Med.

        • Efrain

          ESPN just mentioned the Cavs a possible landing spot for Bogut.

          That would really hurt to see that.

          • DrLefty

            Yeah, he’ll injure something anyway.

          • Keep’n It Real

            Now they’re talking buyout.

        • crawnik

          Move the LeBrons to the Western Conference and The Pelicans to the Eastern. Done.

      • Matthew

        I like him, too…. I got to watch him at Fresno State when he was there at the same time as my daughter. Special talent. That will make the Celtics a formidable power in the East…

    • Keep’n It Real

      Just an FYI…

      OAKLAND — Andrew Bogut was traded from the Mavericks to the Sixers before Thursday’s trade deadline. He may get shipped again before the final buzzer.

      But even if he doesn’t, Bogut is unlikely to remain in Philadelphia. Rumors are that the Sixers and Bogut will work together on a buyout, planting him on the free agency market to sign elsewhere.

      But not Golden State. That’s against NBA rules. If you trade a player — like the Warriors did with Bogut this past July 7th — you can’t reacquire him until the NBA calendar flips again the next July 1st.
      It’s known by some as the Zydrunas Ilgauskas rule. Back in 2010, the Cavaliers traded Ilgauskas near the deadline to Washington for an Antawn Jamison package, watched Ilgauskas get bought out and then re-signed him after what was then a 30-day restriction. Many grumbled about the move. The league changed it to a year.

      Because of that, Bogut will not be a Warrior this season. But it’s worth monitoring where he may land. Among his potential destinations: the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are rumored to be interested. That would jolt another layer of intrigue into a potential NBA Finals rematch to the rematch.

  • Keep’n It Real

    OK…I want to hang out with Steve Kerr

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ1umAyji9u/

    • Efrain

      very cool Adam Duritz

  • channelclemente
    • The Oracle

      What I found interesting in that story was the statistic that the ball was only put in play every three minutes and 25 seconds last season.

  • The Oracle

    Angel Pagan is reaping what he sowed.

    • paul in p.v.

      You mean, no ML contract yet?

      • The Oracle

        Yes.

    • And what should Pagan have done differently?

      • totalfan62

        For starters, played better baseball. Follow up on that, get your head out of your a** and focus on your craft. I’ll never lose the image of him standing at third, hands on hips, as the Yankees pitcher threw a wild pitch on an intentional BB. Nor will I forget the look on Bochy’s face. I’m sure he was stained by his refusal to play in the last two postseason games as well. I’m with TO. You reap what you sow, Angel.