The mid-’80s were a terrible time for the San Francisco Giants. In 1984, the team lost 96 games and finished in last place — but no one on the roster had as horrible an experience as Wayne Doba. That season, the 33-year-old actor was selected to play the Giants’ first mascot. Well, not really a mascot, but an anti-mascot. The “Crazy Crab” was conceived as a satire of the mascot craze of the late ’70s that produced now-iconic characters like the Phillie Phanatic. The Giants’ Crab was not impressive to look at, and that was on purpose (they intentionally gave him a shabby foam costume and even went so far as to film a commercial in which then-manager Frank Robinson attempted to strangle him). When the Crab made his debut at Candlestick Park, the PA announcer would encourage fans to boo. It was an experiment unlike anything in professional sports
“A little sooner than we probably thought,” said Bochy, adding that the Giants decided to activate Pence “because of the way he feels, the way he’s been playing and swinging. He’s ready. The last couple of games have been really good for him. He said he never felt better, so he’s on his way.”
All-time home run king Barry Bonds is working on a lawsuit against MLB regarding his claim of collusion by teams that prevented him from obtaining a playing job following the 2007 season, people with knowledge of the case said.
Bonds has long contended that a collusion of MLB owners effectively ended his career following the ‘07 season, when he set the career home run record.
“Emotions are things you can somewhat control, especially since you can’t control when you get hit by a pitch in a certain way. So I tried to stay in positive spirits. I think I have some unrealistic expectations of coming back, but I don’t think it hurts to dream big. But the process, I just try to take it each moment, each day. Whatever they need me to do, whatever we can think of to intelligently get it going again. A lot of times you have to hold back because I want to push through a little more than it will allow you to.”
Burkett, an accomplished bowler for most of his life, is not a stranger to bowling in PBA competition, having bowled in a handful of Tour events since making his debut in 1990 in Pinole, Calif. He also competed in several regionals along the way, and most recently, he competed in PBA’s 2014 Oklahoma’s Grand Resort Summer Swing and the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI as part of the process to get ready for PBA50 competition.
On April 12 he will join a field of approximately 120 players 50 years of age and older in the Pasco County Florida Open at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla.
George Plimpton observed that the smaller the ball, the better the writing about a sport. There is no great literature of bowling, but maybe this thread can be a start.
“Oh, well, my wet newspaper is 34 ½ inches, 33 ½ ounces, and I’m waiting on some new ones right now,” said Bumgarner, asked for comment.
“What if he got hurt pitching? Should we say we can’t pitch anymore?” Bumgarner said. “I hate what happened to him. He works his butt off out there. But I don’t think it was because he was hitting. What if he gets hurt getting out of his truck? You tell him not to drive anymore?
Bumgarner is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts and a sacrifice this year, but few pitchers loom as a bigger threat at the plate. Last season, he hit four home runs – and became the first pitcher to hit two grand slams in a season since 1966, when Atlanta’s Tony Cloninger hit two in a game at Candlestick Park.
I am not a fan of Casey McGehee, who only has 42 plate appearances. The Giants will give him more time, though, as they should.
1. How long will Bochy go with Casey McGehee when Matt Duffy is raring to go on the bench?
You know the Bochy/Giants drill by now. McGehee was targeted in trade to be the third baseman. The front office wanted him for a reason, and they certainly are not make a statement against McGehee by benching him one-eighth of the way through te season.
There is a pecking order here. Management goes into the season seeing what it is then adjusts, veterans first, youngsters second.
Which means Duffy needs to wait his turn.
In any event, I was certain Bochy would not sit McGehee for any considerable time ahead of the Giants’ visit to Colorado, and especially after McGehee got the hit that started Thursday’s game-tying rally. This is a place where bats get healthy and confidences rise, so McGehee will continue to get his chances.
SAN JOSE—With a simple toss from about 15 feet away, Bryan Stow brought a huge roar from the crowd Thursday night before the San Jose Giants home opener. Stow, the Giants fan who was nearly beaten to death four years ago outside Dodger Stadium, reached a major milestone in his recovery when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He did so while enjoying every minute of his special night.
The San Francisco Giants get their World Series rings on April 18 at a pre-game celebration at AT&T Park. The team is used to this by now — what with three ring ceremonies in five years.
But there’s something special for this year’s party and the ensuing game. The Giants will wear these fancy gold-accented caps made by New Era. Notice the World Series trophy on the back. It’s something else that sets the 2014 World Series cap apart from your regular ol’ Giants fitted.
Of course, the special gold Giants caps are available to the public too. You can buy them online starting Wednesday morning. Buying your own gold World Series cap is at least cheaper than having your own World Series ring made.
The GIF above cycles through some of the graphics that were used in the intro package that led into ABC 7’s broadcast of yesterday’s Cubs game. Did you catch all those errors? Here, let us slow things down for you.
To be fair, the season is still very young. Everyone’s still working out the kinks!
The Giants also will need to scramble for a Game 3 starter because Matt Cain had an MRI exam after feeling right-forearm tightness and was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon.
Cain’s symptoms put a big scare into the Giants because they can reflect the most devastating pitching injury, a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which requires Tommy John surgery. Bochy said Cain has nothing like that and termed his injury “more like a two-week thing.”
“The trainers seem positive about it,” Cain said. “It should be something we can take care of. It’s definitely frustrating. It kind of goes with the territory. Sometimes there are going to be bumps in the road in the rehab process. I’m going to have to deal with it and move forward.”
So what to do then for the men who have won everything? Consider this their SkyMall moment.
• BALLPARK STATUES: This is pretty de rigueur stuff these days at new ballparks, so Sabean sitting in a ballpark seat or Bochy standing at a dugout railing is a little boring for the modern conceptual artist. Thus, we suggest two massive bronze pieces.
One would be a gigantic fliptop cellphone with a crank on the side to commemorate Sabean’s Vietnam War-era mobile (the crank is there to power it, since batteries hadn’t been invented when he bought the phone). The other would merely be Bochy’s enormous conk, with Saturn-like rings made of moons of the 94 men who have managed big league teams since he took the job.
Affeldt penned a blog post this week in which he urged Christians to be more tolerant toward gays. He writes:
Why do people who aren’t Christians hate us? They look at us and say, “You’re just a bunch of Bible thumpers who are homophobic and you don’t love anybody.”
We’ve brought that on ourselves. I don’t think we’re showing the love of Jesus. Gay people are asking for equal rights under the law, and we’ve got Christians saying “God hates you.” I get so angry because that’s not true! Godloves you! Jesus walks with the gay community! I think Jesus says, “I love you just as I love someone who is not gay. I love you as a human being. I just love you.”
Affeldt doesn’t directly connect this to current events, but it’s easy to read his words and make connections to the religious freedom law under scrutiny in Indiana because it would allow businesses to discriminate against homosexuals. A similar law in Arkansas is also under fire this week. This even matters in baseball, where the Oakland Athletics’ Pride Night has rattled some fans in the very liberal Bay Area.
Pablo Sandoval’s departure from the San Francisco Giants continues to get ugly. Sandoval has already made waves this spring, saying he felt disrespected by his former club, and never intended to re-sign with them. Well, he’s doubled down on those comments, telling USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz that he changed his cell phone number and doesn’t really communicate with his old teammates. He also revealed that the team’s insistence that he remain on a weight regimen was one of the reasons he decided to leave San Francisco.
“I’m a professional and I know what I have to do,’’ said Sandoval, listed as 5-11 and 255. “I know where I’ve failed and how I’ve grown up. If I had signed (with the Giants), I knew I would be under a (weight) regimen for five years, and I’m not going to be happy someplace where I’m under that kind of regimen, where I can’t be myself.’‘
I know this play has been beaten to death, but Kurkjian does a nice job breaking the play down and getting quotes from all the players involved.
Juan Perez: “When I got to the ball, I tried to pick it up with my bare hand instead of using my glove. That was another mistake. Then I kind of kicked the ball and I thought, ‘Oh my God, he might score!’ I wasn’t sure how fast he really was, and I thought there was a chance he would score.”
Jirschele: “I know Gordo is going to get to third, and I’m thinking, ‘Holy mackerel, we might have a shot here.’”
Blanco: “But when he misplayed it, I thought, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to score!’ All I could think was, ‘Oh my God, throw it back in, please!!!’”
Bochy: “When Perez had some trouble with it, and I’m thinking, ‘Just get it back in [the infield]. Just get it back in.’”
Posey: “When we kicked it around a little, I thought, ‘I had better get back behind the plate because there might be a play at the plate.’”
Crawford: “When I saw Perez not picking up the ball, that’s when I had my, ‘Oh (——) moment.’ I thought, ‘Are we really going to have a play at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in the seventh game of the World Series?’”
Maybe because Tommy John never played for the Brewers?
In September of 2014, there had been 53 Tommy John surgeries since 2012. This includes great or potentially great pitchers like Jose Fernandez, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Matt Moore, Martin Perez and Tyler Skaggs. Sometimes players come back from Tommy John surgery and are as strong as ever. Some players never recover fully. Some have the surgery multiple times in their career. Some don’t even make it back.
Tommy John was always a concern, but it seems to have blown up in the last few years. Somehow, though, the Brewers have been one of a handful of teams to escape the wrath of the surgery fairly well. Using Jon Roegele’s amazing spreadsheet of organizational Tommy John surgeries over time, the Brewers have seen the second-fewest number of Tommy John surgeries from pitchers over the last 10 years…
Only the Giants have had fewer pitchers undergo Tommy John surgery in the last 10 years within their organization. Not a single team has had fewer Major League pitchers need the procedure.