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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Giants call up Kazmir to make 1st start since 2016

Scott Kazmir’s comeback tour will make its first official stop at Oracle Park.

The San Francisco Giants called up the 37-year-old left-hander to start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, the team announced.

Kazmir has not appeared in the majors since 2016 but earned the promotion after posting a 2.84 ERA in 6 1/3 innings for Triple-A Sacramento.

The three-time All-Star signed a minor-league deal with the Giants this offseason after touching 92-93 mph during a comeback showcase in front of teams.

Kazmir spent the 2020 campaign in the independent Constellation Energy League after not pitching professionally in 2018 or 2019.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2021 at 06:32 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, scott kazmir

Monday, May 17, 2021

The San Francisco Giants’ 2010s Dynasty Didn’t Follow The Rules. Neither Has Their Rebuild.

A team rising from No. 23 to No. 1 in rotation strength is pretty unprecedented. Since the dawn of the expansion era in 1961, the biggest year-over-year improvement for a team who ranked first in starting pitching WAR came from the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies, who had ranked 21st in 1979. (They and the 1971 Chicago White Sox are the only teams in the era to go from outside the top 16 in rotation WAR to No. 1 overall the following season.) Even if the Giants’ rotation fell to second place, they would join the 2009 Atlanta Braves, 1989 California Angels and 2020 Philadelphia Phillies as the only teams to rise to No. 2 in rotation WAR from No. 23 or worse the season before.

Either way, it’s been a significant turnaround. And what’s particularly notable is that the Giants basically built this rotation in the span of just a few seasons. While the always-entertaining Johnny Cueto has been with San Francisco since 2016, and Logan Webb made his debut late in the 2019 season, the rest of the Giant starters were acquired over the past two offseasons. As a result, 85 percent of the wins generated by San Francisco pitchers have come from players who were not homegrown — i.e., they made their MLB debuts with teams other than the Giants. Among teams this season, only the Texas Rangers (90 percent) have a higher rate of production from pitchers developed outside the organization — but they haven’t been nearly as successful with the strategy, ranking 24th in WAR from starters and 22nd in pitching WAR overall.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 11:00 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

San Francisco Giants acquire OF Mike Tauchman in trade with New York Yankees

The San Francisco Giants acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman from the New York Yankees on Tuesday for left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta and a player to be named later.

The 30-year-old Tauchman, a veteran of five major league seasons, had a breakout year for the Yankees in 2019 when he set career bests with a .277 average, 13 home runs and 47 RBIs. But he hasn’t been able to replicate those stats since, slashing .242/.342/.305 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and .214/.267/.286 in 16 plate appearances this season. He hasn’t hit a home run since the 2019 season.

With Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner splitting time in left field, there was little opportunity for Tauchman to find a spot in the Yankees’ lineup.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 27, 2021 at 09:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, mike tauchman, yankees

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Bill James: The Black Hole

Candlestick Park opened on April 12, 1960.  Within weeks, Giants players were ######## in the newspapers about having to play there.  The infield was a rockpile, the wind whipped nastily through the infield and across the outfield, and it was, apparently, a cold, cold summer in San Francisco.  For the season, Willie McCovey hit .203 in Candlestick Park, and if Willie McCovey can’t hit there, God help the rest of the league.  Don Blasingame, Eddie Bressoud and Andre Rodgers all had terrible seasons, at least statistically if you don’t adjust for the very low park run factors, and at that time, nobody had any notion of adjusting for park effects.  The Giants also led the major leagues in errors.

        The Giants gave up on Bressoud and Blasingame, trading both men away and going with Chuck (Iron Hands) Hiller at second base, and Jose Pagan at short.  In retrospect, they might have kept Bressoud and lived with his inherent defensive limitations.  Bressoud became the best-hitting shortstop in the majors from 1962 to 1964.

        The Giants middle infield, on the other hand, was on a treadmill through the Twilight Zone.  From Daryl Spencer (1958) they went through Andre Rodgers (1959), Eddie Bressoud (1960), Jose Pagan (1961-1962), Jose Pagan and Ernie Bowman (1963), Jose Pagan and Jim Davenport (1964), Dick Schofield, Jim Davenport, Jose Pagan, and Tito Fuentes (1965), Tito Fuentes, Jim Davenport and Hal Lanier (1966), and then mostly Hal Lanier (1967-1970).  Jim Davenport, losing the third base job to Jim Ray Hart in 1964, played over 200 games at short for the Giants from 1964 to 1968—not because anyone thought that he was a shortstop, but because somebody had to try. ...

So we can see there why the National League won almost all the All Star Games in those years.  Anyway, the point is that the Giants had three of the top 9 position totals in the major leagues, but won only one league title in this period, whereas the Yankees won 5, the Dodgers 4, the Cardinals 3, the Pirates 2 and the Orioles 2. During these years the Giants won more games than any other National League franchise, more than any other major league team except the Orioles.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 14, 2021 at 02:25 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Thursday, March 04, 2021

The SF Giants ghosted this minor league club. Now its 23-year-old CEO is starting a new league.

The Volcanoes’ beef isn’t with O’Conner, though. Mickey Walker says they secured one conversation with the Giants, with whom they previously had a “very communicative” relationship. During that conversation, he says the Giants’ brass, including Larry Baer and Farhan Zaidi, told them the proposed minor league cuts were up to the MLB. After that, the Giants ghosted their Single-A affiliate.

“We had no idea if we were still on this list because we were told that the list was fluid and changing and not final,” Walker says. “We were sitting there with our hands tied waiting for other people to decide our fate for us.”

The ominous news was public in early 2020, so the Volcanoes planned to rally their fans for the upcoming summer if this was indeed to be their last Single-A season. That obviously didn’t happen either. Walker says he has no idea who would’ve even been on the Volcanoes roster in 2020, since the season was canned and the Giants were MIA.

The Volcanoes did get creative over the summer — they ran a couple high school baseball tournaments and turned the stadium into an Airbnb for small groups. The Airbnb helped more than they expected, and they were able to bring back and pay some of their workers again (though it goes without saying they didn’t have a profitable offseason).

On Dec. 9, 2020, Walker was eating breakfast with his family when he saw a tweet from the Giants announcing the four teams who’d been invited to “join our player development program.” The Volcanoes weren’t on the list.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 09:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, minor leagues

Wednesday, March 03, 2021


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Giants, Scott Kazmir Agree To Minor League Deal

Kazmir was in the Moneyball draft! He was teammates with Fred McGriff!

Comeback season is upon us, it seems. The Giants have agreed to a minor league contract with left-hander Scott Kazmir, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney. He’ll be invited to Major League Spring Training.

It’s been nearly five years since Kazmir, now 37, pitched in the Majors with the Dodgers. Current San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was serving as general manager under president Andrew Friedman in Los Angeles at that point, and he was also an assistant GM in the Athletics’ front office in 2013 when Oakland inked Kazmir to a two-year deal.

There’s some obvious history between Zaidi and Kazmir, who at one point was one of the game’s brightest young starters. Kazmir broke out with the Rays in 2005, drawing Rookie of the Year votes that season and going on to make a pair of All-Star teams with Tampa Bay, where he posted a 3.51 ERA and a 25.1 percent strikeout rate from 2005-2008 (back when the league-average strikeout percentage was just 17 percent).

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 09:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, scott kazmir

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Death threats, bigotry, courage: Behind Giants’ historic hiring of Frank Robinson

“Bob Lurie gets all the credit,” Herndon said. “He had the foresight to do what he needed to do. San Francisco was ready for Frank Robinson, but I’m sure Bob Lurie felt a lot of stress. He gets the credit, no doubt about it, to hire a man like Frank.”

Behind the scenes, Robinson wasn’t fully supported, including by the GM hired after him. Tom Haller, the Giants farm director and former All-Star catcher who replaced Spec Richardson, never seemed to have Robinson’s back.

“The communication between the GM and manager is not like most would have,” said Don Buford, a Giants coach under Robinson and his teammate in Baltimore. “Haller wanted to have Jim Davenport manage. They were close friends. But that was the wrong concept for a general manager.”
Corey Busch, who was Lurie’s right-hand man as executive vice president, said, “Frank never would’ve been Tom’s choice. Tom always resented the fact he inherited Frank and was stuck with Frank. It was not a one-way thing. Frank didn’t like Haller, either. It was not a match made in heaven.”

One of many issues was Robinson didn’t appreciate that Haller wouldn’t throw in another $5,000 to sign the Giants’ second-round draft pick in 1982, a high school kid from San Carlos named Barry Bonds, who wanted $75,000. Haller wouldn’t budge beyond $70,000, Bonds enrolled at Arizona State, Pittsburgh drafted him in 1985, and the future home run record-holder would not make his Giants debut until 1993….

“He could manage as well as anybody,” Buford said. “A lot of people thought he was too harsh, too mean, whatever. What he wanted was just solid, sound fundamental baseball. The Giants needed a guy to change the attitude of the ballclub, and Frank was a fighter and hustler and demanded players be the same way.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 02:23 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: frank robinson, giants

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Jake McGee heads to Giants on reported 2-year deal

Left-handed reliever Jake McGee found a new home after one season in Los Angeles, agreeing to a reported two-year deal with the Giants, per multiple reports.

He joins Alex Wood as Dodgers to sign with the Giants this offseason. Wood inked a one-year, $3 million deal with San Francisco in January.

McGee was remarkably effective in 2020 with the Dodgers, posting a 2.66 ERA and 1.67 FIP in 24 games in relief, striking out 33 against only three walks in 20⅓ innings. He led all Dodgers in strikeout rate (41.7 percent) and FIP, and was even more dominant against right-handers, holding them to just 7-for-52 (.135/.167/.269) while striking out more than half of his batters faced from the opposite side.

McGee found his success with the simplest of plans, throwing his four-seam fastball a whopping 96.4 percent of the time, throwing just 12 non-fastballs all season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 09, 2021 at 05:13 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jake mcgee

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Drew Robinson’s Remarkable Second Act (Trigger Warning: Suicide)

ON APRIL 16, 2020, Drew Robinson woke up, spread peanut butter on a cinnamon-raisin bagel, pulsed a green smoothie, sat at his kitchen table and finished writing a note that would explain to his family and friends why he had decided to end his life. He had spent the past month alone in his house, confined by the pandemic and quarantined in his own mind. He hated his life. He hated that no one knew how much he hated his life.

“I hope eventually that you guys will realize that no one could’ve seen this coming to prevent it because of how hard I try to hide it,” he wrote, “and that it’s no one else’s fault.”
...
He knows that sometimes life is like a vise, unrelenting, cranking tighter and tighter. He knows how crippling that can be. He knows that there is a burgeoning mental health crisis in this country, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 11% of American adults surveyed in June considered suicide, that suicidal ideation among 18- to 24-year-olds was at 26%. He knows this is difficult to talk about. He knows it’s even more difficult to suffer through. He knows because he lived it.
...
“I look at this thing and think, I’m stronger than you,” he says. “I’m stronger than what I thought I was.”

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

This is a long and fairly difficult piece to read.  Also well done and I think important. (LINK FIXED, thanks RR)

Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: February 02, 2021 at 01:47 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, giants, mental health, rangers

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Tommy La Stella, San Francisco Giants finalizing contract, sources say

Second baseman Tommy La Stella and the San Francisco Giants are finalizing a contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The deal is expected to be for three years.

The Oakland Athletics, needing an everyday second baseman who could provide consistent offensive production, acquired La Stella in a late-August trade with the Los Angeles Angels. He immediately paid dividends, finishing the season with a .289 batting average in 27 games with the A’s.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2021 at 09:26 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, tommy la stella

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Giants sign Alex Wood to one-year contract

The Giants signed free-agent left-hander Alex Wood to a one-year, $3 million contract on Thursday. Wood can make an additional $3 million in performance bonuses.

Wood was an All-Star for the Dodgers in 2017 and has a career record of 53-44 with a 3.45 ERA in eight Major League seasons, also appearing for the Braves and Reds. The 30-year-old went 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA in nine games, including two starts, for Los Angeles in 2020.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2021 at 09:36 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alex wood, giants

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orlando Cabrera To Retire From Baseball

OH NO, EXPO!

Last season, Orlando Cabrera batted .238 with the Indians and Giants, posting a 61 OPS+. The season before that, he posted a 76 OPS+. The season before that, he posted an 85 OPS+. Orlando Cabrera has been declining, and just turned 37 years old. As a free agent, Cabrera didn’t drum up much interest, which I’m guessing is why he’s intending to hang ‘em up. Enrique Rojas:

  “Orlando Cabrera to retire from baseball, he said in Colombia radio station. Thanks for memories!”

Cabrera had a long career that’ll be difficult to forget. He debuted with the Expos in 1997, and remained there until the giant Nomar Garciaparra three-way trade in 2004. That year, with the Red Sox, Cabrera won a World Series. He wound up with the Angels, earning the unfortunate nickname “The Wizard of O.C.”, and then he wound up with the White Sox, and the A’s, and the Twins, and the Reds, and the Indians, and the Giants ... He remained a shortstop to the end, and collected 2,055 hits. He will always be remembered as a pest. An absolute pest.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 09:06 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, athletics, expos, giants, indians, red sox, reds, twins, white sox

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giants and Pablo Sandoval agree to a three-year, $17.15 million contract

That can buy 1,715,000 Kung Fu Panda dolls

While the Giants have some work to do in order to keep Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain for the long haul, they have at least locked up a key position player through his arbitration seasons.

The Giants just announced that they have agreed to a three-year contract with third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the deal is worth $17.15 million guaranteed and includes some performance-based incentives. He’ll make $3.2 million this season, $5.7 million in 2013 and $8.25 million in 2014.

Sandoval was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter after batting .315/.357/.552 with 23 home runs, 70 RBI and a .909 OPS over 117 games in 2011. The 25-year-old owns a .307/.356/.501 batting line over his first four seasons in the majors. If he can stay in shape and continue to produce similar numbers, he’ll be a tremendous bargain.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:53 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Tim Lincecum asks $21.5M in arbitration

That’s still just barely more than what Barry Zito will make.

Giants ace Tim Lincecum asked for $21.5 million in salary arbitration Tuesday and was offered $17 million by the club.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner’s request neared the record amount sought in arbitration. Houston pitcher Roger Clemens asked for $22 million in 2005.

San Francisco’s offer was the highest in arbitration history, topping the $14.25 million the New York Yankees proposed for shortstop Derek Jeter in 2001.

“I’m overall optimistic that we’ll find common ground without a hearing room,” Bobby Evans, Giants vice president of baseball operations, said before seeing Lincecum’s filing numbers. “It’s a process that begins long before today in terms of conversations about possible deals that work for both sides. That process has continued in a mutual fashion. At this point we haven’t reached a conclusion.”

Lincecum, the winning pitcher in the Game 5 World Series clincher at Texas in 2010, earned $13.1 million last season and completed a two-year deal worth $23.2 million.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:09 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: business, giants

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BN: A Proposal To Break The Territorial-Rights Logjam Between The A’s And The Giants

With a doff of the chapeau to Mr. Calcaterra, a modest proposal indeed:

All of the two-team territories but one share the same counties: the Yankees and Mets; the White Sox and Cubs; and the Dodgers and Angels. Only the Giants and A’s split the counties surrounding their home cities. The A’s territory includes Alameda and Contra Costa counties; the Giants’ territory includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Marin counties, “plus Santa Clara County with respect to another major league team.” San Jose is in Santa Clara county.

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:52 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, giants

Friday, December 30, 2011

St. Louisian Don Mueller, former big-league star, dies

Don Mueller...

St. Louis native Don Mueller, who led the majors in hits in 1954 and roamed the outfield with Willie Mays of the New York Giants, died on Wednesday. He was 84.

Mueller, who played at CBC, was signed by the Giants in 1944 and made his big-league debut four years later.

At age 23, he became a starter for the Giants in right field and hit .291 in his first full season.

...A career .296 hitter, Mueller became known as “Mandrake the Magician.” He finished his career with two seasons with the White Sox in 1958 and 59.

 

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, obituaries, white sox

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oakland Athletics Will Be Granted Permission To Move To San Jose, According To Report

Rosicrucia

n

l Park!

The Oakland Athletics may not be in Oakland for much longer, if new reports about the prove true: USA Today writer Bob Nightengale reports that sources say the Athletics will be granted permission to move to San Jose by February.

This move has been a possibility simmering on a back burner for some time now; Rob Neyer wrote about the potential of the San Jose A’s in September. But while it has been a possibility for many years, with the A’s looking to improve their accommodations from the outdated O.co Coliseum to a new ballpark and/or get out from under the shadow of the successful San Francisco Giants, this new approval may accelerate a timeline to get the A’s out of the city they have called home since 1968.

Repoz Posted: December 24, 2011 at 06:39 PM | 106 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, giants

Schulman: Giants: The winter of our disconnect

Coherentism rocks! Sabean’s team-building philosophy rolls!

I’m bringing up ancient history because it is very relevant this morning in illustrating Sabean’s team-building philosophy.

Sabean always has believed that it makes little sense to have one or two big players if the supporting cast is weak. He would rather own a room full of toys than one Xbox 360. He was ripped for that philosophy in 1996, ripped for it again after the 2003 season when he didn’t make a move for Vlad Guerrero and is being ripped for it today. But he is not budging.

...Two months later, we know it’s not going to be this way. If the Giants’ heavy lifting is over, Cabrera and Angel Pagan will have been the primary additions for 2012. I must admit I think folks are underestimating Cabrera’s potential impact. The guy did come to bat 706 times for Kansas City last year and hit .305/.340/.470 with 18 home runs from the second spot in the order and playing 81 home games in a pitchers’ park. An outlier year? Kind of hard to say that when the guy is supposed to be 27 years old.

To compete for another division title, the Giants are banking on a healthy Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, a fitter and more determined Huff in another contract year, Panda being Panda, a few more hits from Brandon Crawford, the potential emergence of Brandon Belt, better defense and athleticism, and the usual strong pitching staff, which largely remained intact.

Repoz Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: business, giants, media

Friday, December 16, 2011

NYT: Bonds Avoids Prison - Sentenced To 30 Days Home Confinement

Starts with GWB’s attack in the State of the Union, ends with a whimper. Parallels to Iraq at your own risk.

Ephus Posted: December 16, 2011 at 08:13 PM | 217 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: San Francisco Giants

Come back Kenny Kolkhorst, wherever you are.

1. Gary Brown, OF
2. Tommy Joseph, 1B/C
3. Heath Hembree, RHP
4. Joe Panik, SS
5. Francisco Peguero, OF
6. Andrew Susac, C
7. Eric Surkamp, LHP
8. Kyle Crick, RHP
9. Ehire Adrianza, SS
10. Hector Sanchez, C

The current strength of San Francisco’s system is in position players, led by speedster Gary Brown and longball threat Tommy Joseph. Brandon Belt, who graduated to the majors in 2011, could make an impact for years to come. Scouting director John Barr added two polished college hitters in the 2011 draft, with St. John’s shortstop Joe Panik in the first round and Oregon State catcher Andrew Susac in the second.

However, the Giants don’t have another can’t-miss position player like Posey in the system. He’s determined to catch again and club officials will relent to his wishes, but they’ve talked about moving their best hitter out of harm’s way in the not too distant future.

Repoz Posted: December 15, 2011 at 10:36 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Buster Posey’s leg rehabilitation progressing nicely in Georgia | SFGiants.com: News

Giants catcher Buster Posey is continuing his smooth recovery from extensive left leg injuries and appears poised to intensify his training, head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said Friday.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:34 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Interpreting Scott Boras’ Comments On Prince Fielder: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com

The big concern for anyone signing Prince is that he will age like his father.

There has been some talk of Boras trying to get Fielder signed to a three or four year contract, so that Prince gets another bite at the free agency apple. That strategy, I would think, would work best for teams and Prince’s long-term earnings. Of course, who knows what silly offer could already be on the table? I am just glad the Red Sox already have Adrian Gonzalez.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2011 at 02:07 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brewers, cardinals, cubs, giants, mariners, miami, nationals

Friday, December 09, 2011

Episode 60: ZiP It, Thomas

Noticed on Twitter that Szym did a long Giants podcast, so I figured I’d send it to Repoz since Szym didn’t.

Zoppity Zoop Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:14 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

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