Category Archives: Baseball

David Bell Joins Giants Front Office In Player Development

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Former infielder David Bell is coming back to the San Francisco Giants as vice president of player development. Bell will work under the direction of general manager Bobby Evans, the team said Friday. The 45-year-old Bell spent the past four seasons working for the St. Louis Cardinals, the last three as bench coach and as assistant hitting coach in 2014. Bell was the Cubs’ third base coach in 2013 and also worked four seasons as a manager and coach in the Reds organization. He played for the Giants in 2002 during a 12-year big league playing career, reaching the World Series that season before the wild-card Giants lost to the Angels in Game 7. Evans says, “His presence, leadership and vision will help shape our ongoing strategy and continued commitment to player development.”
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Oakland Athletics Birthday Party

The Oakland Athletics are reaching their 50th celebration of being approved to move to Oakland, California. Oakland A’s was approved and created on October 18th, 1967. The A’s will be holding a celebration at Mad Oak on 135 12th Street in Oakland from 4pm-6pm. There will be goodies and more for fans that attend the event. To get more information about the Oakland A’s Birthday Party, click here.  

Chicago Cubs-Washington Nationals Weather Outlook: Rain Possible

CHICAGO (CBS) — Will the weather cooperate for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Nationals on Monday? CBS 2 meteorologist Megan Glaros says showers are likely around 5 p.m., which is shortly after the scheduled 4:38 p.m. start at Wrigley Field. After that rain moves through, the next band of heavier storms could hold off until late in the evening and overnight. “Showers will become a bit more plentiful in the afternoon,” Glaros said. “You will have a break in there, perhaps, for the back half of the Cubs game.” The early evening rain will be fairly light, and it might not even cause a delay. If it does, Glaros expects that the heavier storms won’t arrive until after 11 p.m. or midnight. Major League Baseball was considering scheduling the game during primetime but moved up the start due to the forecast. The Cubs lead the series 2-1 after rallying for a victory in Game 3 on Monday and can advance to the NL Championship Series with a win. Chicago right-hander Jake Arrieta opposes Washington right-hander Tanner Roark.

Turner’s Record 5 RBIs Drive Dodgers To 9-5 Win Over D-Backs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw still hasn’t figured out how to dominate in October. This time, he couldn’t even keep the ball in the yard. Justin Turner and the Los Angeles Dodgers made sure it hardly mattered in a strong postseason opener. Turner homered and drove in five runs, Kershaw won despite giving up four long balls and the Dodgers roared to a 9-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night in Game 1 of their NL Division Series. Turner hit a three-run homer and Yasiel Puig added an RBI double before Los Angeles made its first out against starter Taijuan Walker, who lasted just one inning in his playoff debut. Turner, the red-bearded slugger with postseason poise, added an RBI single in the fourth and another in the eighth to tie the Dodgers record for most RBIs in a postseason game. With his teammates providing such a generous cushion, Kershaw could afford to allow a few big flies in the first victory of his checkered postseason career at Dodger Stadium. He improved to 5-7 in the playoffs. “Yeah, he gave up four solo homers, but who cares?” asked Turner, batting .397 with 17 RBIs in his last 17 postseason games. “When you have a lead like that, it’s about attacking guys, not giving up free bases and pounding the zone. So I thought he was spectacular for us tonight.” Kershaw yielded back-to-back homers into the short left-field porch by light-hitting Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis on his final two pitches in the seventh, making him the first pitcher in team history and the eighth in baseball history to give up four home runs in a postseason game. LA’s big lead was down to 7-4 when the three-time Cy Young Award winner left, but the suspense didn’t last: Turner and the 104-win Dodgers added two more runs in the eighth, capping a 12-hit performance. “It just wasn’t coming out as good as I would have liked it to that last inning,” said Kershaw, who gave up five hits in 6 1/3 innings. “So they hit some good pitches. Not really. I just didn’t have much left. I don’t know. Hopefully, when you give up hits, maybe one or two would stay in the ballpark, but tonight it didn’t seem like that was going to happen. Obviously a frustrating way to end it, but thankfully we had a big lead.” Game 2 is Saturday night, with Rich Hill facing Robbie Ray and the Diamondbacks in a matchup of left-handers. Puig and Corey Seager both tripled and drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who finished 11 games ahead of Arizona to earn their fifth consecutive NL West crown. A.J. Pollock and J.D. Martinez also homered off Kershaw, but Arizona’s euphoria from its wild-card victory over Colorado was erased during a rough first inning in Chavez Ravine. Los Angeles’ first five batters reached base, punctuated by Turner’s shot and Puig’s line-drive double that scored rookie Cody Bellinger. Arizona ended a five-year playoff absence Wednesday with a rollicking 11-8 victory over the Rockies that was described by manager Torey Lovullo as “one of the most emotional days I’ve had in my career.” But that tough game bit the Diamondbacks in Los Angeles when Walker needed 48 pitches to get out of the first inning. Playing from behind all night, Arizona couldn’t catch up. “Well, we have been very resilient,” Lovullo said. “We’ve had some tough losses, and this is playoff baseball. We know that we’re built for moments like this. We’ve been battle-tested all year long. It’s one game. It was a tough day for us.” Ray was supposed to start this series opener, but was pressed into relief against the Rockies when ace Zack Greinke faltered — and Walker couldn’t come through in his place. “I just felt like they had a really good game plan against me,” Walker said. “They were sitting on the fastball most of the time.” Zack Godley pitched five innings of relief, but Turner, Puig and Seager added RBIs in the fourth for a 7-1 lead. Kershaw struck out seven, but the ace left-hander’s frequent inability to match his regular-season brilliance in October remains a constant presence. He struggled with the long ball again after serving up a career-high 23 homers during the regular season, but still earned his fifth career postseason victory — one shy of the franchise record — in 15 starts. Pollock made his postseason debut with two extra-base hits in the wild-card game, and he added a homer in the third inning for Arizona’s first hit off Kershaw. But Seager hit an RBI triple in the eighth, and Turner drove him home. “We gave them a run for their money there towards the middle, end of the game,” Martinez said. “They had to execute, and they had to put up a couple more runs. So you tip your hat to them, (but) I feel a lot more confident the way we battled back in that game.” The Diamondbacks still won’t lack for confidence against the mighty Dodgers. Arizona beat its division rivals six straight times down the regular-season stretch, and were one of two teams with a winning record against Los Angeles this season. WILD HORSE Puig had another standout game in his late-season surge, and the Cuban right fielder also provided some entertainment. He slid headfirst into third base on his triple in the seventh inning with his tongue wagging at the Dodgers’ dugout, drawing roars of laughter from his teammates. “I don’t know why,” Puig said. “I feel maybe ice cream in front of me, or something like that.” Earlier in the game, Puig licked his bat between pitches — and moments later, he remembered that pine tar doesn’t taste so great. “He’s called the Wild Horse for a reason,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Just sometimes you shake your head. Sometimes you smile.” RBI RECORD Turner now shares the Dodgers record for RBIs in a postseason game with Pedro Guerrero, who had five in the 1981 World Series, and Davey Lopes, who did it in the 1978 World Series. THE MAN Vin Scully attended the Dodgers’ first postseason game since their Hall of Fame announcer retired. Scully got his customary standing ovation when shown on the stadium scoreboard. UP NEXT Hill (12-8) allowed opponents to bat .203 in his first full Dodgers season, showing off veteran guile and pitch versatility while battling blisters. Ray was 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA in five starts against the Dodgers this season. (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Alderman Wants Safety Netting At Both Chicago Ballparks To Exceed Standards

CHICAGO (CBS) — The chairman of the Chicago City Council Finance Committee wants both the Chicago Cubs and White Sox to exceed the standards set by Major League Baseball: for safety netting at ballparks. The Cubs have already said they plan to extend safety netting at least 30 feet. The White Sox have yet to say anything publicly. A statement from the office of Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, the chairman of the council finance committee says the Chicago Cubs and White Sox have pledged to extend protective netting by opening day 2018. Last month a young girl was injured by a line drive at Yankee Stadium. The statement quotes Burke saying with gross revenues of nearly $10 billion in 2016, Major League Baseball can afford to make this investment in ensuring the safety of its fans. Burke’s resolution also calls on the Cubs and White Sox to reconsider policies that hold them harmless from liability.

The Torture Is Over: San Francisco Giants Ready To Put 2017 Behind Them

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Way back in spring training, Bruce Bochy had a roster he believed would be a legitimate contender in the talented NL West. His injury-plagued San Francisco Giants never got on track in a surprising lost season. At 64-98, San Francisco dropped 23 more games than a year ago, just avoiding the franchise’s first 100-loss season since 1985. The Giants will have the second overall pick in next year’s amateur draft. “We had a last-place season. That can happen in sports, like you have a lost year in life,” Brian Sabean, executive vice president of baseball operations, said Tuesday. “But we’re not last-place people and we’re not a last-place organization. We’re the furthest thing from that.” Sabean hardly sees a need for a “blow-it-up” overhaul or even a rebuild but rather, “We hope it’s a reset.” “It’s been a tough year. We’ve got a lot of things that we’ve all got to get better at,” catcher Buster Posey said. “Hopefully everybody can take a little time to decompress, get away and spend that time thinking about what it is specifically for them that they can do to help the Giants win more baseball games next year and come into spring training with a hungry attitude and a determination to get back to where we all want to be.” Bochy will challenge his team to do even more this offseason to try for a comeback in 2018. The Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Rockies all reached the playoffs. “Trust me, it’s humbling,” Bochy said. “This is a time I think you look back, you study from it, you learn from it and you focus forward.” BOCHY’S HEALTH: Bochy will undergo another heart ablation procedure next week in San Diego, something he doesn’t consider serious but wanted to do after the season in order to avoid missing any time with the team. The recovery could be a week or slightly longer. This time it will be to correct an atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat. “I knew I had to get another one but wanted to wait until the season was over,” he said. Bochy, whose contract goes through the 2019 season, is eager to get things turned around immediately and will get that chance. BELT’S CONCUSSIONS: First baseman Brandon Belt didn’t play again after Aug. 4 because of a concussion – his fourth – and the Giants took no risks with him down the stretch. Belt has been cleared from baseball’s concussion protocol and can proceed with a normal offseason program. He will be on his regular offseason regimen and fully healthy for spring training. “I’m not concerned about his future because of the concussions,” general manager Bobby Evans said. BUMMER FOR MADBUM: Ace lefty Madison Bumgarner getting hurt was a huge blow. The 2014 World Series MVP injured his pitching shoulder in an off-day dirt biking accident April 20 in Colorado and missed nearly three months. Johnny Cueto also spent significant time on the disabled list, while closer Mark Melancon – signed to a $62 million, four-year deal before the season – had surgery Sept. 12 in his forearm. “You lost your No. 1 starter, your No. 2 starter and your closer,” Sabean said. “It became a recipe for disaster.” TIMELY HITTING: The Giants showed in last Friday’s win against San Diego how they can hit in key situations, such as with two outs. That was at least a positive glimpse to take going into the offseason. It was difficult with no lineup continuity given so many injuries. “It wasn’t there this year but we know guys in this clubhouse what they can do,” second baseman Joe Panik said. “… It’s more going into the offseason with some positive thinking, positive feelings, because once the next spring training starts it’s a blank slate.” SO LONG, CAIN: Even with right-hander Matt Cain’s retirement, Bochy should have a nice rotation going into 2018. Cueto has hinted he plans to stay, given he could opt out of his $130 million, six-year contract. “He’s indicated his passion for being here,” Evans said. Then, there’s Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton will also be in the mix. “We have the makings of one of the best rotations in baseball still,” Bochy said.
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Cueto Struggles, But Sandoval’s HR Helps Giants Top Padres

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Pablo Sandoval hit a game-ending solo homer with one out in the ninth inning, lifting the Giants over the San Diego Padres 5-4 on Sunday in what may have been Johnny Cueto’s final start with San Francisco. Cueto had a rocky outing on the last day of the season, allowing four runs and 12 hits in five innings. Cueto can opt out of the $130 million, six-year contract he signed before the 2016 season and become a free agent. Sandoval hit a 3-2 fastball from rookie Phil Maton (3-2). It was his fifth homer in 47 games since returning to San Francisco this summer. Giants reliever Hunter Strickland (4-3) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings. After the game, San Francisco honored retiring pitcher Matt Cain on his 33rd birthday. Cain made the final appearances of his 13-year career Saturday. (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Athletics End Last-Place Season With 5-2 Win Over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Daniel Mengden struck out eight, Khris Davis hit his career-best 43rd homer and the last-place Oakland Athletics ended the season with a 5-2 win at Texas on Sunday. The Athletics (75-87) finished at the bottom of the AL West for the third consecutive season, a franchise first, but won six more games than last season thanks to 17 victories in their last 24 games. Manager Bob Melvin even got a contract extension this week, adding a year through 2019. Texas didn’t have a base runner against Mengden (3-2) until Adrian Beltre’s 3,048th career hit, a single leading off the fifth. Mengden walked one and allowed only four singles in his seven innings. Blake Treinen worked the ninth for his 16th save in 21 chances. After winning the AL West title the past two seasons, the Rangers (78-84) slipped from 95 wins last year. Oakland went ahead to stay after four consecutive hits to open the third off Cole Hamels (11-6). Dustin Garneau and Marcus Semien had singles before Matt Chapman’s RBI double. Jed Lowrie followed with his 49th double, extending his single-season team record while driving in two runs. Davis, already only the second A’s player other than Jimmie Fox (1932-34) with consecutive 40-homer seasons, went deep in the eighth. Davis hit 42 homers last season. The Rangers didn’t score until Nomar Mazara’s two-run single in the eighth, giving him 101 RBIs. Beltre played for the first time since Tuesday, the night the Rangers were eliminated from wild-card contention. He missed only two weeks after a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring Aug. 31, but was back two weeks later and was the DH in 13 consecutive games when the team still had a chance to make the playoffs. After being lifted for a pinch-runner, Beltre got an extended ovation from the crowd that included a curtain call. The 38-year-old third baseman, who hit .312 in his 20th major league season, is signed with the Rangers through next season. Hamels struck out five in his three innings. The lefty, who missed more than seven weeks because of a right oblique strain, ended the season with 148 innings – his fewest since 132 1/3 innings as a rookie with Philadelphia in 2006. He had thrown at least 200 innings each of the past seven seasons. MAWELL PROTEST A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell took a knee during the national anthem, something he did the last nine games of the season. He is the only Major League Baseball player who has done that, and the series at Texas was the first on the road. He kneeled in front of teammates before Sunday’s finale, and loud boos were heard after the anthem. UP NEXT Athletics: At home for their 2018 opener on March 29 against the Los Angeles Angels. Rangers: Their 2018 opener is March 29 at home against Houston.
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New York Yankees Will Expand Protective Netting Next Season

NEW YORK (AP) — Following a frightening scene in the stands, the New York Yankees are making a move to keep their fans safe. Eleven days after a 1-year-old girl was injured by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium, the team said it plans to expand protective netting at its home ballpark and spring training complex next year. The club announced the decision during its final regular-season game Sunday against Toronto. Since the girl was injured Sept. 20 by a 105 mph line drive off the bat of Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier, several teams have announced they plan to add more netting to better protect fans. “That’s great. I think not only here, but every team should have it,” Frazier said. “It’s a good step forward for the Yankees, man. I’m very proud to say I’m playing for this team and they’re going to make this change, and it’s really nice.” In a news release, the Yankees said they will “significantly expand” the netting this offseason at Yankee Stadium and Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. The team said while its current netting meets Major League Baseball recommendations, the additional netting planned for 2018 will exceed those guidelines. “I think that anything that keeps our fans safe is good,” manager Joe Girardi said. “The ball is extremely hard, and sometimes reaction time isn’t good, and sometimes you’re blinded by the fans in front. So anything that keeps them safe, I’m all for it.” The club did not say how far it will expand netting that currently extends from the corner of each dugout closest to home plate. The Yankees said they will continue to consult with “architects, engineers, netting manufacturers and Major League Baseball to analyze and determine the best and most appropriate type of netting material, color and installation methods.” The team said it also has considered comments from fans. “I think a lot of fans realize it, too,” Frazier said. “There’s always going to be fans who don’t and some fans who do. That’s always going to happen, but it’s the right thing to do. It really is. I think safety first.” The decision was announced over the Yankee Stadium public address system after the third inning Sunday. There wasn’t much audible reaction from the crowd. Frazier kept in regular contact with the girl’s family for a while but said he hasn’t spoken to them lately. He plans to invite them to meet when they’re ready. “They kind of want to settle in and get back to normal life a little bit. Eventually, we’ll hook up here. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks,” he said. Frazier said as far as he knows, the young girl is feeling better. “To the best of my ability, with a couple of fractures and whatever it is, she’s probably still hurting a little bit right now. But she’s out of the hospital, so that’s a good sign,” he said. “He (the girl’s father) said he’s going to call me when everything is fine. So I’m not going to bother them. From here on out, I’ll just wait for them to call me and eventually we’ll hook up.” In a story posted Sunday on the website of The New York Times, the girl’s father, Geoffrey Jacobson, said his daughter left the hospital on Sept. 25. He said she turns 2 this week. Jacobson, who did not make public her name, said that when he first walked into her hospital room after the injury, her eyes were swollen shut. He said she had multiple facial fractures and had bleeding on her brain. Jacobson told the Times that doctors didn’t yet know whether his daughter’s vision would return to normal or whether facial surgery would be necessary. “While there are numerous medical follow-ups and some remaining medical questions to be answered, we can’t ignore how fortunate we are that our little girl is home,” Jacobson told the newspaper. As to the Yankees announcement about extending the netting, he told the Times “it’s what they should have said from Day One, but I’m happy to hear this. I hope the remaining teams follow suit, because it’s not just about the Yankees.” Jacobson is a real estate lawyer and said he hadn’t thought about taking legal action against the Yankees. “As a lawyer, I know we have a statute of limitations. There’s a time and a place for that, but it’s not on my radar.” About Frazier, Jacobson told the Times that “Not only is he a world-class athlete, but he is a better person and that is what really matters.” ___