Category Archives: SF Giants

Play Ball! Sacramento River Cats Announce First Home Scrimmage

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento River Cats hit the field for the first time on April 1 for an inter-level scrimmage.

The team will take on the San Jose Giants at Raley Field in what’s being called a ‘prospect-packed’ game.

The San Jose Giants team is the Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

Players expected to take the field are:

  • Joey Bart
  • Heliot Ramos
  • Shaun Anderson
  • Chris Shaw
  • Aramis Garcia
  • Tyler Beede

The first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. General admission tickets for the special scrimmage start at just $5. Tickets are available now at rivercats.com.

No Charges Against San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer For Altercation With Wife

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday it would not file charges against Giants CEO Larry Baer following a physical altercation with his wife which was caught on camera.

Baer was placed on leave by the team after the release of the video, which shows Baer standing over his wife of nearly 30 years, Pam, as she’s seated and grappling with her over a cellphone, which sends her tumbling to the ground.

Baer apologized and took a leave of absence from the team following the confrontation. Major League Baseball said it would investigate the incident.

Max Szabo, a spokesman for District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement Tuesday, “After a careful review of the relevant evidence, including multiple videos, statements from several witnesses and the parties themselves, the evidence does not support filing criminal charges.”

On Monday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and domestic violence victim advocates called on MLB to suspend Baer for the incident. A spokesman for the mayor said Tuesday she stands by her previous statement and reiterated that the league “needs to send a clear message that violence against women is not acceptable in any way.”

The Giants declined to comment in response to the DA’s decision, saying it would wait until MLB completed its review of the case.

Domestic violence victims advocate Kathy Black says she respects the DA’s decision, but still believes the league should sanction and even fine Baer because the incident violates the league’s policies on “physical altercations.”

“Perception is: he’s a rich owner, he might get away with whatever, right? And I think there’s a danger to that,” said Black.

Andrea Shorter, part of a newly formed group called “Do What’s Right MLB,” also wants Baer to face some sort of punishment.

“It is about what sort of message, what sort of consequences… and what sort of leadership and accountability can we expect moving forward. What can the MLB do? And we are asking, challenging, and supporting that they do what’s right,” said Shorter.

Old Giants Spring Training Home Could Have Been A Baseball Paradise

CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA (KPIX) – The road sign says Candlestick. Never mind that the sign is exactly 806 miles from the site where the baseball stadium used to sit.

I am more taken aback by the immediate surroundings. Dirt fields that stretch for miles, and cactus that remind me that I’m not in San Francisco anymore. Then, just beyond the sign, a hotel. The Francisco Casa Grande, standing alone in the middle of the Arizona desert.

It almost looks like a mistake. Like something you’d see in Old Town Scottsdale 54 miles to the north, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of spring training.

Once upon a time, the sounds of baseball were here. The lonely, quiet desert oasis was home to Horace Stoneham’s dream. The former Giants owner who brought the team from New York to San Francisco, envied Branch Rickey’s Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

Stoneham brought this plot of land and built his version of Dodgertown beginning in 1959. He built one of the longest golf courses in the country. The parking lot was shaped like a catcher’s mitt, the hotel roof formed in the bill of a baseball cap and the swimming pool looked like a baseball bat.

For the business-minded Stoneham, the Francisco Casa Grande would be far more than a spring training site for his major and minor league players. Stoneham envisioned his desert paradise as a destination for stars, fans, and those who just wanted to escape to the peace and tranquility of the desert.

John Wayne always stayed in room 804. He used the hotel as his home-away-from home while shooting westerns. He would hang out at the lobby bar and he’d buy guests drinks and tell the bartender to keep the change.

John Wayne’s suite at the Francisco Casa Grande Hotel.

Among Wayne’s hotel neighbors was Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, the only two Giants allowed to stay in the high rise. The rest of the roster was confined to what pitcher Jim Barr called, ‘the barracks,” small rooms with two bunk beds.

A walk down the hotel hallways takes you back in time. All those Giants greats adorn the walls. Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda and the two Willies.

Outside are the remnants of all the baseball fields that surrounded an observation tower where the Giants brass could watch their talented players.

I stood on the observation tower for several minutes. My favorite Giants played here. They were my heroes. I imagined seeing a young Al Gallagher at third base or Ken Henderson in left field or Tito Fuentes flipping his bat at home plate. I wondered what their conversations were like. It was the glorious days before free agency where you literally grew up with these guys and the only player movement came in the morning paper with a headline, “Giants Trade Willie Mays!”

The observation tower at Casa Grande

The baseball mecca that Stoneham envisioned never really materialized. The freeway that he thought would be built next to his resort was constructed miles away. The Giants left for Scottsdale in 1982.

Today, the Francisco Casa Grande is a golf resort. They tell me former players still come back to take their own trips down memory lane. Baseball fans sit at the bar and tell stories.

To me, the Francisco Casa Grande stands as a monument to Horace Stoneham’s dream.

Simpler times. Baseball. Just baseball.

San Francisco DA Still Reviewing Altercation Between Giants CEO Baer And Wife

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco District Attorney’s office on Friday confirmed they are reviewing the case of Giants CEO Larry Baer and the very public fight he had with his wife last week.

Baer and his wife of nearly 30 years got into a tug-of- war over a cell phone during which she was knocked to the ground.

It happened in Hayes Valley on March 1st. Video taken by a bystander was purchased by TMZ and featured on the company’s web site.

Baer’s attorney told the San Francisco Chronicle his wife’s fall was “an accident,” not a crime.

But the DA’s office and the San Francisco Police Department’s Special Investigations Division are looking into what happened.

The review of the case is standard procedure, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesman Alex Bastian said, adding that he couldn’t be certain how long the review would take.

Authorities are still deciding whether to file criminal charges.

TMZ now reports the Baers have been interviewed by authorities and are cooperating. The couple issued a statement at the time saying they are both “deeply embarrassed.”

Baer issued an apology through the Giants on March 4th and announced he would take a leave of absence from the team. He did not say how long his leave would be.

Giants OF Maybin Arrested On Suspicion Of DUI

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — San Francisco Giants outfielder Cameron Maybin has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Arizona.

Police confirmed Tuesday that the 31-year-old was stopped last week in Scottsdale, which is the team’s home during spring training.

Cameron Maybin (Scottsdale Police Department)

According to a police report, Maybin was detained around 2:30 a.m. Friday. An officer described him as smelling of alcohol and having bloodshot eyes.

Maybin told officers he had consumed five glasses of wine earlier at a restaurant. He was subsequently placed under arrest and taken to jail, where police drew a blood sample.

He was cited and released two hours later.

In a statement, the team said it was monitoring the situation but had no further comment.

 

 

Caught On Camera: San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer In Physical Altercation With Wife

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) — San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer was seen in a confrontation with his wife that resulted in her falling out of a chair and onto the ground in an incident caught on video Friday.

The video, published by TMZ Sports, was shot by an eyewitness who saw the couple in a public park.

In the video, Baer is seen forcibly grabbing something from the hand of his wife, Pam, as she tumbles to the ground and screams. It then shows others in the park yelling back and forth. Baer appears to yell, “Stop, Pam. Stop.”

The San Francisco Police Department said they are “looking into alleged the incident.”

For the complete story, click here.

Healthy Posey Hopeful Of Handling Full Catching Load

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CBS SF / AP) — One day in early November, Buster Posey felt his body respond more normally again as he rehabilitated from season-ending hip surgery. Working out his lower half with a 15-pound dumbbell in his left hand he leaned forward for a one-legged Russian Dead Lift. Posey felt the muscles in his right buttocks being used exactly the way they should.

“This might be TMI,” San Francisco’s star catcher noted of perhaps providing too much information. “I could really feel the right side of my gluteus maximus engage — hadn’t really felt that in a while. With all leg exercises I feel like things have been more symmetrical, so hopefully that’s a good sign.”

San Francisco pitchers and catchers report this week and Posey plans to be a full participant from Day 1 of spring training Wednesday, pulling on the catcher’s gear and squatting behind the plate for his part in pitchers’ bullpens early in camp. He understands there likely will be some modifications to his workload at the beginning just to be safe.

And being in the lineup behind the plate on opening day March 28 at San Diego, Posey is absolutely planning on it.

“As of now, no, not at all,” he said of having any level of concern about being ready.

When Posey began swinging a bat again at the start of the year, he considered that another critical step in his return and feeling right.

He put on the catching gear again for a commercial Feb. 7.

“I kind of had that feeling a little bit already just when I got to hit,” he said of getting back in the batting cage. “I was like, ‘Man, this feels good, it feels good to be able to swing and feel like I’m swinging how I want to.”

Still, he knows there’s far more to it.

“I’m able to hit, throw, run and everything’s feeling good,” Posey said. “Having said that, it’s still not the same as getting on the field for live BP or the games in spring training then obviously the season’s a completely different animal. But I’m optimistic that it’ll be fun.”

New Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi insists the Giants will not push Posey, taking a cautious approach with one of their franchise players to make sure he stays on the field for the long haul. Stephen Vogt reached a minor league deal this week and Rene Rivera received a minor league contract last week to give the Giants depth at catcher.

“I do know that we’re going to be smart about it, careful about it, not just going into camp but even going into the season,” Zaidi said. “If things go super, super well, even if he’s ready to carry a full catching load to start the season I’m not sure that would be the prudent course for us so I think we’re really going to err on the side of caution.”

Of course Posey wants to play, especially after the way 2018 went for him personally and the team.

The Giants finished 73-89, including a majors-worst 5-21 in September, yet bettered their last-place 2017 finish of 64-98.

“Again I think you have to be open to new thoughts and always be willing to adjust,” Posey said. “I do know that there’s been times late in seasons on years that I’ve felt really good where I’ve been like, ‘Man, I’m running low right now.’ So it would be hard to say that if that type of strategy would pay dividends in late September or early October, but there’s probably numbers that say they do I’m guessing.”

The 31-year-old Posey hopes with a healthy hip that his power numbers will improve as the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year and 2012 MVP begins his 10th — yes, that’s right — full major league season.

He batted .284 with five home runs and 41 RBIs in 2018 while limited to 105 games. Even throwing seemed to put more stress on his shoulder with the troublesome hip, which needed repair for a torn labrum as well as removal of an impingement.

Even if Posey hadn’t needed surgery, he said players must constantly adapt and find new ways to prepare physically and mentally for the grind of a 162-game season.

“I think regardless of hip injury, surgery or whatnot you’re having to evolve and change how you’re going about your day just as the years go by, so, yeah, I’ve changed the way I go about getting ready,” he said. “I used to be able to just walk into a gym cold and jump on the squat rack. But those days are gone.”

Manager Bruce Bochy gives Posey periodic starts at first base to take some stress off his body. Posey made 13 starts at first last year and 30 in 2017.

Everyone around the Giants expects a strong comeback by the six-time All-Star.

“I’m sure it’s going to be able to help out, the hip, being able to release it on the swing,” Bochy said. “I’ve listened to our medical staff and they’re confident this is really going to help Buster out as far as catching, throwing and on the hitting side, so I’m confident.”

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Giants Go Younger So Far Under New Executive Farhan Zaidi

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) — The San Francisco Giants have had a quiet offseason, aside of course from acquiring new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi from the rival and six-time defending division champion Dodgers and challenging him with getting this franchise back into contention.

Or, as Zaidi emphasized, competing night in and night out.

San Francisco will be younger, with fewer big names, for sure. And some of those big names — take Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Madison Bumgarner — are eager for fresh starts after injury-shortened years in 2018.

Returning to respectability will be the first chore: The Giants finished 73-89 last season while trading away Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees in late August in a lost year. San Francisco struggled to score runs and went a majors-worst 5-21 in September but improved on its last-place 2017 finish of 64-98 by nine wins.

Zaidi brought back left-hander Derek Holland for $7 million over one year and signed lefty Drew Pomeranz to a $1.5 million, one-year contract.

They will add depth for a starting staff that in 2018 missed Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija for significant stretches in a second straight season.

Here are some things to know about the Giants:

POSEY’S PROGRESS: Posey underwent season-ending hip surgery in August.

At the December winter meetings in Las Vegas, Zaidi said he absolutely still considers Posey the face of the franchise and a feared hitter in the middle of the batting order. That’s after Posey hit .284 with five home runs and 41 RBIs.

The hip did limit the catcher at the plate.

INJURED PITCHERS: Manager Bruce Bochy has said he expects Bumgarner to bounce back like his old self — the dominant southpaw who captured 2014 World Series MVP honors.

Bumgarner broke the pinkie on his pitching hand when he was hit by a line drive from Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield in his final 2018 spring training start, then had surgery to insert pins into the finger.

He returned and wound up 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 21 starts and 129 2/3 innings. The lefty ace missed nearly three months last year following a dirt bike accident during an off day in Colorado.

Cueto had Tommy John surgery in August.

Samardzija “is pretty much on schedule,” according to Zaidi, after the right-hander dealt with shoulder issues that limited him to 10 starts and just 44 2/3 innings as he went 1-5 with a 4.17 ERA.

NEW LOOK: Gone are fan favorite Hunter Pence, hothead Hunter Strickland and reliable outfielders Gregor Blanco and Gorkys Hernandez.

Pomeranz is familiar with the Bay Area — he spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons with Oakland — and the NL West, having pitched for Colorado and San Diego. He spent the past three years with Boston.

Pomeranz won a career-high 17 games for the Red Sox in 2017. But he went 2-6 with a 6.08 ERA last season and was limited to 11 starts and 26 appearances for the World Series champions because of two stints on the disabled list — first with a strained left forearm followed by biceps tendinitis in his pitching arm.

He did not pitch in the World Series but was on the roster.

“My big thing is getting back on track to doing what I can do and just being myself again because it’s very frustrating when you have to fight through a year where you know this isn’t me, how do I fix this, what can I do to make sure this never happen again?” he said. “In that regard, this just felt like a great fit for me.”

ROOKIES TO WATCH: Catcher Joey Bart, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft last year, got an invitation to big league spring training and will give the Giants a glimpse of the future. Bart is the team’s top prospect after hitting 13 homers and 14 doubles in 45 games in Class-A last year and will get the chance to work alongside Posey. Bart figures to be a big part of the team’s plans in 2020.

THEY’RE NOT: The Giants have plenty of uncertainty in the outfield following the departures of Pence and Blanco. The most experienced outfielder on the roster is Mac Williamson, who has played only 120 games in his career.

PITCHING ANALYST: The Giants hired pitching analyst Matt Daniels to join Zaidi’s staff. Daniels left his position in Seattle as pitching coordinator of Driveline baseball to join San Francisco.