Braves' Hudson doesn't plunk Cabrera, but tensions linger


Braves' Hudson doesn't plunk Cabrera, but tensions linger

ATLANTA Braves right-hander Tim Hudson didnt so much asbrush back Melky Cabrera during the Giants 3-2 loss Thursday.

But Hudson offered one zinger in his postgame interview.

We won the game. Thats all that matters, Hudson said.Whenever they want to strut around when they lose, thats fine. Thats theirown thing.

RELATED: Instant Replay: Braves 3, Giants 2

Whether Cabrera showed up his former team or not -- and heinsisted he wasnt trying to embarrass anyone -- clearly the Braves are holdingonto some sour sentiments. So itll be interesting when these two contendingclubs cross paths again Aug. 23-26 at AT&T Park.

For now, the Giants were more focused on the fact they losta one-run game despite outhitting the Braves 9-3. As Buster Posey said, younever want to waste the kind of pitching performance that Madison Bumgarnergave them. Yet the Giants also cant feel too bad about merely taking two ofthree at Turner Field.

Its only their second series win out of 19 that theyveplayed here.

Cabrera fueled much of their success. He posted multiplehits in all three games while going 6 for 13 with a homer, a triple a double,four runs scored and three RBIs.

He didnt express satisfaction with his series whilespeaking with the help of center fielderresident Rosetta Stone Angel Pagan, somuch as he repeated his appreciation to be playing every day.

But he didclaim that the gestures and fun he was having on the field had nothing to dowith showing up his former team, who non-tendered him after a bust of a seasonin 2010.

Nor did he claim to pay heed to the boos that grew withevery hit he collected.

No, no, I didnt pay attention to that, Cabrera said.Just trying to play hard baseball. Sometimes when the adrenaline is reallyhigh, something might happen. Its not trying to embarrass anybody. Its justtrying to play hard and competitive.

The Braves expressed particular annoyance at the pelvicthrust movement that Cabrera and Gregor Blanco made after Blancos three-runhome run in the 11th inning Wednesday. (Chipper Jones, who called outCabrera after Wednesdays game, laughed as he pointed downward while receivingDavid Ross in the dugout following Rosss home run Thursday.)

RELATED: Chipper Jones calls out Melky Cabrera for taunting

Blanco, a former Brave, was surprised by that. He said thelittle celebration move wasnt intended to mock the Braves, pointing outtheyve done it all season long.

It didnt have anything to do with them. I dont know whythey think that, Blanco said. They misunderstood what were trying to do. Meand Melky, we played here. We played in Kansas City. Thats just a thing we do.

Well keep doing it. Its just like a handshake. It makesthe game fun. Its a misunderstanding if they take it another way.

And what if the Braves let a little strategic time passbefore deciding to take a pot shot at Cabrera in San Francisco?

Hopefully not, Blanco said. Because we are all grown menand we are a team here, and wed respond back.

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far


Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

There was something almost disturbingly surreptitious about the Giants’ decision to announce Dave Righetti’s removal as pitching coach (for a front office job) Saturday. Saturday, after all, is the day you typically bury sports news that isn’t football, or related to football in some way.

But that could just be us being needlessly conspiratorial. We’re willing to bestow, if not the benefit of the doubt, at least the lack of doubt.

Still, Righetti’s reassignment, and those of bullpen coach Mark Gardner and assistant hitting coach Steve Decker, makes it clear that however the Giants want to avoid the use of the word “rebuilding,” they are indeed rebuilding – just not in the traditional new-players-for-old way.

General manager Bobby Evans made it clear without saying the words that Righetti’s messaging had lost its efficacy with the younger pitchers, who for the most part had not been part of the franchise’s most glorious times. And since the only pitchers still on the 40-man roster who had been with the club for its last World Series parade are Madison Bumgarner and Hunter Strickland, Evans clearly concluded that the message to the new staff needed to come from elsewhere.

Now this assumes that the problem with the Giants’ pitching was not the talent level or the execution, of course. Typically, it takes a lot for a manager or coach to screw up his job so profoundly that he needs to be replaced – mostly it’s considered an environmental matter that a new voice saying the old stuff is sufficient. It’s really more alchemy than science, and alchemy is fairly hit-or-miss.

But it is change where the Giants feel they can change; their four starters (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore) and closer (Mark Melancon) are in for $70.8 million this coming year, so a full-on demolition is not cost effective, and the young’uns (Chris Stratton, Strickland, Cory Gearrin, Derek Law, et. al.) remain in that tenuous middle ground between dependable and disposable. In other words, there aren’t a lot of options for dramatic player change, and the Giants don’t look to be aggressive buyers in the off-season, crackpot Giancarlo Stanton rumors notwithstanding.

So this is the face of the Giants’ rebuild so far – Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner and Steve Decker. Make of the act and the circumstances of the release of the information what you will, but as it is neither the manager (Bruce Bochy is golden) or the players (who with only a few exceptions are decidedly meh, with a side of feh), it will have to do as the first answer to the question, “What do they intend to do about 64-98?"

I mean other than keeping a low profile about it.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency


Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

With free agency set to begin five days after the World Series ends, two hitters that played for the Giants during the 2017 season have put their names on the open market.

Veteran third baseman Conor Gillaspie and longtime minor league outfielder Carlos Moncrief have both elected for free agency, according to Baseball America.

The 30-year-old Gillaspie appeared in 44 games for the Giants this past season. He hit just .168/.218/.288 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He was designated for assignment on August 3 and outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on August 5. With the River Cats, Gillaspie hit .375 with four doubles in 15 games in August.

Prior to the 2017 season, Gillaspie signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Giants.

As for Moncrief, the soon-to-be 29-year-old finally got his first call-up the majors this past season after eight and a half seasons in the minors. He debuted for the Giants on July 29. In 28 games, he hit .211/.256/.237 with one double and five RBI. While he didn't do much with the bat, Moncrief showed off a cannon for an arm when he patrolled right field.