ORLANDO — Most baseball managers get to know their city’s elected officials over time, but few spend as much time with the mayor as Bruce Bochy did over the past decade. The routine became a familiar one — Bochy’s Giants would win a title, parade down Market Street, and get greeted by a raucous speech from mayor Ed Lee.
On Tuesday, a few hours after Lee passed away, Bochy shared some memories of the mayor who was a big Giants fan and showed that passion often.
“I just loved his enthusiasm,” Bochy said. “You saw him during the parades, and when he came to the ballpark, he just had a real passion and enthusiasm for the Giants and the city of San Francisco. It’s a tough loss for the city, just a real sad day, and I feel for his family with how sudden this happened. We’re going to miss him.”
[RATTO: Ed Lee's favorite team was The City itself]
The news came as a shock to an organization where many got to know the mayor and his staff well. The Giants put out a statement and a few players shared their thoughts on social media. Hunter Pence posted a picture of Lee on his Twitter page and wrote “We’ve always appreciated your great support and passion.” Christian Arroyo tweeted that he met Lee in 2013 on his first visit to AT&T Park. “One of the most genuine humans I have ever met,” Arroyo wrote. “Rest easy, you will be missed.”
Lee, 65, was a regular at the ballpark and often took part in ceremonies on the field before games. Bochy smiled when asked about Lee’s passionate post-parade speeches.
“He was fired up. He loved it,” Bochy said. “He loved the Giants and he loved being a part of us winning and he had a lot of fun with it. He was great to have around. He was ‘rah-rah’ all the time around the Giants.”
SAN FRANCISCO -- The overhaul of the Giants' outfield is complete.
The Giants agreed to a two-year deal with center fielder Austin Jackson on Monday, the team announced. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the deal is worth $6 million. The team did not immediately confirm the financials of the deal, but per Heyman, clauses could take it up to $8.5 million. Those figures would be in line with the goal of staying under the luxury tax threshold.
"We are excited to have Austin join the Giants. He is a talented and versatile player who will strengthen our roster and provide additional depth at all three outfield positions," Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans said in a statement.
Jackson was worth 1.9 WAR last season while posting a .869 OPS for the Cleveland Indians. He mashed left-handed pitching, batting .352 in 122 at-bats. That trait could allow Jackson to platoon with Steven Duggar if he's ready early in the season.
Jackson is the clear frontrunner now to start in center field on opening day and help fix a glaring defensive issue. Andrew McCutchen has already been installed as the new right fielder and Hunter Pence will slide over to left.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The annual Baseball America top 100 prospects list backed up two widely held beliefs about the Giants farm system: The organization still does not have a lot of high-end prospects and a newcomer is viewed as the best of the bunch.
Heliot Ramos, last year's first-round pick, was ranked as the 79th best prospect in the game, but he's the only Giant on the list.
Ramos, 18, is the name just about every opposing front office asked for in trade talks this offseason, but the Giants view him as a potential five-tool center fielder. He already appears to be one of the steals of the 2017 draft. After being selected 19th overall, Ramos hit .348 in rookie ball with a .404 on-base percentage and .645 slugging percentage. He hit six homers in 35 games and stole 10 bases.
Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the top prospect on the list, followed by Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The Dodgers have four players listed before Ramos and the Padres have four of the top 32 prospects as they try to rebuild and get back into NL West contention. The A's have four players in the top 100: lefty A.J. Puk (30), shortstop Franklin Barreto (43), shortstop Jorge Mateo (64) and outfielder Dustin Fowler (88).