Buster and Kristen Posey increase focus on pediatric cancer


Buster and Kristen Posey increase focus on pediatric cancer

SAN FRANCISCO — In the biggest moments on the baseball field, Buster Posey is unflappable as it gets. But he couldn’t keep from breaking down Wednesday while discussing a cause very near and dear to his heart.

Posey and his wife Kristen held a press conference at AT&T Park to announce plans to make pediatric cancer a primary focus of their philanthropic efforts. The Poseys, with the help of the Giants and New Era, are working to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research and treatment.

Buster said this became a focus for his family when Kristen met a family who has a son, Cannon, who is only four days older than the couple’s twins but is fighting cancer. Buster had tears in his eyes as he spoke of Cannon and his discovery that only four percent of cancer funds raised throughout the country are dedicated to pediatric cancer research.

“It goes back to having children of your own and the gut-wrenching feeling you get thinking of kids (going through) something like that,” he said. 

The new efforts are focused in three ways. New Era unveiled a Buster Posey Pediatric Cancer Awareness cap that has the Giants logo on the front, Posey’s initials and numbers on the back, and a gold ribbon for Pediatric Cancer Awareness on the side. Posey said 28 percent of the proceeds will go to support pediatric research and treatment.

The fundraising portion also includes an event on Sept. 14 with proceeds benefitting The V Foundation and pediatric cancer programs in the Bay Area. Dick Vitale, an ESPN college basketball analyst and longtime advocate for pediatric cancer support, will be the host.

The Poseys are also working toward increased awareness, and they’ll host Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day at AT&T Park on Sept. 17. Posey said Cannon, who is four years old, is scheduled to get his last dose of chemo the day of that event.

The third aspect of this increased effort is patient and family support, and the Poseys hosted several families on the field during batting practice Wednesday. Once per month, families will be invited to attend a Giants game and meet players and the Poseys on the field.

Posey said the goal is to provide as much financial support as possible going forward, starting with the sale of the special caps. He said repeatedly that this push “does mean a lot to me,” and he’s hopeful that his family can make a difference. 

“We said we’ve got to do something,” he said. “We can’t talk about how bad this is. We’ve got to try to help.”

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

MiLB/Sacramento River Cats

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

Every time the Journey song “Lights” plays throughout AT&T Park, the lyrics When the lights go down in the City ring too true for the Giants’ offense. There’s a power outage in San Francisco. 

The savior to this issue can soon be prospect Chris Shaw, who turns 24 years old on Oct. 20. Shaw, along with five other Giants prospects, is continuing his 2017 season among a multitude of baseball’s best young up-and-comers in the Arizona Fall League. As he takes the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Shaw’s bat is far from the top focus for the Giants. 

After playing right and left field at Boston College, the Giants turned Shaw into a first baseman once they selected the 6-foot-4, 235-pound lefty in 2015. This year, the Giants’ front office decided to make a change. As the big league team continued to look for their own answers, Shaw saw himself in left field in 94 of the 125 games he played between Double-A and Triple-A this season. 

“I saw improvements through the course of the year,” Brian Sabean said about Shaw’s outfield defense on The Giants Insider Podcast. “The problem is playing left field in our left field isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.” 

The AFL is all about reps in left field for Shaw as the Giants have already said he will get a long look in spring training. He earned that right after a breakout year at the plate.

One week into the AFL though, Shaw’s bat is way behind. Through four games, Shaw is batting a pedestrian .133 (2-for-15), both hits being singles. But even in such a slow start there are positives. 

Shaw has walked three times to only two strikeouts. His only downfall at the plate once he reached Triple-A Sacramento was his on-base percentage fell from .390 in Double-A to .328 at the higher level. With the River Cats, Shaw struck out 106 times, leading the team, while taking his base 20 times.

One week in the desert, Shaw is showing more patience and putting the ball into play more often. The ball simply isn’t finding grass.

In the outfield, every ball Shaw sees -- practice or game -- during the AFL is a step in the right direction for he and the Giants. He is yet to make an error in his short time at the AFL. The big lefty will never be a guy to make the spectacular play, but if he improves his instincts with the glove and improves his eye at the plate, the Giants can finally have their left fielder of the future. 

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.