Giants

Dodgers ask court to toss claims in Stow case

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Dodgers ask court to toss claims in Stow case

WILMINGTON, Del. -- The Los Angeles Dodgers asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge on Friday to disallow claims against the team filed by Bryan Stow, the Giants fan nearly beaten to death outside Dodger Stadium last spring.Stow and his family sued the Dodgers in California state court, then filed the claim with the federal court in July, weeks after owner Frank McCourt put the team in bankruptcy."The Stow claim is, when stripped to its core, based on the faulty premise that a landowner is an insurer of the safety of persons on its property," the Dodgers said in a 37-page motion filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross.
Stow sustained a severe brain injury when he was attacked after the Dodgers' home opener against the Giants on March 31. He was hospitalized until October, then moved to a rehabilitation facility.Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood were charged in the attack, which police described as the culmination of a string of confrontations they had with randomly selected Giants fans at the stadium.McCourt is in the process of selling the team by April 30."The only good thing is, he's out," said Stow's lawyer, Thomas Girardi. "Seldom in history has an owner of a team been more hated, despised, than he is for his despicable conduct. So this is just perfect. You wouldn't expect anything else."The Dodgers said there were 442 security personnel in the ballpark and parking lots that day, including police. The team said that was an increase from 398 for the 2010 opener and 308 for the first home game in 2009."Stow cannot prove any link between the additional security related steps that Stow contends the debtors should have taken and his injuries," the Dodgers said in a statement. "Stow cannot show that anything about the security personnel staffing on opening day caused his injuries and, furthermore, the security staffing at the game greatly exceeded all requirements of California state law."In addition, the Dodgers said the team "had no knowledge of any inappropriate conduct by Stow's assailants prior to the time that Stow sustained his injuries and, as a matter of law, are not liable for failure to anticipate criminal acts of third parties."Girardi said the Dodgers had submitted sworn statements in the case that contained lies."The last thing anybody would expect from a statement from the current bankrupt owner would be something about integrity, something about fairness, something about how do I correct the problem I caused?" Girardi said. "But steady as she goes with him, the same guy who siphoned off 189 million bucks of the Dodger organization and then put the team in bankruptcy, who got rid of security, who has more incidents of harm than any other team in baseball. Now this guy coming forward and saying forget about it."

Giants hire David Bell to fill key front office role

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AP

Giants hire David Bell to fill key front office role

SAN FRANCISCO -- A familiar face is returning to the Giants organization to serve a key front office role.

The Giants announced Friday that David Bell, their former third baseman, has been hired as Vice President of Player Development. General manager Bobby Evans said Bell will oversee all aspects of player development, including hitting, pitching, strength and conditioning and the operations of the minor league affiliates. 

"He was the perfect fit," Evans said. "His experience is so strong and encompasses so many aspects of the game. He’s got a really strong base of experience and background and understanding of the game, and he has a passion for the game and working with young players. He really showed a desire to pursue this opportunity." 

Bell, 45, played 12 major league seasons and spent 2002 with the Giants. He hit 20 homers that year as the starting third baseman and scored the winning run in the final game of the NLCS. Since retiring, Bell has served as a minor league manager for the Reds and a big league coach for the Cubs and Cardinals. He spent last season as the bench coach in St. Louis. 

Shane Turner had previously served as farm director, but at the end of the minor league season he was asked to take a role as a special assistant in baseball operations. While Evans did not announce any other changes Friday, there are expected to be other moves within the organization's depth chart. At least one member of the coaching staff is still in the running for a managerial opening. 

Dusty Baker won't be remembered the way he should be remembered

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AP

Dusty Baker won't be remembered the way he should be remembered

Firing a manager is easy, and there are lots of ways to do it.

Dusty Baker, for example. He worked this year on the last year of a contract, which usually means there won’t be another one, and he relied on his players to deliver the goods.

Which, as we remember from our reading, they didn’t do. Again.

But Baker was marked for the chop unless those players did deliver, and when they didn’t, general manager Mike Rizzo did the expedient thing.

He fired one person rather than several. And changed exactly nothing.

Baker’s managerial career is probably over now, as most teams don’t look at 68-year-olds to fix their teams. He will never manage a  World Series champion, something he ached for, and he was always be caricatured in part as the guy who didn’t speak metric, and who believed in players as men whenever in doubt.

And the Nats didn’t betray him, either. They were always not as good in the big moments because someone else was, and they became part of Washington’s new fetish – Why Can’t We Win One? It’s as if having a cringeworthy President isn’t good enough for them.

So the time came, and he will be replaced by someone who will either win and get credit for work that was largely his, or he won’t win and the town can continue to wallow in its tedious We’re-The-New-Cubs pity. It is the circle of life.

At least it is for groups of people. For individuals, the circle of life is actually nothing more than a straight line that ends abruptly. For Dusty Baker, as it did for Tony La Russa in Phoenix two days earlier, that day came today. He deserves to be remembered as a very good manager who won a lot more than he lost, made more friends than enemies, and was honest from Day One until the end.

Which, as we also know, doesn’t matter a whole lot on days like this.