Giants

EXTRA BAGGS: Long drive for Bumgarner, but no contract drive (yet)

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EXTRA BAGGS: Long drive for Bumgarner, but no contract drive (yet)

Madison Bumgarner said the Giants havent approached him yet on his contract for this season.

But Im told the Giants would have interest in doing a multiyear deal with Bumgarner, which would provide some cost certainty through his arbitration years.

That cost certainty will be extremely important to determine what the Giants budget will be in the next few seasons. And that will be extremely important soon, when Tim Lincecums long-term future will become a topic again. The club will need to know how much they can afford to commit and still be able to field a team around him.

Bumgarner and Buster Posey are among the players with less than three years of service time. Players in this group can be assigned any salary above the league minimum. The deadline to complete this process is usually in early March.

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Bumgarner drove to spring training from his place in North Carolina, with his brother-in-law along for company. They did not make it a leisurely trip.

Two days, 35 hours you think its not that much fun, but we had a good time, he said.

They stopped one night in Weatherford, Okla., and the town was true to its name.

It was blowing snow the whole time, Bumgarner said. Going 35 the whole way through the panhandle

Yep, a good time was had by all.

-- Tim Lincecum threw fastballs and changeups in his bullpen session with Buster Posey. It was the third time Lincecum threw to Posey since they traveled to Arizona shortly after FanFest earlier this month.

We picked up where we left off, Lincecum said.

And thats good, since Lincecums last start with Posey was a three-hit shutout May 21 against the As.

Lincecum told a funny story about that start. He said he didnt feel he had the movement or location he wanted, but Posey kept encouraging him to trust his stuff. That faith made a difference.

I remember him after the last pitch, strike three, he gives me the ball, Lincecum said. And he said, Why arent you excited? I said I was still pissed because my stuff wasnt that good.

And pairing up together again Sunday? Its like having the old Posey back, Lincecum said.

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During Lincecums session with reporters, someone mentioned that Jamie Moyer, all of 49 years young, signed with the Colorado Rockies. That bit of news had slipped past Lincecum this offseason.

Holy moly, he said.

Moyer was among the Mariners players that Lincecum, a Seattle-area native, enjoyed watching as a kid.

Could Lincecum envision pitching in the big leagues at 49?

Ha ha ha! Lincecum said. No.

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John Bowker will forever be the answer to two trivia questions. The first: Who is the first Giant to homer in each of his first two big league games? (Bowker beat Brett Pill to it by three years.) The other: Who was the starting right fielder on opening day for the 2010 World Series champions?

OK, so Bowker didnt hold that job for long. But he absolutely made a contribution to the Giants title run. He went to Pittsburgh in what turned out to be a vitally important trade for left-hander Javier Lopez.

Bowker later ended up in Philly, and now hes back in a Giants uniform: A Tokyo Yomiuri Giants uniform, to be precise. Bowker signed with the Japanese League club earlier this month.

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

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Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

Fueled by Hernandez's home run trilogy, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers are finally going to the World Series.

Hernandez homered three times and drove in seven runs, Kershaw breezed through six crisp innings and Los Angeles ended the Chicago Cubs' title defense with an 11-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday night.

"It feels good to hear World Series," Kershaw said. "It's been a long time coming for this team."

After years of playoff heartache, there was just no stopping this group of Dodgers. With Kershaw firing away at the top of a deep pitching staff and Justin Turner anchoring a tough lineup, one of baseball's most storied franchises captured its first pennant since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Los Angeles to its last championship in 1988.

The Dodgers will host the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. The Yankees have a 3-2 lead in the ALCS heading into Game 6 at Houston on Friday night, so one more New York win would set up another chapter in an old October rivalry between the Yankees and Dodgers.

The Dodgers made the playoffs eight times in the previous 13 seasons and came up short each time, often with Kershaw shouldering much of the blame. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner took the loss when Los Angeles was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 6 of last year's NLCS at Wrigley Field.

He was just OK in his first two starts in this year's postseason, but Los Angeles' loaded lineup picked him up each time. Backed by Hernandez's powerful show in Chicago, Kershaw turned in an efficient three-hit performance with five strikeouts in his sixth career playoff win - matching Burt Hooton for the franchise record.

When Kenley Jansen retired Willson Contreras on a liner to shortstop for the final out, the party was on. The Dodgers poured out of the dugout and mobbed their dominant closer near the mound, and a small, but vocal group of Los Angeles fans gathered behind the visitor's dugout and chanted "Let's go Dodgers! Let's go Dodgers!"

Report: Giants interview Chili Davis about becoming new hitting coach

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Report: Giants interview Chili Davis about becoming new hitting coach

Chili Davis spent the first seven years of his big league career with the Giants where he made two All-Star teams and hit 101 home runs. 

Fast forward 37 years from his debut in 1981, and Davis may now be the one teaching Giants how to hit balls over the wall in 2018. The Giants met with Davis Thursday about becoming the team's new hitting coach, according to The Mercury News

The only problem is, there is no open vacancy on the Giants' coaching staff. 

Current hitting coach Hensley Meulens is a candidate for the Tigers' head coaching vacancy, but reports surfaced Thursday that former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will take that role. Meulens could become a candidate to manage another team or take a different spot on the Giants' staff. 

The Giants' offense sputtered in 2017. Overall, the offense ranked 23rd in batting average (.249), 29th in runs scored (639) and last in home runs (128). By comparison, the Pirates were the next worst team at hitting home runs in 2017 and still launched 23 more long balls than the Giants. 

Over his 19-year career, Davis hit 350 home runs. He has spent the last three years as the Red Sox's hitting instructor.