Giants

Giants focus on selves amid Dodgers blockbuster

865137.jpg

Giants focus on selves amid Dodgers blockbuster

SAN FRANCISCO As the Dodgers closed in on a blockbuster trade, a popular themearound Giants Nation was the idea that chemistry cant be bought or acquiredin a trade. The Giants, the fans and players reasoned, were better off for theircontinuity.Bruce Bochy knows its not that simple. In fact, hes got a World Series ringthat reminds him of that.Sometimes the changes work for the best and sometimes it doesnt happenlike youd think, the Giants manager said Saturday morning, as the Dodgers mega-deal was close to becoming official. I know weve had some changes here thatdidnt quite work out and sometimes theyve worked out great, like (Pat) Burrelland (Cody) Ross.You remember those guys, right? They were nowhere near the Giants radar when theseason began. Burrell in fact, was disgruntled and slumping when the Rays lethim go.The point is that the Dodgers may be better off for the rest of this season withAdrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto, and they may not. Either way, theGiants are doing what they can to not worry about it.EXTRA BAGGS: Dodgers willing to take on toxic assets
What we can control is coming out here and trying to win every game, Bochysaid. They made a blockbuster deal. They are a better club. But at the sametime it's not something we need to think about. And this club does a great jobnot getting distracted by things you cant control.--A decision is looming on Guillermo Mota. The 100-game suspension for the Giantsreliever will end after Sundays game. By the time the Giants play again onTuesday, Mota will either have to be activated or designated for assignment.The Giants would have a much easier decision if they could wait until rostersexpand next Saturday, but they cant do that.It is possible, and perhaps likely, that the Giants could designate Mota forassignment. If he then accepted an outright to Triple-A, he could finish theseason with Fresno and then be added to the roster in September.Bochy said Mota has thrown the ball well at Fresno. He has allowed two runs in 513 innings in three games with the Grizzlies.--Sergio Romo is unavailable to pitch today, but its not because of the hamstringtweak Bochy reported after Fridays game. Romo and Bochy both said the pitchershamstring is fine, but Bochy said Romo needs a day to rest his arm.Losing one pitcher for one day doesnt seem like such a big deal the way theGiants bullpen is organized these days. Loosely organized, to be accurate.Its not ideal, but everyone has grown accustomed to the situations and that wecould be out there in the seventh, eighth or ninth, said Javier Lopez, who gotfour outs for the save on Friday night.Conventional wisdom is that closer by committee doesnt work because, althoughits a wonderful idea in principle, the human beings in the bullpen aregenerally more comfortable when they can predict when theyll be used.For now, though, Lopez said its not been an issue.Its something we're kind of rallying around a little bit, Lopez said. Likethe hitters who have a new guy stepping up every night, its the same with thepitching staff. Its a new guy getting the save every night.Bochy said hes not necessarily waiting for one of the relievers to step up andassume the closer role.I think we can juggle it the (rest of the season), Bochy said. Ideally, youdhave one (closer), but I think they enjoy knowing that really any of them couldbe out there in the eighth or ninth. It keeps them on their toes a little bit.Whether we change and go to one guy I cant say, but for the near future weregoing to continue to match it up.--As expected, Francisco Peguero was in the lineup for his Major League debut.Bochys scouting report on the 24-year-old: Hes athletic, runs pretty good,has a good arm, plays with good energy. Hes really improved with the hittingpart. Hes grown as a hitter using the whole field. Hes got some pop. Hes anaggressive hitter. Hes getting better and better the last couple years.Hes opened up some eyes with his play down in Fresno.--It was Americas Cup Day at the AT&T Park, with Jimmy Spithill, skipper ofOracle Team USA, throwing out the first pitch. Bochy recently took a spin in oneof the racing boats, and he said it was an exhilarating experience--Just a reminder that Sundays game starts at 5:05 pm. The time was changed toaccommodate ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

Giants hire David Bell to fill key front office role

bell-ginats-slide-cardinals-2002.jpg
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

baker-dusty-kid.jpg
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.