Giants

Giants struggle to score again in loss to Rangers

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Giants struggle to score again in loss to Rangers

BOX SCORE

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Whether it is as a starter or long reliever, Alexi Ogando just wants to pitch for the Texas Rangers and help them reach the World Series for the third straight season.He made his first spring start Friday night and gave up three hits in 4 2-3 shutout innings in the Rangers' 4-1 victory over San Francisco at Scottsdale Stadium.Elvis Andrus broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single off Giants starter Madison Bumgarner in the fifth inning and Texas scored three more on four hits in the ninth off reliever Javier Lopez. The Giants also scored in the ninth on Brett Pill's home run."I felt good out there, worked on both sides of the plate," said Ogando, who walked three and struck out three. "As far as I can remember, it is my best of the spring."Ogando is ticketed to start the regular season in the bullpen, although he did start 29 of his 31 games in 2011 and posted a 13-8 record."I am ready for anything. Having a couple of starts (in the spring) will help just in case. I want to be ready for any occasion," Ogando said.Andrus' hit to center field scored Mitch Moreland from second base in the fifth, and the play might have been even more significant for the Giants.The play at the plate was the first such play in a game situation for catcher Buster Posey after Posey was lost for the season last on May 25 when he broke a bone in his left leg and tore three ankle ligaments on a collision at the plate with Florida's Scott Cousins.Posey admitted he probably stepped more away from the plate than in the past and put a swipe tag on Moreland that missed on the throw from Angel Pagan."It wasn't that much different than last year," Posey said. "Instincts take over and you just try to get the man out. You work on those types of plays, but no play is the same, short hop, long hop, left or right."He said a catcher gets a sense of whether the play is going to be close.If the Giants position Posey where he is not directly in the line of fire, there is a chance it might make a difference in an extra run or two for the opponent.That is fine with Bumgarner, who said he was thinking about a play at the plate as the play developed."I agree with that (decision)," Bumgarner said. "One run is not worth losing Buster for the whole season."Moreland didn't realize people were keeping such close attention to Posey's play at the plate."I did what I needed to get in there," Moreland said. "He gave me the plate. That's why I slid on the outer half. There was not going to be a collision."The run was the only one given up by the left-handed Bumgarner, who scattered eight hits, walked two and struck out five in 5 2-3 innings."I felt a lot more ready (for the regular season), as close to ready as I can be," Bumgarner said. "I worked the fastball down and away. They (Texas) have the best-hitting lineup of anybody, so I felt good only giving up one run."Notes: Just a few days after signing a new contract, Texas left-hander Derek Holland pitched in a minor-league game, facing San Diego's Triple-A Tucson team and giving up one run on three hits in five innings with five strikeouts . . . Japanese star pitcher Yu Darvish is scheduled to make his next start for the Rangers on Sunday in a minor-league intrasquad game . . . Giants reliever Sergio Romo pitched for the first time since March 13 due to an elbow issue. He pitched one shutout inning.

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. The job was previously held by Shane Turner. At the end of the season, team officials hinted that Turner could be one of several members of the organization to be reassigned. 

In a statement, general manager Bobby Evans said Bell will "help shape our ongoing strategy and continued commitment to player development."

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. 

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.