Giants' Torres left in limbo after press conference


Giants' Torres left in limbo after press conference

Andres Torres name didnt come up in the end-of-season press conference Thursday that featured Giants manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean.Justin Christians did, and if he was watching the presser live on CSN Bay Area, he probably wishes it hadnt.Asked if Christian was a viable option in center field next season, Sabean responded with his typical -- and admirable in this age of corporate sports-speak -- pull-no-punches clarity.To paraphrase: Uh, no chance in hell.

Fair enough. Christian hadnt been in the bigs since 2008 before he showed up out of nowhere this September, and its not like he killed it. Hes a journeyman for a reason.Cody Ross was mentioned, too; his versatility, his ability to play center field. Dont read too much into it at this stage, but at the same time, dont be stunned if hes back. At least you know what you have in Ross: a streaky but at times extremely productive player who can do a lot of things and is a consistently positive presence in the clubhouse.Torres? Hes Christian and Ross all rolled into one in a sense; hes a streaky journeyman. But his 2011 was so different than his 2010 that his status as one of the 13 arbitration-eligible Giants is undeniable. That is, hes very likely to be non-tendered and sent on his merry way.He had a career year at age 32. He wasnt very good at age 33. Should the Giants expect anything better at 34?Probably not. Nobody should. And thats probably why his name never came up Thursday.Should it have? Do the Giants owe Torres anything for what he did on the way to the World Series? Tell us what you think.

Giants hire David Bell to fill key front office role


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


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.