Playing days done, Gary Brown now hitting textbooks with a new goal in mind


Playing days done, Gary Brown now hitting textbooks with a new goal in mind

It's common for first-round draft picks to move to Arizona. But Gary Brown's relocation to the desert in 2015 came at a unique time, coinciding with his release by the team that drafted him 24th overall five years earlier. 

[PART 1: Gary Brown never recovered on the field from 2015 DFA: ‘Hurt me to my core’]

Now, just a few miles from where new prospects flock to chase their major league dreams, Brown is working to put his in the past.

"I wanna stay in baseball in some fashion, I’m just not exactly sure in what,” Brown told NBC Sports Bay Area in an exclusive phone interview. 

The former top Giants prospect began classes at Arizona State University's Masters of Sports Law and Business program last month. He's not exactly set on a post-playing career, but the fire for baseball still burns.

“Part of the reason why I'm pursuing this program is that it gives me an opportunity to see where I want to go,” Brown said. “I would like to pursue the opportunity of working in a front office, whether it be professionally or the athletic department of a college. I think those really appeal to me because I feel like I could maintain — this might be me being naive — but maintain some family life, being home every night and being able to raise a family.”

Brown's wife is pregnant with twins, which should give the future father a chance to coach in the coming years. Based on his time in independent ball, it’s an experience he’d likely cherish. Indeed, Brown took advantage of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs' coaching overhaul this year and served as the team's interim hitting coach -- while he was still listed as a player. 

"That was awesome," Brown said, beaming. "I wanted to potentially coach when I was done and I think that was about the time I was thinking about retiring so I kind of approached the manager and asked — since we didn't have a hitting coach — if I could be the hitting coach and kind of just help out the guys because I kind of already did."

Time will tell if Brown's path leads to a front office, a coaching position, or something else entirely. But as Brown heads to class to carve out his future, he's filled with gratitude. 

"I want to give someone an opportunity like I had -- many players and many kids," Brown said. "Everything that I've had is because of baseball and I'm so thankful for that."

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”