Giants

Posey: 'I'm humbled to be here with best players in the game'

813228.jpg

Posey: 'I'm humbled to be here with best players in the game'

KANSAS CITY--After having what would have been an All-Star season cut short with a devastating ankle injury in 2011, Buster Posey will appear in his first ever MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday. His .289 batting average and 43 RBI this season were enough to solidify a position as the National League starting catcher.

At this time last year Posey couldn't even walk. So for him to be back at the major league level as one of the Giants' offensive leaders and to be starting the MLB All-Star Game is "definitely special" Posey said Monday.

Comcast SportsNet caught up with the Giants All-Star catcher as he reflected on coming back from injury and the opportunity to play with some of the best in the game.

On catching Matt Cain in the All-Star Game

It will be really special. We found out about it yesterday and we were both fired up. And Cain's a fun guy to catch, so I'm looking forward to it.
VIDEO: Cain on throwing to Posey -- 'Hopefully we can get into a groove'

On the prospect of catching R.A. Dickey

I've never caught a knuckle ball guy, so I'm sure it'll be a little bit of a challenge but I think it's something we'll probably discuss today and get straight. If I do, if there's a chance I'll talk to Dickey and maybe talk to him and pick his brain a little bit and go from there.

On the excitement of his first All-Star Game appearance

I don't think so. I don't think I've soaked it in. I've mentioned before how I was just excited to be back on the field. It's a whirlwind. I'm humbled to be here with the best players in the game and I'm just looking forward to it.

It's a cool experience to be around this caliber of players and I'm going to enjoy it.

On what makes Matt Cain so special

He understands how he wants to get guys out. He's able to make adjustments in-game from pitch to pitch, he's able to execute. On top of that, he's got good enough stuff that if he makes a mistake sometimes he can get away with it. He's a competitor so it's fun to work with a guy that competes like he does.

On having the support of Giants fans

I think for us getting to play there, we see what kind of fan base we have. I haven't played anywhere in my short career that can compare to that ball park as far as the fans coming out and the intensity they have each day and each night. I can't thank them enough; fans around the country. I especially want to thank our fans in San Francisco. Hopefully we can make them proud.

VIDEO: Melky -- 'I'm happy to represent the Giants and our fans'

On facing Justin Verlander

Yeah it's absolutely exciting. I think he's one of the best arms in the game and you're always excited about an opportunity to compete against the best.

On the added gratification of overcoming injury to make the All-Star Team

I think it would be gratifying either way, but it's definitely special. I was anxious to be back and competing at the major league level. This is kind of icing on the cake. It's sometimes kind of hard to believe that I'm here sometimes.

On the added incentive of home field advantage in the World Series

I think it can definitely make a difference. Regardless of whether it counted or not, I feel like you'd get the same intensity out of the guys here, because I think we're all competitors and we want to do well and we want to--like I mentioned before, it's fun to compete against the best.

VIDEO: Sandoval -- 'Giants fans are better than New York fans'

So there is obviously some weight on the game, but even if that weight wasn't on the game I don't know if it would make a difference in intensity the way the guy played to game.

On growing up as a Chipper Jones fan in Georgia

I was. I grew up in south Georgia so I watched the Braves a lot. I've watched them for a long time now, so I'm excited to get to see him. Growing up watching him I wouldn't think that I would have the opportunity to play with him and it speaks to the longevity he's had in his career.

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.