Giants

Ryan Vogelsong: 'That's as locked in as I've ever been'

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AP

Ryan Vogelsong: 'That's as locked in as I've ever been'

Prior to Game 6 of the 2012 NLCS, Metallica's James Hetfield took the microphone and addressed the crowd at AT&T Park.

"San Francisco -- are you as excited as I am today? Are you ready to kick some Cardinals ass? This is do-or-die for us friends and San Franciscans do not die easy, right?

"We're going to show the world how we do it; how the San Francisco Giants fans do it here. Are you with me? Are you with me? San Francisco -- let's play ball." 

On Thursday morning, Ryan Vogelsong talked about that moment.

"I don't think I throw like that in the first inning if he doesn't say that," Vogelsong said on KNBR 680. "I'm down there warming up and I feel really good. And I know I feel really good. And I'm trying to back myself down in the bullpen because I'm like 'save some bullets.' But I want to get the edge off so that I can throw strikes.

"Well, then at the end of my warmup, he does that. And now I'm just getting ready to fly off the mound. I'm walking down and I look at Rags (pitching coach Dave Righetti) and I'm like, 'I gotta calm myself down.' That's the first time I've ever been on a major league field where I had to tell myself to calm down; back it off, you know?

"That totally set the stage for the night for me. But it just so happened that that's as locked in as I've ever been."

Vogelsong's stat line: 7 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts.

And most importantly -- the win.

On Monday, the Giants announced that Ryan Vogelsong will officially retire as a Giant.

There will be some kind of ceremony before the game this Sunday against the Diamondbacks.

"I got a little bit of the scoop but I'm not gonna be the one to spill the beans," Vogelsong said. "You're gonna have to get that out of somebody else."

In search of defensive help, Giants check in on Reds center fielder

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AP

In search of defensive help, Giants check in on Reds center fielder

ORLANDO — The Giants have never had an answer for Billy Hamilton when facing the Reds, but it’s possible Hamilton could emerge as the answer to their biggest offseason need. 

The front office has checked on Hamilton’s availability multiple times, per sources, and some in the organization believe he would be the perfect fit in center field, despite some holes in his game. There has been no indication, though, that a deal is anywhere close to being completed. As of Tuesday afternoon, sources said no moves of significance were close. 

According to Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer, talks have gotten deep enough that it’s possible a trade is completed before the teams leave Orlando on Thursday. The Rangers and several other teams have also pursued Hamilton, per Buchanan. 

Hamilton, 27, is among the fastest players in recent MLB history, and he’s an elite defender in center field, having been nominate for the Gold Glove in each of the past four seasons. His speed would be a godsend for a Giants team that had the worst outfield defense in the majors in 2017 and is looking for a defense-first center fielder. Hamilton also could allow the Giants to take risks defensively in the other corner outfield spots, such as bringing Chris Shaw — a converted first baseman — up earlier than expected, or adding a power-hitting right fielder. 

There are issues with Hamilton, though. He has virtually no power and a career on-base percentage of just .298. The Giants believe Hamilton’s offensive numbers would actually increase in their pitcher-friendly park because his game is well suited for their alleys, but he still would not address any of the team’s power concerns. Hamilton’s greatest strength offensively is his work on the bases. He stole 59 bases last season and has 243 stolen bases in 537 games. 

“There are few players in the game like Billy Hamilton,” manager Bruce Bochy said during his winter meetings press availability. “It’s disruptive speed. That’s how fast he is. He’s one of those guys that you know he’s going to go and he still has a good chance of stealing the base.”

Hamilton is projected to earn about $5 million next season in his second year of arbitration eligibility. He has two years of team control remaining, so he fits the timetable the Giants are looking at with their current core. 

The Giants have also been rumored to like Andrew McCutchen, but he's an unlikely addition, sources said. McCutchen is due more than $14 million next season and the Giants hope to stay under the luxury tax line. They are about $10 million away at the moment. 

 

Larry Baer's statement on passing of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

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USATSI

Larry Baer's statement on passing of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

 

Statement from Giants President and CEO Laurence M. Baer Regarding Passing of San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee

We were deeply saddened and shocked to learn of the sudden passing of Mayor Ed Lee.  He was a true San Franciscan who devoted his life to serving our great city and to supporting those most in need.  He was the Giants' number one fan and we are blessed to have shared so many wonderful memories together.  He will be dearly missed by everyone in our organization.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Mayor Lee's wife Anita, his daughters Brianna and Tania and his entire family during this tragic and difficult time.  

Giants media services.