Women detail savage attack on Stow


Women detail savage attack on Stow

LOS ANGELES Three women who were in Dodger Stadium during a brutal attack on a Giants fan gave graphic accounts Thursday of the chaotic scene in a parking lot where the man was chased, punched, kicked and left with brain damage.Asked during a hearing if she saw anything that caused her alarm, Joann Cerda, who stood over victim Bryan Stow as he lay motionless, said, Yes. Blood gushing from his ears.She said she didnt think Stow was still alive.The testimony came at a preliminary hearing where a judge will determine if there is enough evidence for defendants Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez to stand trial on charges of mayhem, assault and battery, and inflicting great bodily injury.Both have pleaded not guilty, and their lawyers suggested on cross-examination that they might have been involved in some other incident, not the attack on Stow.Attorneys entered an agreement saying Stow lost a portion of his skull and suffered damage to his brain.He is now unable to walk, has lost motor skills in his arms and hands, cant carry on a normal conversation, and is unable to control his bodily functions or care for himself, the lawyers said.Cerda, Megan Duffy and Anna Maria Davila, who all attended the 2011 opening game separately, said they were returning to their cars when the atmosphere in the parking lot turned violent.Duffy, who called 911, said she was fearful when she heard the fight break out. She saw Stow being punched and heard his head hit the pavement, she said, and then she rushed to her car, opening it by remote control and jumping inside.I locked my car up because I was afraid, and then I saw Bryan being kicked in the head and I asked if he was OK.She said bystanders who were trying to help Stow answered no and she dialed 911.Was Brian defending himself at all? prosecutor Michele Hanisee asked.No, she said. He wasnt moving.Cerda said she thought Stow didnt see the first punch coming and stood stunned until he fell backward, hitting his head on the pavement with a loud smashing sound. She said he appeared unconscious as he fell.Then, she said, the man who had punched him kicked him in the head twice as he lay unconscious.She said she thought the assailant was leaving when he walked back and kicked Stow again in the rib cage.Then he walked away because the other suspect pulled him by the arm and pulled him away as if it was time to go, she said.None of the witnesses made positive identifications of Sanchez and Norwood as the assailants. But all three gave descriptions that suggested Sanchez was the attacker.Davila told a judge about encountering two men who matched the descriptions of defendants charged in the attack on the Santa Cruz paramedic.Davila said one of the men was taunting Giants fans earlier and punched a teenage boy who backed off.She described a generally troubling atmosphere.I was annoyed by their behavior, she said. There were a lot of fans coming by, and there were a lot of slurs being said (about) the Giants, a lot of profanity.Then, she said, the men turned their attention to a group of four Giants fans in their 30s. She didnt see a confrontation but said the men came running back a few minutes later, jumped into a car and shouted at a woman at the wheel, Drive, Drive! and they took off.The case is fraught with undercurrents for the city where Dodger Stadium has long been a baseball landmark. The beating prompted public outrage and led to increased security at Dodgers games.The judge scheduled an abbreviated session Friday afternoon before the case recesses until Wednesday.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency


Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

With free agency set to begin five days after the World Series ends, two hitters that played for the Giants during the 2017 season have put their names on the open market.

Veteran third baseman Conor Gillaspie and longtime minor league outfielder Carlos Moncrief have both elected for free agency, according to Baseball America.

The 30-year-old Gillaspie appeared in 44 games for the Giants this past season. He hit just .168/.218/.288 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He was designated for assignment on August 3 and outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on August 5. With the River Cats, Gillaspie hit .375 with four doubles in 15 games in August.

Prior to the 2017 season, Gillaspie signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Giants.

As for Moncrief, the soon-to-be 29-year-old finally got his first call-up the majors this past season after eight and a half seasons in the minors. He debuted for the Giants on July 29. In 28 games, he hit .211/.256/.237 with one double and five RBI. While he didn't do much with the bat, Moncrief showed off a cannon for an arm when he patrolled right field.

Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches


Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches

SAN FRANCISCO — Late in a 98-loss season, general manager Bobby Evans met with members of the coaching staff to discuss new roles. The shakeup of the staff ended up being a stunning one. 

Pitching coach Dave Righetti was one of three coaches to be reassigned Saturday morning. After 18 seasons as pitching coach, Righetti will now serve as special assistant to the general manager. Bullpen coach Mark Gardner was given a “special assignment role to assist in pitching evaluations.” Assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will be a special assistant for baseball operations. 

The moves cap a 13-month run in which the coaching staff has taken much of the blame for a $200 million roster that was poorly constructed in places and played embarrassing baseball for long stretches of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Third base coach Roberto Kelly was let go after the 2016 season and first base coach Billy Hayes was reassigned. More changes appear on the way. 

“It does raise the level of attention to change when you struggle as much as we have, but you’re always contemplating making changes to try to help keep pushing your guys and make sure you continue to have different perspectives and new voices and reflections on how to get the most out of them,” Evans said on a conference call. 

Throughout September, multiple coaches expressed concern about their future roles, but the Giants held off several weeks before announcing changes. At least two members of the staff were involved in managerial searches elsewhere, and third base coach Phil Nevin is reportedly still a candidate for the open job in Philadelphia. 

Evans confirmed that he has interviewed outside candidates for a hitting coach role, but he would not go so far as to say Hensley Meulens will be reassigned as well. He also would not speak to the future of Ron Wotus, although the longtime bench coach is expected to be mixed up in future changes as well. Evans indicated he would announce further moves after all the open managerial vacancies are filled.

For now, the Giants are in the process of trying to find a new pitching coach. They are focused on experienced outside candidates, and they have plenty of options, as several other teams have made changes this month. Evans hinted that he wants the next pitching coach to have a more analytical approach. 

Righetti's replacement will have massive shoes to fill. His run was the longest for a pitching coach in franchise history. The Giants, usually so reliant on pitching, finished 16th in the Majors with a 4.50 ERA, but it’s hard to see how Righetti takes the blame for that. Madison Bumgarner missed a chunk of the season after a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto had a brutal injury-plagued year, Matt Moore battled himself and had the worst ERA in the National League, and the bullpen struggled, with closer Mark Melancon pitching through an injury that required season-ending surgery. 

Righetti was credited with helping to develop a rotation and bullpen that won three titles, and the bond he shared with pitchers was on display during the final weekend of the year, when Matt Cain talked repeatedly about their close relationship and went straight for Righetti after he came off the field for the final time. While it’s often hard to figure out where to give credit, even in a down year for the staff, Righetti played a role in Sam Dyson’s resurgence, and he helped Ty Blach and Chris Stratton break in as big league regulars. 

“Ultimately a change for us in the clubhouse is really an opportunity just to put a new voice with our pitching staff and try to keep pushing to the heights that we aspire as an organization and a club,” Evans said. “Changes sometimes are needed as much for the sake of that new voice as anything, and I think that was really the priority here.”

Righetti will help Evans in a front office role. Evans admitted that Righetti’s “heartbeat is in uniform as a coach,” but said he was willing to take on a new role for an organization he loves. 

Gardner, a former Giants pitcher, had been on staff since 2003. He will now help to evaluate pitchers inside and outside the organization, and Evans said Gardner could serve an important role in evaluating trade options. Decker joined the big league staff in 2015 after a long run working in the minor leagues. The 2017 season was his 23rd with the organization. He will have a “blank canvas,” Evans said, working in different roles inside the organization. Decker will also help with draft preparation.