Urban: Sandoval's return pumps life into Giants


Urban: Sandoval's return pumps life into Giants

June 14, 2011


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Mychael Urban

Knowing his teammates expected the world from him, if not a couple of moons and perhaps a star or six, he went out and delivered on virtually every front.Pressure?No. Not to Pablo Sandoval.He gets it.Pressure is struggling to make rent on your one-bedroom apartment, in which your three kids are staring longingly into an empty refrigerator.Being asked to breathe a little life into a clubhouse, boost a struggling offense and make a few plays? That's straight-up fun for the Panda, and he shows it in every way.Before Tuesday's 6-5 win over the host Diamondbacks, Sandoval, in his first game back since surgery to remove a broken bone near his wrist, gave Giants manager Bruce Bochy a big hug in the dugout. That Bochy accepted it spoke volumes about what the man-child of a third baseman brings to the defending world champs.NEWS: Giants hold off D'backs, preserve win for Cain
Bochy, you might have noticed, isn't exactly the cuddly type. His fairly gruff appearance and demeanor suggest he's far more likely to kill a bear than to hug a Panda, but hug Sandoval he did.Similarly, the rest of the Giants embraced the notion of Sandoval's return, hoping his energy, positivity and goofy perma-grin would somehow make the still-fresh memory of Freddy Sanchez -- the Giants' second All-Star candidate to go down in a heap of pain in the past three weeks -- fade. That's a lot to ask. Pretty much impossible, in fact. But Sandoval did what he could, loving every minute of it.First he set an early tone with an RBI single in his first at-bat back.
After lining out in his second at-bat, he drew a walk and scored in the fifth inning.That's right. A walk. Patient Panda? Eh. Probably not. Ever. But a more patient Panda is progress enough.Just as important, Sandoval played a rock-solid third base, highlighted by the tremendous play he made on a tough short-hop before making a stellar off-balance throw, getting a force at second base for the first out of the eighth after a leadoff walk. The D'Backs didn't score in the inning. Nor did they score in the ninth, when Sandoval made a selfless play that ended up meaning nothing but deserves mention.He took a spike to the leg from Kelly Johnson, who was advancing to third on a wild pitch, because he expertly blocked the base with his foot. The umpire missed the call, and the game ended shortly thereafter, so it didn't really matter that the call was blown. But you can bet the play mattered to Sandoval's teammates.The guy's fresh off the DL and he's putting himself in harm's way trying to nail down a win? Some might call that overzealous. In baseball your teammates consider it heroic.A real-life hero, of course, finds a way to make that rent, to fill that fridge.But in Sandoval, the Giants were looking for a baseball hero Tuesday, and they got one. A big, silly, smiling one that you can't help but want to hug back.

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach


A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

OAKLANDThe Oakland A’s named Matt Williams as third base coach on Bob Melvin’s coaching staff for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

Williams spent five seasons on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff as first base coach (2010) and third base coach (2011-13, 16) and also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons.  He was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in his first season as manager in 2014, guiding the Nationals to a 96-66 record and an NL East title.  He went 83-79 in 2015 for a 179-145 (.552) record in two seasons as manager.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors with San Francisco (1987-96), Cleveland (1997) and Arizona (1998-2003).  He was a .268 career hitter with 378 home runs and 1218 RBI in 1866 games.  Williams was a five-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves as a third baseman.

A's Media Services 

Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton


Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton

The hot stove is heating up. 

Giancarlo Stanton is the biggest name swirling in trade rumors and the Giants are reportedly pushing forward in their attempt to acquire the slugger. San Francisco's front office has proposed a trade to Miami for Stanton, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

Details of what the Giants offered have not been reported yet. 

Stanton, who recently turned 28, is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after 2020. 

On Thursday, Stanton was named the National League MVP after hitting .281 with a league-leading 59 home runs and 132 RBI. The last MVP to be traded in the offseason after winning the award was Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers to the Yankees before the 2004 season.