AT&T Park's new 'Giant' scoreboard creates more opportunity for fans

AT&T Park's new 'Giant' scoreboard creates more opportunity for fans

While the Giants roster may not have been subject to a facelift in the offseason, the place they will be playing surely has.

AT&T Park has been hosting construction on a new state-of-the-art scoreboard that Giants CEO Larry Baer compared to "the massive Jumbotron the Dallas Cowboys put up when they built a new stadium."

Baer prefaces that he believes it will be the best scoreboard in baseball. And according to the SF Chronicle, the $10 million project is the most the team has spent on a single capital improvement since the park's opening in 2000.

The new 10,700 square-foot board will be more than three times the original and will be the third largest in Major League Baseball behind Cleveland and Seattle, but the biggest at any California sporting venue. 

(old photo of AT&T Park scoreboard) USATSI

But wait, there's more ...

This unique scoreboard is fit for anyone and everyone. Baer said it was designed to serve different audiences with features for kids that are attending games and still presenting advanced analytics. 

The construction comes on the heels of a season that, to say the least, was not a successful one -- at least not one the Giants organization is used to being a part of. The new addition plans to produce more fan engagement for those in attendance, no matter what type of baseball fan they happen to be.

Giants senior vice president Bill Schlough spoke to Henry Schulman for the article and he talked on the competition for the team. No, it wasn't a National League West conversation about power arms or who has the better lineup, but simply the fact that the games are competing with the household.

"Our biggest battle is with the couch,” Schlough said. “We need to give fans another reason to come to the park when they’ve got an 80-inch TV on their wall. We’ve got to continue to rival that experience at the ballpark as well.”

(Current construction on new scoreboard at AT&T Park) SF Chronicle

It's true. It's unbelievably easy to do nothing but press a button and BAM! -- there's the game. It appears this will be about making sure the park is catered to even those who don't struggle with the fear of missing out which creates an entire baseball-driven experience. Not that AT&T has struggled with this in the past, but any additions to making it easier on those watching the game will always be welcomed.

The combination of clear video, advanced displays of metrics and kid-friendly media will be the perfect excuse to skip a night at home and take advantage of what's happening in San Francisco.

It's a very lucrative investment, but the ROI appears to be on its way to working in the Giants' favor.



Why Josh Harrison would fit Giants but isn't perfect platoon partner


Why Josh Harrison would fit Giants but isn't perfect platoon partner

With Farhan Zaidi now at the head of decision-making, the Giants want a more versatile roster. One player who fits the mold and has been linked to the Giants in recent months is Josh Harrison.

FanCred's Jon Heyman resurfaced the report Sunday, listing the Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Phillies and Rays as teams interested in the former Pirates second baseman. 

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has said he will embrace platooning players, and second baseman Joe Panik consistently has been talked about as a player the front office will look at as a left-handed hitter in need of a right-handed partner. 

So, could Harrison be the answer? Yes and no. 

Harrison, 31, certainly is the kind of multi-positional player Zaidi covets. While he spent 87 of the 89 games he saw in the field at second base, compared to just two at third base in 2018, he has played five positions -- second, third, right field, left field and shortstop -- over his eight-year career. 

The Giants could use Harrison all over the field, but is he the right platoon partner at the plate with Panik? Not exactly. 

Panik hit just .191 against left-handed pitching last season, compared to .282 facing right-handers. But Harrison, a right-handed hitter, also struggled mightily against left-handed pitching. He had reverse splits, hitting .262 against right-handers and just .219 against left-handers in 2018. 

Harrison's splits very well could be an outlier, though, making him more intriguing to the Giants. He hit .286 against left-handers in 2017, and is a .279 career hitter against southpaws. 

They'll have to hope his 2018 season isn't a sign for things to come, but Harrison makes plenty of sense for the Giants to at least entertain adding the utility man.

Why Dodgers might pick A.J. Pollock over Bryce Harper in MLB free agency


Why Dodgers might pick A.J. Pollock over Bryce Harper in MLB free agency

When the Dodgers traded Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds last month, it sparked speculation that the team was clearing space in its outfield to sign Bryce Harper.

What if it was for A.J. Pollock instead, though?

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that the Dodgers are interested in Pollock, who fits their player profile and needs in many ways.

Pollock has his issues -- he reportedly wants a five-year, $80 million contract, and he played more than 115 games just twice in seven seasons with the Diamondbacks. But, as Rosenthal noted, Pollock would provide the Dodgers with positional versatility and the right-handed bat they need. Harper, a lefty hitter who mostly plays right field, would do neither, and he’s rumored to be seeking a $300 million-plus deal.

While the Dodgers have big wallets, they could decide signing Pollock for about one-fifth the price of Harper is more prudent. That certainly would sit well with Giants fans, who don’t want to see their hated NL West rivals loading up for a run at a seventh consecutive division title.

And before you ask, no, Harper and/or Pollock aren’t options for the Giants, who also could use outfield help. It’s clear new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, who came from the Dodgers, values sense more than dollars as he tackles the huge task of making the Giants contenders again.