Giants

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 Giants outfielder Kevin Pillar could be a non-tender candidate

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Why Giants outfielder Kevin Pillar could be a non-tender candidate

The Giants are facing a series of difficult decisions this offseason. They must search for a new manager and general manager, and they also must decide whether to re-sign longtime ace Madison Bumgarner.

There also are a handful of players who are eligible for salary arbitration with San Francisco, including early season acquisition Kevin Pillar. The outfielder started 150 games for the Giants after being traded from the Toronto Blue Jays in April.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand recently included Pillar on a list of 12 MLB players who might not be tendered a contract offer before the Dec. 2 deadline.

Here is why:

Traded from the Blue Jays to the Giants one week into the season, the 30-year-old Pillar posted a 93 OPS+ -- his highest mark since 2015 -- with an underwhelming .293 on-base percentage. While Pillar remains a good outfielder, he’s no longer the elite defender he was earlier in his career. Pillar earned $5.8 million in '19, but heading into his third and final year of arbitration-eligibility, it remains to be seen whether the Giants will find his potential price tag too high for their liking. 

Pillar’s veteran presence was valuable for the Giants during a season when a litany of prospects came up to make significant contributions in the majors.

Despite the many defensive web gems Pillar has produced throughout his time in MLB, he never has won a Gold Glove, and he was just a hair above the league-average fielding percentage for a center fielder in 2019 (.986, league average .984).

Farhan Zaidi and the Giants' front office -- which has been increasingly reliant on advanced metrics compared other regimes -- has a difficult decision to make on Pillar.

Zaidi did mention during his end-of-season press conference that the team will be looking for players who can hit well at Oracle Park -- something the team struggled mightily with last season. Out of the 63 home runs hit by the Giants in their home ballpark in 2019, Pillar had 11 of them.

[RELATED: Giants prospect Ramos close to making good on lofty goal]

Will comfort at home be enough to justify an increased salary?

We likely won’t know until closer to that Dec. 2 deadline.

MLB rumors: Giants to interview Gabe Kapler for managerial position

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MLB rumors: Giants to interview Gabe Kapler for managerial position

The search continues.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi identified another outside candidate to interview for San Francisco's managerial vacancy, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday citing a source.

Kapler was fired by the Phillies on Thursday after just two seasons in Philadelphia. The team had high expectations for the 2019 season after signing star outfielder Bryce Harper and acquiring catcher J.T. Realmuto, but the Phillies ultimately failed to make the playoffs after finishing with a 81-81 record en roue to a disappointing fourth place in the NL East.

[RELATED: Report: Giants interviewed Royals' Grifol for manager job]

The 44-year-old has a history with Zaidi. Kapler worked with him for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2014 through 2018, and he received a glowing recommendation from Zaidi that helped him initially land the Phillies job.

Kapler has been reported as a favorite for the position, but we likely will see San Francisco interview more candidates before making a final decision.