Giants

Bryce Harper odds: Bookmaker lists Giants as favorite to sign MLB star

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AP

Bryce Harper odds: Bookmaker lists Giants as favorite to sign MLB star

The Giants entered the Bryce Harper sweepstakes about a week before pitchers and catchers were set to report. Now, a few days before, one online bookmaker lists the Giants as the favorites to land the superstar. 

BetOnline gave San Francisco +100, or 1/1 odds on Monday to sign the free-agent outfielder.

That's a substantial turnaround from the end of October, when fellow online bookmaker Bovada gave the Giants the fourth-best odds to sign the 26-year-old. Before Monday, BetOnline listed the Philadelphia Phillies as +150 favorites for Harper's signature. The Giants were just behind at +225.

Links between Harper and the Giants have picked up within the last week. Harper praised San Francisco catcher Buster Posey in his meeting with the team, and Posey has made it clear he thinks the Giants would be a good match with the former No. 1 overall pick. 

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said there was "mutual interest" with Harper and the Giants. Heck, even Warriors coach/Los Angeles Dodgers fan Steve Kerr made his pitch for Harper to come to the Bay Area.

[RELATED: How signing Harper would affect Giants' payroll plans]

Spring training games are fewer than two weeks away, so Harper's signing would appear to be happening sooner rather than later. If these odds prove accurate, he just might put pen to paper in an orange and black hat. 

For National Puppy Day, here are some dogs embracing America's Pastime

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USATSI

For National Puppy Day, here are some dogs embracing America's Pastime

There are calendars out there dedicated to "fake holidays." And by fake holidays I mean there are some weird days dedicated to those most random things you can think of. 

Did you know there's an "Old Stuff Day?" Or even an "If Pets Had Thumbs Day?" That last one actually sounds pretty great. 

But today is #NationalPuppyDay, and it's a very important day because we discovered a bunch of GIFs (soft "G") of dogs embracing baseball.

You're welcome ahead of time.

This is Buster Posey's No. 1 fan and permanent (let's hope only semi-permanent) wearer of his jersey:

The A's hosted Bark in the Park night with ... surfboard-riding dogs:

Yes, this was an actual thing and I bet you're feeling pretty upset you missed out on it. 

Here is a dog on a kayak in McCovey Cove that also possesses a small BBQ:

Here is another very good dog getting a stick in the cove:

Sensing a theme here ... 

This is Reba and she's amazing and makes the infield at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum look extra perfect:

Here's a Giants' dog that chose to forego the water and instead skateboard around the park. As one does:

Here's an A's dog -- with green hair.

What that as fun for you as it was for us? We thought so. 

Bruce Bochy, Ned Yost reflect on touching moment after 2014 World Series

Bruce Bochy, Ned Yost reflect on touching moment after 2014 World Series

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few minutes after his team lost the 2014 World Series in a heartbreaking way, Royals manager Ned Yost walked over to the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium and quietly slipped into Bruce Bochy’s office. With champagne still flying through the air and players getting deep into their celebrations, Yost and Bochy shook hands and had a brief conversation.  

The show of class and sportsmanship meant a lot to the winning side. That moment meant even more to Yost. 

“I’ve still got that picture hanging in my office,” he said recently. “I don’t have many pictures that I put up, but there’s that one of me and him shaking hands afterward. That one is special to me. It was a hard time because he was trying to celebrate, but I just wanted to tell him congratulations.”

Yost’s Royals will face Bochy’s Giants today in Cactus League action, and it will almost certainly be the final matchup between their teams. Bochy has announced his intention to retire, and neither team is favored to reach the postseason.

That 2014 matchup was a memorable one, though, and it still leaves Yost shaking his head. A day after Bochy announced that 2019 would be his last season, Yost, at an MLB event, recalled thinking he had gotten the better of Bochy. 

“I just remember him sending Bumgarner out in Game 7 and I just thought, ‘Okay, we’re going to kill him.’ And it just didn’t turn out that way,” Yost said. “Even to send Bumgarner out there in the ninth, it was like, ‘whoa,’ but it worked out perfectly.”

Yost and the Royals would win the next year, getting their own moment in the sun. But on that cold October night in Kansas City, Yost watched Bumgarner get out of a jam in the ninth. He watched Bochy celebrate, and then he went over to congratulate a manager he says is a surefire Hall of Famer. 

[RELATED: Bochy announces he will retire after 2019 season]

“I just have the ultimate respect for him. I’ve always admired him, his longevity, and what he has been able to do,” Yost said. “The one solace I can find, as tough as it was to lose a World Series, especially when you’re 90 feet away, is just that I lost it to my boyhood team and to a manager who I probably have more respect for than any other present manager in the game. 

“He’s right behind Bobby Cox for me. He’s accomplished everything that every manager looks to accomplish.”