Bryce Harper, please come play for the Giants: An open letter and plea

Bryce Harper, please come play for the Giants: An open letter and plea

Hey Bryce, what’s ⬆️? Not 2 much here, j/c.

I know you're really busy right now with the whole making a really big life decision and all, and I get that -- but I also want you to make sure you've written a pros-and-cons list for signing with the Giants -- then threw that list away and read this note.

I figured if you were to sign with the Giants, it wouldn't be at the FanFest that took place Saturday. And, oh my gosh, did you read the tweet that NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic sent out about it?

So funny. We're funny people here in the Bay. I say "we," like I should talk. I'm still new. I'm from Nevada -- oh my gosh, aren't you, too?

That's also funny.

But it's a great baseball city -- you come to realize that rather quickly.

Anywho ...

You once tweeted how much you love playing in San Francisco. And despite it being a pitcher's park, I know you'll be fine offensively here.

OK, I'll get this out of the way: The splits for you at what formerly was known as AT&T Park aren't great. A .164/.305./284 line when playing in San Francisco. Don't get mad at me for putting those numbers out there. I just want to make sure those are public and on the table, before someone else decides to fill your mentions with nonsense, er -- more nonsense. 

That being said, the atmosphere at Oracle Park (you'll get used to the name change, too -- I promise) is unlike any other. Sure, I've never taken a hack on a Major League Baseball field that would count for anything, but walking up to the park, seeing those palm trees covered in lights and being introduced to the cove is something else. 

Your possible future teammates? Well:

This city absolutely loves sports, and you would give them hope again and make them excited.  

There is a lot more I can babble on about, but I don't want to creep you out. Plus, I think my boss is looking at me, so I've g2g.

C'mon ... DO IT.

Oh, and @rockclimberadd reminded me of the really yummy garlic fries.

OK, bye!

Giants encouraged by Jeff Samardzija's progress to begin spring training

Giants encouraged by Jeff Samardzija's progress to begin spring training

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- If you sent a congratulatory text to Bruce Bochy and you haven't heard back yet, don't worry. There's quite the backlog. 

A day after he announced that this will be his final season, Bochy said he couldn't believe how many people reached out in the following hours. 

"By the time I got back to my office, the phone had blown up completely," he said. "I didn't see that coming. I've heard from everybody."

Bochy got a break from the texting Tuesday morning, when the Giants took the field for the first round of live batting practice sessions. It started with Madison Bumgarner against Joey Bart, because the other members of Bart's hitting group wanted him to go first. 

"They wanted to make sure Bum wouldn't throw one way up and in on the first pitch," Bochy said, smiling. "So they put the kid up there."

Bumgarner did not throw at Bart. That's one observation from the day, here are a few more ... 

Sharp Shark

Jeff Samardzija said he has eight hurdles to hit this spring: Bullpen session, "heavy" bullpen session, live BP session, and then five Cactus League starts. He got through his live BP on Tuesday and said it felt good. Samardzija threw all his pitches while facing players on a back field. 

"No pain, no restrictions," he said. "I just need more work."

He'll get it. Samardzija, coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, will be in the rotation when the Giants kick off spring action this weekend. The Giants are encouraged by how he feels, and anticipate Samardzija being ready to start the season. 

"I thought he threw really well," Bochy said. "He had a nice day out there."

Different Look

We've gotten used to some trash talk during the first day of live BP, but there was none of that today. We didn't see a Bumgarner vs. Buster Posey matchup as we've gotten in the past. There was an interesting feel to the sessions, though. 

[RELATED: Posey appreciates Bochy's longevity, passion for the game]

The Giants set up a TrackMan machine behind the pitcher and a Rapsoda device about 40 feet in front of the mound. They're tracking spin rate, release point, etc.  on just about every pitch now, even if it's just live BP. 

For years, we would see Dave Righetti and Mark Gardner standing behind the pitcher. On Tuesday it was Yo Miyamoto, the club's manager of video systems. He had a laptop in his hand and could give the data right to the pitcher. The Giants were already using TrackMan and Rapsodo last season, but they've certainly appeared to swim even further into the deep end when it comes to all this stuff. 

Camp Versatility. 

Guys will move all over during camp, so not too much can be deciphered by early fielding work. But it was interesting to see Aramis Garcia get a lot of work in at first yesterday, and Stephen Vogt spend a chunk of the early workouts taking fly balls in left. Bochy has said the team may carry three catchers, so at least one of the backups will need to be able to move around the field. 

Sad News

Don Newcombe, the legendary Dodgers pitcher, passed away at the age of 92. I'll never forget the way Newcombe would come to visit Bochy during every Dodgers series. He was always in a suit, no matter how hot it was at Dodger Stadium, and he would walk over when Bochy was talking to the media and wait patiently with his wife, Karen. Often times they would stand there for 10-15 minutes and wait for Bochy to finish his required work before they could have a quick chat.

[RELATED: Pence calls playing for Bochy with Giants 'a real honor']

"Every time we went to L.A. they made sure they came over and said hello," Bochy said. "We talked about baseball and different things. I don't know if we ever missed a series, that's just how nice this man was, to come over and say hello to me. I just respect him so much for what he did in baseball -- this guy won a Cy Young and an MVP in a year, and served in the military. 

"He was just a real nice gentleman that was I'm sure inspiring for all the players there in L.A."

Where Bryce Harper market stands after Manny Machado-Padres contract

Where Bryce Harper market stands after Manny Machado-Padres contract

In a $300 million tortoise race, the first domino has fallen. Manny Machado beat Bryce Harper in finding his team for 2019 and beyond, but will Harper beat him in the bank? 

Machado reportedly agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres on Tuesday, good for the largest free-agent contract ever in American sports. It felt like the two superstars were always playing a game of chicken to see who would sign first. Now that the infielder has, the outfielder can step to the plate. 

And Harper will surely want a fatter wallet than Machado. 

The Phillies went into the offseason vowing to spend "stupid money," and talks between Philadelphia and Harper were reportedly "heating up" on Sunday. The team has long been seen as favorites to land the 2015 NL MVP, and recent rumors have re-affirmed that. But as we've learned all offseason, anything can happen. 

Harper is now "unsure" about signing with the Phillies, Andy Martino of SNY reported on Tuesday.

And here come the Padres. Despite handing out such a lucrative deal to Machado, San Diego is not ruling out a possible Harper signing, reports FanCred's Jon Heyman. 

As far as the Giants go, their willingness to back up the Brink's truck remains a mystery. Brandon Crawford's wife can keep trying to recruit Harper and his wife to San Francisco, but the simple fact is, a short-term deal, which has been Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi's staple, won't get Harper here any time soon. 

[RELATED: Giants continue discussing trade options as they wait for Bryce Harper]

Machado giving San Diego their first superstar in ages should speed things up with Harper handing a rose to someone soon.

But where, and how quickly, is still anybody's guess.