Giants

Carl Yastrzemski knows it'll be 'emotional' to see Mike play at Fenway

Carl Yastrzemski knows it'll be 'emotional' to see Mike play at Fenway

It took some time -- longer than he would have liked -- but Mike Yastrzemski finally is making a name for himself at the big league level. 

Yastrzemski spent six seasons in the Baltimore Orioles' farm system before the Giants traded for him in March. Since donning the SF orange and black, he has helped transform the Giants' outfield from one of the worst in baseball into one of the team's strengths

In 74 games for the Giants, Yastrzemski is hitting .259 with 17 home runs, 47 RBI and an .890 OPS. His emergence with the Giants has made one person, in particular, very proud: His grandfather, Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski. 

“You know, the main thing is, he’s a great kid,” Carl Yastrzemski told The Athletic's Steve Buckley. “He’s worked hard. He always thought he was going to make it and I’m very, very happy for him.”

The younger Yaz helped the Giants go on a torrid run from the middle of June through the end of July, putting them in the thick of the NL wild-card race. While the Giants have fallen back to Earth in August, they still will visit the Red Sox at Fenway Park next month with something to play for. 

Watching his grandson patrol the same outfield he did for the final time 36 years ago will be a special moment for Carl Yastrzemski. 

“To see him come play at Fenway ... that’ll be something,” Yaz told Buckley. “And me ... playing here for 23 years, and then see my grandson come in and play here. It’ll be emotional, yes.

“I know how hard he worked, and to see him there, and having them announce the name Yastrzemski, I feel great because of him, how much he wanted it.”

Mike's father, Carl Yastrzemski Jr. died in 2004 after complications from hip surgery. Mike's success, in Carl's eyes, has a lot to do with how much his father worked with and helped him at a young age.

“His father saw me play,” Carl Yastrzemski said. “And his father was here for my 3,000th hit and my 400th home run. And to emulate his success — my grandson has to owe it all to his father. He spent a lot of time with him, working with him and stuff like that. When they would do things as far as baseball and working out, I kind of stood in the background. His father did the most with him.”

[RELATED:  Yaz has seen power surge in first season with Giants]

There will be a lot of Yastrzemskis on hand at Fenway Park on Sept. 17-19 to watch Mike take the field on the hallowed grounds his legendary grandfather famously called home for 23 seasons. 

Mike made some tweaks to his swing in the offseason, and it's paid dividends. One part of his game, in particular, stands out to Yaz. 

“He’s got good power to all fields,” Carl said of Mike. “The more often you use the whole field, it’s better as far as people trying to defense you. You don’t want to pull and pull and pull. With that shift they use now it’s pretty hard to get a base hit. The only thing I’ve mentioned to him is that you have good power to all fields, so use all fields.”

Giants to increase minimum pay for minor leaguers before most of MLB

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Ali Thanawalla

Giants to increase minimum pay for minor leaguers before most of MLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stepped up to the podium Tuesday in Arizona and spent nearly every second of his half hour press conference talking about the Houston Astros. 

The cheating scandal has taken over the sport, and for good reason, but once this all passes, there are other important issues on players' minds. First and foremost for prospects and older minor leaguers is one familiar to any worker. They want to be paid what they believe is fair, and this season the Giants will take a step in that direction. 

The organization will raise the pay for minor leaguers across the board a year ahead of similar raises that will go into place across the sport for the 2021 season. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, who first reported the raises, the raises will add up to more than $500,000 per year for the franchise. 

That's right around the MLB minimum for just one player, so this is an issue that is far from settled from a minor leaguer's perspective. But the raises are a start, and one the Giants have been contemplating for a while. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he has wanted to do this, and the organization was headed in this direction even before he came on board. 

"There was a lot of momentum, a lot of support from ownership, from the business operations side, so it was really a consensus that had been built," Zaidi said. "There was some momentum behind it before I came into the organization. Just from a personal standpoint, I'm excited that we're able to do it.

"It does a lot of good for the organization and I think it's the right thing to do."

MLB already was set to raise Triple-A minimum salaries from $502 a week to $700, with Double-A going from $350 to $600 and Single-A going from $290 to $500. The Giants are raising the Triple-A salaries a tad higher, to $750, and will add housing allowances, per The Chronicle. 

The Giants became the second team to do this, joining the Toronto Blue Jays, who instituted raises last season. Later Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Chicago Cubs will have increases of at least 50 percent this season. 

Minor league pay is a problem that is headed for courts and has caught the attention of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who tweeted late last year that he would demand that MLB pay minor leaguers "a living wage." It makes little sense that MLB could approve raises but make players, many of whom have offseason jobs to get by, wait until 2021 to see a change in their paycheck, but Zaidi said the Giants were talking about moving the timetable up before they found out MLB was planning any raises at all. 

[RELATED: How Pence returned home to Giants after one season away]

The Giants have put significant resources into making life easier for their players, with a new $50 million facility now in place at Scottsdale Stadium and another one for minor leaguers being built a few miles away. Players would tell you they still could do more, though, and Zaidi said there could be further raises down the line. 

"I don't know that the adjustment that we've made for 2020 is an endpoint," he said. "I think we'll continue to evaluate it. We're going to be looking to get feedback from players on how it's helping. It's a quality of life issue, a convenience issue, a time issue. Just getting a better sense of all that is something we'll continue to evaluate."

Giants' Mike Krukow has no sympathy for Aubrey Huff, says he 'blew it'

Giants' Mike Krukow has no sympathy for Aubrey Huff, says he 'blew it'

You can add Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow to the list of people who have no sympathy for Aubrey Huff after the former first baseman was informed that he would not be welcome at Oracle Park for the celebration of San Francisco's 2010 World Series championship team this coming August.

"I think that Aubrey Huff blew it, and I think him not being included is something he needs to take to heart," Krukow said Tuesday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "I don't think it's going to affect the invitation in 20 years should he compose himself a little more responsibly on social media. He had a chance to represent the Giants away from the community, even though he's not under contract, I think it's a contract you sign for life ... I just think he's been irresponsible and he's paying a price for it.

"The one thing that never really gets discussed: In every contract you ever sign with a professional team, is they have a clause in there where they talk about how you as a player have to comport yourself in an appropriate manner. Those are words that when you sign your contract, they’ll stop the discussion and point to it and say ‘Do you understand this?’ The whole idea is to create a positive image in the community on behalf of the Giants."

The Giants are in Scottsdale, Ariz. for spring training, and several players were asked about the team's ruling on Huff. Buster Posey deferred "to the people that make the decisions," while Pablo Sandoval insisted that he "won't be sad" that Huff won't be at the World Series reunion. Krukow feels similarly.

"Me personally? No," he responded when asked if he'll miss Huff on Aug. 16.

[RELATED: How Panda caught Kapler's attention during first live BP]

As San Francisco and Krukow have made clear, there's a give and take to that whole "Forever Giant" thing.