Giants

Evan Longoria reaches RBI milestone, leads Giants to sweep of A's

Evan Longoria reaches RBI milestone, leads Giants to sweep of A's

OAKLAND -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy sat in the visiting dugout Sunday morning and spent a few minutes reminiscing about some of what he has seen and learned while managing 4,000 games in the big leagues

Bochy, in his 25th season, is a picture of longevity. His roster is dotted with players who are #ForeverGiants. Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt all started Sunday against the A's, and none of them have ever known another uniform. Ditto for Madison Bumgarner, who took the ball Saturday. It's possible one or two of those guys may never play for a team other than the Giants. 

Because of all that, it's easy to forget sometimes just how long Evan Longoria has been doing this, and just how good he has been in his career. Longoria spent 10 years all the way across the country in Tampa Bay, making three All-Star teams and piling up down-ballot MVP votes. 

He's been a good big leaguer for a long time, and on Sunday, while reaching a milestone, he provided a reminder that he's still pretty damn dangerous with a bat in his hands. Longoria homered and later turned a deficit into a one-run lead with a two-run single, leading the Giants past the A's, 5-4

“Not too many people on this coast know how good a player Evan Longoria is,” said Stephen Vogt, his former Rays teammate and a longtime opponent. “We know how good he is.”

Longoria got to 1,000 RBI with a solo homer off Brett Anderson, his 17th of the season. He came up in the seventh with the bases loaded, one out and the A’s leading 4-3. Right-hander Blake Treinen had just won an 11-pitch battle with Buster Posey and Longoria jumped on the first pitch, smashing an elevated fastball to left to drive in a pair. 

"I figured he would try to get ahead," Longoria said. "I was staring at the six-hole (at shortstop), just telling myself not to get around (the ball). See it up. It's nice when you tell yourself something and it works out."

That was the case with the milestone, too. Longoria said he has spoken to Derin McMains, the team's mental skills coach, about setting goals. One of them this season was reaching 1,000 RBI. Longoria became the 291st player to drive in 1,000 runs in the big leagues and joined just 10 other active hitters. He should move up the active list pretty quickly. Longoria needs just one more RBI to catch Ryan Zimmerman, eight to catch Matt Kemp and 10 to catch Brian McCann. 

"I've been thinking about it for a while," Longoria said. "I'm just trying to go out and reach goals. You kind of incentivize yourself to go out. We're going out to play for the team and win, but it's kind of personally challenging yourself. It's a proud moment. It's not something I ever thought I would do."

The win clinched a quick two-game sweep of the A’s and put The Bridge trophy in the Giants clubhouse for the first time. They’re back to .500 with 32 games to play and still faintly alive in the wild-card race. 

[RELATED: Giants win The Bridge trophy with 5-4 victory over A's]

It would take a ridiculous finish to get there, but the players haven’t given in yet. They still believe they can get hot, and as Vogt said, few can get on a streak like Longoria can. He briefly carried the Giants in July and now looks set to try and do it again.

“He’s doing things he’s done his whole career,” Bochy said. “You look at what he’s been doing, and he had the setback with the injury, and he came back and he’s right on track. He kind of got lost in the shuffle here in these two games, but both games, we don’t win without him.” 

Giants' Larry Baer believes Arizona might be best spot for MLB season

baerus.jpg
USATSI

Giants' Larry Baer believes Arizona might be best spot for MLB season

It remains to be seen when, or even if, the 2020 MLB season will happen.

Coronavirus continues to leave the season suspended indefinitely, as MLB stadiums remain devoid of all typical spring activities.

One idea that has been thrown out is the league holding a shortened version of the season in a neutral location, like team spring training hubs in Florida and Arizona.

“I think we’ve got to look at the path that presents the best public health option,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said Friday on KNBR. “Arizona might be a better possibility because you could get 30 teams there in more approximate distancing, meaning that everybody would not be a four or five-hour drive from one ballpark to another.”

Listen and subscribe to the Giants Insider Podcast:

All of Arizona’s Cactus League spring training stadiums are within the same county (Maricopa), while Florida’s Grapefruit League stadiums stretch all across the expansive state, with some being hundreds of miles apart.

[RELATED: Takeaways from Giants' sim opener on MLB The Show]

Baer emphasized that many scenarios have been thrown out around the league, but that the safety of all those involved with the game should take precedent.

“That’s one idea, there are other ideas out there,” Baer said. “I just think we’ve got to chase down every possible idea to return baseball, but only when it’s safe and only when [there is] public health clearance.”

Joey Bart-Buster Posey comparisons legit, ex-Giants GM Bobby Evans says

Joey Bart-Buster Posey comparisons legit, ex-Giants GM Bobby Evans says

Back in 2008, the Giants selected a franchise-altering player in the first-round of the MLB draft.

Ten years later, the Giants drafted Joey Bart at No. 2 overall, hoping he would have the same impact that Buster Posey had on the franchise over the last decade.

Before he was fired as general manager in Sept. 2018, Bobby Evans was responsible for drafting Bart. What did Evans and the Giants see in the Georgia Tech star? The former long-time Giants executive was asked that during an interview on KNBR 680 on Friday.

"He's just so far advanced, for us, looking at him at Georgia Tech and we had a chance to track him throughout his time there," Evans said. "Our scout covering Georgia Tech at the time played at Georgia Tech and had a good inside track as to who Joey was. But he was able to see, this was a guy in college that is calling his own game, he takes as much pride in what he's doing behind the plate as he does with the bat. He's a smart, smart hitter. He's at Georgia Tech for a reason because he's a smart guy to begin with, but he's a smart hitter.

"The challenge he'll have as he advances is, he's got right-center field power which he'll have to continue to work on at [Oracle Park] and other places. But the power is real and it's raw and you've got a lot to look forward to in Joey."

Listen and subscribe to the Giants Insider Podcast:

Ever since he was drafted, Bart has been seen as the heir apparent to Posey, and Evans gave credence to the comparisons.

"The flashes of Buster Posey are not lost on us, because there's so much common ground there, really starting with the character of the player," Evans said.

Bart finished the 2019 season at Double-A and was expected to begin the 2020 season at Triple-A before the global coronavirus pandemic stopped everything.

[RELATED: Why Bart was reassigned in camp]

Once baseball does begin, Giants fans everywhere will be keeping an on Bart's every move, hoping they soon will see him at Oracle Park in San Francisco.