Gabe Kapler downplays new Yasiel Puig-to-Giants MLB free agency rumor

Gabe Kapler downplays new Yasiel Puig-to-Giants MLB free agency rumor

The Giants haven’t taken the field for over a month and there’s a transactions freeze for Major League front offices, but that didn’t keep a spicy rumor from igniting the fan base Sunday.

Francys Romero, a baseball writer who focuses on the game in Cuba, tweeted that longtime Giants nemesis Yasiel Puig was close to a deal with the club. Sources shot that down to numerous beat writers — including this one — and manager Gabe Kapler threw cold water on the rumor during his weekly appearance on KNBR. Kapler was asked about the connection failing to gain traction with those who cover the team.

“I can say that you guys are on the right track,” Kapler responded. “The fact that it wasn’t covered I think tells everybody everything that they need to know. Keep it short, sweet and simple.”

Puig was at one point a target for the Giants in the offseason, but those talks calmed down a bit after the team reunited with Hunter Pence the day before FanFest. Still, there are people in the organization who wouldn’t be surprised if Puig one day ends up in the building.

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The longtime Dodger — who spent last season with the Reds and Indians — would fill a hole for a team that still doesn’t have a set outfield. The problem from a roster construction standpoint is he could also fill a role that could be given to a younger player. The Giants have Alex Dickerson and Hunter Pence in left and plan to move Mike Yastrzemski around, but they also were hoping to take a long look at Jaylin Davis. Austin Slater remains in the mix, too. 

Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris have focused on building depth, though. For example, they signed Wilmer Flores when they already had appealing in-house options at second base. Puig, who struggled mightily to find a job as a free agent, would be a similar bet. 

He is, of course, a different case. Puig’s history is well documented and includes four altercations with the Giants, although three were with Madison Bumgarner, who now is an Arizona Diamondback.

[RELATED: Krukow -- Giants signing Puig isn't crazy]

A Puig signing would not be popular with much of the fan base, but that’s an issue for another day. As Kapler indicated, nothing is imminent. The Giants couldn’t alter their outfield even if they wanted to. Rosters are frozen, with no timetable for when the sport might return.

Padres troll Giants, Dodgers with hilarious fun fact about Max Muncy

Padres troll Giants, Dodgers with hilarious fun fact about Max Muncy

Things were simpler for the Giants a year ago.

I'm not even referring to the global pandemic-shaped elephant in the room, or the coronavirus' impact on baseball and society writ large. No, I'm thinking of the fact that Madison Bumgarner still wore orange and black in 2019, and his beef(s) with celebrating hitters were still on the minds of Giants' fans. 

The San Diego Padres, apparently, also pine for that simpler time. A fun fact about Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy on the Petco Park scoreboard called back to the Bumgarner era on Monday night, reminding us that the man sometimes known as Mason Saunders and Muncy traded verbal barbs last season.

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You might not remember the particulars, considering everything that happened in the 421 days between Muncy telling Bumgarner to fetch Muncy's homer "out of the ocean" and the Padres alluding to it Monday.

Muncy said he said as much to Bumgarner when the former Giants pitcher ... took issue with the speed at which Muncy rounded the bases.

A hydrological debate over whether or not McCovey Cove, and thus San Francisco Bay, could be considered an ocean followed suit, as did Muncy and the Dodgers capitalizing on the dinger. Muncy wore a shirt with his retort when the Dodgers and Giants played again less than two weeks later, and the Dodgers were set to give out bobbleheads immortalizing Muncy's trash talk this season. That'll have to wait until 2021 at the earliest, as no fans are allowed in MLB ballparks this season.

[RELATED: Cueto perfectly recovers from almost falling during shimmy]

Of course, considering the last few months, 2019 will feel like ancient history by the time fans can safely attend baseball games. A long-past Muncy-Bumgarner feud probably won't be top of mind for anyone at that point.

The Padres might need to provide a few more scoreboard reminders of it in the meantime.

Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper give George Kontos hilarious analyst advice

Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper give George Kontos hilarious analyst advice

George Kontos entered the first day of his new life Monday. The former reliever made his debut as a Giants analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area, appearing on "Pregame Live" and "Postgame Live."

Prior to the Giants' 7-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies, broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper gave Kontos some advice before his debut. To no surprise, Kuiper went the more comedic route, too.

"Well, my advice is going to be the best one, and it's going to be the simplest one before I hand it over to Mike," Kuiper said. "If you think you're really going to say something stupid, just stop and tell everybody that you have to take a pee." 

Kontos, who pitched for the Giants from 2013 through 2017, couldn't help but laugh at Kuiper's supposed advice. 

"I'll remember that, absolutely," Kontos said. "That's great advice." 

Krukow went a little more literal while still keeping it light for Kontos. 

"George, no cuss words -- not allowed," Krukow said. "And No. 2, listen to your play-by-play guy or in this case, listen to [Greg] Papa. He will bring you in, he will let out and he will cover your mistakes.

"Trust him."

[RELATED: Inside how the Giants are developing players in Sacramento]

Kontos, 35, had an eight-year big league career. He last pitched in 2018, when he suited up for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees that season. Over six seasons with the Giants, he went 15-14 with a 3.05 ERA. 

Kontos also won the 2012 World Series as a member of the Giants and proudly sported his ring on the air. 

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]