Giants

Giants CEO Larry Baer explains potential changes to Oracle Park dimensions

Giants CEO Larry Baer explains potential changes to Oracle Park dimensions

There likely will be some changes to Oracle Park this offseason, but don’t expect to see any major modifications to the ballpark’s dimensions before next season.

Giants CEO Larry Baer recently was asked about potential adjustments to the facility and spoke candidly about his vision for the architecture.

“I would say, on the bullpen mounds, most likely,” Baer said to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It comes down to architecture and design, and what we can do that we’re pleased with and feel is going to serve the team and serve the fans.”

“In terms of dimensions, I think some dimensions may change, but I don’t think the view is going to be, ‘Bring in the fences to make it a hitter-friendly ballpark’ and do anything in the extreme. There would be, as a result of some of the work that we do, some changes in the dimensions as well.”

With regard to Triples Alley -- which some feel should be adjusted to make Oracle Park more hitter-friendly -- Baer rebuffed the idea of taking away one of MLB’s most distinctive ballpark features.

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“The triple is a spectacularly exciting play and it’s been a signature of the ballpark,” Baer said. “I don’t think there’s any desire in our four walls to get rid of it. Whatever 421 (feet) become, if it changes, I think the major thrust of the ballpark will not change in that respect.”

The Giants offense was much more successful on the road this season, hitting almost twice as many home runs (57 at Oracle Park, 104 away) and having an 18-point difference in batting average (.230 home, .248 road) between the two.

Zac Efron reveals epic Dusty Baker autograph story as young Giants fan

Zac Efron reveals epic Dusty Baker autograph story as young Giants fan

When he was the Giants' manager, Dusty Baker might not have known it at one particular moment, but he was signing a ball for someone who would one day be one of the most well-known actors in Hollywood.

All he knew was a young kid with bleached hair wanted his autograph. That fan was Zac Efron.

Efron, a long-time Giants fan, recently told a story about his encounter with Baker on an episode of "Hot Ones."

Without skipping a beat, Efron talked about a special baseball he has that was signed by the former skipper. But there was a fun story behind it. 

"He drove by, and he was on a motorcycle, so he didn't have a window he could roll up," Efron said. "I ran up to him with a baseball, and I was like 'Will you sign this?' I had a blue pen and the sweet spot of a brand-new ball, and I showed it to him, and Dusty was like 'Ah, I can't right now, I gotta go to church.'"

Efron said after hearing that response, he assumed that just meant Baker didn't have time to sign the ball but said he would be back in 30 minutes.

Baker left. Efron was sure the three-time Manager of the Year wouldn't return, but the motorcycle and Baker returned 45 minutes later.

"I was like 'No way!' And he literally pointed right at me, and was like, 'Come over here.'"

The "High School Musical," star got his autograph. It meant a lot to him with Baker making a special trip to come back and get him that signature. And I'm sure the motorcycle was a nice extra touch. 

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"It was really cool," Efron said of the event. 

Baker was the Giants manager for a decade from 1993-02 and finished with an 840-715 record. He's now managing the Houston Astros.

Giants release several veterans, including lefty reliever Jerry Blevins

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AP

Giants release several veterans, including lefty reliever Jerry Blevins

Major League Baseball put a freeze on transactions when an agreement was reached between MLB and the Players Association, but before that happened the Giants reportedly released several veterans, including one who came to camp with a decent shot at winning a job. 

Left-hander Jerry Blevins was one of 17 players released by the organization between March 1 and April 1, according to Baseball America. Blevins, who has pitched in the big leagues for 13 seasons, had allowed nine earned runs in 3 2/3 Cactus League innings before baseball went on break because of COVID-19. He entered camp with a shot at winning a job as a lefty in the bullpen, but the Giants got dominant spring performances from Wandy Peralta and Jarlin Garcia, who should join Tony Watson whenever the season resumes. 

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The Giants also released right-hander Matt Carasiti, who was throwing well in camp before his elbow flared up, leading to Tommy John surgery. Rehabbing pitchers often re-sign with the team on a different contract, although it's unclear if the plan is for Carasiti to do that. Brandon Guyer also stood out on the list. The veteran was signed as a depth outfielder who can hit lefties well, although he was not in big league camp. 

The others released were right-handers Jamie Callahan, Israel Cruz, Dylan Davis, Logan Harasta, Trevor Horn, Andy Rohloff and Ben Strahm; lefty Deiyerbert Bolivar; catcher Chris Corbett; second baseman Kyle McPherson; and outfielders Gio Brusa, Mikey Edie, Jose Layer and Randy Norris. Brusa. 

Blevins and Carasiti were the only players on the list who were in big league camp.