Giants fan first knew about Bryce Harper meeting with team in free agency

Giants fan first knew about Bryce Harper meeting with team in free agency

SAN FRANCISCO — Giants fans have been waiting all winter for news that team executives had finally set up a meeting with Bryce Harper. Confirmation finally came Wednesday, but a full day earlier, the scoop quietly came from … a Giants fan.

Ronny Cobb, a lifelong Giants fan and former season ticket holder, was the first to connect the Giants and Harper this week, although it took a while for anyone to notice. Word that the Giants were in on Harper came from a reporter in New Jersey at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday morning.

By 8:42 a.m., NBC Sports Bay Area had reported that Harper met with Larry Baer, Farhan Zaidi and Bruce Bochy this week. 

But more than 24 hours earlier, Cobb had figured this out for himself. How?

He ran into Baer late Monday night while strolling through the Bellagio in Las Vegas in search of a late-night snack. 

As Cobb explained it, he took a trip from Sacramento for a weekend vacation. In search of dessert, he saw someone that looked familiar. 

“I think that might be the Giants’ CEO, I’m going to approach him,” Cobb told his friend, Candace. 

Baer started chuckling when Cobb approached and asked, and he shook Cobb’s hand. Baer was wearing a World Series ring, of course. Cobb thanked Baer for all he had done for Giants fans and asked to take a photo. He told Baer that he was able to send his dad to a World Series game, and Baer thanked him for his loyalty to the Giants.

“(He mentioned) how they will be back to prominence soon,” Cobb recalled. 

Cobb knew right away what that might mean. The Super Bowl was over and Baer certainly wasn’t there for the fashion convention that had taken over town. Cobb exchanged “Harper-to-the-Giants?” texts with his friends all day Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning, the rest of the baseball world caught on. 

[RELATED: Bryce Harper's social media posts indicate he loves San Francisco]

Cobb, an East Bay native who has since moved to Sacramento, said this is the second coolest thing to happen to him during his time as a Giants fan, which stretches back to the Candlestick Days. 

“Chasing down Robby Thompson’s car for an autograph after a game has to be up there too,” he said. “My dad nudged me to the front as fans surrounded his car leaving the parking lot. Him waiting to sign my silly roll-up hat stuck with me forever.”

MLB rumors: Manny Machado, Padres agree to $300 million contract


MLB rumors: Manny Machado, Padres agree to $300 million contract

Manny Machado has his new home. After spending 66 games with the Dodgers last season, he's reportedly staying in the NL West. 

Machado and the Padres have agreed to a record deal, according to multiple reports. And the bank is officially open in San Diego. 

The Padres are signing Machado to a 10-year, $300 million contract, reports Mark Feinsand of It's the biggest free agent contract in the history of American sports. 

Though the deal is for 10 years, Machado can opt out after five, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. 

Machado, 26, hit .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI between the Orioles and Dodgers last season. He's four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner at third base, who can also play shortstop.

Jeff Passan of ESPN was first to report the news. 

More to come... 

Bruce Bochy recounts his favorite memories from tenure as Giants manager

Bruce Bochy recounts his favorite memories from tenure as Giants manager

"Even though I'm retiring, I'm looking forward to one more shot."

The Giants' world was rocked Monday, when Bruce Bochy announced that this coming season would be his last as manager for San Francisco. It had been on Bochy's mind for some time, and he thought it best to have everyone on the same page heading into what will be his final season in the dugout.

"It was important for me to tell them that, and really to get it out," Bochy told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez during an exclusive interview following his announcement. "So I could be honest with everybody and get it behind us and it wouldn't be a distraction for myself, Farhan (Zaidi), Larry (Baer), the team ... everybody. We can concentrate on baseball."

Suddenly, the 2019 season has taken on a whole new meaning for the Giants. Yes, a return to contention after the last two dismal years is certainly high on the list of goals. But now, each time they take the field, there's going to be an element of, 'Win one for the skipper' to it.

There are bound to be numerous pit stops along the way at which point Bochy will be honored for his vast contributions to the Giants franchise, including, of course, three World Series titles in a span of five years. Of the nine other former managers in MLB history to win at least three World Series titles, all of them are already in the Hall of Fame. Bochy will surely join them there.

[RELATED: Next stop, Cooperstown: Why Bochy is Baseball Hall lock]

But if it's up to Bochy, those in-season ceremonies will be kept to a minimum. "That's not what this is about," he told Gutierrez.

Whether or not he gets his wish remains to be seen. But no matter what, you can count on a whole lot of reminiscing over the next seven or eight months, depending on how successful Bochy's final season is.

Heck, it's already begun. In their conversation, Bochy was asked about his favorite memories as the Giants' skipper. One immediately came to mind, and for good reason.

"This one's probably pretty obvious, but when I handed the ball to my son coming out of the bullpen, that's a moment I'll never forget."

Outside of specific memories, a constant one that holds a special place in Bochy's heart is the endless support he's received from Giants fans over the last 12 seasons.

[RELATED: Giants' players determined to send Bochy out on high note]

"That was the one constant that I always had and the team always had over my tenure there," Bochy said, "is that they've always been there."

Bochy and the Giants plan to figure out a future role for him with the organization, so it's not as if he'll disappear from AT&...err....Oracle Park altogether. In fact, Bochy doesn't intend to go far at all.

"It's just amazing how well I've been treated up there," Bochy said of San Francisco, "and that's where I'm sure I'm going to end up making my home because that's home for me."