Giants' Farhan Zaidi hire shows Larry Baer entering a brave new world

Giants' Farhan Zaidi hire shows Larry Baer entering a brave new world

Larry Baer probably looked at himself Tuesday night in the mirror and said the words he could never have imagined uttering.
“I have hired a former Athletic and a former Dodger to repair the Giants. Oh, hell.”
But hey, life’s funny that way.
Truth is, Baer hired someone who is eminently qualified to be the next architect of the baseball division of San Francisco Giants, Ltd. He learned in Oakland, he honed his skills and analytical gifts in Los Angeles, and now he’s going to fix the Giants ... if that’s how the end game plays.
But we live with labels. We like labels. We love the illusion that We Are Giant is antithetical to anything A’s or Dodgers. It makes life more fun, if that’s how you traffic in fun.
And it is a statement about labels and their fragility that Baer, who enjoys the myths of baseball as much as anyone, is willing to chuck them all to put the baseball team he runs for Charlie Johnson in a different place.
It is the first time Baer has had to do this, because the last time there was true and substantive change in this franchise’s baseball profile, he wasn’t running the shop. Peter Magowan was.
In other words, Baer broke his own marketer’s programming to hire Zaidi, because as bright as he might be, his résumé had those two words that we always have believed make him twitch -- A’s and Dodgers. And to make that jump, Baer recognized that past associations were the small stuff, and Zaidi’s gifts and how they could be applied to the Giants were too important to hold his T-shirt collection against him.
Zaidi will further explain his master plan for making the Giants younger and more vibrant Wednesday, and in doing so either will immediately win over the audience or give himself enough time to do so.

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But for now, his mere hiring is sufficient to point how what a brave new world Baer has decided to enter. The Giants built an entire 60-year image on hating the Dodgers for simply existing, and 50 years on blaming the A’s for existing in their breathing space. No other teams made the Giants or their fans react reflexively in their search for the kind of rivalry they read about when the Giants played in Manhattan and the Dodgers in Brooklyn, and how they longed for good old days before the A’s left Kansas City in search of a history it couldn’t create in Missouri.
The upside of Zaidi is that if successful, he will be lionized as Brian Sabean has been. The downside is, if he fails, his résumé will be held against him -- in baseball, that’s what fans do.
But this is easily defensible as a hire, even to those who thought the job easily could have gone to Kim Ng, or Chaim Bloom, or anyone else. Zaidi brings analytical and political game to a job that requires both, and his job is to show how his game can make everyone else’s better.

And eventually, Baer might be forgiven for breaking two fan codes at once. All he needs is a parade.

Shaun Anderson 'wanted that seventh' in Giants' 3-2 loss to D-backs

Shaun Anderson 'wanted that seventh' in Giants' 3-2 loss to D-backs

Giants starter Shaun Anderson needed just 81 pitches to get through six innings Sunday against the Diamondbacks.

With the game in the balance and the pitcher's spot due up fourth in the top of the seventh, no one would have blamed Bruce Bochy for pinch-hitting for Anderson. But the Giants skipper let the rookie hit for himself and sent Anderson back out to start the bottom of the seventh.

"He got better as he went [along], and he was better early today," Bochy told reporters after the Giants' 3-2 extra-innings loss in Arizona. "The kid did a real nice job. That's why I let him hit there with two outs, nobody on. He was throwing the ball really well, did a great job in this ballpark."

Eduardo Escobar led off with a single, and Christian Walker followed with a ground-rule double. At that point, Bochy knew it was time to take out Anderson.

"You love his makeup, the way he battles out there -- he keeps his poise," Bochy said of Anderson. "I said earlier, he's got the strength and stamina you like from a starter. He maintains his stuff deep in the game."

Anderson was attempting to get through seven innings for just the second time in his young career. Instead, he went six-plus innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, walking one and striking out two on 93 pitches.

"I felt great," Anderson told reporters. "We were going to attack Escobar. He got a hit. And I felt good about facing Walker, too. I was going to get a ground-ball double play, and and he ended up getting a hit. But overall, I felt great. I wanted that seventh."

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Anderson appreciated the faith Bochy showed in him to try to get through the seventh inning of a tie game.

"I hope I can continue to bring that confidence for him, and he can continue to have me roll out there for the seventh," Anderson said. "I wanted that seventh. He and I both knew that."

Giants vs. Diamondbacks lineups: Alex Dickerson looks to remain hot


Giants vs. Diamondbacks lineups: Alex Dickerson looks to remain hot

The Diamondbacks have a problem -- his name is Alex Dickerson. 

The #ForeverGiant after just two days of being on the team has four extra-base hits and tallied nine RBIs -- the most by any player in their first two games with the Giants.

Not to mention, Dickerson was hitting just .176 in his first six games at the Triple-A level. He returns to the lineup batting in the seventh slot as the Giants finish up the series against Arizona in Phoenix.

Unfortunately, the Giants have one problem to deal with as well -- Merrill Kelly. He was sensational against the Orange and Black in his last outing, shutting them out in 5 1/3 innings.

Here are how the lineups look to shape up on Sunday. You can follow the action on NBC Sports Bay Area or by downloading and streaming on the MyTeams app.

San Francisco Giants (33-42)

Joe Panik, 2B
Mike Yastrzemski, RF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Brandon Belt, 1B
Stephen Vogt, C
Kevin Pillar, CF
Alex Dickerson, LF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Shaun Anderson, P (2-2, 4.08 ERA)

Arizona Diamondbacks (38-40)

Tim Locastro, CF
Ildemaro Vargas, 2B
David Peralta, LF
Adam Jones, RF
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Christian Walker, 1B
Nick Ahmed, SS
Caleb Joseph, C
Merrill Kelly, P (7-7, 3.99 ERA)