Giants' hot streak weirdly coincides with Kevin Durant leaving Warriors

Giants' hot streak weirdly coincides with Kevin Durant leaving Warriors

For the last three years, the Giants have been ... not great.

However, Bruce Bochy's boys all of a sudden have been lights out in July, moving to within 2 1/2 games of the second NL wild-card spot after completing a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

So, what changed for the Bay Area's boys of summer?

It's not like there was a massive influx of new talent. Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Evan Longoria and Madison Bumgarner didn't become six years younger all of a sudden. 

So, if all the rational reasons for the Giants all of a sudden getting a whole lot better at baseball are out the window -- besides the fact that it's baseball -- I present to you a theory: Kevin Durant's exit from the Warriors restored equilibrium to the sports world.

While you're busy shaking your head and calling me a hack, take a look at this:


Now, is the Giants' 11-2 record since Durant elected to leave the Warriors and sign with the Brooklyn Nets likely a coincidence? You could make that case, and you're probably right. 

But it's a lot more fun to believe the sports universe was so angered at the Warriors creating a superteam that it sentenced the Giants to the bowels of the National League until order was restored in the NBA. And what do you know, so far that theory checks out. 

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So are the Giants all of a sudden going to catch the Dodgers atop the NL West and re-stake their claim as the premier NL franchise just because Durant now is hanging out in Williamsburg instead of Oakland? No. That's not what I'm saying. The Giants, despite their recent winning streak, still should sell at the MLB trade deadline and plan for the future, especially now that the curse of KD's presence in the Bay has been lifted off their shoulders. 

Alright, I'm done preaching about the latest "sports curse."

(P.S. Don't be shocked if the 49ers -- who were 12-36 during KD's time in the Bay -- look like a different team this fall.)

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Astros' Joe Espada for manager role

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Astros' Joe Espada for manager role

Go ahead and add another name to the candidacy list to take over the Giants' managerial role after Bruce Bochy announced his retirement following the 2019 season.

San Francisco reportedly has asked the Houston Astros for permission to speak to Joe Espada, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Espada also is a candidate for the Cubs' managing job.

Espada, 44, currently is the bench coach for the Astros. His background before joining Houston includes a stint with the New York Yankees as the special assistant to general manager Brian Cashman in 2014, where he later was named the team's third-base coach. Before that, he was the third base coach for the Miami Marlins.  

He also coached the Puerto Rican team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. 

Espada was drafted by the Oakland A's in the second round of the 1996 MLB Draft and spent a decade playing internationally and made it through to Triple-A.

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He joins a list of potential Giants managers that includes Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and A's quality control coach Mark Kotsay ... to name a few.

As Heyman points out, this is a younger group of candidates, which appears to be the theme across the board for Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.

There surely will be many more names to come before we know who will man the Giants' dugout in 2020.

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Rays coach Matt Quatraro for manager

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Rays coach Matt Quatraro for manager

A new name has been added to the running list of candidates to be the next Giants manager. 

The Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin reported Thursday that the Giants are interested in Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro to fill their managerial opening left by Bruce Bochy's retirement. 

Quatraro, 45, was named Tampa Bay's bench coach prior to last season. He spent the 2018 season as the Rays' third base coach after four seasons as the Indians' assistant hitting coach. 

The Indians ranked fifth in MLB in runs per game (4.6) during his time in Cleveland and fifth in on-base percentage (.327). By comparison, the Giants ranked 28th in the majors last season in total runs scored (678) and in on-base percentage (.302). 

While Quatraro doesn't have managing experience in the big leagues, he has managed in the minors. Quatraro managed two seasons in Short-Season Class A Hudson Valley (2006-07), one season for Class A Columbus (2008) and one season for Class A Bowling Green (2009). '

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Quatraro joins known Giants candidates Hensley Meulens and Ron Wotus, Mark Kotsay, Pedro Grifol, Gabe Kapler and Wil Venable to possibly be the next manager in San Francisco. 

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi will search far and wide, and Quatraro seems to check every box he's looking for.