Giants

Giants to increase minimum pay for minor leaguers before most of MLB

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Ali Thanawalla

Giants to increase minimum pay for minor leaguers before most of MLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stepped up to the podium Tuesday in Arizona and spent nearly every second of his half hour press conference talking about the Houston Astros. 

The cheating scandal has taken over the sport, and for good reason, but once this all passes, there are other important issues on players' minds. First and foremost for prospects and older minor leaguers is one familiar to any worker. They want to be paid what they believe is fair, and this season the Giants will take a step in that direction. 

The organization will raise the pay for minor leaguers across the board a year ahead of similar raises that will go into place across the sport for the 2021 season. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, who first reported the raises, the raises will add up to more than $500,000 per year for the franchise. 

That's right around the MLB minimum for just one player, so this is an issue that is far from settled from a minor leaguer's perspective. But the raises are a start, and one the Giants have been contemplating for a while. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he has wanted to do this, and the organization was headed in this direction even before he came on board. 

"There was a lot of momentum, a lot of support from ownership, from the business operations side, so it was really a consensus that had been built," Zaidi said. "There was some momentum behind it before I came into the organization. Just from a personal standpoint, I'm excited that we're able to do it.

"It does a lot of good for the organization and I think it's the right thing to do."

MLB already was set to raise Triple-A minimum salaries from $502 a week to $700, with Double-A going from $350 to $600 and Single-A going from $290 to $500. The Giants are raising the Triple-A salaries a tad higher, to $750, and will add housing allowances, per The Chronicle. 

The Giants became the second team to do this, joining the Toronto Blue Jays, who instituted raises last season. Later Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Chicago Cubs will have increases of at least 50 percent this season. 

Minor league pay is a problem that is headed for courts and has caught the attention of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who tweeted late last year that he would demand that MLB pay minor leaguers "a living wage." It makes little sense that MLB could approve raises but make players, many of whom have offseason jobs to get by, wait until 2021 to see a change in their paycheck, but Zaidi said the Giants were talking about moving the timetable up before they found out MLB was planning any raises at all. 

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The Giants have put significant resources into making life easier for their players, with a new $50 million facility now in place at Scottsdale Stadium and another one for minor leaguers being built a few miles away. Players would tell you they still could do more, though, and Zaidi said there could be further raises down the line. 

"I don't know that the adjustment that we've made for 2020 is an endpoint," he said. "I think we'll continue to evaluate it. We're going to be looking to get feedback from players on how it's helping. It's a quality of life issue, a convenience issue, a time issue. Just getting a better sense of all that is something we'll continue to evaluate."

Giants' Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper tell hilarious Will Clark sushi story

Giants' Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper tell hilarious Will Clark sushi story

Not everyone has a taste for sushi, especially Will Clark.

The Giants legend is the guy who simply orders a steak at dinner -- he’s simple and to the point.

Giants broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper told a funny story in a recent interview with Giants reporter Amy Gutierrez from a night out at dinner with "The Thrill."

Clark glanced at the menu at the sushi restaurant and was nice about it of course, but it wasn’t his cup of tea. Where Clark is from in Louisiana, they refer to that type of food as “bait.”

That's fair. 

The Giants announced they will retire Clark’s No. 22 jersey this season -- and rightfully so.

His sweet swing and swagger made him one of the organization’s most well-known players to ever wear orange and black.

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Clark is a six-time All-Star selection, a Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Silver Slugger Award recipient across his 15-year career, eight of them with the Giants.

A great career, just perhaps no salmon for him in the future? 

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Why Giants' Alex Dickerson finally can play MLB The Show once again

Why Giants' Alex Dickerson finally can play MLB The Show once again

While baseball continues to be on hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic and MLB comes up with wild, "Looney Tunes" hypotheticals to start the season, players all across the majors are testing out their thumbs. 

This might be the most professional baseball players ever have played the video game, MLB The Show. Giants outfielder Alex Dickerson is among the many players getting on the sticks in the latest iteration, MLB The Show 20. 

"That's always kind of been my go-to ever since I was a kid," Dickerson said Wednesday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show."

This is an odd time for Dickerson for many reasons. Somehow his video game habits have even gone haywire. 

Yes, he always has been a big fan of gaming. But, he usually has to stay away from MLB The Show. 

"The one of thing I've always avoided is MLB The Show, because the game has gotten too realistic, that if I play it in-season and I'm struggling to pick up curveball down or something, I go home and just re-live the experience of not being able to pick it up," Dickerson said. "So that just frustrates me." 

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That's a totally understandable reason to stay away from the game. Luckily for Dickerson, he put up video game-like numbers in late June and July last season after joining the Giants in a trade from the San Diego Padres.

From June 21 through July 30, Dickerson hit .386 with six homers and a 1.222 OPS over 19 games. With baseball on break, he's back to playing the game and certainly could be once again in the future if he has another hot streak like last season. 

"I've actually been playing it because I miss baseball so much," Dickerson said. "But yeah, I tend to cut that game out as soon as I'm actually playing."

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Players aren't the only ones firing the game up, too. Even Giants manager Gabe Kapler is finding ways to learn through MLB The Show. Dickerson isn't surprised, either.

"I can definitely see how he can use it to his advantage," Dickerson said.