Giants

Giants' Joey Bart hits two homers in first game of Arizona Fall League

joeybartsanjose.jpg
Ali Thanawalla

Giants' Joey Bart hits two homers in first game of Arizona Fall League

There are hot starts, and then there's what Joey Bart did in his first game in the Arizona Fall League.

The Giants' top prospect hit not one, but two homers in the Scottsdale Scorpions' 5-4 win Wednesday night over the Mesa Solar Sox. Batting fourth as the team's starting catcher, Bart took the second pitch he saw on the night deep over the left-center field wall off Tigers No. 20 prospect Anthony Castro for a two-run shot. 

Leading off the top of the seventh inning, Bart hit his second homer, a solo shot off rising A's prospect Jesus Zambrano, who went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA between High A Stockton and Double-A Midland this season. And he knew it was gone right away, too. 

Bart ended the night 2-for-4 with two homers, three RBI and two runs scored in the win.

“I feel like a lot of people gave up on me when I went down with that injury," Bart said to MLB.com's William Boor after the win. "Yeah, I’m here to make up for lost time, but also here to compete and get better and prove to myself and prove to everyone else that my season’s not over.”

Bart missed nearly two months after breaking his hand at the plate with the San Jose Giants in High A. He started off slow upon his return, but then hit .289 with six long balls in July. Bart followed that up with a great August after he was called up to Double-A Richmond early in the month.

The Giants' top pick from the 2018 MLB Draft ended the season the best way possible by earning Eastern League Player of the Week while batting .536 with a homer, four doubles, a triple and six RBI in his final seven games. Clearly, he brought his hot stick with him to the desert. 

[RELATED: Why Giants fans must follow Arizona Fall League this year]

To top it off, Bart threw out two base runners attempting to steal. 

Prior to the AFL, MLB.com's Jim Callis predicted Bart, who's the No. 20 prospect in all of baseball, would end next year in the top 10. His first audition in the Fall League was quite the way to prove Callis very well could be correct.

Barry Bonds closer comparison to Michael Jordan than Madison Bumgarner

Barry Bonds closer comparison to Michael Jordan than Madison Bumgarner

Michael Jordan and his exploits have dominated the internet for months since ESPN’s “The Last Dance” premiered. Comparisons and retrospectives have become a constant across social media. 

In that spirit, Bleacher Report tried to analyze who most closely resembles MJ’s legacy in MLB and identified two former Giants who possess Jordan-esque qualities: Madison Bumgarner and Barry Bonds.

For MadBum, his postseason dominance draws the closest parallels to Jordan. In over 100 innings of playoff pitching, Bumgarner has just a 2.11 ERA. That includes a dominant World Series in 2014 where MadBum closed out Game 7 with five scoreless relief innings, earning World Series MVP in the process. Bumgarner was critical to each of the Giants' three World Series titles over the past decade.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Bonds, on the other hand, simply struck fear into the hearts of opponents in a way few athletes ever have. Teams were willing to walk players in with the bases loaded just to avoid giving up a grand slam to Bonds. His eye-popping seven NL MVP awards surpass Jordan’s five NBA MVPs, and the slugger owns all sorts of other league records. Bonds’ lack of a World Series makes this a tough comparison, but baseball is a completely different sport, and one player absolutely isn’t enough to win a championship. Bonds hit four home runs in the one World Series he ever appeared in, but the Los Angeles Angels managed to overtake the Giants in seven games.

[RELATED: Giants' Larry Baer believes 2020 MLB Draft requires 'better scouting']

While neither player is a perfect correlation to Jordan, Bonds clearly is the closer comparison here. MadBum is phenomenal, but he’s never been considered the greatest player or even the greatest pitcher in MLB. Bonds was at the top of the sport for several years and is the greatest slugger the league ever has seen. 

As B/R's Jacob Schafer closes his article with, baseball doesn't have a person who perfectly matches up with Jordan's skillset, personality and impact on the sport.

One thing is for sure: both Bumgarner and Bonds could hit a baseball a heck of a lot better than Jordan ever did.

Nationals honor Gerardo Parra with 'Baby Shark' in World Series ring

Nationals honor Gerardo Parra with 'Baby Shark' in World Series ring

The Washington Nationals unveiled their 2019 World Series ring Sunday, and it has the usual bells and whistles.

Each custom ring features 55 genuine red rubies, 32 sapphires, 170 round diamonds and 23.2 carats of genuine gemstones.

Oh, and one Baby Shark.

What?

That's right. In honor #ForeverGiant Gerardo Parra, who started last season with the Giants before finishing it with the Nationals, the team engraved the "Baby Shark" on the inside of the ring.

Why "Baby Shark?" Because it was Parra's walk-up song for a part of the 2019 season in Washington, and it became the Nationals' rally call.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

According to NBC Sports Washington, Parra was going through a slump and wanted to change his song. He initially didn't want "Baby Shark," but it kept coming up on his phone because his 2-year-old daughter was continually listening to it.

“So, every time I pick, want to move the song -- every time move it -- the “Baby Shark” coming,” Parra told  NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas. “I said, no, I don’t want “Baby Shark.” I do it like three times like that. Baby Shark coming, “Baby Shark” coming. I said, hey, do “Baby Shark,” my song for my kids, my babies.”

Parra signed a minor league contract with the Giants last February, but he played in just 30 games before being released. Little did Parra know that his next stop would result in him winning a World Series ring.

And Parra probably never could have imagined that the "Baby Shark" song he never wanted would be immortalized on the 2019 World Series ring.

[RELATED: Parra impersonated by Batting Stance Guy]

In case you want a glimpse of the Nats' ring, here it is:

That's a nice piece of hardware.

While you wait for the global coronavirus pandemic to end, go ahead and sing "Doo doo doo doo doo doo, Baby Shark" to yourself.