Kent, Richmond headline 2016 Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame


Kent, Richmond headline 2016 Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame

The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame is a collection of some of the greatest athletes who not only put their stamp on the local area, but nationally as well. 

This year's class, which will be enshrined on May 16 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, is no different. Former Giants slugging second baseman Jeff Kent and sharp-shooter Mitch Richmond, who excelled on both the Warriors and Kings, headline the group. 

Aside from Kent and Richmond, also entering the BASHOF is former Giants managing general partner Peter Magowan, former Raider Raymond Chester and swimming champion Anne Warner Cribbs. 

Kent will be enshrined one year after his hitting mate Barry Bonds. The two spent six seasons together with the Giants, combining for 454 home runs. 

While with the Giants, Kent enjoyed his best seasons of 17-year career. In six seasons in San Francisco, Kent hit .297/.368/.535 with 175 home runs from 1997-2002. 

The powerful second baseman was named to three All-Star teams with the Giants. He also won the NL MVP in 2000 after hitting .334/.424/.596 with 33 home runs and 125 RBI. 

Kent has spent three years trying to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but his highest voting total of the 75-percent needed for induction, is only 16.6 percent, which was for this year's class. Ending his career with the Dodgers in 2008, Kent is a .290/.356/.500 hitter with 377 home runs. 

[RELATED: Bonds enters Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame]

Before being drafted by the Blue Jays in 1989, Kent attended Cal, where he played on the school's 1988 College World Series team. 

Richmond, who was inducted into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014, made his name for both the Warriors and Kings. 

Drafted by the Warriors with the No. 5 overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft out of Kansas State University, Richmond spent three seasons with Golden State. 

As part of the Warriors Run TMC era with Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway, Richmond averaged 22.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in his three seasons as a Warrior. He was traded to the Kings as part of a package that brought the Warriors Billy Owens. 

Richmond thrived with the Kings. In seven seasons, he was named to six All-Star teams, playing in five of the games. He averaged 23.3 points, 4.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting 40.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Magowan witnessed the duo of Bonds and Kent blasting home runs after buying the Giants in December of 1992 and saving the team from relocation to Tampa Bay. 

After 16 seasons as the Giants' president and managing general partner, Magowan retired in September of 2008. He is a 1964 graduate of Stanford with a degree in American literature.

Chester was the Raiders' tight end when they last won a Super Bowl in Oakland in 1980. He spent seven of his 12 NFL seasons with Oakland. 

In seven seasons with the Raiders, Chester caught 216 passes for 2,891 yards and 37 touchdowns. Chester also played one year with the USFL Oakland Invaders. 

Cribbs, born in San Mateo, graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School as a swimming star. She won a gold medal in the 1959 Pan Am Games at only 14 years old, and her 400-meter medley relay team won gold in the 1960 Olympics. 

The BASHOF has raised nearly $4 million for more than 600 Bay Area youth sports organizations.

MLB rumors: Why Giants should trade for Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray


MLB rumors: Why Giants should trade for Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray

The Sonny Gray era in New York appears to be coming to an end, and the Giants should pounce at the chance to add the former Cy Young candidate. 

According to Fancred's Jon Heyman, the Yankees are pushing hard to complete a Gray trade soon. He also lists the Giants as one of seven teams that have been involved as possible partners, and perhaps recent favorites.

Why would the Giants want to trade for someone that had a 4.90 ERA in only 130 innings and a whopping 1.50 WHIP last season? The numbers aren't that simple. 

It all starts with Yankee Stadium, or "The Sandbox in the Bronx." Gray had a brutal 6.98 ERA in 15 games in his home park in 2018, but a great 3.17 ERA in 15 games away from it. His WHIP went from 1.91 in New York to 1.16 at all other ballparks. 

The Yankees are known as the Bronx Bombers for a reason. They turn games into Home Run Derby in their own backyard. Now imagine being on the other side of the ball, the one who throws the pitches and sees a pop-up turn into a jog around the bases. 

When looking at Park Factors, which compares the rate of stats at home versus the rate of stats on the road, Yankee Stadium was the sixth-best home run park in the league. It's no coincidence Gray allowed 11 home runs there and only three on the road. 

By comparison, AT&T Park Oracle Park was the second-worst ballpark for home runs last season by Park Factors. 

It's well known that the Giants play in one of the most pitcher-friendly places in all of baseball. Gray has never had the luxury of pitching in San Francisco -- he's also never pitched at Petco Park (Padres) or Coors Field (Rockies) -- but he's only allowed two earned runs in 15.1 innings combined at Chase Field (Diamondbacks) and Dodger Stadium. 

Gray, 29, could thrive in a new environment like San Francisco -- especially by working with his old pitching coach Curt Young again. Young was Gray's pitching coach on the A's, when Gray had his most success (including a third-place finish for the Cy Young Award in 2015).

As Gray is a free agent after 2019 season, he could either help the Giants contend this season or become a valuable trade chip if San Francisco is out of the playoff hunt by the July 31 trade deadline. 

In an offseason where bringing back Derek Holland has been the biggest move, it's time to take a chance and make it Sonny in the Bay again.

Giants Mailbag: Is there an ideal fit still out there on the market?


Giants Mailbag: Is there an ideal fit still out there on the market?

SAN FRANCISCO — On Friday, we will be one month from the first full-squad workout at Scottsdale Stadium.

If the Giants gathered today, they would look eerily similar to the team that finished far out of contention last season. 

That should change, of course. Team officials expect to make multiple additions over the next three weeks, taking advantage as prices continue to fall for the dozens of quality free agents still on the market. Trade talks have remained steady, too. 

But right now, we’re still in the midst of an extremely quiet offseason. On Wednesday, Ahmed Fareed joined me for a lengthy podcast that went over the slow pace, the Harper-Machado markets, the issues with the CBA, young players vying for jobs and much more. You can stream it here or download it on iTunes here. 

Thank you to everyone who sent questions along. There were so many that it’s time to add a mailbag to the podcast … 

Sign Marwin Gonzalez as a super utility, seems like a Zaidi kinda guy, provided he’s not too expensive. Then look to trade him at the deadline to a team in the hunt. - @brayden_cleland

Longtime listeners of the podcast know that Gonzalez has been my target throughout this offseason. He could be the opening day left fielder and provide depth throughout the infield, and he would add some pop. He has been connected to some contenders — primarily the Braves, lately — but for the most part, he has been out of the headlines.

It’s possible Gonzalez is waiting to see where Harper and Machado end up, knowing that the teams that miss out will have plenty of money left to spend. 

The second part of this question is interesting to me because we don’t quite know what Zaidi thinks of no-trade clauses. Bobby Evans handed them out to just about everyone, and the Giants are paying for that. You can bet Zaidi would like to avoid doing the same. But it’s possible that veterans — like Gonzalez — will make that a prerequisite of signing with a team that’s not looking like a contender. It’ll be interesting to see how Zaidi handles the no-trade issue. 

Will Watson and Smith both be traded this year? What teams do you think are the best trade partners? - @Dc_cargo

I would be surprised if they’re both on the Opening Day roster. Ahmed made a good point on the podcast, predicting that the Giants will actually make their trade during spring training. There will be a team that loses a valuable reliever to injury during spring training, and perhaps that’s when Zaidi will pounce. 

Before then, I still think there’s a strong chance that Smith gets dealt. Team officials were awfully shy about naming him the closer when they gathered in Las Vegas last month, and they’ve made no secret of the fact that they get calls on Smith. Andrew Baggarly mentioned the Angels as a team that’s been hot on Giants relievers.

This is just my speculation, but if the Red Sox aren’t able to bring Kimbrel back, Smith could make a ton of sense for them. With Adam Ottavino and Zach Britton in New York, the Red Sox certainly have some work to do to keep up with their rival. 

How does the Giants brass feel about possibly sharing Oracle Park with the Raiders next season? - @SportsAnthony

I’m sure there are mixed feelings throughout the organization. Some people I’ve talked to were shocked that this was an option, but at the same time, it could bring some serious cash into the organization, and this remains a business.

The Giants looked seriously into having an XFL team play at AT&T Park when that league reboots, so they’re prepared to continue hosting occasional football games. I checked on this about a week ago and was told it’s still possible that the Giants and Raiders strike a deal. 

Is Zaidi going to keep the infield and try to trade bullpen pieces for a veteran outfielder? Also, how does the rotation stack up for you? Bum, D Rod, Holland, Suarez, Stratton? Will they trade Samardzija? Will Pablo and Longoria platoon at third? Better athlete...Ahmed or Alex. - @Hardeepd2

A lot to unpack here. If the Giants do trade a Smith or Watson, they won’t be aiming to get veterans back. The goal in any deal right now is to get young cost-controlled contributors who have options remaining. Think of it as trying to get another team’s Andrew Suarez or Steven Duggar. Zaidi wants flexibility. 

It’s just about impossible to trade a guy with a shoulder injury, so the best the Giants can do with Samardzija is hope he’s healthy — his throwing program is said to be going well — and run him out there as part of the rotation, either for their own benefit or to rebuild his trade value before July 31. Right now, it’s Bumgarner, Rodriguez, Holland, Samardzija, and Suarez in some order. 

RELATED: [What Zaidi learned from Muncy, Taylor discovery]

They won’t put Longoria in a straight platoon, although I think all the veterans will lose some time when the matchups are right. Longoria doesn’t have huge splits but I still think they’ll give him more rest. 

As for the final question, this is certainly something we should have settled when the Giants were losing every day in September and we were trying to figure out what to talk about on the pre-game show … 

Any thoughts on Adam Jones? - @jakewilcken420

On a cheap, one-year deal that puts him in an outfield corner? Sure. There’s no harm in that, and the roster certainly needs a veteran right-handed bat in the outfield. But I think there’s a fine line with some of the remaining veterans. You look over the outfield list and at some point, you reach a point where you might as well throw Williamson, Slater, Shaw, Gerber, and Ferguson out there and let them sink or swim.

A big part of the 2019 season is figuring out who can be part of a more potent team in 2020, and the Giants won’t do that if they give too many at-bats to 33-year-olds.