Longtime coach Ron Wotus remains with Giants on Gabe Kapler's staff

Longtime coach Ron Wotus remains with Giants on Gabe Kapler's staff

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gabe Kapler's first move as Giants manager was a popular one. 

Longtime Giants coach Ron Wotus was offered a job on Kapler’s staff and accepted, pulling his name out of the running to be the bench coach for the Mets. Wotus, who interviewed for the job that ultimately went to Kapler, told NBC Sports Bay Area that his preference has always been to work for the Giants and stay in the Bay Area.

During Kapler's introductory press conference, the new Giants manager announced that Wotus will serve as the team's third base coach.

Wotus, 58, will be in his 33rd year with the Giants organization and will be working for his fourth manager. He is the longest-tenured coach in franchise history and has previously been on staff for Dusty Baker, Felipe Alou and Bruce Bochy.

Wotus was the bench coach before moving over to the third-base box in 2018. Through both jobs, he drew endless praise for his work with Giants infielders, and Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Matt Duffy are among those who have credited him in recent years for helping them become Gold Glove-caliber defenders. 

Wotus should provide a valuable bridge for Kapler, who is learning a new clubhouse and will have to gain the trust of the existing core. He also should be a perfect fit for an organization that is going heavy on analytics and modern methods while also trying to pay respect to traditional coaching and scouting. Wotus was the first on the big league staff to really dive into defensive shifting and he was instrumental in helping the Giants change the way they positioned infielders. 

[RELATED: Zaidi discusses trait that stood out from Kapler]

Wotus was one of two internal candidates to interview for the manager job, along with former bench coach Hensley Meulens. It had been previously reported that Meulens was joining the Marlins' staff, but a source said he has not yet committed to that. Meulens also interviewed to be Mets bench coach.  

If Giants, Dodgers never moved West, MLB might look very different now

If Giants, Dodgers never moved West, MLB might look very different now

Back in the mid 1950's, Major League Baseball hadn't conquered the West Coast.

But that changed in 1957 when the Giants and Dodgers were granted permission to move from New York to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.

Both teams played their inaugural season in California in 1958.

Baseball hasn't been the same since, relocating or adding teams all over the West Coast.

But how would MLB look today if the Giants and Dodgers hadn't moved West? According to the MLB Cathedrals' Twitter account, the Dodgers wanted a new stadium in Brooklyn in 1957, but were denied, leading to the two teams moving.

So MLB Cathedrals ran through the hypothetical scenario with real-world info and some fan input to see what the league would look like today if the Dodgers had been allowed to stay in Brooklyn.

First, the San Francisco Giants in their current form wouldn't exist. The New York Giants would have moved to Minnesota in 1959.

In 1961, the Washington Senators moved to Los Angeles and became the Angels.

That same year, the American League adds two expansion teams: The San Francisco Seals and a new club in Washington, D.C. According to MLB Cathedrals, the Seals would play at Seals Stadium until a new ballpark could be built for them.

In 1962, the National League expands, adding teams in Houston and Los Angeles. Because the Dodgers stayed in Brooklyn, the Mets are never created. The new team in LA is called the Stars, meaning the Giants and Dodgers names never exist.

[RELATED: Inside Giants' 2012 WS sweep]

When MLB Cathedrals conducted the experiment Saturday, they had Oakland getting an expansion team, the Oaks. On Sunday, in a new version of the experiment with more info and fan polls, Oakland never gets a team.

Here's how the AL and NL look as of 1998, according to MLB Cathedrals.

Based on these projections, Major League Baseball and baseball in the Bay Area would look very, very different.

Giants' Mauricio Dubon shares hilarious story of meeting Hunter Pence

Giants' Mauricio Dubon shares hilarious story of meeting Hunter Pence

Mauricio Dubon is living the dream of every young Giants fan right now. 

Dubon moved to Sacramento when he was 15 years old to live with a host family -- leaving his family in Honduras -- in order chase his dreams of playing baseball. He attended his first Giants game as a teenager in 2010, sitting in the center field bleachers as Tim Lincecum pitched the Giants closer to a division title. As a young shortstop he idolized Brandon Crawford, and now is his teammate and will be Crawford's double-play partner on many occasions this season. 

When Dubon first made his Giants debut in late August after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, he certainly could feel his fandom come alive. The same can be said for when the team brought Hunter Pence back this offseason.

"The first time I saw Hunter at FanFest, I asked for a picture, actually," Dubon said on the latest episode of The Giants Insider Podcast. "I asked him for a picture, yeah. 2014, with the whole speech and everything -- as a fan, you kind of get excited. As a player, you get even more excited." 

Dubon said he had to get away from the Giants' veteran players last year when guys like Tim Lincecum, Angel Pagan and many others came back for Bruce Bochy's final game as San Francisco's manager. The young infielder simply couldn't help but get giddy seeing his childhood heroes. Dubon even used Pagan's salute celebration in high school. 

Now with Pence in the fold and Pablo Sandoval returning to San Francisco, Dubon doesn't see why the Giants couldn't shock the world again once the season returns amid baseball's suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: How Dubon is staying ready after missing first Opening Day]

"I keep telling people that when were we favorites -- I say "we" as a fan -- when were we favorites to win a World Series in '10, '12 and '14? Never," Dubon said. "So why's it gonna change right now?

"We have the same veterans. Same hunger, probably even more. We got guys that are willing to do anything to win a game. I think we have a pretty good chance of [winning] the whole thing." 

Dubon is expected to be manager Gabe Kapler's do-it-all utility man up in the middle at second base, shortstop and center field this season to keep his athleticism in the lineup. And while his fandom always will live within him, he could be a major key to the Giants brining their next World Series trophy back to San Francisco.