Giants

Mike Krukow worried about Giants making this mistake in front-office hire

Mike Krukow worried about Giants making this mistake in front-office hire

The Giants are looking for a "next-gen" hire to lead the team after getting rid of general manager Bobby Evans. That doesn't exactly sit well with Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow. 

"I'm concerned with it, and I'll tell you why," Krukow said Wednesday on KNBR about an outside hire. "You have a lot of 35-year-old general managers that don't want to be corrected by a bunch of 55-year-old scouts. They don't want to have a bunch of guys saying, 'Well, back in the day, we did it this way.' They don't want to hear that. So subsequently, they're gone." 

What "next-gen" means to Giants CEO Larry Baer, Brian Sabean and the rest of the decision-makers will be determined in the future with the hire.

Here's how Baer best described his vision to Alex Pavlovic: 

“The game has changed and evolved a lot. We’ve had a lot of consistency here, which I think has served us really well, and a lot of stability, but nothing goes forever. We have to have somebody that’s going to present the blueprint for the next five to 10 years of Giants baseball. It’s time to have a fresh look at that.

“We’ve had a tremendous cycle here starting in 2010, 2009, really. But you always have to re-pot. Next-gen is finding someone who can put a great blueprint on this franchise given the ballpark and given the amazing fan base.”

Krukow's main concern is that the next hire will not tear down a part of the franchise he considers a cornerstone to the Giants' success. 

"That [scouting] has always been I think one of the backbones to this Giants franchise," Krukow said. "I mean when you have a leader -- Brian Sabean -- who was a scout, who believes in scouting, it's one of the strengths that this organization had and certainly led to the success that the Giants had in 2010, '12 and '14." 

It might sound like Krukow is stuck in the past and only believes in the eye test. That isn't the case. At least he says that isn't the case. Whoever takes over must find the best in the future and the past in Krukow's eyes. 

"I do believe in sabermetrics, I do believe in the new numbers of evaluation, but I think that there has to be a healthy blend where you can use both, and I hope that to a degree the Giants go that way," Krukow said. "There are organizations that are completely all in on sabermetrics and they pay little attention to scouting. I just hope that we do not become one of those organizations." 

The Giants currently are second to last in the NL in home runs (131), on-base percentage (.301), slugging percentage (.370), and OPS (.671) behind only the rebuilding Marlins with four games to go. Those are traditional stats, but a "next-gen" mind will be in charge of revamping the way the Giants go about getting those numbers up. 

World Series trophies are to marvel at. But it's time to move on and make sure they aren't solely a reminder of what the Giants once were instead of a goal for the near future. 

Mayor London Breed clears way for Giants' June return to Oracle Park

Mayor London Breed clears way for Giants' June return to Oracle Park

The Giants expect the construction of their new bullpens to be finished in the next week or so. It might not be much longer before players are allowed to throw off the mounds. 

San Francisco mayor London Breed outlined new reopening rules on Thursday afternoon, and there was good news for professional sports teams. As part of a phase that will go into effect before June 15, professional sports teams can practice in the city of San Francisco with an approved plan. The city is targeting June 15 for the next phase, which states in part, "Professional sports games, tournaments and other entertainment venues allowed with no spectators with approved plans."

The players and owners are still far apart in negotiations, but if they can strike a deal that gets baseball back in July -- the target is to get games back by the July 4 holiday -- the Giants will be cleared to come home. Internally, they are still discussing the next steps and what a Spring Training 2.0 might look like. They're trying to decide between training at Scottsdale Stadium and doing so at Oracle Park, and the current lean is said to be returning to San Francisco.

It's not quite that easy, of course. The Giants would have to make significant changes to the structure at Oracle Park, expanding clubhouse space and finding new areas within the ballpark's footprint to train while following social distancing rules. They're hashing all of that now, and while they were never all that concerned about the restrictions in San Francisco, it certainly is a sigh of relief that the city is officially moving forward with reopening plans. 

[RELATED: Field to Table: How to make Oracle Park-style garlic fries]

The Giants have quietly reopened one of their other facilities in the meantime. Players who remained in the Scottsdale area have been allowed to work out at the ballpark there, although social distancing is practiced and there are limits on how many people can be in the building at one time. The vast majority of the team remains spread out across the country. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

How Giants fans' support impressed Mike Yastrzemski, Mauricio Dubon

How Giants fans' support impressed Mike Yastrzemski, Mauricio Dubon

Mike Yastrzemski and Mauricio Dubon entered this season as two of the more popular Giants, but a year ago at this time they were in extremely different situations. Yastrzemski was just getting his feet wet in his first week in the big leagues. Dubon was playing in Triple-A for the Milwaukee Brewers. 

They both got shots to grab a starting role later in the 2019 season with the Giants, and both did enough that they were going to be in Gabe Kapler's Opening Day lineup, possibly right at the top. Life changed quickly for Yastrzemski and Dubon, and on this week's episode of "Chalk Talk at Home," they talked about how far they've come. Both said interactions with the Giants fan base stood out early in their big league careers. 

"I struck out my first at-bat and they were still cheering for me walking back," Yastrzemski  "You don't get that too often, where it's a big market, big city with a huge history of winning, and usually fans demand excellence. The fans are so great out there that they're just exited for somebody to get an opportunity to come help the team and they're going to support you."

Dubon came along three months later, but he already knew all about Oracle Park's supportive fan. He grew up as one after moving to Honduras to Sacramento as a teenager. Still, Dubon found himself surprised by early interactions. 

"I was just trying to play baseball and the next thing I know I'm walking down the streets going to the field and a lot of people are honking in the car and saying hi to me, and I had no idea how they recognized me," he said. "It's pretty amazing how the Giants fans are."

Last year's rookie breakouts are training in Nashville and Miami, respectively, and both hope to be back at Oracle Park soon. MLB is angling for a July return, although there are plenty of hurdles. Whenever the sport resumes, it'll do so without fans, which might not be the adjustment you would expect.

Yastrzemski said he's able to get so focused at the plate that he never hears any noise anyway. The outfield may get weird, though. 

"You're used to having to like try and scream at the guy next to you to try and get his attention," he said. "You can whisper now."

[RELATED: Learn how to make Oracle Park's garlic fries]

Yastrzemski said it's going to be interesting to see how guys react, because some really feed off the energy coming from the seats. Dubon certainly qualifies as one of those players, and he said the empty stadium "is going to be weird."

"I'm a guy that feeds off that," he said. "I've just got to get used to it, I've just got to get used to not having anybody. I played in rookie ball here in Florida with literally nobody and it's going to be pretty much like that with the best players in the world."

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]