Source: Giants' interest in top free agent Bryce Harper is overblown

Source: Giants' interest in top free agent Bryce Harper is overblown

SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after Farhan Zaidi finished his introductory press conference at AT&T Park, Scott Boras stood in front of reporters at the annual General Managers Meetings and discussed his biggest client, Bryce Harper.

Boras told reporters in Carlsbad that Harper is a “generational player” and said “Harper’s Bazaar has begun.” Zaidi will head down to Carlsbad later Wednesday night, and it’s possible he’ll get that pitch from Boras in person. But it doesn’t sound like it’s one that will win him over.

After two years of whispers about their chase for Harper, the Giants appear to have cooled off. Sources familiar with their thinking said any interest in Harper has been overblown. “We’re shocked" by some of the rumors, one person said, noting that Harper would have to "really, really want to come" to San Francisco and pass on more lucrative opportunities elsewhere.

That is not Boras’ style. He will go for the biggest deal every time, and Harper is believed to be aiming for a record contract well over $300 million. But giving out big deals has not been Zaidi’s style, and Giants CEO Larry Baer said he will not change the way Zaidi has operated.

“His success speaks for itself,” Baer said.

In Los Angeles, Friedman and Zaidi didn’t give out a deal larger than Kenley Jansen’s five-year, $80 million contract. Jansen already was a Dodgers star and fan favorite. Justin Turner, another All-Star already in-house, got $64 million over four years. When Clayton Kershaw threatened to opt out, the front office tacked on just one year, bringing him to three years and $93 million. Rich Hill got $48 million over three years. Brandon McCarthy got $48 million over four years. 

See a theme here?

During his press conference, Zaidi talked about potentially adding a starting pitcher. He said no move is too small, and he seemed particularly impressed by a past trade that brought MVP candidate Khris Davis to Oakland for two lesser-known prospects. Zaidi also said this when asked about the Giants roster:

“The No. 1 thing that stands out to me is the importance of selfless play in baseball. We’re in a baseball culture, at an amateur level, where there’s a little bit of a showcase culture and a lot of emphasis on individual performance over the team. I think when you can create a culture where players put team over the individual, that can be a competitive advantage. Ninety percent of the time, individual and team goals align. Sometimes (though) you need to move a runner over and have a long at-bat to tire out the pitcher. I’ve seen a lot of the guys on this team play for a long time, and they have that (team) spirit in spades.”

That is not, at all, a description of Harper or how he is being pitched in free agency. Some rival executives, while noting that Zaidi disdains massive deals, have pointed out that Baer and Giants ownership might overrule him. But Baer said he would trust his new head of baseball operations

“There’s no restrictions coming in,” Baer said. “Is that ($300 million player) going to be what’s the game-changer for the Giants in 2019, 2020, 2021 — I don’t know … we didn’t look at it as generic ‘no big contracts.’ He’s been successful in getting from Point A to Point B. We want him to go with what’s successful for him.”

The Giants have long felt Harper would like to play in San Francisco, and perhaps there’s a point where the price becomes acceptable. But the Giants do not currently feel the need to make a splash.

Zaidi was the splash, and they’re going to let him do what he feels is best to turn this organization back into a sustainable winner. 

For National Puppy Day, here are some dogs embracing America's Pastime


For National Puppy Day, here are some dogs embracing America's Pastime

There are calendars out there dedicated to "fake holidays." And by fake holidays I mean there are some weird days dedicated to those most random things you can think of. 

Did you know there's an "Old Stuff Day?" Or even an "If Pets Had Thumbs Day?" That last one actually sounds pretty great. 

But today is #NationalPuppyDay, and it's a very important day because we discovered a bunch of GIFs (soft "G") of dogs embracing baseball.

You're welcome ahead of time.

This is Buster Posey's No. 1 fan and permanent (let's hope only semi-permanent) wearer of his jersey:

The A's hosted Bark in the Park night with ... surfboard-riding dogs:

Yes, this was an actual thing and I bet you're feeling pretty upset you missed out on it. 

Here is a dog on a kayak in McCovey Cove that also possesses a small BBQ:

Here is another very good dog getting a stick in the cove:

Sensing a theme here ... 

This is Reba and she's amazing and makes the infield at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum look extra perfect:

Here's a Giants' dog that chose to forego the water and instead skateboard around the park. As one does:

Here's an A's dog -- with green hair.

What that as fun for you as it was for us? We thought so. 

Bruce Bochy, Ned Yost reflect on touching moment after 2014 World Series

Bruce Bochy, Ned Yost reflect on touching moment after 2014 World Series

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few minutes after his team lost the 2014 World Series in a heartbreaking way, Royals manager Ned Yost walked over to the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium and quietly slipped into Bruce Bochy’s office. With champagne still flying through the air and players getting deep into their celebrations, Yost and Bochy shook hands and had a brief conversation.  

The show of class and sportsmanship meant a lot to the winning side. That moment meant even more to Yost. 

“I’ve still got that picture hanging in my office,” he said recently. “I don’t have many pictures that I put up, but there’s that one of me and him shaking hands afterward. That one is special to me. It was a hard time because he was trying to celebrate, but I just wanted to tell him congratulations.”

Yost’s Royals will face Bochy’s Giants today in Cactus League action, and it will almost certainly be the final matchup between their teams. Bochy has announced his intention to retire, and neither team is favored to reach the postseason.

That 2014 matchup was a memorable one, though, and it still leaves Yost shaking his head. A day after Bochy announced that 2019 would be his last season, Yost, at an MLB event, recalled thinking he had gotten the better of Bochy. 

“I just remember him sending Bumgarner out in Game 7 and I just thought, ‘Okay, we’re going to kill him.’ And it just didn’t turn out that way,” Yost said. “Even to send Bumgarner out there in the ninth, it was like, ‘whoa,’ but it worked out perfectly.”

Yost and the Royals would win the next year, getting their own moment in the sun. But on that cold October night in Kansas City, Yost watched Bumgarner get out of a jam in the ninth. He watched Bochy celebrate, and then he went over to congratulate a manager he says is a surefire Hall of Famer. 

[RELATED: Bochy announces he will retire after 2019 season]

“I just have the ultimate respect for him. I’ve always admired him, his longevity, and what he has been able to do,” Yost said. “The one solace I can find, as tough as it was to lose a World Series, especially when you’re 90 feet away, is just that I lost it to my boyhood team and to a manager who I probably have more respect for than any other present manager in the game. 

“He’s right behind Bobby Cox for me. He’s accomplished everything that every manager looks to accomplish.”