Giants

A's Stephen Piscotty, Giants' Buster Posey nominated for Hutch Award

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A's Stephen Piscotty, Giants' Buster Posey nominated for Hutch Award

When you think of a fiery competitor, who comes to mind? Well, there's a Major League Baseball honor dedicated to just that: The Hutch Award. 

The Hutch Award, named after the late Fred "Hutch" Hutchinson. is given annually to an active MLB player who "best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire." Much like Hutch himself, who died from cancer in 1964.

Two Bay Area ballplayers have been nominated for the award: A's Stephen Piscotty and Giants' Buster Posey:

According to the website, Piscotty's nomination stems from his journey through adversity that began in 2017 when his mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with ALS when Piscotty was still a member of the Cardinals.

"Shouldering the responsibilities of a Major League Baseball player and of a son to a mother with a progressive neurodegenerative disease 2,000 miles away, Stephen had the worst season of his playing career. Following an offseason trade to play for his hometown Oakland A’s, Stephen moved home to live with his parents and two younger brothers. Six months after the trade, on May 6, 2018, Gretchen passed away with Stephen and the entire Piscotty family by her side."

Posey's nomination was dedicated to the six-time All-Star being more than a catcher, but also an ambassador to the game of baseball.

"Off the field, Buster has focused his philanthropic efforts on supporting pediatric cancer awareness and research through the establishment of The Buster & Kristen Posey Fund in April 2016. In just over three years, the Poseys have raised more than $3 million for the Posey Family Research Grant and Fellowship Programs."

[RELATED: Dallas Braden says to pay attention to Piscotty this season]

This honorary award was created in 1965, one year after Hutchinson's death. The group of creators also started a scholarship fund for medical students engaged in cancer research to honor Hutch's memory. 

Former recipients of the award include Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski, Jason Giambi, and Barry Zito.

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski, family ready for emotional series at Fenway

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski, family ready for emotional series at Fenway

As he prepared to board a flight back to Boston, Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski said he wasn't sure how many family members and friends would be in the seats at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. All he knew was that it would be measured by the dozens. 

"I'm not leaving tickets for them," he said, smiling. 

The Giants' star rookie won't have to. In Boston, his last name opens doors, and Red Sox fans have been waiting for this day just as Yastrzemski has. There were so many media requests for Yastrzemski that the Giants will hold a press conference at Fenway Park on Tuesday, when his famous grandfather is expected to be at the park. 

Carl Yastrzemski, Mike's Hall of Fame grandfather, told The Boston Globe that he plans to visit with Mike on Tuesday but won't stay for the game. He'll be in a suite for Wednesday's game, soaking in an amazing moment for a family that's baseball royalty in New England.  

"It will be the first time since 1983 that the name 'Yastrzemski' will be announced," Carl Yastrzemski told The Boston Globe. "It's definitely going to be emotional. To see him come into Fenway Park where I played for 23 years, to have his name announced, that will be a great thrill for me."

Carl played all 23 seasons of his Hall of Fame career in Boston, totaling 3,419 hits and 452 homers while making 18 All-Star appearances. He was the 1967 American League MVP and won seven Gold Glove Awards. In 1989, he was elected to the Hall of Fame. 

His grandson had to wait until he was 28 to break through, but Mike has been a revelation as a rookie. He has a .833 OPS and needs just one homer to reach 20, and he should get plenty of chances this week. Manager Bruce Bochy said Mike will start all three games at Fenway Park, where his grandfather played nearly 3,000 games. 

"It's going to be pretty emotional," Mike said on Sunday. "I'll try and contain those things and try and make it feel like it's just a regular game."

[RELATED: MadBum in line to start Bochy's last game, as it should be]

Mike said he hasn't been to Fenway Park since taking part in a workout there when he was in college. While his grandfather has seen him play in spring training games, he has not yet watched him in person in the big leagues. Carl told The Boston Globe that he's been losing a lot of sleep while staying up late to watch Mike's games on the West Coast. They talk every couple of weeks, but it's not necessarily about giving hitting advice. 

"I don't like to talk to him about hitting or anything else, because you see a game on TV and you can't tell too much," Carl said. "On TV, you don't look for little things, you just want to enjoy the game, but it's hard to enjoy it because you're so keyed up watching him. You want him to do well."

Barry Zito reveals why he rooted against Giants in 2010 World Series

Barry Zito reveals why he rooted against Giants in 2010 World Series

Imagine rooting against your employer after they paid you $18.5 million.

That's the story Barry Zito is telling.

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Zito revealed in a new memoir that he rooted against the Giants in the 2010 World Series because they left him off the playoff roster.

“It was really hard to admit," Zito told The Chronicle's Ann Killion.

Zito was in his fourth season with the Giants, and things weren't going well. At that point, he had a 40-57 record and 4.45 ERA in 133 appearances for Bruce Bochy.

So despite his high salary, the Giants made the tough decision not to use Zito against the Braves, Phillies or Rangers.

For someone in the middle of a seven-year, $126 million contract, the snub stung, causing him to root for the Giants to lose the Fall Classic.

“I rooted against the team because my ego was in full control and if we lost then I could get out of there,” Zito said. “It would a) prove they couldn’t do it without me, and b) take me out of the situation because I was so miserable coming to the field every day. I was so deep in shame. I wanted out of that situation so bad.”

As you know by now, the Giants went on to beat the Rangers in five games to capture their first World Series since moving to San Francisco in 1958, and the franchise's first since 1954.

But this story had a happy ending. The Giants didn't get rid of Zito, and he played a big part in their march to the 2012 World Series title.

With the Giants down three-games-to-one to the Cardinals in the NLCS, Zito saved their season by tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings in St. Louis. San Francisco would go on to win the next two games at home and advance to face the Tigers in the World Series.

[RELATED: Zito reveals he almost retired before 2012]

Bochy gave the ball to Zito in Game 1 against Detroit and the lefty allowed just one earned run in 5 2/3 innings. San Francisco would win the first game and go on to sweep the Tigers.

In the end, Zito is in possession of two World Series rings. One he never wanted and another that the Giants wouldn't have gotten without him.