Giants

Watch Bryce Harper smash another homer off ex-Giant Hunter Strickland

harperstricklandusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Watch Bryce Harper smash another homer off ex-Giant Hunter Strickland

Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland have plenty of history. On Tuesday night, they added another chapter, and it was more of the same.

You might recall that Harper took Strickland deep not once, but twice in the 2014 NLDS, when Harper was still with the Nationals and Strickland was still pitching in relief for the Giants.

You might also recall that years later, the two nemeses traded blows when Harper charged the mound after Strickland drilled him with a pitch.

Harper, obviously, now is with the Phillies. Strickland, ironically, now is with the Nationals. The two teams played a doubleheader Tuesday, and once again, there were some fireworks.

Harper hadn't played in the second game of the doubleheader until he was called upon to pinch-hit in the seventh inning. The opposing pitcher, naturally, was none other than Strickland.

You can guess what happened next.

Indeed, the one-sided rivalry became more one-sided.

[RELATED: Ex-Giant Pence shares hilarious story about shirtless Bochy]

Safe to say, the Washington fans didn't enjoy that blast as much as the previous ones.

Giants to increase minimum pay for minor leaguers before most of MLB

ramoshandshakesali.jpg
Ali Thanawalla

Giants to increase minimum pay for minor leaguers before most of MLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stepped up to the podium Tuesday in Arizona and spent nearly every second of his half hour press conference talking about the Houston Astros. 

The cheating scandal has taken over the sport, and for good reason, but once this all passes, there are other important issues on players' minds. First and foremost for prospects and older minor leaguers is one familiar to any worker. They want to be paid what they believe is fair, and this season the Giants will take a step in that direction. 

The organization will raise the pay for minor leaguers across the board a year ahead of similar raises that will go into place across the sport for the 2021 season. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, who first reported the raises, the raises will add up to more than $500,000 per year for the franchise. 

That's right around the MLB minimum for just one player, so this is an issue that is far from settled from a minor leaguer's perspective. But the raises are a start, and one the Giants have been contemplating for a while. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he has wanted to do this, and the organization was headed in this direction even before he came on board. 

"There was a lot of momentum, a lot of support from ownership, from the business operations side, so it was really a consensus that had been built," Zaidi said. "There was some momentum behind it before I came into the organization. Just from a personal standpoint, I'm excited that we're able to do it.

"It does a lot of good for the organization and I think it's the right thing to do."

MLB already was set to raise Triple-A minimum salaries from $502 a week to $700, with Double-A going from $350 to $600 and Single-A going from $290 to $500. The Giants are raising the Triple-A salaries a tad higher, to $750, and will add housing allowances, per The Chronicle. 

The Giants became the second team to do this, joining the Toronto Blue Jays, who instituted raises last season. Later Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Chicago Cubs will have increases of at least 50 percent this season. 

Minor league pay is a problem that is headed for courts and has caught the attention of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who tweeted late last year that he would demand that MLB pay minor leaguers "a living wage." It makes little sense that MLB could approve raises but make players, many of whom have offseason jobs to get by, wait until 2021 to see a change in their paycheck, but Zaidi said the Giants were talking about moving the timetable up before they found out MLB was planning any raises at all. 

[RELATED: How Pence returned home to Giants after one season away]

The Giants have put significant resources into making life easier for their players, with a new $50 million facility now in place at Scottsdale Stadium and another one for minor leaguers being built a few miles away. Players would tell you they still could do more, though, and Zaidi said there could be further raises down the line. 

"I don't know that the adjustment that we've made for 2020 is an endpoint," he said. "I think we'll continue to evaluate it. We're going to be looking to get feedback from players on how it's helping. It's a quality of life issue, a convenience issue, a time issue. Just getting a better sense of all that is something we'll continue to evaluate."

Giants' Mike Krukow has no sympathy for Aubrey Huff, says he 'blew it'

Giants' Mike Krukow has no sympathy for Aubrey Huff, says he 'blew it'

You can add Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow to the list of people who have no sympathy for Aubrey Huff after the former first baseman was informed that he would not be welcome at Oracle Park for the celebration of San Francisco's 2010 World Series championship team this coming August.

"I think that Aubrey Huff blew it, and I think him not being included is something he needs to take to heart," Krukow said Tuesday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "I don't think it's going to affect the invitation in 20 years should he compose himself a little more responsibly on social media. He had a chance to represent the Giants away from the community, even though he's not under contract, I think it's a contract you sign for life ... I just think he's been irresponsible and he's paying a price for it.

"The one thing that never really gets discussed: In every contract you ever sign with a professional team, is they have a clause in there where they talk about how you as a player have to comport yourself in an appropriate manner. Those are words that when you sign your contract, they’ll stop the discussion and point to it and say ‘Do you understand this?’ The whole idea is to create a positive image in the community on behalf of the Giants."

The Giants are in Scottsdale, Ariz. for spring training, and several players were asked about the team's ruling on Huff. Buster Posey deferred "to the people that make the decisions," while Pablo Sandoval insisted that he "won't be sad" that Huff won't be at the World Series reunion. Krukow feels similarly.

"Me personally? No," he responded when asked if he'll miss Huff on Aug. 16.

[RELATED: How Panda caught Kapler's attention during first live BP]

As San Francisco and Krukow have made clear, there's a give and take to that whole "Forever Giant" thing.