Giants

What Mike Krukow likes about Giants manager candidate Gabe Kapler

What Mike Krukow likes about Giants manager candidate Gabe Kapler

A multitude of names have been thrown into the ring as candidates for being the next Giants manager, but one option generating a lot of conversation is former Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler.

Kapler was fired by Philadelphia after just two seasons, finishing his first tenure as an MLB manager with a .497 winning percentage.

The 44-year-old has been named a finalist for the position, league sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, and Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow spoke glowingly about the potential of Kapler replacing Bruce Bochy.

“I think he’s exactly like [Dodgers manager Dave] Roberts in his people skills,” Krukow told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on “The TK Show” podcast. “I think that’s one of his big strengths.”

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has a prior relationship with Kapler, having hired him as the Los Angeles Dodgers Director of Player Development in 2014, a position Kapler held until taking over as Phillies manager.

“I think everybody that’s been brought in for an interview falls under the same pen,” Krukow said. “They’re all good with people, they’re all guys that have no problem letting the player take the limelight. And I think that’s the one characteristic we’re gonna see come out of this.

“I would have no problem with Kapler because of those skills. He is aware of the tradition of the Giants, and I think that is an absolutely essential thing, if you take that helm, you have to know what has come before you, you have to know what the expectations are.”

[RELATED: Vogt's championship desires might hinder return to Giants]

Whoever Zaidi brings in will have some big shoes to fill, as Bochy brought three World Series titles to San Francisco during his 13-year tenure.

Giants' Gabe Kapler challenged GM Scott Harris to play 'MLB The Show'

kaplerharrisap.jpg
AP

Giants' Gabe Kapler challenged GM Scott Harris to play 'MLB The Show'

Preparations for the 2020 MLB season have taken some creative forms with games pushed back by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler told KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" earlier this week he was staying sharp by playing "MLB The Show 20." Kapler's apparently so hooked on Sony's signature baseball simulation that he has tried recruiting some of San Francisco's front office to join him.

The pitch didn't work on first-year Giants general manager Scott Harris.

"All I know is that Gabe challenged me to a game the other day," Harris told "The Murph & Mac Show" on Thursday morning. "He told me to go buy a [PlayStation 4] and get the game, and he wanted to battle-test some new in-game strategies. And I told him that the peak of my video-game career was 'Mario Kart' on [the Nintendo 64], so I was woefully unqualified to play 'The Show.' "

Harris confessed he wasn't much of a gamer growing up, as his parents didn't allow video games in their household. That led to him getting "absolutely smoked" when he would play video games with his friends, but not to him making up for lost time as an adult.

The No. 2 in the Giants' front office is all in favor of San Francisco's players and coaches taking up "The Show." Harris said he was happy with how people throughout the organization are navigating "uncharted territory."

"I think there's a lot of stuff that we can be doing right now," Harris said. "We're investing in a lot of systems in some of the infrastructure that we're building here with the Giants. We're finding some of the developmental processes and some of the evaluative processes are hopefully gonna lay the groundwork for future trades, or signings or draft picks."

[RELATED: Giants release several veterans, including reliever Blevins]

Harris is getting used to his and the Giants' new normal with play suspended. It could be a while longer before the season begins, after MLB and the players association agreed they wouldn't play until fans attending games don't pose a health risk.

The Giants' front office is laying the groundwork for the season whenever it does start. So are the players and coaches, and that apparently includes a lot of "The Show."

"I never really thought I'd work in a world where video games are actually a part of preparing yourself for a season," he said, "but everyone's staying creative and productive in their own ways."

Zac Efron reveals epic Dusty Baker autograph story as young Giants fan

Zac Efron reveals epic Dusty Baker autograph story as young Giants fan

When he was the Giants' manager, Dusty Baker might not have realized it at the time, but he was signing a ball for someone who would one day become one of the most well-known actors in Hollywood.

All he knew was a young kid with bleached hair wanted his autograph. That fan was Zac Efron.

Efron, a longtime Giants fan, recently told a story about his encounter with Baker on an episode of "Hot Ones."

Without skipping a beat, Efron talked about a special baseball he has that was signed by the former skipper. But there was a fun story behind it. 

"He drove by, and he was on a motorcycle, so he didn't have a window he could roll up," Efron said. "I ran up to him with a baseball, and I was like 'Will you sign this?' I had a blue pen and the sweet spot of a brand-new ball, and I showed it to him, and Dusty was like 'Ah, I can't right now, I gotta go to church.'"

Efron said after hearing that response, he assumed that just meant Baker didn't have time to sign the ball, even though he said he would be back in 30 minutes.

Baker left. Efron was sure the three-time Manager of the Year wouldn't return, but Baker and his motorcycle did 45 minutes later.

"I was like, 'No way!'" Efron recalled. "And he literally pointed right at me, and was like, 'Come over here.'"

The "High School Musical" star got his autograph. It meant a lot to him that Baker made the return trip to give him that signature. And I'm sure the motorcycle was a nice extra touch. 

[RELATED: Kruk and Kuip recall legendary Kershaw-MadBum battles]

"It was really cool," Efron described. 

Baker was the Giants' manager for a decade from 1993-02 and finished with an 840-715 record. He's now managing the Houston Astros.