Willie McCovey: 'It's a sin' Barry Bonds is not in the Hall of Fame


Willie McCovey: 'It's a sin' Barry Bonds is not in the Hall of Fame

Giants legend and Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey is pushing for Barry Bonds to make it to Cooperstown in his sixth year on the ballot. 

“I just think it’s a sin he’s not in there,” McCovey said Friday to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. “If anybody deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, it’s Barry.”

McCovey also spoke out on a controversial letter written by another baseball legend. Joe Morgan, Hall of Fame second baseman who serves as the Hall's vice chairman, emailed a letter urging voters to not support players who admitted using steroids, failed drug tests or were mentioned in the 2007 Mitchell report. The letter was sent on Nov. 21, a day after this year's ballot came out. 

“That letter Morgan wrote sure is not going to help Barry,” McCovey said. “But I’m glad to hear a lot of the writers say the letter is not going to influence their vote because I know a lot of it is aimed at him. I wasn’t too happy about it.

“You’re naïve if you don’t think it was aimed at Barry.”

Morgan specifically stated he hopes “the day never comes when known steroid users are voted into the Hall of Fame." McCovey has a message for him. 

“Guys took things ever since baseball existed. It may not have been steroids, but guys took things like those greenies and stuff so they could play the next day. You’re telling me everybody is clean as a whistle? You played against guys who were doing the same thing he was doing, so what the heck?" McCovey says. 

When asked why Bonds should be voted into the Hall of Fame, McCovey made it clear there shouldn't be any debate. 

"You talk to anybody who played against him at that time, they’ll say he was the best hitter they ever saw in their lives. Those are his peers talking," McCovey said. 

Ryan Thibodaux, an Oakland native, tracks Hall of Fame ballots. With 132 public ballots plus four anonymous ones, good for 32.1 percent of votes, Bonds is currently at 72.8 percent of votes. He will be enshrined if he receives 75 percent of votes. This past year, Bonds received 53.8 percent of votes. 

Giants send hard-throwing reliever Ray Black down to Triple-A


Giants send hard-throwing reliever Ray Black down to Triple-A

NEW YORK — Ray Black has been one of the better stories for the Giants this season, overcoming years of injuries to finally make his MLB debut. The next chapter in Black’s story will be one focused on caution. 

Needing a fresh arm, the Giants on Monday made a surprise move, optioning Black back to Triple-A Sacramento and recalling Derek Law. Black had pitched in four of the first six games of this road trip and now will get a few days off before throwing on a more regulated schedule in the minors. 

“There’s a little concern that we’ve been using Black a lot,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “This gives him a break, too. He’s done a great job getting his career on track. He’s dealt with some injuries and this cuts back risk of any kind of injury.”

Bochy said Black, who allowed five runs in his last three appearances, is healthy. The workload may have caught up to a pitcher who often threw every three days in the minors and has not been used to pitching on back-to-back days. 

“He came out of it fine,” Bochy said. “He’s healthy, but we want to keep it that way.”

Black gave up just one hit in his first month in the big leagues. August has been a struggle, and while he was still piling up strikeouts, opposing hitters were starting to look comfortable. The Giants are hoping the breather helps, and Bochy said Black will be back at some point soon. He cannot return for 10 days after being optioned. 

--- Dereck Rodriguez threw a light bullpen session and did some jogging before batting practice. His hamstring is doing well, and he’s likely to slide back into the rotation on Friday at AT&T Park. 

--- Chris Stratton is here as part of the taxi squad and will start Tuesday’s game. Stratton believes he found a fix to his fastball command issues; Ryan Vogelsong was with the Triple-A team for a few days and gave Stratton some tips that the young right-hander said proved to be very beneficial. Vogelsong has been traveling through the minors this season and helping Giants prospects. 

--- In case you missed it, a look at some ways the Giants can work towards the future over their final 37 games. 

Uneventful Giants' day of reckoning finally might be here

Uneventful Giants' day of reckoning finally might be here

The Athletics have tried to offer as much cover as they can, but eventually the Giants-In-Freefall exhibition would have to come to light.
So here it is, in the revolting glory -- a team in the midst of what playoff contenders would say is a promising set of games but is in fact becoming what their opponents would say is a promising set of games. A team staring a massive rebuild in the face while holding its hands over its ears and humming loudly to drown out the noise.
They went to Cincinnati at the outer fringes of the playoff races -- six games behind Arizona for the division lead, 6 ½ behind Milwaukee and Philadelphia -- and after a weekend of non-hitting, non-pitching, non-winning squalor, those numbers are eight and 7 ½. They are going to New York to play the Mets, who are as shambolic as ever and still playing better baseball than San Francisco. In fact, the only teams who aren’t this month are Baltimore, Kansas City and Miami, who are trying to lose, and Detroit, which has abandoned pitching as a strategy.
In other words, the offseason is here, and the question isn’t when the remodel begins, but how massive a task it will be.
The Giants always have erred on the side of holding rather than folding. They have clung to the good old days and the good old names for the better part of a decade, hoping either to rekindle the old magic, defy the shrinking margins for error or just plain kick the rebuild can down the road. They won titles by underpaying their young stars and rewarding them in the unproductive by-and-by, which has engendered loyalty from within but not attraction from without.
In other words, they positioned themselves to be in the worst possible place at the July trade deadline, neither buyers nor sellers because there is nothing they don’t need and nothing they can offer, and since then they are 6-10.
But this isn’t just recency bias. Observers and fans thought Vegas was on to something when it saw the Giants as an 87-win team in March, but the lads promptly headed to the middle of a large pack in the National League and stayed there through a bad May, a good June and a bad July. They are an unsustainable fourth place/11th place team, and the day of reckoning is upon them.
But the rebuild won’t involve Buster Posey or Madison Bumgarner because that is not the Giants Way. It is a franchise built on rewarding the back end of careers that served well on the front end, and it is hard to imagine that not remaining the case.
But it is also a franchise that is recognizing that one massive name isn’t going to resuscitate this, or jump-start a new era of glory. They need help in numbers, and grafting one huge name like Bryce Harper (a pipe dream at best, a lunatic’s raving at worst) onto this roster isn’t going to change that because it needs help nearly everywhere. Frankly, this team is lucky to be as close as it is, and that’s only because the National League lacks the powerhouses the American League has in relative abundance (two teams on pace to win 100, five to win 94 or more).
But it isn’t really close. They have built an uneventful season with uneventful achievements, and in this adrenalized world, in a crowded entertainment landscape, nothing plays worse than uneventful.
Now the A’s -- they’re eventful. That might sting, but for the moment they are doing the Giants a great service by providing cover for San Francisco’s lack of inspiration. It’s not the goal, mind you, but sometimes things just gots to be that way.