World Series: Dodgers-hating Giants fans' guide to rooting for Red Sox


World Series: Dodgers-hating Giants fans' guide to rooting for Red Sox

SAN FRANCISCO -- Since sweeping the Giants over the season's final weekend, the Dodgers have spent three weeks turning a rival fan base into supporters of random teams.

It was easy for Giants fans to root on the Rockies in the chase for the NL West title, but #Rocktober fell short. The Braves and the Brewers came with some issues -- the “chop” and Josh Hader’s Twitter history, mostly -- but Giants fans seemed to jump on board with Ronald Acuña Jr., Christian Yelich and the rest in the weeks leading up to the World Series.

The final round, which opens Tuesday night at Fenway Park, presents a different set of problems. Unless you live in New England, you likely never root for a Boston team. The city has won a lot over the past two decades and lets others know it -- and it’s not like a region that has the Patriots and an emerging Celtics powerhouse needs another parade. The Red Sox, after decades of anguish, have joined the Yankees as East Coast teams that other fan bases love to hate.

But … they’re facing the Dodgers.

It will be an easy decision for Giants fans, but if you're at all squeamish about rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series, here are some ways to make it more palatable …

1. Eduardo Nuñez
Nuney, as Bruce Bochy always called him, played parts of two seasons with the Giants, batting .293 with a .749 OPS, eight homers and 31 stolen bases. He was a pretty solid utility guy, popular in the clubhouse and gave Giants fans ongoing entertainment by never managing to keep his helmet on his head.

Most importantly, the Nuñez trade to the Red Sox brought Shaun Anderson to the Giants, and he might be their best pitching prospect.

2. They’re playing the Dodgers

3. Pablo Sandoval’s contract
The Giants are in a world of payroll hurt, but imagine how bad it would be if they had been the team to give Pablo Sandoval his big contract after the 2014 season?

The Red Sox swooped in and handed Sandoval $95 million, then cut him in the middle of the 2017 season. For the past year and a half, they have been on the hook for all but the MLB minimum, meaning the Giants have paid a nice bench player the same amount that they would pay a Triple-A call-up.

Sandoval should be on the 2019 Giants, with the Red Sox, who kept San Francisco from making a big mistake in 2014, paying just about every dollar of his $18 million salary.

4. They’re playing the Dodgers

5. Heath Hembree
Before Hunter Strickland, Reyes Moronta and Ray Black, Hembree was the hard-throwing right-hander coming through the Giants' system. A 2010 draft pick, he went to the Red Sox in the Jake Peavy trade, which helped the Giants win the 2014 World Series.

Now Hembree, like Nuñez, could get a ring.

6. They’re playing the Dodgers

7. Ron Bumgarner
You have no idea who he is, but the Red Sox list him as a senior VP of ticketing, and his last name is Bumgarner. So, technically, you can root for a Bumgarner to get an Even Year ring.

8. They’re playing the Dodgers

9. Steph Curry
Yes, he has been seen in Giants and A’s hats in recent years, but the Bay Area’s biggest star really is a Red Sox fan.

“Growing up, the closest team geographically was the Braves,” Curry told WEEI in 2015. “But my brother (Seth) chose the Yankees when we were 6 or 7. I had to choose the opposite team. I chose the Red Sox, and I’ve stuck with them ever since. It’s a pretty cool thing between me and my brother.”

Curry supported this current run on his Instagram story, going nuts after a game-saving catch in the ALCS. So if you’re with the Red Sox, you’re with Steph Curry, as you usually are. (Oh, and NBA Finals nemesis LeBron James showed up to his Lakers home opener wearing a Dodgers hat.)

10. They’re playing the Dodgers

Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Will Venable for managerial opening


Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Will Venable for managerial opening

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy spent 25 consecutive years as a big league manager, but it appears the Giants are looking to go the opposite route as they search for Bochy's replacement.

Two weeks in, there's a consistent theme with the known names in the managerial search. They mostly are younger and without much, if any, managerial experience, although they are well thought of within the industry.

The Giants started the process by interviewing current coaches Hensley Meulens and Ron Wotus, and a source told NBC Sports Bay Area that A's quality control coach Mark Kotsay interviewed last Monday. Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol interviewed Thursday, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler will sit down with Farhan Zaidi, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Per league sources, the Giants also have interest in Will Venable, who currently is the first base coach for the Chicago Cubs. Venable, 36, spent eight years as a Padres outfielder and finished his career with the Dodgers in 2016, when Zaidi was the general manager there.

A product of Princeton, Venable joined the Cubs as a special assistant in 2017 and was elevated to Joe Maddon's staff a year later. He also is in consideration for the Cubs' managerial opening.

Zaidi has said he expects to interview six to eight external candidates, but it's possible that some of the names connected to the Giants won't necessarily be in a position to be the new manager. This is an opportunity for Zaidi to spend time with some of the brightest young minds on other big league staffs, and some of the candidates may end up in consideration to join the Giants in other roles.

[RELATED: Why Pillar could be non-tender candidate]

The coaching staff is expected to undergo significant changes under new leadership, and all of Bochy's coaches had contracts that expired at the end of the 2019 season. Zaidi also needs to hire a new general manager and has said that department heads are still deciding what to do with some longtime front office employees.

MLB rumors: Giants grant Phillies permission to interview Dusty Baker


MLB rumors: Giants grant Phillies permission to interview Dusty Baker

Dusty Baker could reunite with Bryce Harper, and it's all thanks to the ... Giants? 

The Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales reported Sunday that the Giants gave the Phillies permission to interview Baker to be their next manager. The 70-year-old currently is a special adviser to CEO Larry Baer in San Francisco. 

Baker last managed in the major leagues when he led Harper and the Nationals to 97 wins in 2017. But Washington lost to the Cubs in the first round of the playoffs that season, despite winning the NL East. 

The Nationals won the NL East both years that Baker managed in Washington DC -- 2016 and 2017 -- and averaged 96 wins in his two seasons. They also failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs both times. 

Baker began his managerial career in 1993 when he won 103 games with the Giants. He served as San Francisco's manager from 1993 to 2002 and compiled an 840-715 regular-season record, though his teams went just 11-13 in the playoffs, including losing the 2002 World Series to the Angels in seven games.

Over his 22-year managerial career, Baker has 1,863 wins to 1,636 losses, but is 23-32 in the playoffs. 

[RELATED: Report: Giants interviewed Royals' Grifol for manager job]

The Phillies seem to be looking for veteran leadership from their new manager. Along with Baker, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Sunday that Philadelphia also will consider Buck Showalter, Joe Girardi and Mike Scioscia as candidates.

Gabe Kapler was fired by the Phillies after the regular season as the team disappointed in Harper's first year on his new team. Heyman reported Saturday that the Giants will interview Kapler for their vacant manager position.