Archive for the ‘Giants’ Category

Want another headache? Sign Manny

As the Barry Bonds saga winds excruciatingly through the courts and Bonds himself ages on the shelf until his legal problems are finished, fans in both southern and northern California watch with appalled fascination the spectacle of the Manny Ramirez contract negotiations. On Thursday night the negotiations between the Dodgers, for whom Ramirez last played, and his agent exploded into public recriminations as accusatory emails flew back and forth. The more things like this happen, the more Giants ownership has to wonder, do they really want another headache like the one they had with Bonds?

Bonds’ trial was postponed indefinitely after his “friend” and former “trainer” Greg Anderson again refused to testify about what he knows about Bonds’ steroid use, which he allegedly facilitated. Anderson spent a year in jail on contempt charges already, and he might be headed for another spell if this keeps up. Yesterday on KNBR Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert went on a hilarious riff about how the prisoners and guards at the Pleasanton federal lockup where Anderson vacations probably ask him for Bonds memorabilia and that the prison is likely festooned with Bonds signed balls, jerseys and posters.

Bocock ready to swing his bat

Brian_BocockBrian Bocock, a young infielder for the San Francisco Giants whose loud debut early last year was followed by a quick decline, is back this spring with what San Jose Mercury News sportswriter Andrew Baggerly calls “a stimulating tale.” Seems his problem last year was related to a circulatory condition that affected his fingers, so doctors prescribed a low dose of Viagra. Evidently it helps circulatory problems all over, not just down there. Well aware of the ironic ring of Bocock’s last name in this instance, Baggerly quotes the 24-year-old Bocock — pictured here in 2006 in his minor-league guise — endorsing the product, even though he was taking only a quarter of the normal dose. “Let’s put it this way,” Bocock says. “I can’t imagine what 100 milligrams does to you.”

What of the other members of last year’s Rookie B’s — middle infielder Emmanuel Burris, first baseman John Bowker, and second baseman Eugenio Velez? (Well, “V” is almost like “B.”) Bowker and Bocock are likely to start the year at Triple-A, and Burris and Velez have to compete with the likes of newly signed veteran infielder Edgar Renteria as well as newly healthy Kevin Frandsen, who missed all of last year. In fact, the Giants have almost too much talent — much of it somewhat inexperienced and little of it able to hit consistently above .285. That’s why they’re still looking for a bat.

Hot stove report: Giants past and present

The Giants announced yesterday they have re-signed relief pitcher Jack Taschner to a one-year contract.

As Giants fans know, the team picked up two interesting free agents over the winter: infielder Edgar Renteria and pitcher Randy Johnson. While Renteria is a typical free-agent signing — a well-known player who may have two or three years left in him — Johnson is more intriguing. The 295 game winner may be 45 years old, but he won 11 games last year and, as many have pointed out, just having him on the roster means there are four or five games the Giants won’t lose this year, as he invariably beat them when pitching for the Diamondbacks.

With the addition of Johnson, the team is still looking for a big bat.

Speaking of veterans:

Farewell, Omar Vizquel

Omar Vizquel, the magically graceful shortstop employed by the Giants for the last four seasons, has turned his last double play for the team, General Manager Brian Sabean said in an extensive interview Monday with reporters. Asked about the future of the 41-year-old eleven-time Gold Glove winner, Sabean said the chances of Vizquel returning to the team were “zero.”

Vizquel’s last at-bat in Sunday’s final game was a satisfying slap hit, raising his career total to 2,657. The rennaissance man and well-known dandy — who also dances, sings, and paints — broke the record this year for most games ever played at the shortstop position, finishing with 2,680.

The Giants are transitioning to a more youthful team, moving from 2006, when they had the oldest lineup in the league, to this year when they had 18 rookies make their major league debut with the team, including 23-year-old Emmanuel Burriss, who is slated to take over Vizquel’s position.

Vizquel will be fondly remembered by Giants fans, who gave him a long standing ovation and curtain call Sunday when he was removed from the game after taking the field in the top of the fifth inning. He is even more revered in Cleveland, where he played eleven seasons, leading the Indians to a World Series championship. When the Giants played the Indians there this year, it was Vizquel’s first return in another uniform, and he was given a highlight tribute and several long ovations.

Vizquel has said he wants to continue playing — if not in the U.S. next year, perhaps in Japan.

J.T. Snow re-signed for one day so he can retire as a Giant

Former Giants All Star first baseman J.T. Snow — seen at left during 2005, his last season with the Giants — has signed a one-day contract with the team so he can retire as a Giant.

Most recently, Snow has been a part-time broadcaster, part-time coach for the Giants, for whom he played from 1997 to 2005. A free agent in 2006, he signed with the Boston Red Sox but played little and announced his retirement during the 2006 winter meetings.

Rumors that the Giants’ “major announcement regarding J.T. Snow” meant him being named as team manager, or anything else, proved false.

Rennaissance man Vizquel’s paintings to show

Courtesy the Extra Baggs blog by San Jose Mercury News sportswriter Andrew Baggerly comes this news: Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel — known, among other things, as a musician, snazzy dresser, and above all, a miracle-worker at shortstop — is also an accomplished painter, with a show opening tomorrow at the Caldwell Snyder Gallery, 341 Sutter St.

Click the thumbnail image to go to a page where you can see Vizquel’s paintings, which show an impressive touch.

Fans of Vizquel’s work in a baseball uniform may have only a few days left to see him exhibit his skills on the field. Though he has the most hits (2369 at this writing) of any active player, he’s been hitting under .200 all season long, and many are saying his playing days are numbered. But the 11-time Gold Glove winner still makes amazing plays at shortstop, exhibiting the unearthly grace and composure of a great dancer.

Bay Area Olympian of the week

That’s the Giants’ Nate Schierholz — born in Reno but schooled in baseball at San Ramon Valley High and at Chabot College in Hayward — kicking the ass of China’s catcher Yang Yang in yesterday’s Olympics win by the US team over China. Schierholtz has labored all year in the minor leagues — though he’s likely to be called up at the end of the month when rosters expand — but today baseball fans all over the country know he plays hard.

The hard play at the plate came in a game when China pitchers hit three US batters, including Schierholtz.

What happened? — the foggy edition

In a town that loves people named Barry, the First Asian President visited San Francisco, cashing in to the tune of $7.8 million. Said Barack Obama to a heavily ethnic crowd: Ich bin ein desi.

The Giants’ Tim Lincecum struck out 10 over 7 2/3 innings, leading the Giants to a win over Atlanta, meaning that Georgia was having a bad day all over. Georgia does, however, have two golds and a bronze, one of the gold medals coming in women’s shooting. Maybe if that gold medal shooter were back at home, they wouldn’t have already lost the war.

One of the Dhaliwal brothers injured in the tiger attack is going to prison on a parole violation in a case that had nothing to do with the fatal mauling of his friend at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day.

Some of us are not going anywhere for the holiday

With Independence Day on a Friday but gas prices bumping five dollars a gallon, we’re celebrating the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth close to home.

  • The first fireworks show is tonight at Pier 39.
  • The Mime Troupe’s newest musical satire making fun of conservatives, “Red State,” opens with a bang tomorrow in Dolores Park at 1:30 pm.
  • The Giants host the Dodgers in a three-game series at Big Phone Company Park.

    Fun for all. Spend ‘em if you got ‘em! And save water!

  • A Day At the Park – Pic

    An amazing day at the park last week, been offline for a few days, otherwise I would have had this up sooner. Nice to see the Giants on a tear for a change. In this shot Aaron Rowand is attempting to pwn John Maine. Enjoy!
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