Posted on 27-02-2008
Filed Under (SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

Omar Vizquel Injures KneeJust when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…you go and to something like this! It’s sad to say, but the San Francisco Giants won’t be fielding their starting shortstop come opening day. Omar Vizquel tore the medial meniscus in his left knee and won’t be able to return to the field for 4-6 weeks.

He was flown back to San Francisco and operated on today. Team doctors said the surgery went exactly as planned and he’ll be on schedule to return sometime the first week of the season barring any setbacks. However, the 41-year-old shortstop may not heal as quickly as we need him to. With age comes longer healing times and it could be the end of April before we truly see him take the field and playing at 100%.

What this means for the Giants, is that Kevin Frandsen will get the opening day starting job at short, ending his competition with Ray Durham for the job at second. This also means that we will see Rich Aurilia as the starting third baseman, unless the Joe Crede deal goes through before the end of spring training. I just hope that this doesn’t put more pressure on the front office to bring someone on that we don’t need. I’d hate to see us lose a great prospect just to put on a bandaid.

Spring Training games officially begin tomorrow with the Giants facing the Cubs at home in Scottsdale. Stay tuned!

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Posted on 07-02-2008
Filed Under (SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

Giants Sign Vinnie ChulkThe San Francisco Giants have announced that they have signed relief pitcher Vinnie Chulk to a one-year, $837,500 deal for next season. Chulk, 29, finished 5-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 57 games last year. He was tied for the team lead in appearances when a circulatory ailment caused numbness in his right middle finger and forced him to miss the season’s final month.

Vinnie was definitely one of our better relievers last year and we desperately needed to sign him to get some bodies in the pen. I’m still not convinced however, that the guys we have from last year are the answer to our relief problems. As you all know, our bullpen was one of the worst in the majors last season. It was a glaring need, staring us in the face when the season closed. Yet we have done nothing to improve it.

It is clear that the Giants want to give their youngsters a chance to prove themselves. We will see how the season pans out, but my guess is that we will be changing our tune a bit in the off season next year. We need to bring some big names to this club or people will lose interest.

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Posted on 29-01-2008
Filed Under (Ex Giants, Free Agency, SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

Pedro FelizLate last night, rumors were flying around the league that Pedro Feliz had agreed in principal to a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies worth $8.5 million. The contract also includes a club option for 2010. With principal and performance-based incentives, the deal could be worth up to $15 million after all is said and done if the club exercises their option.

Feliz had reportedly been asking for a three-year deal worth close to $21 million as he hit the free agent market at the end of the season. Apparently, his price has come down considerably as the season approaches. Brian Sabean, GM of the San Francisco Giants has repeatedly stated that he would not offer the sure-handed third baseman a three year contract and that his price was too high. If he were willing to sign a one-year agreement, then the Giants would consider it, but not three years.

Feliz joins a solid lineup with the Phillies who have been assembled to score a lot of runs. He will more than likely bat in the sixth or seventh spot in the lineup, a place that should better suit him. He had previously batted behind Barry Bonds for a good portion of his stay with the Giants. I believe his productivity will go up as he hits with less pressure, and he’ll get more power from the HR happy Citizens Bank Park in Philly.

For the Giants, I am so glad we will never see him in the Orange and Black ever again! I’ve had too many years of watching him miss an off-speed pitch for strike three and walk himself back to the dugout. Good riddens Feliz! Bring on Kevin Frandsen!

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Posted on 23-01-2008
Filed Under (Barry Bonds, SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

Barry Bonds Asks Judge to Throw Out Perjury CaseBarry Bonds asked the federal judge in charge of his perjury case to dismiss it today, arguing the indictment is “scattershot” and noted for its “striking inartfulness.” This gives us an inside look at how his lawyers are beginning to outline and defend their client. The attorneys said that the questions asked by prosecutors during Bonds’ December 2003 grand jury appearance were vague, ambiguous and confusing. The lawyers asked that the case be thrown out on the grounds that he couldn’t have been lying when the questions asked of him did not allow a concise response.

It should be noted that motions such as these are frequently filed but rarely granted. The lawyers are definitely trying what they can when they can to get the process streamlined as possible. Bonds has been accused of lying on nineteen different accounts of which he has been indicted on four separate charges of perjury and one obstruction of justice charge. Bonds’ attorneys argue that the instances should be detailed and charges should be filed separately, instead of being lumped together. This way, the charges can be dismissed and approached on an individual basis.

An interesting development indeed for Mr. Bonds as the season begins to get closer by the day. He is still a free agent with no potential suitors that we know about. Many teams I’m sure are waiting to find out more about his legal troubles before beginning negotiations with the all-time home runs leader. It is to be seen whether he will sign a contract for another year or if this will be the end of the slugger’s career. If it is, he’ll go away under suspicion of using performance enhancing drugs. If he gets signed for another season, the story continues and more and more records will undoubtedly fall from the pages of history.

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Posted on 19-01-2008
Filed Under (SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

Brad HennesseyIn anticipation of pitchers having to report to Arizona for spring training here in a few weeks, the San Francisco Giants are trying to take care of the three pitchers they still have in the salary arbitration process. Today, they inked potential closer Brad Hennessey to a one year, $1.6 million contract. He will compete with Brian Wilson for the full-time closer role next season. The competition should get pretty heated as the two of them are pretty evenly matched. Hennessey has a little more experience, and Wilson, though younger, has a little better stuff. Hennessey spent the majority of last season as the closer for the Giants saving 19 of 24 save opportunities for them. Wilson, closed out the season as the regular closer for the last two weeks of the year, and did an extremely good job! I can’t wait to see them in spring ball when I go down for my annual trip to Giants Spring Training in Scottsdale.

Yesterday, Vinnie Chulk and Kevin Correia each negotiated salaries with the Giants organization. Vinnie Chulk is asking for $975,000 while the team has offered $725,000. Chulk went 5-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 57 appearances before being placed on the disabled list August 24th. He will compete for the setup role next season and will definitely come out of the bullpen.

Kevin Correia has asked for $1.3 million while the team has offered $850,000 for next season. Correia was 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 59 appearances in 2007, including a 3-1 mark and 2.54 ERA in eight starts. He will be competing for the 5th starting pitcher spot in spring training.

Stay tuned, as the two of these guys will be signed in the coming days, I presume.

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Posted on 13-12-2007
Filed Under (Aaron Rowand, Free Agency, SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

Aaron RowandAll-star center-fielder Aaron Rowand signed a 5 year, $60 million deal with the San Francisco Giants last night. Sources close to the event say that Bruce Bochy and Ron Schueler, Rowand’s former manager while he was with the White Sox, visited Aaron in his Las Vegas home last weekend to discuss his future. Apparently that conversation weighed heavy on his decision to join forces with San Francisco.

This move for the Giants bolsters the middle of the lineup. Bochy has said that he plans on batting Rowand 5th in the lineup behind Winn and Molina. Rowand will play center-field moving Dave Roberts over to left and keeping Randy Winn in right. Bochy also emphasized the fact that Rajai Davis, Fred Lewis and Nate Schierholtz will all be contending for starting jobs in the spring. They will be a great help out there to provide some competition, if they’re still around come spring training. Brian Sabean has opened up the possibility of trading any of those players if the Giants could get something positive in return.

The biggest part of this free agent signing, is the fact that it closes the door on the Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum trade. We don’t have to give up either of our two young aces in Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum. I am very happy that we get to see those two again next season in a Giants uniform. I think I would have cried myself to sleep if we had done that deal.

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Posted on 07-11-2007
Filed Under (Omar Vizquel, SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

Omar VizquelThe San Jose Mercury News this morning is reporting that the San Francisco Giants are close to signing Omar Vizquel for one more season. The terms of the agreement are rumored to be a one year deal worth $5.5 million. That’s a $1.5 million raise over his salary last season. The contract does include an option for a second season, something that Vizquel was originally looking for when negotiations began after the season. If he plays in at least 140 games, then the club will automatically pick up his option for 2009 at $5.2 million.

Let it be known that I am a HUGE Vizquel fan. So, needless to say, I am very excited to have him back. I’m also glad that they are only signing him to a one year deal. This gives us the opportunity to look for a new quality shortstop in free agency if he doesn’t produce this season, and continue to groom our minor league sensations. I think it was the appropriate move for the Giants given our options. It sounds like Vizquel is also a good voice in the clubhouse and a good teamate. So, I like what he brings to the table. Don’t expect his fielding to drop off next season. He’s over 40, but can still work the leather!

Vizquel didn’t win the gold glove award this year even though he should have. It was announced the other day that Jimmy Rollins won the gold glove at shortstop for the National League. He held a .985 fielding percentage, while Omar had a .986 fielding percentage. Omar had just nine errors all season, the fewest among full-time shortstops in the NL. But, he got shafted, and it looks like he won’t surpass Ozzie Smith who holds the all-time record with 13 gold gloves at short.

Overall, I like this move. Congratulations Omar on your new contract. Welcome back to the Giants!

(2) Comments   
Posted on 02-11-2007
Filed Under (SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

Carney LansfordYesterday, ESPN and reported that Carney Lansford has been hired by the San Francisco Giants to be the new hitting coach for the 2008-2009 seasons. Lansford, better known as the third bash brother in Oakland, was a five-time all-star in his fifteen year career. He spent 10 of those years with Oakland, but was the 1981 batting champion while playing with Boston. Bruce Bochy is excited to get Carney into a Giants uniform. He claimed that he’s been on his radar for quite some time now and will bring a flare to the clubhouse and a winning attitude.

I am very excited to see Carney Lansford come to the Giants organization. He was born and raised in my hometown, San Jose, and grew up in Santa Clara. When I was a little boy, I played an all-star game at a field in Santa Clara that was named after Carney Lansford. The legend is that when he was a little leaguer he played on that same field, and hit a homerun over 450 feet as a 12 year old. I don’t know if it’s true, but it had me wanting to be like him when I was that age. I remember his unique stance and hitch before he took a swing. It seemed like he was always building momentum for his swing as he dropped his hands up and down repeatedly before taking a hack. He was quite fun to watch when he was a player, that’s for sure!

One of the things he mentioned when while being interviewed, was that he is interested in teaching players how to take pitches to allow runners to advance. With the Giants speed of the youngsters coming up next year, that is going to be key for us. He’s taken more pitches for Rickey Henderson than probably anyone! Look for the Giants to play a little more small ball next year with speed and aggressiveness on the base paths. They’ll be trying to hit doubles, hit for power, move runners along, and play team baseball. I can’t wait to see it all in action.

So, congratulations Carney! Welcome to the Giants organization. We need you!

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Posted on 31-10-2007
Filed Under (SF Giants) by Michael New Jr.

San Francisco Giants Halloween Costume

Hi everyone! Just wanted to write a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween. This is what I wore to work today. You can see that it’s all official gear. I even have the warm up jacket that you can barely see sitting on my desk, and the X-Bat that I’m holding is the same one Bonds uses. Everyone at work got a kick out of my obsessiveness. I hope you do too!

It’s going to be an interesting San Francisco Giants Off-Season. With question marks about Omar Vizquel, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Klesko, Barry Bonds, etc. it will hopefully be a big off-season for the Giants. Can we land a player like Alex Rodriguez? Can we pick up Mike Lowell from the Sox, or is our wish list just too high. Brian Sabean is going to have to make a splash somewhere. I can’t wait to find out who’s coming to the Giants next season!

Stay tuned as I feed you the latest news about the free agent market, potential trade rumors, and possible pick-ups for our very own San Francisco Giants! Thanks everyone for reading, and have a Happy Halloween!

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A-RodAlex Rodriguez, the highest paid player in Major League Baseball, has decided during the middle of the fourth game of the world series, that he will opt out of his $252 Million, 10 year contract with the Yankees. His agent, Scott Boras spread the news that A-Rod is now eligible as a free agent.

Brian Cashman, the GM of the Yankees, has repeatedly said that if Rodriguez decides to opt out of his contract that the Yankees will not deal with him or try to sign him as a free agent. Rodriguez sited the unquestionables in the Yankees organization right now as part of the reason for deciding to terminate his current contract. The Yankees are going through a management change, ownership transfer from father to sons, and there are many players who may be leaving this off season.

What does this mean for the rest of the league? It means that the best player in baseball could be on your team next year! Likely bidders are the Boston Red Sox, Anaheim Angels, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and our own San Francisco Giants.

Let’s hope that the Giants decide to make a run at this superstar!

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