Not a whole lot going on as far as Giants baseball lately, but since I hadn’t blogged in a while I figured I’d get you all up to date. There were several roster changes that I somehow missed. There’s a transactions section of the Giants’ website, and I need to check on it every once in awhile in the future to keep up with this stuff as it doesn’t always make the big news. 2013’s Overall Spit Master General, Guillermo Moscoso, was designated for assignment by the Giants in November, elected to become a free agent, and since has signed with Nippon Professional Baseball’s Yokohama Bay Stars. I wonder what it’s like to just pack up and move to another country like that. Well, with him and Rosario gone next season, there’ll be a lot less spitting going on! Another player will be moving to another country, and I’m sure Ginny’s mom won’t be happy about it. Brett Pill’s contract was sold to the KIA Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. Will definitely miss that kid, but apparently he will probably be an everyday player in Korea, and that’s a nice gig for him. Good luck to both of you on your intercontinental adventures, Guillermo and Brett! Pitcher Eric Surkamp is making a much shorter trip to Chicago, being claimed off waivers from the Giants by the White Sox.
Several quiet new additions were made to the 40-man roster in the last month as well. Adam Duvall (3B), Kendry Flores (RHP), Hunter Strickland (RHP), and most notably Gary Brown (CF) were added to the roster, coming up from the Giants farm system. I actually got to watch Gary Brown play for the San Jose Giants once. He was the star of the team at the time, and had an amazing arm. Last I had heard, though, he didn’t have such a great season with the Fresno Grizzlies in 2012, having some trouble adjusting to the better pitching in AAA, and they were planning to delay his call-up. And he wasn’t called up with the big boys during the September call-ups last season. Guess something changed their mind, possibly the lack of much depth in the outfield. A big welcome to the new kids in town! The Giants also recently signed LHP Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract. I had never heard of the guy, but my brother, Nick, mentioned this so I thought I would include it. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2011, and hasn’t done such a great job in the minors recently, but he did have a nice showing in 2006 for the Marlins, going 12-12 with a 3.87 ERA. From the articles I read about him, it sounds like the Giants may have picked him up for that lefty arm. Not sure if he will be invited to Spring Training at this point.
Blast from the past Aubrey Huff has officially retired from baseball after 13 major league seasons, taking up a career as a broadcaster on the PAC-12 Network announcing college baseball games. The guy definitely has the voice for it – used to love to hear his ads on KNBR for Giants baseball. All the best to you in your new endeavor, Aubrey!
Rumor has it that protective headgear for pitchers could be available this season on an optional basis. It will be interesting to see if guys actually wear it. It supposedly looks pretty weird, but hey, if I was facing speeding orbs flying at my head every day, I would wear it. Brandon McCarthy, ex-A’s pitcher who received a severe head injury from a line drive to the head while pitching in 2012, was interviewed by Fox Sports about the new headgear. He said, “It’s going to look silly, but it should be strong enough and capable enough that literally, if I got hit by the same exact ball, I would have been able to keep pitching in that game.” Pretty amazing technology. Wear it, guys! We don’t want you getting hurt out there if you can prevent it. Get over the vanity thing! If you want to see an example of one type of proposed headgear, check this out (scroll to the middle of the page). Does look kind of silly, but we’ll get used to it.
Big baseball story in the news today – Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees has been suspended from the 2014 baseball season and any potential post-season play for getting caught using steroids and trying to interfere with the investigation. This was actually a lesser penalty than the 211 game suspension originally handed down. Rodriguez was the only one of the several players who were caught in the Biogenesis scandal to actually appeal. And he didn’t win. And now he is planning on suing MLB. Great. Stupid A-Rod. There’s a lesson in this for all you young players out there – take steroids, get suspended, lose any credibility, lose money, never get into the Hall of Fame (none of the suspected steroid users on the ballot this year got in again). It’s not worth it. Just work hard and show us what you’ve really got.
Speaking of steroids, when I asked my brother, Nick, what he thought about the Michael Morse signing, the first thing he said was that he had gotten caught taking steroids in the past. NOOOOO!! I was ready to take this guy in as one of my boys! I did some research into these allegations. He was actually suspended for steroids when he was in the minors. He admitted to using them to recover from a torn thigh muscle injury he sustained in 2003 that he thought might end his career, and he also admitted that he had made a terrible mistake in resorting to steroids. The interesting thing is that he tested positive again in the two subsequent years, once in the minors again and once when he went up to the majors. But in the latter two cases, the level of the steroid (specifically “nandrolone”, an injectable, oil-based anabolic steroid that increases muscle strength that can occur naturally in the body in small quantities) was deemed by the panel that heard his appeal to be below a level that could be construed as performance enhancing. What might have happened is the drug lingered in his body for several years and was still being detected (the science backs this up). But since the league has a no tolerance policy, he was suspended basically three times for taking steroids once. I hate the whole steroid issue, but in this case I do feel sorry for the guy, especially because he did at least admit to using them. So you can still be one of my boys, Michael. And he hasn’t tested positive since 2005, so that’s comforting as well.
Missing baseball as much as I am? Here is a video of some of the top moments from the Giants 2013 season. Enjoy! And Ginny – there’s a nice Brandon clip in there for ya! Can’t wait to spend my evenings again in front of the tube watching my boys and texting Ginny and my siblings back and forth!
Been really enjoying Hunter Pence’s Facebook antics. He posted this video of his off-season workout – pushing a car uphill! Then check out Jeremy Affeldt’s response just below it. Love my crazy, zany boys!
Giants FanFest is almost within our reach! It’s exactly 3 weeks from today! HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Ginny is coming with me, possibly my sister, and I know Leslie will be there (I met her and her daughter at FanFest 2 years ago). Come on out and enjoy the day with us and my boys! KNBR has set up a page with details – check it out. They will update things as the date gets closer. They usually post links for maps and schedules that are very helpful. I’ve also been finalizing plans for a Spring Training/Opening Day trip to Arizona with my brothers, Nick and Paul. We’ll be going to the last two games of Spring Training and then the Opening Day game vs. the Diamondbacks. So excited! The planning is half the fun! Also wanted to mention that I’ve hit a major milestone with my blog. I’ve always thought that the ultimate in blogdom would be to have someone who I don’t know follow me. And it’s finally happened! Welcome to Lauren! Thanks so much for following me! I hope it’s worth it! And as all of you know, any comments and feedback are always appreciated. Will keep my ears open for news. Until next time, GO GIANTS!!!!