March 2014

Shocking development: We actually found people NOT picking Dodgers to win NL West

gintdodg

Browsing through presason prognosticators for the 2014 season was not all that exciting for Giants fans.

Dodgers, Dodgers, Dodgers, Dodgers Dodgers, Dodgers.

It seems like everybody and their Aunt Jemima is picking the Dodgers to win the NL West in 2014 … or worse.

Yeah, the Almighty Dollar is the sexy pick for 2014.

If there is a consolation for Giants fans, it’s two-fold.

1, Of those folks picking the Dodgers to take the NL West, many — if not a majority — are also predicting the Giants to secure a wild-card spot.

2, When the Giants won World Series titles in 2010 and 2012, there weren’t a lot of people picking them to NL West in those seasons.

But not everyone is being seduced by the Dodgers’ bling.

Here’s a sampling of the prognosticators who are actually picking the Giants to take the NL West in 2014.

  • Phil Rogers of MLB.com
  • Kevin Millar of MLB Network
  • Pedro Gomez of ESPN
  • Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN Stats and Info
  • Peter Pascarelli of ESPN Radio
  • Joe Sheehan of SI.com
  • Matt Fisher of Fansided.com
  • Mike Cardillo of thebiglead.com
  • Jason McIntyre of thebiglead.com

My wish for Opening Day: a win for the San Francisco Giants

atat

In baseball, everything is amplified on Opening Day.

Fans sometimes forget that the season is 162 games long on Opening Day.

Wins seem bigger. And so do losses.

With that in mind, here’s a stat for San Francisco Giants fans.

The Giants have won two World Series championships since the last time they won on Opening Day.

Yes, it’s been four years since the Giants won on Opening Day. That came on Opening Day 2010 when Tim Lincecum and the Giants beat the Astros 5-2.

Since then, the Giants have lost to the Dodgers (2-1 in 2011), Diamondbacks (5-4 in 2012) and Dodgers (4-0 in 2013) — all on the road.

Since moving into AT&T Park (nee SBC Park, nee Pacific Bell Park), the Giants have opened 10 of 14 seasons on the road.

That is by design. The Giants prefer to delay their home games to get better weather days later in the season. This season, that appears to be a good call as rain in the forecast for the Bay Area Monday and Tuesday.

But that decision has led to some unhappy Opening Days for Giants fans. The Giants have lost five of their last six Opening Days on the road.

By comparison, the Giants have won their last five home openers. The Giants are 11-3 in home openers at their ballpark by the bay.

Yes, we know the weather is yucky on opening week this year. But when you’ve sold out your last 246 home games, does it really matter when you play your home game.

So for next year, Giants, please, would you think about requesting a home game on Opening Day? It would be nice, especially if the Giants win another championship. It is an even-number year.

In the meantime, we’d like a win in Arizona on Opening Day 2014. It’s been a long time since the Giants had a 1.000 winning percentage.

A couple of surprises as San Francisco Giants lock down opening day roster

San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford is projected to sit when facing left-handed pitchers this season.

San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford is projected to sit when facing left-handed pitchers this season.

Marco Scutaro is on the DL.

So is Jeremy Affeldt.

Ehire Adrianza makes the club.

So does Brandon Hicks.

So long, Roger Kieschnick.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced his team’s 25-man roster for opening day, and there weren’t a lot of surprises.

Juan Gutierrez beat out Derek Law for the last spot in the bullpen, with Law being sent down to Double-A Richmond.

Juan Perez beat out Tyler Colvin for the last outfield spot, with Colvin heading to Triple-A Fresno.

With Tony Abreu being placed on waivers (then clearing them and re-signing with team) and Scutaro on the DL, Adrianza and Hicks were locks to make the game.

The Giants designated OF Roger Kieschnick for assignment to make room for Hicks on the 40-man roster. Kieschnick was an outfielder prospect with the Giants who battled injuries in the minors. He made his big-league debut last season, but appeared overmatched in the bigs. He hit .202 with 0 HR, 5 RBI and 29 Ks in 95 PAs.

Bochy announced the Brandon Belt will hit in the No. 2 hole in Monday’s opener against the Diamondbacks and Brandon McCarthy. It looks as if Belt will be Bochy’s No. 2 hitter of choice against righties, and Pence will take the spot against lefties. His lineup for Monday’s game is as follows.

CF Angel Pagan
1B Brandon Belt
3B Pablo Sandoval
C Buster Posey
RF Hunter Pence
LF Michael Morse
2B Joaquin Arias
SS Brandon Crawford
P Madison Bumgarner

One surprise that came out of Saturday’s announcement: Bochy plans to sit Brandon Crawford against lefties. In those cases, Arias would move to short and Hicks would start at 2B.

Last season, Crawford had a slash line of .269/.333/.394 against righties. Against southpaws, it went .199/.258/.288.

Against the Diamdonbacks, that means Crawford will sit Game 2 of the series against Wade Miley, but start the other three games (presuming Bronson Arroyo is healthy enough to start Game 4).

Here’s the 25-man roster:

STARTING PITCHERS

  • LH Madison Bumgarner
  • RH Matt Cain
  • RH Tim Hudson
  • RH Tim Lincecum
  • RH Ryan Vogelsong

BULLPEN

  • RH Sergio Romo
  • RH Santiago Casilla
  • LH Javier Lopez
  • RH Yusmeiro Petit
  • LH David Huff
  • RH Jean Machi
  • RH Juan Gutierrez

CATCHERS

  • Buster Posey
  • Hector Sanchez

INFIELDERS

  • Brandon Belt
  • Joaquin Arias
  • Brandon Crawford
  • Pablo Sandoval
  • Ehire Adrianza
  • Brandon Hicks

OUTFIELDERS

  • Mike Morse
  • Angel Pagan
  • Hunter Pence
  • Gregor Blanco
  • Juan Perez

DISABLED LIST

  • 2B Marco Scutaro
  • LHP Jeremy Affeldt

 

San Francisco Giants’ No. 2 hitter is …. Hunter Pence?

San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence singles against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning of the Giants' 5-2 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence singles against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning of the Giants’ 5-2 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy unveiled a lineup Thursday night against the A’s that he said could be the Giants’ opening day lineup.

It went like this:

  1. CF Angel Pagan
  2. RF Hunter Pence
  3. 3B Brandon Belt
  4. C Buster Posey
  5. 3B Pablo Sandoval
  6. LF Mike Morse
  7. 2B Joaquin Arias
  8. SS Brandon Crawford

You’ll notice the player Bochy plugged into the No. 2 spot normally occupied by 2B Marco Scutaro, who will open the season on the DL.

Now a lot gets talked about batting order. Sabermatricians will tell you that batting order does matter, but only slightly.

However, the stat geeks will also tell you the best batting order is one that is based on descending order of on-base percentage or OPS.

But what numbers do you use to open the season? Spring training numbers or last year’s numbers?

Here is what the Giants’ lineup would look like based on decreasing OBP from spring training:

  1. C Buster Posey
  2. RF Hunter Pence
  3. LF Mike Morse
  4. 1B Brandon Belt
  5. 2B Joaquin Arias
  6. 3B Pablo Sandoval
  7. CF Angel Pagan
  8. SS Brandon Crawford

Now on decreasing OBP from 2013:

  1. C Buster Posey
  2. 1B Brandon Belt
  3. 3B Pablo Sandoval
  4. RF Hunter Pence
  5. CF Angel Pagan
  6. SS Brandon Crawford
  7. 2B Joaquin Arias
  8. LF Mike Morse

OK, we can agree that Bochy is nowhere near going to a strictly sabermetric lineup. So let’s look at conventional wisdom when putting together lineup.

Conventional wisdom says your leadoff hitter brings a combination of a good OBP and speed (sometimes speed seems to win out).

You’re No. 2 hitter should be patient and selective (allowing for leadoff runner to steal second — provided he even arrived on first base in the first place), should not strikeout much, have good bat control and if he has speed, that’s a bonus.

Your No. 3 hitter is generally the best overall hitter in your lineup.

Your No. 4 hitter is your best power threat. No. 5 is your second-best power threat. Nos. 6-8 basically based on descending quality of hitter.

Scutaro fit well in the No. 2 hole because he sees a lot of pitches (3.89 per PA, third-best on team) and he has an excellent contact rate (94.3 pct, tops on team).

Pence saw 3.77 pitches per AB (just under league average). His contact rate of 75.5 percent is also below league average.

But looking at the lineup, there weren’t a lot of better options, using those two measurements.

Brandon Belt saw 3.98 pitches per PA, but his contact rate was 77.3. His strikeout percentage of 21.9 made him the only regular to whiff above league average. Brandown Crawford saw 3.76 pitches per PA. Joaquin Arias 3.17.

So while conventional wisdom says Pence should be the Giants’ cleanup hitter, Bochy’s willingness to put him No. 2 shows that’s he’s willing to break with conventional wisdom.

“He does give you speed, plus he’s a guy who can hit the ball out of the ballpark, too,” Bochy said of Pence, who went 2 for 4 on Thursday. “That’s not a bad thing to have at the top of the order.”

Pence, who batted No. 2 for 45 games in his rookie season with the Astros (hitting .296), says likes the idea of batting second.

But he added: “I’m probably not going to be bunting.”

Jeremy’s broken: San Francisco Giants put Affeldt back on the disabled list

Jeremy Affeldt went to the DL with a strained MCL

Jeremy Affeldt went to the DL with a strained MCL

The San Francisco Giants were hoping to escape Arizona without having to put anyone on the disabled list.

That hope ended Tuesday when Marco Scutaro revealed he would open the season on the DL after a trip to the doctor didn’t help resolved his lingering back issue.

Then on Wednesday, as the rest of the team headed north for the Bay Bridge Series, Jeremy Affeldt was placed on the DL with a strained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Affeldt felt discomfort in his knee last Saturday when he gave up four runs against the White Sox.

Bochy seemed frustrated by his left-handed reliever.

“He didn’t have his brace on,” Bochy said.

It’s the brace that Affeldt has been wearing — or supposed to be wearing — ever since hurting his knee way back in May 2012. You’ll recall that’s when Affeldt hurt his knee when his then-four-year-old son jumped into his arms after Affeldt arrived home from a game.

That leaves three pitchers to compete for two spots left in the bullpen, as Yusmeiro Petit and David Huff appear locks as long relievers.

Jean Machi is on the 40-man roster and is out of options, but he has struggled this spring. Non-roster invitees Derek Law and Juan Gutierrez have impressed this spring. But to put them on the opening day roster would require opening a spot on the 40-man roster.

The Giants have one spot open currently, but that is expected to be filled by another non-roster invitee, infielder Brandon Hicks. Hicks is expected to make the team as infield help with Scutaro opening the season on the shelf.

Three other pitchers — Dan Runzler, Heath Hembree and Erik Cordier — will make the trip north with the team this weekend, but Bochy does not view them as candidates to make the opening-day roster.

So the Giants head north, having avoided major injuries like the Tommy John surgeries facing the likes of the Braves’ Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy or the Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin. Even Clayton Kershaw had an MRI on his back and will miss his start Sunday.

So by comparison, the Giants are getting off light.

They hope to have Affeldt back by the middle of April. Scutaro’s return date is far less certain. Buster Posey sat out Wednesday with a tight hamstring, and Pablo Sandoval has a sore hand that will sideline him for some of this weekend’s games.

Otherwise, the Giants are marching ahead toward the 2014 season.

Can you really believe anything Pablo Sandoval’s agent says?

San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval (48) hits a solo home run against Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen (54) during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval (48) hits a solo home run against Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen (54) during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

There’s a reason people think sports agents are weasels.

Pablo Sandoval’s agent, Gustavo Vazquez, spoke with the media on Sunday to discuss how far apart Sandoval’s camp is with the Giants concerning a contract extension for the 2012 World Series MVP.

And he sounded like an idiot.

Vazquez said Sandoval’s weight issues are a thing of the past and should not be a factor in contract negotiations.

What?!?

That’s like a pitcher with chronic elbow problems over the past five years saying his elbow issues are in the past because he hasn’t had a flare up in six months.

Sandoval’s weight has been an issue since he first dawned a XXXL Giants uniform. And it’s gone up and down over the years, mostly up.

Finally, last summer, Sandoval found Jesus, so to speak. Or maybe Jenny Craig.

Starting last summer, he put himself on a diet. Then he spent the offseason getting in shape. And he looks good.

Could it be that someone finally got to him, saying that no team would give him a big contract when he became a free agent after the 2014 season if he didn’t get his weight under control?

Well, we’ve seen this act before. What assurances do we have that once Sandoval’s motivation is taken away in the form of a long, lucrative contract that he won’t return to his chubby ways?

“The weight issues he had before, you’ll never see that again,” Vasquez said. “He will have his trainer with him until he retires.”

Oh, OK. So if the Giants offer Sandoval a five-year contract that includes a clause which would allow the Giants to void the contract if Sandoval’s weight climbs above a certain point, Vazquez would agree to that?

Sure, he would.

Vazquez would have been better off to say that Sandoval is committed to this lifestyle change, the result of which will be a monster season in 2014, just as he heads out to free agency.

Instead, he throws out the ludicrous remark that the Panda’s weight is a non-issue.

It really makes you question anything that comes out of Vazquez’s mouth.

Sandoval’s camp wants the discussion to start in the area of the five-year, $90 million deal the Giants gave to Hunter Pence at the end of the 2013 season.

The Giants countered with a three-year deal worth $40 million. Of course, that’s according to Vazquez.

When I first heard that deal, it didn’t make any sense to me. When you make an offer to a player entering his free agent season, generally the offer needs to be something that knocks off the player’s socks.

Three years at $13.3 million per doesn’t do the trick.

Sandoval is practically guaranteed almost $15 million for the 2015 season. That’s where the qualifying offer likely will be approaching next offseason. As long as Sandoval doesn’t have some big injury this season, the Giants will certainly offer him the qualifying deal.

So I wonder if Vazquez is telling the truth or not.

Perhaps the three-year, $40 million deal is a base deal with a lot of incentive clauses or possibly option years added on, with escalating salaries that kick in if benchmarks are reached.

Here’s one clue that Vazquez wasn’t telling the whole story.

Vazquez said he doubts a deal will be done by opening day saying “I don’t think in 24 hours they’ll jump from three years to five or six.”

No mention of money. Just years. No mention that the Giants “offer” is for $13.3 million per season and the Sandoval camp is looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $18 million a year.

It does make sense that the Giants would offer a shorter deal. It also makes sense for Sandoval’s camp to wait for a five-year deal.

The free agent class of 2015 is pretty lean.

So what happens next? If the two sides don’t agree to a deal by opening day, will they continue to talk during the season. Vazquez didn’t say.

But he did say “I know for sure that after the All-Star break, if nothing happens, then it’s on to free agency.”

In other words, no deal at the end of the season, like the one Pence signed.

But, of course, can you believe anything Vazquez says?

Tony Abreu placed on waivers, other San Francisco Giants moves clear roster picture

San Francisco Giants' Ehire Adrianza, right, forces out Los Angeles Angels' David Freese (6) at second base in the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game, Monday, March 17, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz.  The Angels won 8-7. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

San Francisco Giants’ Ehire Adrianza, right, forces out Los Angeles Angels’ David Freese (6) at second base in the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game, Monday, March 17, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz. The Angels won 8-7. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Last Friday, there were 13 players fighting for the final five spots on the San Francisco Giants’ opening day roster.

Now, there are nine.

  • RHP Kameron Loe was given his release on Saturday.
  • IF Tony Abreu was placed on release Waivers on Sunday.
  • RHP Georgoe Kontos was optioned to Triple-A Fresno.
  • LHP Dan Runzler was reassigned to minor league camp.

That leaves four position players competing for two roster spots: IF Ehire Adrianza, IF Brandon Hicks, OF Juan Perez and OF Tyler Colvin.

With Abreu’s release, it seems almost certain that Adrianza will make the club. Hicks will be on the opening day roster if 2B Marco Scutaro opens the season on the DL (as expected).

That leaves Perez and Colvin to compete for the fifth outfielder job.

There are three major reasons why it appears Perez will win that spot.

  1. Spring production: Perez had hit .315 with a .403 OBP along with 2 HR and 6 RBI. Colvin has hit .160 with 1 HR and 5 RBI.
  2. Health: Colvin has battled a sore back all spring. He returned to the field last week largely because he knew if he didn’t, he’d have no chance of making the club.
  3. Roster: Perez is on the Giants’ 40-man roster. Colvin is not. If Scutaro opens the season on the DL, that means Hicks will need to be added to the 40-man roster, and someone will need to be cut to create room. The Giants won’t be keen on having to make more room for Colvin.

The Giants have until Sunday to make a final decision on Colvin, and chances are they’ll take all that time as protection against any injuries that might pop up in the final week of spring training. With some luck, Colvin may just accept a minor-league assignment to Fresno to get healthy and find his swing.,

In the bullpen, it looks as if the last three spots will go to RHP Yusmeiro Petit, LHP David Huff and RHP Jean Machi.

Rookie RH Derek Law and LH J.C. Gutierrez, a non-roster invitee, remain in camp but don’t figure to be the big league cup. Don’t be surprised if roster moves involving Law and Gutierrez come before the Giants break camp on Wednesday.

Giants release Kameron Loe: Best of luck, big guy, and thanks for the memory

loepants

And then there were 32 … players left in the San Francisco Giants’ camp.

Pitcher Kameron Loe requested — and was granted — his release by the Giants on Saturday.

Loe signed with the Giants after a solid performance in winter league. Despite his 2-0 record and 3.38 spring ERA, it became evident that Loe was not going to dislodge Yusmeiro Petit and David Huff in the battle for the long-relief job in the Giants’ bullpen.

As part of his deal, Loe could opt-out of his contract to seek opportunities elsewhere by Monday. He decided to get started on that pursuit early.

MoreSplashHits always liked Loe. Maybe it was because he was born in our hometown of Simi Valley, Calif.

Or maybe it was because he hails from the same alma mater, Cal State Northridge. Go Matadors!

Or maybe it was because Loe provided one of the more memorable, if not more disturbing, images of the spring, when the 6-foot-8, 245-pound Loe switched uniforms for the day with the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Tim Lincecum.

So as Loe looks for greener pastures, we leave you with one of the best tweets of the spring.

Best of luck Kam.

loesnip

Next round of cuts help San Francisco Giants 2014 roster take shape

With Marco Scutaro looking more and more like he's headed to the DL to open season, it opens up roster spots for others.

With Marco Scutaro looking more and more like he’s headed to the DL to open season, it opens up roster spots for others.

The Giants made what can be considered the penultimate round of roster cuts on Friday, sending down seven players to the minors.

Sent down were RHP Heath Hembree, RHP Erik Cordier, RHP Jake Dunning, RHP Brett Bochy, RHP Adam Reifer, C Guillermo Quiroz and 1B Mark Minicozzi.

The only surprising player among that group was Hembree, who was thought to be among the favorites to make the big-league club.

But the Giants felt he needed to work more on his off-speed pitches, and that he could do that with a more consistent workload at Fresno than spotting appearances in middle relief with the big club.

It leaves 33 players in camp battling for 25 roster spots.

Twenty of the 25 roster spots are more or less locked in, leaving 13 players in camp for the final five spots.

Five of the remaining players are position players for two open bench spots

  • OF Juan Perez
  • OF Tyler Colvin
  • IF Tony Abreu
  • IF Ehire Adrianza
  • IF Brandon Hicks

Perez and Hicks, while having solid springs, can be sent to Fresno. The other three players would need to first pass through waivers or would be able to opt-out of their contracts (Colvin) if they don’t make the big-league club.

If Scutaro opens the season on the DL (which is looking more and more like a possibility after he received a cortisone shot in his troublesome back Thursday), it would create three open roster spots.

In the bullpen, there eight candidates left for three open jobs.

  • RH Yusmeiro Petit
  • LH David Huff
  • RH Kameron Loe
  • RH J.C. Gutierrez
  • RH George Kontos
  • RH Jean Machi
  • RH Derek Law
  • LH Dan Runzler

Petit and Huff were thought to battling for the role of long reliever, along with Loe. Petit seemed to get an edge Friday with solid outing against the A’s. But as Petit and Huff are out of options, the Giants could decide to keep both.

If they did that, Machi would seem to be the frontrunner to secure the final roster spot. Gutierrez and Law appear to be the long shots.

“This is the best group of young pitchers I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We have some tough decisions to make here. We’ve got a little over a week to finalize these spots and it’s been competitive. It’s going to go down to the last couple games.”

Sometimes, these final decisions don’t come down to who had the best spring. It comes down to the safest play.

The safe play is to keep players who are out of options. That way if they struggle or get hurt, you could always recall the players you sent to the minors.

You make the other decision, then those players out of options likely won’t be around to call on.

With that in mind, here is what MoreSplashHits is projecting how the opening roster will look like:

POSITION PLAYERS

Starters

  • C Buster Posey
  • 1B Brandon Belt
  • 2B Joaquin Arias
  • SS Brandon Crawford
  • 3B Pablo Sandoval
  • LF Michael Morse
  • CF Angel Pagan
  • RF Hunter Pence

Bench

  • C Hector Sanchez
  • IF Tony Abreu
  • IF Ehire Adrianza
  • OF Gregor Blaco
  • OF Tyler Colvin

Starting pitchers

  • LH Madison Bumgarner
  • RH Matt Cain
  • RH Tim Lincecum
  • RH Tim Hudson
  • RH Ryan Vogelson

Bullpen

  • RH Sergio Romo
  • RH Santiago Casilla
  • LH Jeremy Affeldt
  • LH Javier Lopez
  • RH Jean Machi
  • RH Yusmeiro Petit
  • LH David Huff

Disabled list

  • 2B Marco Scutaro

It’s been a long time, but Barry Bonds is back in San Francisco Giants camp

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, left, listens as former player Barry Bonds speaks at a news conference before a spring training baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., Monday, March 10, 2014. Bonds starts a seven day coaching stint today. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, left, listens as former player Barry Bonds speaks at a news conference before a spring training baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., Monday, March 10, 2014. Bonds starts a seven day coaching stint today. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

It’s been seven years since Barry Bonds wore a San Francisco Giants uniform as a player.

It’s been so long, it took me a while to remember if Bonds ever played for manager Bruce Bochy. He did for one season in 2007.

There are only three players on the current roster who were teammates of Bonds — Tim Lincecum (2007), Ryan Vogelsong (who played in four games with Giants in 2000) and Matt Cain (2005-07).

For Cain, the arrival of Bonds to camp, and the accompanying media throng, brought a familiar feel.

“It just became a zoo like normal,” Cain said. “Same as before. If you want to get some TV time, go near him.”

It’s a scene that was long overdue in Giants camp. The team has a long history of bringing back veteran stars to share knowledge with their current players in the spring.

Bochy said the timing was just right for this. And Bonds is just one of several former players to make appearances in Scottsdale this spring.

“Jeff Kent just left (coincidence?),” Bochy said. “J.T. Snow is here, Rich Aurilia is here, Randy Winn is here. Will Clark is coming in later.”

Bonds is in Giants camp for seven days. He intimated that he’d like it be longer, that perhaps this visit could grow into something more.

“But I’m just here for seven days,” Bonds then cautioned. “I don’t even know if I’m good at this.”

Bonds has had some experience with tutoring hitters like Ryan Howard, and this past offseason, Dexter Fowler.

With his legal issues behind him, Bonds has his focus on the future, deflecting most of the media’s queries about his playing days and PED connections.

“I’m not the focal point anymore,” he said. “I’m here for the team.”

Bonds said he recently moved back to the Bay Area from Southern California “because it’s my home, and I love it and I belong (there).”

When asked if he thinks he’s worthy for election in the the Hall of Fame, Bonds answered: “Without a doubt.”

But he wouldn’t offer reasons to the media on why they should elect him to the Hall. “You guys are all adults. I have no advice for you.”

Bonds was a more warm and fuzzy version on Monday than the grumpy, cocky person he was in his playing days. The constant questions and criticism he faced late in his career amplified that personality in him.

“I was a different character when I playing,” Bonds said. “I needed to be that guy to play. But it’s not who I am now. … I’m the same person, just a different character. I can still be crazy, but I’ve toned it down.”

Then he directed a comment to the media.

“The only regret I have is that I wish we all had a better relationship,” he added.

As far as how he can help the Giants, he said these next seven days will reveal that.

“The one thing I know I can do is I can help you do a little better than you are doing now,” he said. “But I don’t know how much I can help. That’s what I’m here to find out.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 326 other followers