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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Stories by Gordon Dixon:

Giants give hint about what kind of GM they want

san francisco giants

The San Francisco Giants are in the market for a new general manager, and they dropped a hint about what kind of candidate they are looking for.

The Giants announced on Monday that Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans will not return next season. With the club beginning the search for a replacement, team President and CEO Laurence Baer said the Giants will look for a “next-gen” general manager to take over.

That likely means Ned Colletti, who previously served as Giants general manager, will not be returning to San Francisco.

The Giants are currently 72-85 and will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season. That’s unacceptable for a team with their kind of payroll, fan attendance, and recent success. The early bet is for the next person tasked with building the team to be younger and familiar with new technology, stats, and analytics.

Diamondbacks assured Rockies they will not lay down for Dodgers

Arizona Diamondbacks logo

The Arizona Diamondbacks have given assurance that they will not lay down in their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Diamondbacks began a three-game series with the Dodgers on Monday that has an impact on more than just the two teams involved. Arizona is in third place in the National League West but has been eliminated from playoff contention. Los Angeles is the division leader. Sandwiched between the two are the Colorado Rockies, who entered play on Monday just 1.5 games back of the Dodgers.

While the Rockies need to take care of their own business, they could use a little help from the Diamondbacks as well. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo spoke with Rockies manager Bud Black and said his team fully intends to try to win their games against the Dodgers.

At this time of the season, it’s not uncommon for teams without playoff hopes to field less-than-competitive lineups. And even though the Diamondbacks may rest some players — Paul Goldschmidt was not in the lineup against Clayton Kershaw — they made it clear they still are trying to win, which is important for the integrity of the game.

Bills troll everyone on Twitter after surprise win

The Buffalo Bills’ social media team had a lot of fun on Twitter following their unexpected victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

The Bills went into Sunday’s game winless and facing a team many considered to be a Super Bowl contender. To nearly everyone’s surprise, Buffalo raced out to a 27-0 first half lead and went on to win 27-6. After the victory, the Bills’ Twitter account was happy to troll those who didn’t have faith in them.

They mocked ESPN pundits, who all picked the Vikings to win.

Not only did they take a shot at all the ESPN analysts in that Twitter post, but the “You like that?!” mention was also a jab at Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Many of their players used the same barb towards Cousins. The Bills’ Twitter was killing about 10 birds with one stone.

The fun wasn’t limited to critics; they also mocked themselves for a gaffe on Saturday when they wrongly identified Wisconsin as Minnesota.

Given the start to the season Buffalo had, they earned the right to gloat a bit thanks to their convincing victory.

Jacob deGrom sets another record amid historic season

Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom has set yet another record on his way to one of the best pitching seasons in recent memory.

The New York Mets ace came into Friday’s game with an absurd 22 consecutive quality starts this season. He added another one to the total by allowing just three hits and one run to the Washington Nationals while recording eight strikeouts over seven innings. Quality starts are defined by outings in which a starter goes at least six innings while allowing no more than three earned runs.

deGrom’s 23rd straight quality start set a Major League record, breaking a tie with Chris Carpenter and Bob Gibson.

With one start remaining this season, deGrom’s ERA now sits at 1.77. The next closest in the National League is Aaron Nola at 2.44. deGrom has also record 259 strikeouts in 209 innings. Unfortunately for deGrom, who is 9-9, Nola and Max Scherzer have also put together seasons worthy of being in the Cy Young discussion. Should Nola or Scherzer take home the award, deGrom’s remarkable season may be forgotten by many, thanks largely to the Mets’ lack of run support for him.

Chris Davis calls Orioles’ mounting losses ’embarrassing’

Chris Davis

The Baltimore Orioles’ historically bad season has resulted in frustration levels rising among players and fans, and at least one player has outright admitted embarrassment.

Baltimore tied a franchise record on Monday with loss No. 107 on the season (the 1988 Orioles also lost 107 games). With 12 games remaining, a nightmare of a season will soon be over, and the club can begin to focus on how return to winning ways.

Following Monday’s game, first baseman Chris Davis was asked about the 107th loss and said he felt frustration and embarrassment once the club passed the century mark for losses.

“It’s frustrating to say the least,” Davis told MASN Sports. “Once we hit 100, it was kind of like, I don’t know, I honestly didn’t have any words for it. It was embarrassing. It was frustrating. It’s one of those things you never want to be associated with, but at the same time, you’ve got to learn how to turn the page and start somewhere. Why not start now?”

The Orioles got off to an 8-26 start to the season, which put them on pace to lose 124 games. Baltimore won’t reach that number, but the 2018 season will still go down as one to forget around Baltimore.

Angry Browns fans take aim at wrong Zane Gonzalez on Twitter

Cleveland Browns

A college baseball coach was the subject of less than pleasant comments from angry Cleveland Browns fans after being mistaken for the NFL team’s kicker.

The Browns remain winless on the young season after losing to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. With the game tied 18-18 late in the fourth quarter, Zane Gonzalez missed an extra point that would’ve given Cleveland a one-point lead. Earlier in the game, Gonzalez had missed another extra point and a field goal. He missed two field goals and two extra points total, leaving a potential eight points on the field.

Needless to say, Browns fans were not happy with Gonzalez for his performance in Cleveland’s 21-18 loss. Some fans with Twitter accounts sought out a man named Zane Gonzalez and started bombarded him with disparaging remarks, thinking it was the kicker. While the man shares the same name as the Browns kicker, he is actually a college baseball coach for the Kalamazoo Growlers in Michigan. Gonzalez shared some of the comments he received and kindly let everyone know the hate was directed at the wrong person.

Browns fans are nearing maximum frustration levels after not seeing their team win since December 2016. Unfortunately for Zane Gonzalez the baseball coach, he got to experience the frustration firsthand, not unlike other folks who share names with famous people.

Fans take aim at Vontae Davis for retiring at halftime of game

Vontae Davis

Vontae Davis has become the target of negativity for his seemingly unprecedented actions during Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Buffalo Bills went into halftime of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers down 28-6. It was at that time that Davis reportedly changed into street clothes and left the stadium, saying he had retired. He literally quit on his team at halftime.

Davis later issued a statement defending his actions.

Not surprisingly, Davis was the subject of jokes and ridicule on social media for quitting on his team. Some of Davis’ old tweets were used by Buffalo fans and thrown in his face. Here is a sampling of what was directed at Davis’ Twitter account.

Davis said in a statement that he wasn’t feeling like himself physically during the game and that it hit him that he “shouldn’t be out there anymore.”

Maybe he did come to that realization, but you need to suck it up and make it through the game, because that is the wrong time and place to quit on your team.

Watch: Damontae Kazee ejected for hit on Cam Newton

Damontae Kazee was ejected from Sunday’s game between for his hit to the head of Cam Newton.

During the second quarter of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers Newton scrambled a ten yard gain. At the end of the play, he gave himself up by sliding to the ground. During his slide, Newton was hit with what many felt was a cheap shot from Kazee.

Tempers flared as members of the Panthers were upset with the hit from Kazee.

Kazee was justifiably ejected from the game.

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