The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants breathed more life into their rivalry this year by battling it out in a thrilling five-game NLDS, but the two teams have a long way to go before they can call themselves baseball’s biggest rivals. Just ask Mookie Betts.
After the Dodgers defeated the Giants in a thrilling 2-1 game on Thursday night, Betts was asked if he thinks the two California teams have what his former team, the Boston Red Sox, has with the New York Yankees. Betts seemed hesitant to respond at first, but Max Scherzer pressured him into saying what he was thinking. The short answer was “no.”
Here’s the video:
“That Yankees-Red Sox, man, that’s mean. That’s different,” Betts said. “This is definitely different.”
Very few rivalries in sports come close to matching the intensity that we see when the Red Sox and Yankees face one another. The controversial way Game 5 of the NLDS ended (video here) might help drum up some more hostility between the Giants and Dodgers, but they’ll probably never have what the Red Sox and Yankees do. Betts understands that better than most.
The San Francisco Giants may have lost on Thursday, but that didn’t stop them from having fun afterwards.
Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman shared a photo on Twitter that showed some of his teammates dressed up. Brandon Belt is in the foreground as the captain. His “seamen” are lined up on the stairs of the plane behind him.
So what’s the deal? Belt recently anointed himself the captain of the team and even had a funny marking on his jersey to show it. He has completely embraced the persona. He also said he is the first one off the plane.
It looks like the team was having fun with Belt’s captaincy and gave him a crew. Some of the guys behind him include Logan Webb, Lamonte Wade Jr. and Zack Littell.
Maybe this is the kind of loose attitude a team in the playoff race needs.
The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers began their huge series this weekend with an epic game on Friday night at Oracle Park.
The Giants scored in the third inning and led 1-0 for nearly the entire game. Then with two outs in the top of the ninth, Chris Taylor singled in the tying run. The teams traded runs in the 10th, and then it got tight again in the 11th.
The Giants had the bases loaded with one out and grounded out, bringing up Buster Posey with two outs. Posey hit a sharp ball up the middle on a 1-2 pitch and Trea Turner went to his left to field it. He set himself but still threw high to first, where catcher Will Smith was playing. The 5-foot-10 catcher had to leap to make the catch, which pulled himself off the bag.
Posey was able to step on first while Smith was off and was called safe.
The call stood upon a review, giving the Giants a 3-2 win in 11 innings.
That play was on Turner. He had time to make a better throw but screwed up by throwing high.
The Giants now lead the NL West by a game over the Dodgers.
The Chicago Cubs blew up their roster leading up to Friday’s MLB trade deadline, and the San Francisco Giants emerged victorious in the Kris Bryant sweepstakes.
Bryant has been traded to the Giants, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported.
The Cubs were by far the biggest sellers at the trade deadline, so it’s no surprise they parted ways with Bryant. They had been shopping the star third baseman in trade talks dating back to last offseason. It looked at one point like the New York Mets were the most likely suitor, but they instead acquired shortstop Javier Baez from Chicago on Friday.
Bryant is hitting .267 with 18 home runs, 51 RBI and an .861 OPS. The 29-year-old has bounced back after batting just .206 in last year’s pandemic-shortened season.
Chicago appears to have entered total rebuild mode. In addition to Baez and Bryant, they also traded closer Craig Kimbrel to the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox. The Cubs are 50-54 and not in the playoff hunt, so they have decided to restock their farm system. Their 2016 World Series champion team seems like a distant memory.
The Washington Nationals appear to be moving closer to a Max Scherzer trade. While many teams are interested, Scherzer’s veto rights over any trade mean only a few are likely destinations.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres are believed to be the three leading suitors for Scherzer. Morosi adds that a deal could be agreed on by the end of Wednesday.
It’s not a coincidence that all three teams are based in California. A Tuesday report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman stated that Scherzer was believed to prefer a trade to a West Coast contender.
While pitching isn’t necessarily the greatest need for any of these teams, it would be hard to pass up an ace like Scherzer. The 37-year-old has a 2.83 ERA this season with 142 strikeouts in 105 innings. He’s had some lingering injury concerns, but there does not appear to be any reason for concern that Scherzer won’t be good to go for the rest of the year. He could absolutely make the difference in a short playoff series.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Anthony DeSclafani threw one of the best games of his career on Monday night, and the right-hander believes it may have been the result of some good luck that came from an unlikely source.
DeSclafani pitched a complete-game shutout and allowed just three hits in San Francisco’s 12-0 win over the Colorado Rockies. As he wrapped up his press conference following the victory, he informed reporters that a bird pooped on him prior to the game.
A lot of people think being crapped on by a bird is good luck. The same can be said for rain on your wedding day. Is that just a way of making people feel better? Almost certainly, but it’s hard to argue against the results for DeSclafani.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time an MLB pitcher has credited bird poop for his goof fortune.
Major League Baseball officially returned on Thursday night with the start of the 2020 regular season, and the ratings for the two games prove just how much fans missed live sports.
The first game of the night between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals drew 4 million viewers, which was the largest audience ever for an Opening Night. The contest was also the most-watched regular season MLB game in nearly a decade, according to a press release from ESPN.
Yankees-Nationals drew an 8.4 rating in the Washington, D.C., market, making it the most-watched MLB regular season game ever on ESPN in that market. The 7.8 rating in New York was the highest for a regular season game for the network in that market since 2015.
The second half of ESPN’s double-header was nearly as popular. That game, which featured the San Francisco Giants hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers, drew a 6.9 rating in the San Francisco market, making it the highest-rated regular season game on ESPN in that market since 2013. The 6.8 rating in Los Angeles was topped only by the Dodgers’ 2018 tie-breaker game against the Colorado Rockies.
MLB’s return marked the first night where fans could watch a live, regular season game from one of the four major American sports in over four months. The ratings from “The Match” gave us a hint that Opening Night would be a success for MLB, and the numbers were definitely eye-opening.
Pablo Sandoval went viral on Sunday after an unflattering photo showed him looking very overweight, and the reporter who shared the image was disgusted by the reaction to it.
Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic tweeted a photo of Sandoval taking grounders at third base during Giants camp, and many were stunned at how big the 33-year-old looked. That led to a number of fans and outlets mocking Sandoval, which bothered Baggarly. In a series of tweets, Baggarly explained why he shared the photo and ripped those who taunted Sandoval over it.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler was also disappointed by the reaction to the photo, saying he “wouldn’t wish it on anybody” and that Sandoval looks “healthy.”
Major League Baseball has implemented a universal DH for the shortened 2020 season, so Sandoval will likely be used mostly as a hitter anyway. As long as his weight doesn’t impact his hitting, Kapler probably is not concerned.
Sandoval was listed at 268 pounds at one point, and one of his former trainers once detailed the extent of Sandoval’s eating problem. Despite that, the former World Series MVP hit .268 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 108 games for San Francisco last season.
The San Francisco Giants are taking a unique approach to filling their seats in 2020.
The Giants confirmed in a letter to season ticketholders on Thursday that games at Oracle Park will be played without fans this season, according to ESPN. However, they’re granting fans an opportunity to attend in spirit — by sending in an image to be printed onto a cardboard cutout and placed in the stands.
The plan, which the team is calling the “Giants Fan Cutout Program,” will see the cutouts placed as close to the individual’s season ticket as possible. Fans who do not have season tickets will also be allowed to participate in the program for a $99 fee.
Prepare to see a lot of teams get creative with ideas like this. We’ve seen it overseas, and it’s only a matter of time before we see it here as well.
While the Giants have already ruled out the possibility, some teams are already eyeing up ways they could play with at least some fans in attendance in 2020.
The San Francisco Giants are making a financial commitment to their minor league players.
The Giants committed to paying their minor league players through the end of the minor-league season, Robert Murray reported Wednesday.
The minor-league season is not going to be played, which marks a significant lost opportunity for player development. Some teams have even planned to cut pay for their minor league players until changing their minds.
MLB originally announced in March that minor leaguers would be paid $400 a week through May 31 since they would not be able to play due to the coronavirus shutdown. The Giants will continue to pay their organizational minor league players through Sept. 7. They have about 270 players in the United States and Dominican Republic who will continue to be paid, costing the organization an estimated $1 million.