Bay Area Topics
Giants Are World Series Champs
With the victory, Wednesday night, by the San Francisco Giants over the Kansas City Royals, in the 2014 World Series, it is time to say what has been on many baseball fans’ minds recently: This current version of the San Francisco Giants, the core of which has been in place since 2010, is one of the greatest teams in the history of Major League Baseball.
Non-Giants fans may roll their eyes, in unison, at the claim, but it is well-founded based on one fact alone: No other National League team has ever won three World Series Championships in the span of five years, going back to 1901, except for the St. Louis Cardinals, back in 1942, ’44, and ’46, during the World War II Era. There’s been a lot of baseball since then.
The success rate is especially revealing when one considers the fact that the expanded playoff format makes it so much more challenging to be able to persevere. The current Giants team, under the management of Bruce Bochy, has won ten consecutive postseason series, counting the one-game Wild-Card tryst with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Their overall postseason record in the World Series speaks for itself, a 12-3 win/loss record, with a .750 win/loss percentage.
Their indomitable spirit, winning six consecutive elimination games in 2012, to be able to advance to the World Series, speaks for itself. Finally, the Giants’ unwillingness to give up on one another, which has allowed a roster comprised mostly of homegrown products, to hoist the banner of “team” and “chemistry”, and use it as an explanation for why they are so successful, speaks volumes for itself, in explaining why the Giants must be listed as one of the best teams ever to play the game.
Warriors Exercise Options
The Golden State Warriors announced on Thursday that the team had exercised the fourth-year contract options on forward Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli. Meanwhile, Golden State declined to exercise the third-year option for guard Nemanja Nedovic. All three options are for the 2015-16 season.
The 22-year-old Barnes started and scored nine points in the Warriors’ season-opening 95-77 beatdown of the Sacramento Kings. Ezeli logged eight minutes off the bench, which marked his first action for the squad since May of 2013.
Nedovic was the only player on the roster who didn’t see any time in the game at the Sleep Train Arena. The 23-year-old would have been guaranteed a $1.15 million salary next season if the Warriors had picked up his option. Last year, Nedovic appeared in just 24 games during his rookie season.
The A’s filled out their coaching staff Thursday, elevating bullpen coach Darren Bush to batting coach while dipping into their minor league system to elevate Scott Emerson to bullpen coach and Marcus Jensen to assistant hitting coach and catching coach.
The A’s had a prolonged tango with Angels assistant Dave Hansen, as they looked to fill the batting coach position left vacant when Chili Davis went to the Boston Red Sox. When it was clear that Hansen was likely to stay with the Angels, Oakland moved quickly to promote Bush, who worked for two seasons as a minor league hitting instructor before moving into the minor league managing ranks.
Jensen, a graduate of Skyline High in Oakland, where he was a catcher, was drafted by Giants with a supplemental pick after the first round in 1990 and broke in with San Francisco in 1996. He spent seven years catching in the big leagues with seven different teams including the Giants, Tigers, Brewers, Cardinals, Twins, Red Sox and Rangers.
The 41-year-old was the A’s roving hitting instructor in 2014 and was a hitting coach in the organization from 2007-08. He managed in the Arizona Rookie League from 2009-13.
Emerson, who will be on the big league coaching staff for the first time, has spent the last two years as the A’s minor league roving pitching instructor. Before that, the 42-year-old spent 10 years with the A’s as a minor league pitching coach, so he knows virtually all of the A’s pitchers from their first days in the organization. He also spent three years as a pitching coach in the Pittsburgh organization.