Giants Insider notebook: Speed kills

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Giants Insider notebook: Speed kills

April 26, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARDMychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com
Goat to hero: Darren Ford, who failed to execute a bunt properly in the top of the 10th inning, turned his night around very quickly by scampering all the way to third base after a pick-off attempt went awry and then -- pulling a move straight out of the Little League playbook -- boldly dashing for home while Freddy Sanchez was grounding out with the infield in. Speed: You can't teach it and it kills.RECAP: Giants ride Ford's speed to 3-2 win over Pirates
"I know the game is on the line," Ford told Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper on the game broadcast. "I gotta go out there and use my speed and it worked out today."
This is not the first time Ford's speed has led to a Giants win. On Sept. 1, 2010 -- the day he was called up -- Ford entered a tie game against the Rockies as a pinch-runner and scored the go-ahead run when he tried to steal third base, saw the throw sail into the outfield and made it all the way home.

Uncle Nasty: Pirates starter Charlie Morton gave the Giants fits all night, dominating with pinpoint command of a sinker that CSN Bay Area analyst Shawn Estes compared to that of Kevin Brown, who at one time was the top sinkerballer in the game. Morton, who flummoxed the Braves organization as a prospect with all the physical tools but much to be learned about the mental side, appears to have put it all together in the Steel City. He slipped a sinker under Buster Posey's bat for a tone-setting strikeout early in the game, and he went back to it over and over with great success.Cain was able: It was turn-back-the-clock time for Giants starter Matt Cain, and a pleasant trip to yesteryear it wasn't. Cain, formerly the poster boy for criminal lack of run support, spent the whole night working without a safety net. For a while it looked like Garret Jones' solo home run in the second inning on a hanging breaking ball was going to be all the Bucs needed, but Aubrey Huff's sixth-inning sacrifice fly locked things back up -- momentarily. Lyle Overbay's poke past third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the bottom of the frame put the Pirates back in front and again brought to the game the feeling that the Giants' only hope was to get Morton off the mound. Cain gave up four hits and a walk while striking out six over six strong innings.Chess match: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle appeared to do the Giants a favor when he lifted Morton with runners at first and second and nobody out in the seventh inning, but that's how much faith Hurdle has in his bullpen. At that point, Giants manager Bruce Bochy had a huge decision to make: have Cody Ross bunt the runners over, or let him take his hacks against Pittsburgh right-hander Chris Resop. Bochy decided against it; no surprise there. Ross has home-run power, and Bochy isn't big on bunting in general. But it backfired, with Ross and struggling Miguel Tejada both popping out in foul ground, and pinch hitter Mike Fontenot struck out to end the promising threat.Big-time Buster: It's what he does. It's who he is. Just when the Giants looked ready to shoot themselves in the foot again, after Aubrey Huff popped out with runners at the corners and nobody out in the eighth, Buster Posey jumped on the first pitch he saw from Jose Veras and launched it high and deep to left field for the game-tying sacrifice fly that took Cain off the hook for the loss. Props to Freddy Sanchez, too, for executing a hit-and-run by shooting a single through the left side to allow pinch runner Darren Ford to glide from first to third ahead of Huff's at-bat.

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.

According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.

Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.

Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.

Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.

No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.

 

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.