Giants Insider notebook: Wilson's back drama


Giants Insider notebook: Wilson's back drama

Feb. 21, 2011

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- First things first: Giants closer Brian Wilson's back is just fine. He threw gas in the 'pen Monday for 20 minutes, pain-free. Time to stop worrying about it. But it's been a strange little mini-drama, hasn't it? And it seemed to get a little stranger by the day -- especially early on, when Wilson was ducking the media.Wilson is a talker. A great talker. So when he doesn't want to talk, it's news. And now, on top of some quiet internal suggestions that Wilson's back pain might have been caused by his macho sprint up nearby Camelback Mountain last week in a race with fellow reliever Jeremy Affeldt, some folks are assuming he partied too hard last Friday when actor Charlie Sheen flew him on a private jet into L.A. for the night. The Camelback Mountain thing might have some merit. The Sheen thing does not. The gossip-mongers at TMZ did what they do; they sensationalized the story and got about 80 percent of the facts wrong.Going to Sheen's house was essentially a business trip, Wilson said, and one he was happy to make. Hey, Ricky Vaughn is a god to men of a certain age, especially men who actually close games in the big leagues and seem to have a screw loose -- just like Sheen's Vaughn character in "Major League." No drugs or alcohol were present at the meeting, Wilson said, just a bunch of Hollywood types picking his brain in preparation for another "Major League" sequel.Thankfully, the saga seems to be over. Wilson's bullpen session was his second in three days, this time with Giants manager Bruce Bochy standing in the batter's box.Wilson threw hard, he threw with command, and he threw without discomfort. He did, however, note that seeing Bochy in the box was "intimidating."Asked why Wilson might feel that way, Bochy smiled and said, "He knows. Any pitch, I can take him deep."COMPETITION IN CENTER?
It's been widely assumed that Andres Torres entered camp as the Giants' starting center fielder. After all, the guy took the job from Aaron Rowand last year, established himself as an excellent defensive player and a quality leadoff man, and helped the team win a world title.Bochy, though, wouldn't confirm that the job is Torres' when he was pressed on the situation after Monday's workout."We'll get into all that as we go deeper into camp here," Bochy said.This, a day after Bochy reversed course on his plans to play Rowand at all three outfield positions, saying he wanted Rowand, who hasn't played on a corner since 2004, to stay where he's comfortable.Bochy bristled just a bit, though, when asked if his refusal to name Torres the starter was an indication that the Giants weren't ready to go all-in with a guy who just had his first productive year in the Majors at age 32."No," said the skipper. "It's not so much a fluke as he finally got a chance to play every day."Moments later, Bochy said something that shed some light on his thinking, suggesting his unwillingness to anoint Torres the starter this early in camp could be out of respect for Rowand."I'm not ready," Bochy said, "to designate anyone a fourth outfielder."INTENSITY TURNED UP
The rain clouds that turned the greater Phoenix area into a cold, wet and gray expanse over the weekend were gone by the time the Giants started their workout at 10 a.m., and their general overall disposition was awfully sunny as they took the field to stretch."I think they're just excited to be back on the field," Bochy said.Once the workout truly kicked in, though, things got as serious as they can possibly get on Feb. 21. No lollygaggers at Scottsdale Stadium. These guys were getting after it in a big way, and the jovial banter that often punctuates spring workouts was replaced by grunts, the popping of gloves and the crack of bats.Several players told me the increased intensity was a must. The team's Cactus League opener is Friday, and there's a lot of work to do."It's time to go," Miguel Tejada said between rounds in the cage. "Time to play ball, to play hard."MIGGY AND THE PANDA
While watching about 30 minutes of Monday's workout with Giants GM Brian Sabean, who rarely misses an opportunity to see his club on the field, I asked him how big of a factor Tejada's potential influence among Latin players was in the decision to sign him.Sabean, who has a habit of using the term "the player" instead of a player's actual name, said the player's ability and durability were at the top of the list, but the leadership issue was certainly an added bonus.The reports on Tejada as a clubhouse guy are off the charts, Sabean told me, and I shared that I'd seen the same thing while covering Tejada when he played for the A's. Sabean thinks Tejada is going to help a ton in term of replacing the leadership of departed veterans Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria. He might even have more of an influence than those guys.If Monday is any indication, Tejada is going to be a busy mentor on this team. Pablo Sandoval, clearly enamored with Tejada, was in the veteran shortstop's ear all day, asking questions and sharing information."He's a good kid," Tejada said. "He looks good, too!"Said Bochy of Tejada, "He'll be good with Pablo -- and all our young players."

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers


OAKLAND – As the Warriors on Monday night celebrated their 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, All-Star guard Klay Thompson gave 19,596 fans an evening they’ll never forget.

Thompson scored 60 points, a career-high for him and the most any player has scored in the NBA this season, to carry the Warriors to a 142-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Thompson scored 17 points in the opening period, 23 in the second – for 40, representing a career-high for points in a half – and closed out his night with 20 in the third quarter.

So hot was Thompson that only no other teammate exceeded 20 points. Kevin Durant totaled 20, Stephen Curry had 13 and Ian Clark finished with 11.

Curry posted a season-high 11 assists, and Draymond Green recorded 10 as the Warriors were credited with 45 helpers overall.

With a 116-83 lead after three quarters, Warriors coach Steve Kerr went to his reserves for the entire fourth quarter.

Thompson, who took possession in the first half and locked it up in third quarter.

Thompson’s line: 60 points (21-of-33 from the field, 8-of-14 from deep, 10-of-11 from the free throw line). He played 29 minutes and finished plus-37 for the night.

When a Monta Ellis layup pulled the Pacers within seven (46-39) with 8:14 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 24-3 run to go up 70-42 with 2:34 remaining in the half.

They went into intermission with an 80-50 lead, and Indiana got no closer than xx for the rest of the game.

The Warriors trailed for all of 12 seconds (in the first five minutes) in the game.

Warriors: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

Pacers: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

Rookie C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.

The Warriors travel to Los Angeles, where on Wednesday night they face the Clippers at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.

Klay fourth player in Warriors history to score 60 in game

Klay fourth player in Warriors history to score 60 in game

OAKLAND – Warriors guard Klay Thompson needed only three quarters to fire in 60 points Monday night against, achieving not only a career-high but also the highest-scoring performance in the NBA this season.

Thompson’s effort eclipsed the previous season-high of 51 by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, who needed overtime on Oct. 28 to reach that total.

Thompson joined Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Joe Fulks as the only Warriors every to reach the 60-point level in a single game.

Thompson managed the feat in only 29 minutes, during which he was 21-of-33 from the field, including 8-of-14 from 3-point distance. He was 10-of-11 from the line.

Scoring 17 points in the first quarter, 23 in the second and 20 in the third, Thompson became the first Warrior to reach 60 since Rick Barry on March 26, 1974 against Portland.

During the past 20 years only former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, with 62, scored more points in three quarters.