Giants' release statement on Sabean and Bochy

Giants' release statement on Sabean and Bochy


SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants Managing General Partner and CEO Bill Neukom today announced that the team has exercised its options for Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean and Field Manager Bruce Bochy for the 2012 campaign. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.Brian and Bruces proven leadership and strategic moves throughout the course of their baseball careers, culminating in last years World Series Championship, distinguishes them as two of the best minds in all of baseball. This decision reflects our confidence in their abilities to build upon last years success and to steer us toward being perennial contenders, said Managing General Partner and CEO William Neukom.Sabean, 54, is currently in his 15th year at the helm of the Giants and is the longest-tenured General Manager in Major League Baseball. During his 14 years as GM, he has guided the club to five post-season berths, including last years World Series Championship.A 26-year veteran of professional baseball, Sabeans distinguished baseball pedigree has transformed San Francisco into the National Leagues third-winningest team over the past 14 seasons behind only Atlanta and St. Louis. Since Sabean assumed the GM reins at the end of the 1996 season, the Giants have won two National League pennants (2002, 2010), four NL West Division flags (1997, 2000 and 2003, 2010), been a Wild Card entry (2002) and forced a Wild Card tie-breaker game with Chicago in 1998. On two other occasions, the club was eliminated from post-season contention on the last day of the season.Honored as the 2010 Major League Baseball Executive of the Year by the Boston Chapter of the BBWAA, the New Hampshire native assembled the teams first world championship since 1954 last season by building a team around a homegrown pitching staff and a veteran roster. With a renewed commitment to building through player development, an improved farm system and one of the most effective runs of drafting, the Giants were named the 2010 Baseball America Organization of the Year.Sabeans 14 years as the Giants architect is the longest run by a general manager in the clubs history, surpassing Spec Richardson (seven seasons, 1975-81), Al Rosen (seven seasons, 1986-92) and Tom Haller (five seasons, 1981-85). He also owns the longest tenure with the same club among active general managers.Before coming to San Francisco, Sabean served in the Yankees organization as director of scouting from 1986-90 and as vice president of player developmentscouting from 1990-92. During that time, the Yankees farm system became one of baseballs finest, featuring such players as Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. From 1993 to 1994, Sabean served as Giants senior vice president of player personnel. From 1994 to 1996, he served as the Giants assistant to the general manager and vice president of scoutingplayer personnel.Bochy, 55, completed his fourth season as the manager of the Giants and guided the 2010 club to their first-ever World Series title in San Francisco history and first championship since 1954. He became the sixth manager to guide at least two different National League franchises to World Series appearances and he became the fourth skipper to win a title at the helm of the Giants, joining John McGraw (1905, 1921-22), Bill Terry (1933) and Leo Durocher (1954).One of baseballs most qualified and experienced managers, Bochy recently completed his 16th-consecutive year as a big league manager, the second-longest stint by an active manager behind Tony LaRussa (32 years). In his 16 years he has compiled a 1,274-1,300 (.495) career ledger. He is currently fourth among active big league skippers for wins and is 33rd on the all-time list. During his four-year tenure with the Giants, the team has posted a 323-325 (.498) record.The winningest manager in San Diego history, Bochy spent 12 years at the helm of the Padres, compiling a 951-975 (.494) career mark while leading his club to the post season four times and five winning campaigns.He was named the National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in 1996 and was honored as the leagues top skipper by The Sporting News in both 1996 and 1998. He guided the Padres to the National League West title in 1996, 98, 2005 and 06, while leading the 1998 charge to a club-record 98 victories, a National League pennant and a berth in the World Series against the Yankees.Bochy also served as San Diegos third base coach in 1993 and 1994, before matriculating to the managers chair on October 21, 1994. The Poway, CA resident was the only uniformed person to be a part of all five of the Padres post-season appearances, including as a player in 1984 and as the manager in 1996, 98, 2005 and 06.The Florida State University product spent parts of nine seasons in the majors as a catcher with the Astros, Mets and Padres. He hit .239 with 26 home runs and 93 RBI in 358 games. Bochy was a post-season participant twice as a player, appearing with the 1980 Astros and 1984 Padres.

Courtesy San Francisco Giants media services

Clippers have more to prove in first clash of 2016-17 with Warriors

Clippers have more to prove in first clash of 2016-17 with Warriors

LOS ANGELES – On the scale of NBA regular-season epic, Warriors-Clippers on Wednesday night rates a solid 8 for the Warriors. It’s circled on the desk calendars in pencil, a game they want for development and vanity.

For the Clippers, though, it’s a 9.5. Might be a 10. It’s stamped on the calendars embedded in their minds.

They need this game, psychologically, to prove they can stand up to the team that has spent the past two seasons winning a championship and setting a record for regular-season wins, simultaneously suppressing the notion of the Clippers being legitimately elite.

Los Angeles also needs to win the clash at Staples Center if these Western Conference titans are to reignite what once was the hottest rivalry in the NBA.

“We get to see what they do; they get to see what we do,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr says.

“It’s a new four-game journey against this team,” guard Stephen Curry says. “We have history that, when you play in the division, year after year, we’re fighting for the same goal of not only winning the division but playoff seeding and coming out of the west. It’s been a nice little back and forth.”

It has been mostly forward for the Warriors, generally backward for the Clippers.

A rivalry is defined somewhat by geography but mostly by hostilities over both the regular season and the postseason. In the very best rivalries, the teams are hunting the same bounty and end up exchanging feelings of ecstasy and heartbreak.

That has been missing the past two seasons, with the Warriors winning seven of the eight games and the last six in a row. It has been Curry over Chris Paul, Draymond Green over Blake Griffin, Klay Thompson over J.J. Redick and Kerr over Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

The contempt that began percolating back in 2012, reaching its apex in 2014 during a spellbinding seven-game playoff series won by LA, has been submerged by this wave of Warriors success.

The “rivalry” has declined considerably, leaving nothing but memories of the days when the teams were striving to reach the same level.

“We were a team trying to break through and make the playoffs,” Klay Thompson says. “They were trying to do the same thing, as far as trying to make noise in the playoffs. We both had an edge to ourselves and we haven’t lost it. They’re still hungry to get to that championship level. You can see that. And so are we.”

Curry traces the origin of the rivalry to Paul’s arrival in December 2011. The decorated point guard brought instant credibility to a franchise that had been every bit as much of a laughingstock as had the Warriors.

“When CP got there and the organization took a different turn, for the better obviously,” Curry recalls. “It was probably that first year we both made the playoffs (2012-13) because the records were a lot better than they usually were and there was a little more excitement around the new and up-and-coming teams.”

Games have featured ejections, multiple technical fouls – once in a preseason game – with an overdose of grabbing and posturing. One beef went postgame, nearly becoming physical in a hallway near the locker rooms.

There has been verbal warfare, sarcasm and slights and insults, though most of it lately has come from LA.

With the Warriors at 18-3 and the Clippers at 16-6, this may be the last season to reignite the conflict, and the first of four meetings will provide a sense of placement. The Warriors are 18-3, having won 14 of their last 15. The Clippers are 16-6, having lost four of their last six.

“It’ll be fun to see how it plays out,” Kerr says.

The Clippers, however, showed up for this season with a sense of urgency. Paul and Griffin both have opt-out clauses and will be free agents in July. The perennial All-Stars have been teammates for five-plus seasons, but this may be the last.

“Their continuity is really key; it’s one of the things that has helped us the last couple years,” Kerr says. “When you have basically the same team for a while, and you’re already a good team, you tend to get better. You tend to grow more and more comfortable with what you’re already doing and then, maybe even have the ability to add on some things.”

So maybe it’ll be different this season. Maybe we’ll have actual back-and-forth.

“They could be a team down the road that we need to get through to get where we want to go, and they probably see us the same way,” Curry says.

Oh, there is no doubt about that, certainly not among the Clippers.

A's reeling after death of minor league video coordinator Mark Smith


A's reeling after death of minor league video coordinator Mark Smith

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A’s officials at the winter meetings carried heavy hearts Tuesday following the death of minor league video coordinator Mark Smith.

Smith died unexpectedly Monday in Arizona at the age of 41. No cause of death was known, a team spokesperson said, and the A’s traveling contingent at the meetings were still processing the news Tuesday night.

“We’re still sort of absorbing this whole thing. As you can imagine this came as a shock to everybody,” said Billy Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “He had such a commitment to the organization and was such a diligent worker. He’s a tremendous loss. Everybody thought the world of him as an employee, a person. It’s shocking.”

Smith worked for the A’s for eight years and was instrumental in creating the team’s minor league video department in 2009. Manager Bob Melvin, who crossed paths with Smith every spring at the team’s minor league training complex, said Smith went above and beyond the expectations of his job to help everyone in the organization.

“He was the first guy you saw,” Melvin said. “Just a great guy that everybody felt close to. He couldn’t do enough to help wherever he could. … He’d send me video during the year of guys he thought I might see at some point, and I never even asked for them. Just a hard-working guy who was very aware of what each guy he was working with was looking for and needed.”

Funeral services are pending.