Q&A with Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy

Q&A with Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy
November 6, 2010, 3:34 am
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Nov. 5, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO
VIDEO: PART 1 PART 2 PART 3SANFRANCISCO (AP) Giants general manager Brian Sabean and the World Serieschampions have reached out to the representatives for first basemanAubrey Huff and infielder Juan Uribe about bringing them back in 2011.Yet Sabean doesn't figure eithersituation will be resolved soon because he expects both players want torelish in the team's improbable title for a while - and get somemuch-needed rest. Huff said Wednesday he would be "an idiot" not towant to return."It doesn't appear that they're intoo much of a hurry, which is understandable," Sabean said Friday atAT&T Park. "They want to soak this in. I hope it's if and when, butyou don't know how the outside world is going to present itself. Ourbiggest challenge will be to decide how many years and for how muchmoney. It will be definitive, but I can't predict what the action willbe from the outside world on both of those players."San Francisco's payroll should exceed100 million for next season, assuming the Giants are able to reachagreements with all eight of their arbitration-eligible players - leftypitcher Jonathan Sanchez, center fielder Andres Torres, right fielderCody Ross, infielder Mike Fontenot and relievers Ramon Ramirez,Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Chris Ray. That doesn't factor inthe possibility of re-signing Huff and Uribe.Pablo Sandoval, coming off a downyear in his second full major league season, will show up for springtraining without a starting job. After batting .345 in 2008 and .330with 25 home runs and 90 RBIs last year - when he was the last playerleft out of the All-Star game - the free-swinging Sandoval hit .268 in2010 with 13 homers and 63 RBIs while striking out 81 times.The 24-year-old has battled hisweight and the Giants consider conditioning to be one of his problemsat the plate and on defense. This offseason, he isn't headed home toVenezuela to play winter ball. Instead, he will work out in San Diegoand then report to the Giants' Scottsdale, Ariz., training complex inJanuary.A year ago, San Francisco embarked onan "Operation Panda" fitness and nutrition routine for the out-of-shapeslugger - after his nickname of Kung Fu Panda. The new health habitswere hard to maintain, though Sabean also points to some tough times inSandoval's personal life. He went through a divorce and custody fightthat took him back home for a few days during the season.Sabean said the Giants won't put thesame kind of offseason expectations on other young players in thefuture. Namely: rookie catcher Buster Posey."I think we learned a lesson as anorganization that we probably put him too far out there in ouroffseason with the "Panda Inside" banner and we learned that can put alot of pressure on a player or, in fact, maybe in some ways it workedagainst him having to live up to that hype," Sabean said. "The reason Imention this is we're not going to make that same mistake with Posey.We're going to try to let these guys fly under the radar, because weknow the second time around they are marked men. ... This kid right nowis a hole card and he doesn't really have a position until he gets hisact in order."Manager Bruce Bochy, who still livesin San Diego, said he will be in close contact with trainers workingwith the infielder in the coming months.Sandoval played in six games thispostseason, starting at designated hitter in Game 3 of the World Seriesand going 0 for 3 with a strikeout and also grounded into a doubleplay. He made two starts in the NL division series against Atlanta andtwo more in the NLCS versus the Phillies.Sandoval grounded into an NL-high 26 double plays during the regular season for the NL West champs."It's obvious it didn't quite workout like we had hoped. And there comes a time where he's got to takeresponsibility to get himself into the type of shape he needs to bein," Bochy said. "His priority is to get back in the type of shape heneeds to be in to play third base or wherever he plays. He knows what'sat stake and there was some tough love involved here. I think the worldof Pablo, but at the same time, he's got some work to do. He knows it.If he wants to play in the major leagues he's got to get in bettershape. I was up front with him and he understands."While Sabean didn't rule out makinga run at left-handed hitter Carl Crawford, he doesn't see the Giantsbeing able to compete with the front-runners of the Angels, Red Sox andTigers.Still, he hopes players will consider San Francisco a desirable spot following the team's first title since moving West in 1958."I'll start by saying what thenation saw from our crowds, our fans and how it worked both waysbetween the people in the clubhouse and the fans and the fact that wetake great pride in saying San Francisco's a baseball town," Sabeansaid. "It can only be bigger and better and help. It's not only keepingour own players that we want to re-sign, but it's got to be adestination for a lot of people. It can only help. We hope that's afactor."