EXTRA BAGGS: Belt gets beer shower in losing effort, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Belt gets beer shower in losing effort, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO The Giants 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, for all its hard and empty contact and Latos intolerance, was frustratingenough for the home side.

Now imagine having to spend the entire evening stinking likeyou just got blasted with beer in a clinching clubhouse party.

Brandon Belt only smelled like victory.

I landed right on a full cup of beer, said the Giantsfirst baseman, who flipped over the rail and into a field-level suite whilemaking a spectacular catch of a foul pop in the first inning Saturday night.

I was wearing a beer-soaked uniform the rest of the game.

You didnt have a chance to go into the clubhouse and changebetween innings?

Naw, I just went with it, he told me.

The Giants are a long way from any series-clinchingcelebrations. After losing their first Game 1 in their last nine tries datingback to 2000, the best they can hope to do is win behind Madison Bumgarner on Sundayand then take two of three in Cincinnati.

BAGGARLY: It's all about the rebound after Giants drop Game 1 to Reds

Thats a less daunting thought for the Giants than it mightbe for most teams. They had a 10-1-1 series record on the road after theAll-Star break, after all.

And if youre a Giants fan desperate for more puppies and rainbows, justtake a gander at what Belt, the Baby Giraffe managed to do in his firstpostseason game:

After squashing the butterflies in a tumble of beer andcheers on that first-inning catch, Belt showed patience while drawing a pair ofwalks. He squared up a pitch from emergency long reliever Mat Latos, whicheasily couldve been a double instead of a double play into the glove of firstbaseman Joey Votto.

He didnt allow the game to get too fast, or his eyes to gettoo wide.

I felt pretty good, for the most part, Belt told me. Threeof my four (plate appearances), I was very happy with. Its all part of what Iwas trying to do: Breathe, slow the game down and be in the moment. Let thegame come to you.

As for that hard-luck liner? What went through his mind atthat instant?

Well, it happens, but you keep doing the right things,itll fall in the next time, Belt said. It seemed it was that way all nightlong, though.

As it turned out, the high point of the Giants evening cameon the games second batter.

That play, I got under it and I didnt think Id have to gothat far, to be honest, Belt said. I kept drifting and tried to keep my eyeon it as long as I could. I hit the rail and I couldnt keep myself from goingover.

Was he surprised that no fans were there to catch him?

Oh, no, they were getting out of the way, he said. Theysaw those size 15s coming at their heads. Im sure they were moving quick.

Just not quick enough to save their liquid investments.

But maybe Belt is on the verge of a postseason worthy of a toast.

Matt Cain did not look pleased when Bruce Bochy told him hewould exit for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. After the game, Cain wasasked about his reaction, and backed up his manager.

Well, yeah, as a starter you dont want to come out of thegame, Cain said. Hes got to do that. Were down and hes got to get a guy onbase. Thats what he has to do . (Aubrey) Huff had a good at-bat. It justdidnt work out.

Taking out Cain at that juncture also held his pitch countat 75, allowing him to come back and pitch on short rest in Game 4 should theGiants face elimination.

Thatll be the case unless the Giants sweep the next threegames.

I am told the Game 2 ceremonial first pitch will be thrownby someone with Giants baseball ties. Im going to put money on Barry LamarBonds.

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.” 

Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft


Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft

LOS ANGELES -- Prosecutors say two security guards at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium have been arrested and are accused of stealing equipment, baseballs and jerseys from the major league team to sell online.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says Juan DeDios Prada and Fernando Sierra pleaded not guilty to burglary and other charges Thursday.

Prosecutors say the two security guards conspired with a third man, Jesse Luis Dagnesses, to steal baseball uniforms and other team merchandise to sell online.

They say Prada and Sierra stole more than $3,400 from a locked equipment room at the stadium between January 2013 and February 2016.

Authorities say Dagnesses is accused of receiving $950 in stolen baseballs and jerseys.

It wasn't immediately clear if the men had attorneys who could comment on the allegations.