DeSean Jacksons admission that he was saving himself last year for a new contract seems not to have gone over very well. Or very poorly, for that matter. Evidently we have reached the point in human development where the frank telling of an obviously unpleasant truth can sometimes mitigate punishment.The former Cal star who now toils for the Philadelphia Eagles had points deducted for admitting he didnt give his all in all situations in 2011 for fear that it might jeopardize a future contract but got them back by doing what so many other players havent done in similar situations he admitted it.The reaction to this seeming revelation was odd in that it wasnt regarded as a revelation at all. Most pro football observers (as in, people who get paid to watch pro football) felt theyd already observed it and sussed out the reason, thereby making Jacksons admission more pro forma than damning.And while coaches across the country may be swallowing their faces in apoplexy at the notion that an important player admitted he took plays off to protect himself for payday, the realities of professional football have somehow tamped down the level of outrage among those who regard themselves as being in the community.In other words, it went like this:I didnt play hard all the time because I didnt want to get hurt and screw myself out of the new contract I wanted.Well, thats kind of creepy, but I already figured it out, I get why you did it, and at least you didnt lie to me about it.Thats an evolutionary moment of sorts. In the past, Jackson would have been cut, or at the very least suspended (he was deactivared for one game and benched for another), and there would have been a long line of media types who would praise the team for having dealt so harshly with the miscreant. And upon his return, the quote would have been rubbed in his face at every opportunity:Well, I dont know if he went all out for that one, but he has a history of not doing so.Or:He went all out for that one, which he didnt always do in the past.And that part may still happen. After all, the beast must fed, and the beast eats 24752. When the topic of DeSean Jackson comes up, there will be oblique references to the year he played at less than 100 percent commitment and results in 2011.But there are no signs of overt rage anywhere, even in the places where you would expect it most. Say, like Philadelphia, where overt rage is often the first move in a seduction attempt.Oh, there may be some fans who are furious about Jacksons words matching his lack of deeds, and we choose not to generalize where specificity is required. But our search turned up very little public anger about a guy who admitted he let his contract situation and the need to play safe to protect it affect his performance.And were talking here only about the reaction, not the deed. The deed stands on its own, and you can fulminate it as all you want without any help from us.Maybe people have a greater understanding of the short shelf life of NFL players and the hard facts of a game whose dangers typically far outweigh the securities. Maybe DeSean Jackson is just a more charming fellow than most. And maybe its just August fatigue in a football season that now never ends.All we know for sure is this. DeSean Jackson was honest about something players usually are afraid to be honest about and in a business that despises honesty, is not being held to the fire for that forthrightness. I guess hes just the magician who explains the trick afterward everyone likes to be in on a dirty little secret now and then.And we mean now and then in the "not very often at all" way. A steady diet of honesty when it comes to football never seems to please anyone.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com
Madison Bumgarner was back on the bump Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL due to a dirt bike accident on April 21.
Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants against the Arizona Rookie League Angels and did not allow a hit in three innings pitched. The Giants' ace also struck out two and walked one.
In both the first and third innings, Bumgarner pitched a perfect three up and three down frame.
Bumgarner was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of his left throwing shoulder and sustained bruised ribs from his dirt bike accident on an off day in Colorado. Pitching in a game for the first time in over two months, Bumgarner was throwing between 88-91 miles per hour, according to Tommy Stokke of FanRagSports.
After finishing his three innings of work, Bumgarner went down to the bullpen to increase his pitch count, reports Sande Charles of FanRagSports.
Before sustaining the injury, Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts this season.
The Giants have gone 21-41 since Bumgarner's injury. They are 27-51 on the year and sit 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.
SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after yet another missed opportunity at the plate Sunday, a voice came over a speaker in the press box at AT&T Park and announced a 524th consecutive sellout. It nicely summed up this current stretch of Giants baseball.
The seats are emptier than they used to be at first pitch, and they were just about abandoned in the ninth inning of an 8-2 loss, but for the most part the fans are still showing up in droves. One woman brought a toaster by the dugout Sunday morning and asked players and coaches to sign it, hoping to recapture the magic from across the bridge. Another, Bryan Stow, made his first appearance of the season at AT&T Park, met with Bruce Bochy, and said he hoped to see a win. As Matt Moore started warming up, a band set up on top of the visiting dugout to play hits that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.
For a while, AT&T Park was rocking. And then, as has happened so often this summer, the game started.
The Giants turned in another epic clunker in a season full of them. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games and 21 of 26, but it’s worse than the raw numbers. On most nights, some in the organization have noted privately, they are simply boring. It’s one thing to lose, it’s quite another to do it in this way.
“There’s no getting around it,” Bochy said after the sweep. “I’ve been through some tough stretches here and this is as tough as any stretch I’ve seen. For some reason the baseball gods are really testing us here and (testing) this group. It’s not that they’re not coming out ready or trying, but enough is enough.
“At some point, we’ve got to find a way to get this thing turned around.”
Even a slight pivot would be welcomed by the faithful. There were scattered boos Sunday, the latest in a growing trend. This is a fan base that has seen the highest highs, but rarely in franchise history have the lows been this low.
The crowd no longer turns to the rally lights that were used so often in an awful April, but the noise still grows with each new rally. And then, every single time Sunday, the Giants killed off any hope.
In the second inning, a Brandon Belt bunt single and Brandon Crawford bloop put two on, but a pair of rookies flied out.
In the third, the bases were loaded ahead of Buster Posey. He flied out to bring one run across, and there were still runners on the corners for Belt, who leads the team in homers. On a 2-2 count, Hunter Pence inexplicably took off for second. He was caught, the inning was over, and the two-run Mets lead was intact. Bochy said he did not send Pence.
In the sixth, there were two on with no outs for Posey. Both runners bolted to stay out of a double play. Posey popped up to first -- for a double play.
“He’s not a guy that strikes out, so I’m pretty confident sending runners with Buster,” Bochy said. “We can’t keep laying back. We’re trying to force the issue a bit and stay out of double plays.”
In the eighth, the Giants loaded the bases for Posey and Belt. Posey grounded out. Belt struck out for the third time.
“We’re getting guys out there,” Bochy said. “We’re not doing enough damage.”
Matt Moore’s damage was self-inflicted. He twice gave up homers to the guy — Rene Rivera — hitting in front of the pitcher. Moore said he has stopped throwing his cutter the past three starts and tried to get his four-seamer going, but the Mets were teeing off. Moore gave up five runs on seven hits. He was pulled in the fifth, left to think about mechanics that still aren’t right.
“The cutter is a little bit different of a pitch and at times it can take away from the four-seam fastball location-wise, and command of the four-seam was starting to go down the more I threw (the cutter),” Moore said. “I’m anxious to get back to it, but the foundation has got to be throwing the four-seam fastball. I need to execute where they’re carrying through the zone, not running or cutting.”
Moore said his confidence is fine and his problems are not physical. Others can no longer say that. Austin Slater, a rare bright spot in this five-win month, was pulled with a tight hip flexor. He was headed for an MRI.
Slater is too young to be one of the players Bochy approached after the game. He said he talked to a few, though, passing along that “enough is enough” message. Moore, last in the National League in ERA (6.04), was not one who needed a reminder.
“I’m sitting on a six right now with not a lot of wins and not enough team wins when I’m throwing,” he said. “It’s been 'enough' for me for the last couple of months.”