Amy G's Diamond Girls: Gyselle Meulens

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Amy G's Diamond Girls: Gyselle Meulens

Editor's Note: Get to know all the Giants' girls on Amy G's featured series "Diamond Girls."
Check out all of Amy G's "Diamond Girls" in her archive.

Amy: Thanks so much for logging on to CSNBayArea.com. We've got another webisode of "Diamond Girls" and joining us is Gyselle Meulens, wife of Bam Bam, but now we need to say Sir Bam Bam. We just finished an incredible on-field ceremony. I have never witness anybody being officially knighted so that was super exciting for me. I can only imagine what that was like for you to watch that happen.

Gyselle: Wow. It was a first for us too.

A: No one's been knighted in your family? Ok.

G: Not-not that I know of. It's so special for him and of course for the family to have now a sir in the family. Incredible.

A: Show us the medal.

G: So this is what he got today.

A: Oh, it's gorgeous.

G: This is gorgeous. And he got it from the Queen of the Netherlands, which is Queen Beatrix.
A: Mhmm. Now, how much is he going to use this, Gyselle? That he's a sir, you have to call me Sir, 'cause I know you don't have to call him Sir.

G: Well, I was thinking to call him Sir because if I call him Sir he has to call me Lady.

A: Oh, there you go. Very nice. That's a good trade-off.

G: Yeah so I talked to him. I'm going to call him Sir everyday so he can call me a lady everyday.

A: There you go. All right. Well even if you don't call him Sir, you just tell him that he should call you a lady. Now listen, you and Bam Bam have two gorgeous children. I see you here at the park and then I find out today that you actually are working for an investment firm back in Curacao.

G: Curacao.

A: So you're one busy mama.

G: Yes, I work. Everyday when I'm in Curacao I go to the office. I leave the kids with my parents because they live in Curacao. Two days a week they go to Hensley's mom but Eli is now going to school so I wake up, go to work like any other parent doing, and um...In that whole life there is also traveling. For work and traveling for to be here with Hensley.
A: How long is the trip from San Francisco to Curacao?
G: It will take you about 12 hours to go back and forth because you have to fly into Miami and that's six hours, and then from Miami to Curacao is three hours, so...

A: So, when Hensley came on to the scene here with the Giants the big story was that he spoke five languages, of course. And I hear you speak several yourself. What do you speak?
G: I speak Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento, which is the-

A: Papiamento. I love the name.
G: One of the other languages from the islands.
A: One of my favorites to hear. I just love saying Papiamento. Now, what do you and Hensley use when you speak to each other?

G: Well, you know, it's funny because we use Papiamento to speak to each other because that's the language which we've known each other, and when I met him he said to me, "I can speak Japanese." And I was like, "Yeah, yeah. Right." No, he said, no really, I can speak Japanese. I said, "Yeah," of course so he tried it on me and I was like, "Ok." I didn't know what this means but whatever. So there was like the next year, we went to Japan for three weeks, and actually when we got to the airport he started speaking to the people and they really understood him, and I was like, "So this is true. You can speak Japanese."

A: So that was impressive.
G: Yes. So that was very much impressive. And when I want to like upgrade my Spanish, I talk to him.

A: Ok. So you switch it out whenever you need to work on something.

G: He's my Spanish teacher.
A: He's the Spanish teacher for a lot of us around here. Yeah, I'm always checking my Spanish with him. "Did I say that right?" And lastly for you: You know, Hensley's a- As you know. I'm not telling you that you don't know - he's in a tough spot, being the hitting instructor, and the Giants have not always had great offense in the years he's been here and the years he has not been here. So a lot of times undue criticism falls on the hitting instructor. They're the fall guy. How do you handle that at home? What's your role?

G: Well, Hensley is the kind of guy that, he knows that the criticism comes to him and he knows that he has to handle it, and he handles it. I don't know how but he handles it very, very well I should say, because when he comes home he just wants to talk to me. He's rarely about go have a drink or whatever. He just wants to talk to me about whatever happened that night on the field, and that's it. He's very - He's a very calm guy. He can take a lot of, a lot of stress. He can take a lot of criticism. So they can shoot some more.

A: Keep it coming.

G: Yeah, he's - he's - he's a guy that...I mean, I do a lot but he, the way he can handle stress, that's perfect. He can do four or five things at the same time so yeah.
A: Do you ever call him Bam Bam?
G: No.

Why the Giants are likely done making big offseason additions

Why the Giants are likely done making big offseason additions

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Giants spent Monday huddled in a suite at the Gaylord National Resort, putting the finishing touches on the offseason’s big move. By Wednesday afternoon, team officials were scattering.

Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy headed back to San Francisco, where they’ll help introduce Mark Melancon at a Friday press conference. Bobby Evans and Dick Tidrow went off in search of a good BBQ joint. It was a relaxed group, one that knows the heavy lifting is done. 

The Giants are set in their rotation and bullpen, with any further additions coming as non-roster invitees. They would like more bench depth, but the lone open spot in the lineup is in left field, and there’s a commitment to give Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker a shot. 

There are several big outfield names left on the market, but the Giants are already at about $200 million in payroll, $5 million above the competitive balance tax. Because they’re paying the tax for the third consecutive year, any additional dollar spent would be taxed at 50 percent. 

So, say the Giants signed a Jon Jay-type. Jay got a one-year, $8 million deal with the Cubs, but it would essentially be a $12 million deal in San Francisco. The same holds true for the trade market, and while the Giants are open-minded about additions before spring training, it may be hard to find the right fit. 

The Giants checked in on Detroit’s J.D. Martinez, but Evans said any deal for Martinez or a similar veteran (Jay Bruce, who makes $13 million, is among those available) would have to include a significant salary being sent back to the other team to balance the books. It’s difficult to find the player who could be sent to a team like Detroit and balance out much of the incoming salary. Martinez is scheduled to make $11.75 million next year. The Giants have eight players making at least $11 million in 2017, but all but Matt Cain are locked into key roles. The three other players who could eat up a chunk of that salary — Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Matt Moore — are franchise building blocks.

Cain would be the only big salary that could be removed without leaving a new hole, but even if a team was willing to take it on (extremely unlikely) in some form, and you ignored the fact that Cain is competing for the fifth starter spot, there’s a zero percent chance the Giants ask their longest-tenured player to waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal to a rebuilding team.

This is all a long way of saying what you already knew if you were soaking everything in this week: The Giants have gone over $200 million in total CBT payroll for the first time and don’t intend to add much more to that number in the offseason. 

As a fan, it’s your right to make the argument that you buy enough garlic fries and giraffe hats and No. 28 jerseys for the Giants to keep pushing into Dodger-Yankee territory. But both of those teams have also signaled a desire to get back under the tax at some point, and the Giants can counter that they’ve been as aggressive as any big-market team over the past 13 months, shelling out $313 million to two starters, a closer and a center fielder, and giving massive extensions to fan favorites Crawford and Belt. 

As the Giants left National Harbor, they were thrilled to have picked up their first choice — Melancon — for closer. The important work is done, the payroll is about set, and the camp competitions will begin soon. The marquee one will be in left. Williamson and Parker will form a partnership for about $1 million combined. 

“I think at this point they need playing time,” Bochy said on our Giants Insider Podcast. “Parker has had a lot more at-bats in the minor leagues than Mac. What I do like about Parker is he cut back on the strikeouts, he laid off on some of those secondary pitches down below the strike zone and did a better job of that. Mac had to deal with a couple of injuries but he got on a good roll there. It’s nice to have two potential power guys, which is something we need.”

You can listen to the full Bochy podcast here. You can watch the Melancon press conference on Friday at 1 p.m. on CSN Bay Area. What you shouldn’t do, barring an unforeseen change in the organization’s thinking or the market, is expect another big splash. 
 

Giants trade Chris Heston to Mariners

Giants trade Chris Heston to Mariners

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Faced with a crowded depth chart and a need for a roster spot, the Giants shipped right-hander Chris Heston to Seattle on Wednesday night.

The Mariners announced the deal shortly after 7pm PT on Wednesday.

Heston, who made 31 starts and threw a no-hitter for the Giants in 2015, would have been designated for assignment had a deal not gotten done. The Giants will receive a player to be named later. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for closer Mark Melancon, who signed Monday. 

Heston, 28, filled in after injuries to veterans in 2015 and posted a 3.95 ERA and 12 wins, one of which was a no-hitter in New York. He was a first-half savior for an unhealthy staff, going 9-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star break. The long season caught up to Heston down the stretch, and the Giants filled their rotation that December with free agents Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. 

Heston made just four appearances in 2016 after being moved to the bullpen. It was a transition that didn't quite take, and he ended up back in the minors, making 14 starts for the River Cats as he worked to regain some of the velocity that was lost when he dropped 15 pounds during offseason workouts. An oblique injury led to Heston being put on the 60-day DL in June and ultimately ended his season. 

This represents a needed fresh start for Heston, who was hopelessly blocked in the Giants’ system. The Giants acquired Matt Moore at the deadline and Ty Blach and Matt Cain will compete for the final rotation spot. Veteran Albert Suarez and top pitching prospect Tyler Beede are among the starters who had jumped ahead of Heston. In Seattle, he joins a team in need of starting depth, and he should get a shot to return to a big league rotation.