Amy G's Giants Xclusive: Romo's Relief

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Amy G's Giants Xclusive: Romo's Relief

Amy: All right, we are back after the All-Star Break. Sergio Romo nice enough to join us on the first day back to work. It is Friday the 13th. You were just running your sprints, and you were super speedy out there. Is it- Is it a little hard to get back into the full-on workout mode after having a couple days of rest?

Sergio: Hey, baby. Manny B., everybody.

A: That was Emmanuel.

S: No, uh, actually no, it's really not that hard. I mean yeah, we need to take a break. It's more of a mental break, you know? Yeah you let your body rest but once your mind settles down your body's able to relax as well so...

A: But it explains why he's breathing a little hard.

S: I'm breathing a little hard, yeah.

A: Just got done.

S: Just got done running, it's cold out. Windy out. Kind of hard running directly into the wind, but uh, it is what it is. You know, it's part- it's part- it's part of what we do, you know? We've gotta make sure we're ready and it's not easy, you know? You've gotta put in that work.

A: Yeah, you did. I watched and I'm your witness. You were running very fast. Now, let us know how your break was. You tweeted some really cool photos. It looked like you actually were able to take a mental break.

S: Yeah. I didn't toss anything, didn't pick up a rock, baseball, football, anything. Arm's rested. It's just one of those things where I got to hang out with my family, you know? Had my sons with me and that was pretty much the main part. My lady was with, you know, friends- Pagan was with as well. Bam Bam showed up one day, you know, so like it was just a cool ride.

A: Nice! Were you here in the city?

S: No we were in, uh- We went to Lake Tahoe.

A: Oh very nice.

S: First time I was out there myself. Me and Rilen, my six-year-old, we did a lot a lot of things that we never really got a chance to do before, you know. We did some paddle boarding, some jet-skiing. I got some video of us parasailing, and he was- I mean he was....

A: Loving every minute of it with Dad.

S: It was an amazing ride, and he's like "Dad we gotta do it again." You know like, "Dad let's do it again." And I'm like "All right, cool," so like...It was really sweet to see how outgoing and really adventurous my son really is. It was a good time.

A: And who knew what a fisherman you were?

S: Haha, caught me some fish. I caught a couple fish and went out.

A: That's pretty impressive.

S: I think it was a Mackinaw, Mackinese, something- some kind of trout. Mac-something trout. Caught an eight-pounder, which is probably the highlight of the trip when it comes to the fishing part. Caught an eight-pounder. Caught a couple fish and I was holding them, put it up on Twitter, but uh...Just the fact that I was out on a boat. I think we were uh...We were fishing I think right around 2,200 feet, which is the deep part of the lake I think. I may be wrong of course, but we went there. It was fun. We were out at the crack of dawn and worked.

A: Had a good time. All right, you put out some nice tweets to your teammates that were playing in the All-Star Game. Of course Melky the MVP. I know that he's real special to you, so what did it mean to see your buddy, your compadre, earn that honor?

S: Oh the Melkman. That guy, just to see him smile, the personality he has, and he- He's got one of those infectious personalities, infectious smiles. When he's out and going, it's kind of like when he goes we all go. He's got some other guys on our team that shine in the same way, but I think Pagan, he - Not Pagan, I'm sorry, Melky - I was about to name him right now as one of those guys.

A: He is, yeah.

S: Yeah, him and Blanco as well, you know, but Melky, I think it's just his time, you know? It's his time to shine. I've said this a couple times already but he makes you look back and maybe how overshadowed he really was before. You know, playing with, you know, the caliber of guys he played with in New York and Atlanta and then last year an opportunity to shine a little bit in KC. I mean, look at what he's doing. He's just smiling, having a good time so congrats, Melky. I mean, we'll earn - We're watching it. We're watching it live and it's really fun.

A: It's cool. He reminds us all of what it's about. Yeah.

S: We're like little kids. I go out there and I do the same thing and I feel like I play just like a smile, you know? It is what it is, you know, but I think he does bring us back to, to what it's really worth and what it really means to us to play this game. Why we all started to play this game.

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey was pardoned by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. 

McCovey, along with Dodgers Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in July of 1995. The crime came from not reporting income McCovey earned from signing autographs and appearing at sports memorabilia shows. 

McCovey previously pleaded guilty to not listing $70,000 he made from 1988-90, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The 79-year-old McCovey was one of 64 people who received pardons from President Obama Tuesday as his final days in office wind down.

Hall of Fame voters' biggest issue: Do they work for the job or the sport?

Hall of Fame voters' biggest issue: Do they work for the job or the sport?

With Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines, and maybe even Trevor Hoffman about to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, we have re-entered the hellish debates about who should vote, and why they should vote, and whether needles are good or bad and whether both are trumped by cashing the checks those needles made possible and why being transparent about their votes is good and why being transparent about their votes is actually bad.
 
In other words, the Hall of Fame isn’t actually about players any more. It’s about the voters.
 
The Danes call this “rampant narcissism.”
 
We have danced around this central fact for years now, hiding behind debates about performance enhancing drugs and the profiting thereof, voting limits and their degree of strangling artificiality, and the new writers vs. the old veterans, and who should be vilified, justifiably or otherwise, by whom.
 
Yay hatred by proxy!
 
But the process arguments ultimately aren’t the central point here. The argument is really about something more basic.
 
Are voter/journalists supposed to help enhance the mythology of the sport, or dispassionately tell its story? Who are they working for when they vote?

To that end, every vote tells a story well beyond the names checked off or the blank ballots submitted. One man, Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs, to you), has been invaluable in delving into the voting minutiae from the growing number of voters who release their opinions early. But, and he’ll admit this if you strike him often enough, that’s still a process discussion, and the core of the debate is found elsewhere.
 
Baseball writers are like football writers and basketball writers and hockey writers and curling writers and blah-blah-blah-de-blah-blah, in that they are prone to love the sports they cover beyond their journalistic mandate. That’s probably true of most journalists in most fields, but baseball has the Hall of Fame outlet to allow this internal debate to play itself out before our faces.
 
So the question becomes whether their votes are the representation of dispassionate analysis, or a defense of the mythos of the sport and the concept of the Hall itself. Boiled down to its essence, who are the voters defending here, the sanctity of the myth, or the ugliness of the reality?
 
The answer, as it usually is, is, “Depends on who you talk to.”
 
Hall of Fame debates usually lump all voters into one amorphous blob, a level of lazy and stupid thinking that should in a more perfect world be punishable by death. Okay, we kid. Life on a Louisiana prison farm, with parole after 25 years.
 
In fact, voters cover a fairly wide swath of opinion, and for whatever perceived shortcomings they might have, there are enough of them (about 450) to be a fairly accurate measure of the diaspora of baseball opinion across social, cultural, sporting and chronological lines.
 
But the argument about whether an individual voter feels more responsible to the job he or she is paid to do or to the game he or she covers as part of that job remains largely unconsidered, or at the very least masked by other considerations.
 
This manifests itself all the way down to the hot-pocket word “cheating.” Baseball is about cheating, and about honor. It’s about racism, and trying to overcome it. It’s about greed, and selflessness. It’s a sport, and it’s a business. It’s America, in all its glorious and hideous manifestations. To employ “cheating” as a word is in itself dishonest, and given that everyone got rich off the PED era and kept all the money they made makes PED use a de facto workplace condition approved by management and labor.
 
That may be unsavory, and it certainly is illegal without a proper doctor’s prescription, but because by their inaction the owners decided not to punish it (and in fact chose to reward it with contracts and extensions for users even after testing was instituted), it isn’t “cheating.”
 
And even if that argument doesn’t heat your rec room, it isn’t the role of the writer to punish it. It is the role of the writer to reveal it by journalism means, but that’s where the journalist’s role ends. The people who ran baseball took the journalism, acknowledged it, and did nothing until it ramped up detection and did little other than blame the union for a failing that both sides share equally.
 
So in the end, Raines’ votes or Barry Bonds’ votes or Curt Schilling’s votes or Edgar Martinez’ votes are fun to debate, but they aren’t the issue. It’s whether the voters think when they sit down and confront their ballot every year who exactly they’re working for – the job, or the sport.
 
And yes, I vote. Voted for the maximum 10. You’ll find out tomorrow the contents of my ballot. Then you can make that a process story, too.