EXTRA BAGGS: Schierholtz denies making formal trade request, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Schierholtz denies making formal trade request, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz denied aCBS Sports report that he has formally requested a trade.

I havent said one thing about anything other than baseballin two weeks, said Schierholtz, who told the San Francisco Chronicle earlierthis month that he would be open to a change of scenery that would give him theopportunity to play every day.

Nothing has changed at all," Schierholtz said. "My agent knows if anybody isgoing to say anything (to the Giants), its me. I expressed how I felt a coupleweeks ago, and that was the end of it.

Schierholtz stressed that he is not a malcontent, he lovesplaying in San Francisco and he hasnt received a harsh reception in theclubhouse following his published comments. But yes, he wants an opportunity toplay on an everyday basis and at the time the Chronicle story came out, hewas on pace for 100 fewer at-bats than the previous year, when he was in apart-time role.

Considering how Schierholtz played in Philadelphia barely morethan a week ago, its not a stretch to envision him being part of a package forHunter Pence, should the Giants be able to swing a deal.

Great to see Andres Torres back at AT&T Park, and it brought back fond memories when he shook my hand three times in a five-minute span.

He saidhis documentary, Gigante, had a rough-cut premiere at NYU on May 31 and thefinal version should be done in two months or so. The movie tells the story ofhow he overcame long odds, a lengthy minor league career and ADHD.

Its beautiful, Torres said. It touched my heart. Ididnt think I would, but I cried when I saw it. You laugh, its emotional its got a little of everything.

Torres said he hopes to screen the final version in SanFrancisco at some point this offseason.

What a striking juxtaposition between two 2010 World Seriesheroes.

Torres received a standing, sustained ovation when he wasannounced for the first time. He stepped out of the box and doffed his helmet.

And Aubrey Huff hurt himself again when the Mets bungledwhat should have been a double-play grounder.

One guy was welcomed back. The other guy cant leave soonenough.

Oh, and there was Ramon Ramirez, whose entrance in reliefdrew almost no reaction. Did everyone forget his 0.67 ERA for the 2010 Giants?

The 2010 reunion tour will continue Friday night at CoorsField, when the Giants begin their next road trip. Theyre scheduled to facenone other than Jonathan Sanchez. The Giants will send Ryan Vogelsong to opposehim.

Sanchez is 0-2 with an 11.88 ERA in two starts for theRockies, who acquired him after the Kansas City Royals designated him forassingment.

Brandon Belt took an aggressive swing and might have hit awalk-off, three-run home run in the 10th inning if it were a daygame.

Instead, his ball only made it to the warning track, andinto the center fielders glove to end an 8-7, 10-inning loss to the Mets.

I hit that ball too good, Belt said. I thought that ballwas gone for sure. It gets late at night here and the air gets heavy. It knocksdown balls for sure. You cant do anything about it.

Unless youre Scott Hairston, apparently.

Interesting that the Mets pitched to Belt in the 10th.Clay Hensley was on deck and the Giants were out of position players. Metsmanager Terry Collins said he didnt want to walk Belt to load the bases andput his pitcher in a position where hed have no margin for error to throwstrikes.

This leads me to believe that Terry Collins has watched a lot of bad relief pitching this season.

I have absolutely no issue at all with Bochy pinch-runningEli Whiteside for Buster Posey in the ninth. Thats the tying run and theGiants absolutely cannot win if it doesnt score. You try to tie it up, thenworry about the rest later.

But it brings up an interesting question: With PabloSandoval on the DL and Manny Burriss in DFA land, who is the Giantsthird-string catcher?

When it slows down a little around here, Ill ask.

Want to know what Josh Willingham, Jason Kubel and CurtisGranderson have in common?

Theyve all hit more home runs in their home park (17) thanthe Giants have hit all season on the shores of McCovey Cove (16).

Thats right. The Giants have 16 home runs in 52 home games.

Once more: The Giants have 16 home runs in 52 home games.

Oh, and it's rude to walk around with your mouth hanging open.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants dropping series vs Braves

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants dropping series vs Braves


SAN FRANCISCO — The kid who raced The Freeze on Thursday night blew a tire as he hit center field, hobbled for about 50 feet, and then went down for good. He still had a better night than the Giants. 

They blew all four tires in the fifth, giving up eight runs in a nightmare frame that turned a two-run lead into a 12-11 loss. The Giants finished 1-7 on the swing through Denver and Atlanta, and they have lost 18 of their last 23 games. 

But, let’s face it, you’re here already. So here are five more things to know from the night … 

—- Matt Cain was hanging in there until the fifth, and then … disaster. The inning started with Brandon Phillips’ solo shot that cut the lead to one. Then it went single, single before Cain was relieved by Bryan Morris. After that, it was single, single, single, sacrifice fly, homer, flyout, walk, single, pitching change, single. 

—- Morris had to wear it in the fifth because the bullpen is short, and boy, did he wear it. Morris gave up five runs on five hits and a walk. His ERA jumped two full points in two-thirds of an inning. 

—- Kyle Crick made his MLB debut in that horrendous bottom of the fifth. The Giants surely did not want to bring him in with runners on, but Bruce Bochy had no choice when Morris blew up. Crick’s first pitch was a 95 mph heater. After giving up a hit in that inning, he pitched a perfect sixth and perfect seventh. Crick topped out at 97 mph. Pretty, pretty good stuff there. He needs to get a long look the rest of this year. 

—- In the second, Buster Posey hit a ball that went 311 feet and had a hit probability of just six percent. Cain hit a ball 357 feet. Posey got a homer that bounced off the top of the wall; Cain just got a double. Baseball is such an odd game.  

—- On a positive note, Javi Lopez, who calls Brandon Belt “Sparky,” repeatedly referred to Posey as Gerald. He’s going to be good at this job. 

Why you shouldn't freak out in June about Cueto's opt-out

Why you shouldn't freak out in June about Cueto's opt-out

SAN FRANCISCO — There’s a very important fact you need to keep in mind when talk of Johnny Cueto’s opt-out comes up, as it so often will over the next six weeks: The Giants always expected him to opt-out after this season, from the moment the ink was dry on the six-year, $130-million contract. 

When you sign at the top of your game and have a chance to hit the market at 31 years old and cash out a second time, you take it. Those are just the rules of professional sports. On the day Cueto was introduced, his agent, Bryce Dixon, said the two-year opt-out was important because they felt Cueto didn’t get a totally fair shot at free agency. 

“Johnny, a little bit unfairly, had a lot of questions about his arm,” Dixon said in December of 2015. “I felt we could reestablish his actual value … He knows he’s as good as (David) Price and (Zack) Greinke, but his situation was a little different.”

The Giants were fine with this, too. The flip side of the opt-out is that if you have the chance to pay a dominant right-hander $46 million over two years, and then escape his mid- to late-thirties, you do it. Every time. You don’t even blink. 

So, here we are, in June of the second year of that deal, with reports that Cueto will opt out. You should take a deep breath because you should have already expected this. But if you didn’t, take comfort in this: By all indications, Cueto has not made a decision, even with the Giants having an unimaginably poor season. 

First of all, Cueto can't make a decision in June. What if the blisters return and he repeats his April ERA a couple more times? What if his elbow starts barking? There are no guarantees with pitchers, and until Cueto gets through the second season, there will be no finality with his decision. 

Aside from the fact that he really can’t make that decision, though, sources insist Cueto hasn’t made up his mind or even thought much about it. People familiar with his thinking continue to say the focus has been baseball all season long, from spring training through his last start. 

Cueto is said to be happy in San Francisco and he enjoys pitching in front of the crowd at AT&T Park. His biggest concern has been wins and losses, and in that respect, this has been a disappointing year for all involved. 

That record has brought the Giants to a crossroads, and this is where it gets interesting. The easy solution is to trade Cueto next month, avoid the opt-out situation entirely, and add prospects to a system lacking them. But, it’s complicated. The Giants do not intend a full teardown, and if they’re going for it again in 2018 — with their core of Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Madison Bumgarner, etc. locked in, that’s the plan — they’ll want that second ace at the top of the rotation. And if Bumgarner doesn’t return to form after an injury, they’ll need Cueto’s presence. 

The Giants have until July 31 to decide what to do with Cueto. He has until three days after the World Series ends to decide what to do with his contract. Here in June, by all indications, those decisions haven’t been made.