EXTRA BAGGS: Starry snubs duel for ERA title, etc.

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EXTRA BAGGS: Starry snubs duel for ERA title, etc.

PITTSBURGH There was a shortage of positives after thePirates James McDonald swashbuckled the Giants in a 3-1 loss Saturday. Atleast Ryan Vogelsong could dwell on this:

He isnt going to the All-Star Game, and that seems like amighty big oversight. But he is not alone. It's nothing personal.

McDonald was royally snubbed out of a trip to KansasCity, too.

The NLs three best ERAs belong to the Reds Johnny Cueto,Vogelsong and McDonald. None of the three will represent the NL on Tuesday.

Vogelsong said last week that the All-Star snub added to thechip on his shoulder and was proof yet again that nobody takes him seriously. Heseemed to be more accepting of the situation after McDonald outdueled him.

Its probably not an easy thing to do and Im sure itstough on the manager whos picking the team, Vogelsong said. Every year, guyswho deserve to go dont go. It just happens to be us three. It is what it is.Everybody he picked deserves to be there as well.

On another topic, Vogelsong said hes happy to get a breakbut hes also in a rhythm and doesnt feel like he needs a physical breather.He said his back problems, which knocked him out all spring and forced him tobegin the season on the disabled list, havent crossed his mind since hissecond start.

He doesnt get any additional treatment on his back anylonger, but he does keep to a routine that includes extra core strengtheningexercises.

During the spring, though, he did wonder how effective hedbe.

It went through my mind, he said. But you guys know how Iam on game day. I just really concentrate on throwing strikes and throwing toBusters glove.

Hell get a long layoff. Vogelsong will get at least ninedays of rest, and 10 if the Giants decide to throw Barry Zito ahead of him inthe rotation to split up the left-handers.

I feel strong, I feel in a pretty good tempo, Vogelsongsaid. I dont think the break will change that for me. I hope not.

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A few minor league notes: Infielder Conor Gillaspie is onthe DL for Triple-A Fresno with a fractured big toe and outfield prospectFrancisco Peguero also went down with a strained side muscle. No immediate wordon how long theyll be sidelined.

The Giants filled one of the Grizzlies roster vacancieswith a familiar name: Left-hander and Concord De La Salle alum Clayton Tanner.The left-hander and former top prospect signed with the Reds last year afterthe Giants took him off the 40-man roster. But the Reds recently released him,and he re-signed with his former organization.

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How hot was it in Pittsburgh? Well, Bruce Bochy wasdownright annoyed at anyone who spent more than 20 minutes on the field duringan abbreviated batting practice session.

Pirates assistant trainer and familiar face Ben Potenziano toldme that longtime organizational folks told him this weekend is the hottest theycan ever remember on the banks of the three rivers.

I had my own issues in the press box, too. At one point, mycomputer was getting so hot that the trackpad started to freak out. I had toshut down my machine, fill a towel with ice and set my laptop down on it. Whatdo you know? It worked perfectly.

Also, check my Twitter timeline for a photo of how Kruk andKuip dressed to combat the heat.

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Very sad news to pass along. Visible Giants fan Craig Appel, known to many as the Rally Pumpkin, died in an apparent suicide on Tuesday. Appel stepped in front of a train, police in North Hollywood said.

Appel was known as "Jingles" to Giants broadcasters, players and coaches. For years, he drove the team bus on trips to Los Angeles and San Diego. Friends say he'd fallen on hard times in recent years. Someone gave him a luxury suite ticket as a 50th birthday present last week but he wasn't able to pull together the funds to travel from Southern California to San Francisco.

Just a heartbreaking story. A donations page has been set up to help his family with funeral arrangements.

Krukow responds to report about Melancon: 'I don't see any friction'

Krukow responds to report about Melancon: 'I don't see any friction'

With the Giants sitting in last place, everyone wants to figure out what happened to a team that was expected to contend.

Early Monday morning, it was reported that new closer Mark Melancon had rubbed some teammates the wrong way by canceling a longstanding pregame stretching session among relievers.

A short time later, Giants broadcast Mike Krukow was asked for his take on KNBR 680.

"We all understand closers are different people and they deal with different demons and some of them have their own routine. I haven't heard that its upset anybody," Krukow said.

Krukow believes everything is just fine between Melancon and his teammates.

"If you look at how Melancon is in line to get on the plane and get off the plane, he's having fun, he's laughing with the guys. Same thing on the bus. He's walking to the ballpark before games with guys. They're buddies. I don't see any friction. I don't see that rotten core starting to fester in the club at all," Krukow said.

Report: Melancon rubbed Giants teammates wrong way early in season

Report: Melancon rubbed Giants teammates wrong way early in season

This past offseason, the Giants overhauled the back of their bullpen. Out went mainstays Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez. In came prized free agent Mark Melancon.

It was supposed to be a seamless transition for one of the most reliable closers in baseball.

But nearly three months in, Melancon is one of many Giants players struggling while the team flounders in last place in the NL West with a 27-51 record.

And it appears Melancon's relationship with his new teammates didn't get off to a great start.

Melancon "rubbed some teammates the wrong way early in the season" by canceling a longstanding pregame stretching session with the other relievers that was implemented long before he joined the team, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

That's not the only stretching-related issue to impact the Giants. Manager Bruce Bochy had to get involved when several veterans were reportedly late on multiple occasions for the team stretching session.

“I dropped the ball. I’ve been doing this so long, you take for granted that they know what I want. These guys were used to doing it how they’ve done it — ‘I have my own routine. I’m not going to stretch.’ But we do stretch as a team here. They all have to be out there,” Bochy said.

Closers are known to have unique routines and Bochy addressed that as well.

“Sometimes other relievers … maybe they get a little taken aback by it. I don’t know what (closer) doesn’t have a routine like that,” Bochy said.

General Manager Bobby Evans addressed the claim that Melancon is rubbing teammates the wrong way and defended his closer's role in the clubhouse.

“To whatever degree it hasn’t manifested itself or to the extent it’s manifested itself in the perception of some negatively, I can assure you that was not Mark’s intention. Mark is a team guy,” Evans said.

Melancon, who has a 4.58 ERA and 11 saves in 15 chances this season, has three years and $53 million left on his contract with the Giants.