EXTRAS: Bochy addresses team: 'We've got to get better'


EXTRAS: Bochy addresses team: 'We've got to get better'

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Bruce Bochy sat in his darkened office, his pensivecountenance illuminated by the sudden flash of a match. The end of his cigar glowedorange as he inhaledOK, enough purple prose. I was describing the introductory sceneto The Franchise, which got past the corny bits and delved into quite a fewinteresting vignettes about a team trying to defend its World Series title.The Showtime documentary cameras moved on to South Florida. Theyre probablyfollowing Ozzie Guillen around Bed Bath and Beyond right now. Bochy can lighthis cigars with the office fluorescents less dramatically switched on.And the Giants are better off for it.

Its something we talked about, said Bochy, who met withthe players for 20 minutes before they took the field for the first full-squadworkout of the spring. We had our distractions last year. They earned that.That goes with winning the World Series. I think we can do a better job withpregame preparation. That was a subject that we covered today.The rest of the meeting was mostly introductions for the new guys. But Bochyalso challenged the team to be better in all phases. Ready to run through a brickwall. All that stuff.We talked about things we wanted to accomplish, he said. Wevegot to get better. You look at last season, and I thought about it quite a bit Sure, you look at the offense, but there were other facets of the game wevegot to get better at. Weve got to get away from being too one-dimensional.--As mentioned earlier, Buster Posey worked with the firstbasemen during infield drills. They spent most of the time practicing pickoffplays. But Bochy reiterated that Posey wouldnt go through intensiveinstruction at the position.He may stand there for a fundamental (drill) when he has awindow, Bochy said. I want his focus to be on catching. He seems prettycomfortable over there (at first base). We do need to make sure he stayscomfortable.--Brian Wilson (right elbow) played long toss one day afterthrowing hard in a bullpen session, and told trainers that he was feeling noill effects.Wilson wont be among the pitchers facing hitters when livebatting practice begins on Sunday, though. Thats always a fun exercise.Nothing like Timmy vs. Pablo to make everyone stop and watch.--Aubrey Huff didnt need to be humbled last season to honehis self-deprecating humor. Thats always part of his game.He clanked a ground ball in infield drills and exclaimed,First one, had to be me. It couldnt be one of the young guys?Huff also added silly string to his daily torments for thefriendly neighborhood beat reporters. I hope those cans run out fast.--Jeremy Affeldt on Twitter, after a goalie for the OttawaSenators cut his hand while preparing a meal: Been there!

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 14-inning win over Rockies

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 14-inning win over Rockies


SAN FRANCISCO — This, at long last, is a winning streak. A modest one, but still. 

Denard Span hit a walk-off single to right in the bottom of the 14th inning, giving the Giants a 4-3 win that became official one minute after midnight. The Giants have back-to-back wins for the first time since May 27-28. 

The Giants led early, fell behind on a three-run dinger, and then chipped away until the game went to extras. Buster Posey twice gunned runners down at second to help keep the score tied and the bullpen held tough, with Cory Gearrin throwing three scoreless innings. 

Gearrin had a chance to win it for himself in the 14th, but he struck out with Gorkys Hernandez on second. Span promptly singled. If you’re just waking up for work, here are five things to know from a night when the seagulls outnumbered the humans … 

--- Matt Cain needs an assist on the first run of the night. With Gorkys Hernandez on first, he got a sacrifice bunt down on a two-strike curveball that was headed for the dirt. Hernandez went to second and promptly scored on Denard Span’s single to right. The curveball wasn’t so kind in the sixth. With a runner on, the Giants intentionally walked lifelong nemesis Nolan Arenado to get to Mark Reynolds. Cain hung a curve and Reynolds crushed it to left for a three-run homer. 

--- The Giants got a run back in the sixth when Brandon Crawford’s deep fly allowed Buster Posey to trot in from third. Crawford leads the majors with nine sacrifice flies. He also turned a ridiculous double play that can’t adequately be described, except to say that he should expand his trophy case. 

--- Kelby Tomlinson came off the bench to tie it in the bottom of the eighth. His single to right brought Brandon Belt in from third. Tomlinson is 9 for 27 as a pinch-hitter this season. That’ll keep you on the chartered jets. 

--- Sam Dyson, with a fastball that reached 97 and an infield defense that was just as firm, pitched 1 2/3 shutout innings in extras. What a find. 

--- With the go-ahead run on first and no outs in the 13th, Nolan Arenado put down a sacrifice bunt. That's one of the five best moments of the Giants' season.

Top pick Heliot Ramos visits AT&T Park, will start Giants career this weekend

Top pick Heliot Ramos visits AT&T Park, will start Giants career this weekend

SAN FRANCISCO — As he was wrapping up the first press conference of his career, Heliot Ramos was asked when he expects to be back at AT&T Park as a player. The 17-year-old smiled and said he hopes to debut in three years. 

“I know it’s hard, but that’s my dream,” Ramos continued. “I know I’ve got to work hard for that.”

A half-dozen Giants officials stood a few feet away, smiling. Three years would be incredibly impressive. It took Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones four years after being drafted out of high school to reach the big leagues. Buster Posey got a cup of coffee a year after he was drafted, but he was already 22 years old because he had played three years at Florida State. 

Ramos doesn’t turn 18 until September. The Giants hope he is dominating A-ball in three years, and yet, he’s the the kind of prospect that allows them to dream for so much more. 

“If he grew up in Southern California (instead of Puerto Rico) we never would have had a shot at drafting him,” one team official said Tuesday.

Ramos certainly opened eyes in his second trip to AT&T Park, but then again, he put on a display the first time, too. The Giants brought him in for a pre-draft workout and someone pointed out to Ramos that the deepest part of the park was 421 feet. The right-handed hitter, making the transition to a wood bat, wasn’t bothered by the dimensions. He took aim at Triples Alley and tried to blast one out, and he nearly did. Then he started pulling the ball, peppering the left field bleachers with homers and convincing the front office that he was the right pick at No. 19 in this month’s draft. Ramos, described as a potential five-tool center fielder, said he enjoys hitting here.

“It’s a park with a lot of history, and I like that,” he said. 

The clock on his career starts this weekend. Ramos will travel back to Arizona and play in a rookie league game Friday or Saturday. It is always a slow progression for a high school draft pick, but the Giants believe Ramos is physically mature enough to jump right in with both feet. 

Ramos, who said his favorite player is Andrew McCutchen, is listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds and he carries it well. One member of the front office compared his body type to Yasiel Puig as a rookie; another called him a “mini-Cespedes.” Bruce Bochy lit up when asked about the physicality of the organization’s latest top pick. 

“Any time you get a young kid like this, the ceiling is so high,” he said. “That excites you.”

Bochy spent some time with Ramos and his family after batting practice. As they posed for photos, the manager looked out at the field and then turned to a PR representative.

“Can he take BP? Put him in the last group,” Bochy said, smiling. “I’ll put him in the lineup tomorrow.”

Ramos didn’t end up taking swings, but if all goes according to his plan, it won’t be long.