EXTRAS: Giants considered re-signing Renteria

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EXTRAS: Giants considered re-signing Renteria

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. The Giants reached out to veteraninfielder Edgar Renteria in the offseason and expressed interest in re-signingtheir only World Series MVP in history.But they did not make a formal contract offer. Renteriaturned down two other minor league contracts, including one from the MilwaukeeBrewers, and is leaning toward retirement, Fox Sports reported on Wednesday.If this is truly the end for the decorated 35-year-oldshortstop, hell exit with a lasting legacy in San Francisco and with theadmiration of his former teammates.
If there was a heart and soul of that team (in 2010), someone whoseemotions really kind of carried us, it was him, Tim Lincecum told me. You cansee what the game meant to him. The tears would come at the appropriate times.Just what a great career.The most memorable tears came during a team meeting in thebatting cage underneath the Wrigley Field bleachers in late September, when theGiants were fighting to make a late charge in the NL West. Renteria broke downin tears, telling his teammates he didnt care if he had become a role playerwhile battling season-long injuries. He just wanted one more chance to win aWorld Series, and challenged his teammates to make it happen. Aubrey Huff has credited the speech with bringing the teamtogether. And Renteria, who barely made the playoff roster, delivered aspromised. His home run off Cliff Lee in the seventh inning of Game 5 accountedfor all the runs in the 3-1 victory that clinched the title.Renteria signed with the Reds after winning series MVPhonors; he struggled most of the year, but still found a way to rise to a fewbig moments. His single in the 13th inning off Brian Wilson on July29 sent the Reds to a walk-off victory over the Giants. That game began thesteep descent for the defending world champs, as they lost eight of nine tolose their grip atop the NL West. Any chance of bringing back Renteria went out the windowwhen the Giants signed Ryan Theriot to be a right-handed complement toshortstop Brandon Crawford.Theriot figures to be a popular Giant. Theres no questionRenteria wouldve been welcomed back within the clubhouse, too. I havent been here too long, but hes one of my favoriteteammates for sure, catcher Buster Posey said. He always had a quietconfidence about him. He made everyone relax. He made you feel comfortable. Hehad that little winning edge that you want.Its just an air he had about him. He had confidence inwhatever he did, and that rubbed off on the rest of us. He knew the right timesto speak up. He didnt talk all the time, but he wasnt shy. If he felt hecould help someone, hed take them aside. Hes a winner. I guess thats the best way to describe it.Right-hander Sergio Romo called Renteria everything everybodysaid he was -- one of the best teammates I ever had. It didnt matter thesituation or the time. He took pride in what he did. You value guys like that. Romo said Renterias leadership had no bounds.Not just the Latin side or the American side, Romo said.Its the clubhouse in general. Hes there to push you every day. Here I am, apitcher, and Im taking advice from a shortstop. Its understanding the gameand my position and how to believe in myself. You learn as much as you can frompeople like that. They dont come around too often. Renteria doesnt plan to file retirement papers in case hegets a guaranteed opportunity with another club, Fox Sports reported. Injuriesare part of spring training, so perhaps that could happen. But it appears thisis the end for the two-time Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star.--Bruce Bochy will gather the team for a meeting before thefirst full-squad workout on Friday. But its never too early to start thebonding rituals.So in their quick briefing before Thursdays workout withpitchers and catchers, Bochy asked right-hander Seth Rosin where he went toschool. (It was Minnesota.) Thenhe asked if he had pride in his alma mater. Of course, Rosin said. OK, Bochy said. Sing the fight song.So Rosin had to fumble through the words to MinnesotaRouser. He managed to remember them all, though.--It's stunning news that Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension was overturned by an arbitrator on Thursday. And it's news that will impact the Giants in a big way.RATTO: MLB way off base in Braun case
The Giants play all six of their games against the Milwaukee Brewers on or before May 23. Braun would have been ineligible for all of them. Now the Brewers will enjoy the full services of the reigning NL MVP.

Giants spring training Day 42: Blach still in the fifth starter mix

Giants spring training Day 42: Blach still in the fifth starter mix

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Ty Blach is the young one in the race to be the fifth starter, but on Sunday he sounded like a veteran. Asked if he has gotten a hint one way or the other about his opening day role, Blach smiled.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day and trying to get better,” Blach said. “I’m enjoying the process and having fun.”

Smooth. 

Those days are adding up to a nice spring for Blach, the left-hander trying to unseat Matt Cain. While Bruce Bochy didn’t shed any additional light on the current lean, team officials hinted Sunday that this is not as open-and-shut as it seems. Matt Cain, who will start Tuesday, looked like a lock to be the fifth starter a week ago, but the Giants are considering all options because they have an off day during the first week and two more shortly thereafter. 

“We’ve had discussions every day,” Bochy said. “We’ve got some tough calls.”

The Giants are expected to announce their official rotation when they return home for the Bay Bridge Series. Whether he’s starting, long-relieving, or pitching in a completely new role, Blach has certainly done all he can to make sure he’s in the big leagues on April 2. He gave up two runs over six innings Sunday, walking one and striking out one while giving up seven hits. Blach has allowed 10 runs in 20 1/3 innings this spring, but four of those came when he was ambushed coming out of the bullpen one day.

“Wherever I’ll be, I know I’ll be in a good spot,” Blach said. “I’m just looking forward to getting the season rolling.

After pitching out of the bullpen most of the spring, Blach got his pitch count up to 85 on Sunday. 

“We’ve gotten him stretched out,” Bochy said. “That’s a solid, solid job. We’ve got guys stretched out where you want them. We’ve got some flexibility. We’ll see as we get close here which way we’ll go.”

POSITION BATTLES: The Giants will carry a backup for Denard Span, and for about a month it looked like Gorkys Hernandez would be that guy. But Hernandez has slumped so badly this spring that he went over the minor league facility Sunday to get a ton of extra at-bats, and Justin Ruggiano has emerged, reaching base in nine of his last 16 plate appearances. The plan a few days back was for Ruggiano to go to Sacramento and get 50 or so at-bats to see where he’s at, but this is another race that could change in the coming week. 

Cory Gearrin has done his part to hold off any charging relievers, throwing two sharp innings while going back-to-back for the first time this spring. 

FAMILIAR FACES: A rough day for a couple of longtime Giants. Ehire Adrianza and Gregor Blanco both have oblique injuries, hurting their odds of breaking with the Twins and Diamondbacks, respectively. Elsewhere, David Hernandez showed that he made a smart decision asking for his release. He was signed by the Braves. 

AROUND CAMP: Hunter Pence really does do all he can to make every single teammate feel welcome in the clubhouse. He spent some time with young right-hander Roberto Gomez on Sunday morning, learning a few Spanish phrases. When the players went out to warm up, Pence threw with Jae-Gyun Hwang. These are small gestures, but for the new guys, they matter. 

BARRY’S BACK: We all knew Barry Bonds would step into the cage at some point, and on a quiet Sunday morning, there he was. Bonds, 52, took about five or six easy hacks before crushing one out to deep right. He’s still got it. The other day, reporters asked Bonds if he could suit up in the WBC if asked. He said he can absolutely still hit, but he would need to DH and he would need a day or two off before games. Being a big league hitter is not easy, even if he always made it look that way.

 

Bonds dusts off swing, cracks home run during BP in Giants' camp

Bonds dusts off swing, cracks home run during BP in Giants' camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants knew Barry Bonds would step back into the box at some point. It happened Sunday, with Bonds taking a few cracks at BP pitches from Gary Davenport.

Bonds warmed up with a couple of lighter swings and then blasted a homer to deep right. That was enough, as the 52-year-old walked away with a big smile on his face. 

Bonds is in camp as a special instructor, and he still picks his spots to show off his legendary swing. When he was the Marlins' hitting coach last season, he beat slugger Giancarlo Stanton in an impromptu home run derby.