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 put it together in all phases, get back in win column

Giants put it together in all phases, get back in win column

SAN FRANCISCO — In the bottom of the eighth inning Monday, with the Giants finally running away with one, Johnny Cueto started blowing into a giant wad of bubble gum. He held two hands out, ready to catch remnants of an explosion as Brandon Crawford and Kelby Tomlinson looked on and smiled. 

A few minutes later, players started migrating to the dugout rail as they have done in each of the three starts Ryder Jones has made. They are ready to cheer on a rookie’s first big league hit, even if the wait has been an excruciating one for the third baseman. 

Bruce Bochy likes to say that your personality is better when you’re winning, and his players certainly showed that Monday in snapshots here and there. They woke up to a report that there were fractured in the clubhouse, caused in large part by the new closer. They denied it, they met as a group, and then, finally, they won. 

Jeff Samardzija pitched as he has for two months, the top of the lineup came through over and over again, and Brandon Crawford paced a golden night with the gloves. A 9-2 win over the Rockies was just the second since June 11 and it snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Rockies. Any win is meaningful at this point, but this one seemed to mean just a little bit more given the drama of the day. 

“Despite what people might think, we still have a pretty good group here and we get along just fine,” Crawford said. “We’re all rooting for each other.”

It’s one thing to support teammates off the field, and there’s been no indication that the Giants aren’t doing that. It’s quite another to be hand-in-hand between the lines, and for much of this season, Samardzija has been on an island. 

The right-hander has been Bochy’s best pitcher since Madison Bumgarner went down in the hills outside Denver. But he entered Monday with a 2-9 record and 4.74 ERA inflated by faulty defense. He hasn’t grumbled, but he has grown accustomed to the worst, and when Nolan Arenado bounced a ball deep to the hole in shortstop with two on and two outs in the third, Samardzija figured the game was probably tied. 

“I’m thinking maybe they charge it in the outfield and maybe make a play at home,” Samardzija said. “But with a guy like that at shortstop, things change so fast.”

Crawford scooped the ball on the edge of the grass. He would have liked nothing more than to make an otherworldly throw to first to nail his World Baseball Classic teammate, but he knew the best chance was at third. A couple of days ago, Crawford and Jones discussed how the rookie should cover third on such a play. Jones played it perfectly, retreating in time to catch Crawford’s inning-ending throw. 

“The best thing (about Crawford) is he doesn’t even talk about it,” Samardzija said.

No, Crawford put the spotlight on Jones.

“That’s a pretty heads-up play,” he said. “We talked about it and he was there. It was a funny coincidence.”

The play held the lead, and the Giants kept pushing. The top four hitters in the lineup finished with 10 hits, six RBI and six runs. Brandon Belt had an RBI triple in the five-spot. Crawford drove in a run behind him. Gorkys Hernandez and Kelby Tomlinson added insurance from the bottom. Bochy watched it all from the top step and saw a group collectively relax.

“Just quit fighting it so much,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent in this offense. There’s no reason they can’t put consistent runs on the board. Tonight I just thought the at-bats were so much better and the focus was. Once it started rolling, guys felt better about themselves, and it just got contagious.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' skid-snapping win over Rockies

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' skid-snapping win over Rockies

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — On a day that started with controversy, Giants players called a meeting following batting practice. Perhaps they were talking about when and where to stretch. Perhaps a reminder was given to keep clubhouse complaints in the actual clubhouse. 

Or, perhaps, the players just decided that enough was enough. 

In a rare display, the Giants put a clean and complete game together. They beat the Rockies 9-2 at AT&T Park, getting just their second win since June 11 and snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Rockies. 

Jeff Samardzija continued his hot streak, the lineup was opportunistic and flashed some power, and the defense sparkled at times. Here are five things to know from the throwback night … 

—- Samardzija walked off to a standing ovation after throwing 112 pitches. He was charged with two earned in 6 1/3 innings. Ignore the record and ERA for a second — his FIP is 3.37 and his xFIP is 2.95. He really is having a very good and underrated season. 

—- Here’s another one for your Samardzija file: Over the past two months, he has 82 strikeouts and three walks. 

—- It was a good day in the race for another Brandon Crawford Gold Glove. Adeiny Hechavarria, one of the few in the National League who even approaches Crawford, was traded to the Rays. Crawford added to the reel by gunning a runner down on third and making a nifty spin-and-throw in the fourth to rob Ian Desmond of a hit. 

—- There are nights where Denard Span looks like a game-changer, and this was one of them. He had a single, walk and triple in his first three plate appearances, scoring twice as the Giants built a 5-0 lead. He was spry in center, too 

—- Nolan Arenado was 0 for 4. Apparently that’s legal now. (It was actually his ninth 0 for 4 or worse against the Giants, in 81 games.)

—- Bonus sixth fact since the Giants won a game: Sam Dyson, acquired basically for free, is the new setup man. That didn’t take long, and it probably won’t be changing anytime soon. Dyson gave up a single but struck out the other three batters he faced.