EXTRAS: Ortiz is no spring chicken


EXTRAS: Ortiz is no spring chicken

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There arent many veteran non-roster pitchers in camp. Evenfewer own a winning decision in a World Series game.Ramon Ortiz wont draw attention to that. It was against theGiants, in Game 3 of the 2002 series at Pacific Bell Park, after all.But Ortiz already knows his way around Scottsdale.

He's actually in Giants camp for the second time in fourseasons. He pitched well for Triple-A Fresno in 2009, posting a 3.05 ERA as astarter and long man, but didnt get promoted that season. After quick stopswith the Mets, Rays, Dodgers and Cubs, hes back on another minor league dealwith the Giants. Now 38, he still has the same wiry body as he did when he wasa rookie.Everybody is new here, he said. But Lincecum and Cain.Ortiz threw a lot in winter ball and it shows. Just watchinghis bullpens, its clear hes ahead of most everyone else.If Ortiz pitches for the Giants this season, itll mean PlanA, B and C didnt go so swiftly. But hes not a bad guy to have in camp. Hispresence also gives me a reason to retell one of my favorite spring trainingstories: Three facts to set up: 1. Ortiz was a fairly green rookiewith the Angels when I was covering the team. 2. The prankster on that club atthe time was Jarrod Washburn. 3. Whenever teams would bus to games in Tucson,theyd pass Rooster Cogburns Ostrich Farm alongside I-10.One day, Washburn arranged for an ostrich to visit theclubhouse. He led the big bird into the room, and everyone was stunned intolaughter.Except Ortiz. He jumped on his chair in a fit of panic, hiseyes bulged, he pointed frantically and screamed repeatedly: Pollo grande!Pollo grande!Yep, that was one big chicken.--Ortiz also was among the many international players caughtup in fudging their birthdates. After it was learned that Ortiz had aged threeyears, Wally Joyner wheeled in a table with three birthday cakes, candlesablaze.--Edgar Renteria is leaning toward retirement, Fox Sports KenRosenthal reported. He had minor league offers from two NL clubs but turnedthem down. He was a bust for most of his time as a Giant, but the words WorldSeries MVP sure do season up a stew. Id imagine the Giants will be invitingRenteria to AT&T Park many times in future seasons. (Reunion Tuesdays, asthe promotional schedule refers to them.)--And what of Juan Uribe, another of those lovable misfits andhero of Game 6 in Philadelphia?Hes entering year two of his three-year, 21 million deal with the Dodgers, and early returns are not good. Not only did Uribe hit .204 in 270 at-bats, buthe was shut down because of surgery to repair a sports hernia.The AP reported that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and trainerStan Conte traveled to the Dominican Republic over the winter and presentedthe infielder with an offseason regimen.Since I am pretty sure they have phones and fax machines inthe Dominican, Id imagine there were a few other messages the Dodgers wantedto deliver to Uribe.We assume hes healthy, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly toldAP. The injury, we feel like thats passed.

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Before the right hooks and haymakers, there was the helmet toss.

A very bad helmet toss.

As he made his way to the mound after getting hit by a pitch on Monday afternoon, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper attempted to throw his helmet at Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. He missed by a wide margin.

Observers took notice, including Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"What was worse, Harper's helmet throw or 50 Cents first pitch? Heads up in the #McCoveyCove," Turner tweeted shortly after the brawl between the Giants and Nationals.

Turner is referring to a ceremonial first pitch thrown by rapper 50 Cent prior to a Mets game in 2014.

Harper mentioned the helmet when addressing the situation after the game.

"I was trying to go after him, with the helmet or with myself, just doing what I needed to do keep it going, I guess," Harper told reporters.


Fight Notes: Harper thought this was over; Giants collide; Posey avoids it

Fight Notes: Harper thought this was over; Giants collide; Posey avoids it

SAN FRANCISCO — When the Nationals visited AT&T Park for the first time after the 2014 postseason series, Bryce Harper took to Instagram to compliment the city. “Nothing like SF! #BayArea” he wrote underneath a photo of the Bay Bridge. 

Harper, a Las Vegas kid, has always seemed to enjoy facing the Giants. He hasn’t hit well at AT&T Park, but he was a star in their 2014 matchup and he praised Brandon Crawford on Twitter during this year’s WBC. The greeting Monday was not a friendly one. 

Harper was retired three times by Matt Moore. The first pitch he saw from Hunter Strickland left a dent on his hip and set off a wild brawl. 

Strickland denied any intent. Harper seemed confused by the timing of the payback pitch. 

“It’s so in the past, it’s not even relevant anymore,” he said of their 2014 series, according to Dan Kolko of MASN. “They won the World Series that year. I don’t think he should even be thinking about what happened in the first round. He should be thinking about wearing that ring home every single night. I don’t know why he did it or what he did it for, but I guess it happens.”

The Giants were not surprised when Harper reacted the way he did. Now they’ll wait for Strickland to get hit with a suspension, and Harper is looking at a layoff, too. 

“You never want to get suspended or anything like that, but sometimes you’ve got to go and get him,” Harper said. “You can’t hesitate. You either go to first base or you go after him. And I decided to go after him.”

Strickland, about an hour after the fight, said he’s not sure what will happen in terms of discipline. 

“That’s their decision and obviously I’ll take whatever consequences come with it and we’ll go from there,” he said. 

Any action by the league is unlikely to impact this series. Even if suspensions are handed down swiftly, players can appeal. Harper and Strickland may not be alone. Several players jumped into the fray aggressively and at least one non-active Giant — Hunter Pence — was right in the middle of the scrum. At the very least, he could be facing a fine for trying to help his teammate. 

“It doesn't look good when a guy gets hit but also on their side, the guy throws his helmet,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Strickland’s got to stand his ground. There’s no choice there. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen (with suspensions).”

One player who won’t face discipline: Madison Bumgarner, who is also on the DL but wisely stayed away from this one, even if it probably killed him to do so. 

--- The biggest hit didn’t come from Strickland or Harper. It was Jeff Samardzija and Michael Morse coming together in the middle of the field. Both players said they were fine. 

"I was just trying to get in there to break everything up," Morse said. "We lost the game, that's what's most important."

Ahhh, yes, the Giants lost 3-0. Bochy seemed particularly peeved that Strickland chose the eighth inning of a 2-0 game to exact revenge, and you can bet some teammates weren't thrilled. We'll see if there's anything more to this Tuesday. There was a lot of adrenaline flowing, but some of these guys might not be feeling so spry when they wake up in the morning. Bochy said he had not heard any reports of players getting injured, but he also admitted that he didn't see most of the collisions and had no idea what happened with Morse and Samardzija, who had a world-class reaction, by the way.  

--- As with the incident with the Dodgers a couple weeks ago, Buster Posey stayed out of this one. Smartly. 

"After it happened I saw Harper point and the next thing you know he's going out after them," Posey said. "Those are some big guys tumbling on the ground. You see Michael Morse, as big as he is, and he's getting knocked around like a pinball."

Posey is not alone in staying away from these scrums where 250-pound dudes are flying at knees and ankles. Brandon Crawford can often be found on the outside, as well. It's smart, but I think something else was at play here today. Posey understands that the Giants are fighting for every scrap at this point. Every loss digs the hole that much deeper, and this happened with two outs in the eighth inning of a 2-0 game, against a team with a poor bullpen. I'd imagine there was some serious annoyance there. 

--- How angry was Strickland? It took three guys, three big guys, to drag him into the dugout: Pence, Mac Williamson, and George Kontos. 

"I was pretty fired up to be honest with you, but that’s just adrenaline," he said. 

--- Baseball fights are rather silly, but at least you get some phenomenal photos.