Giants Diamond Girls: Donna Flannery

830535.jpg

Giants Diamond Girls: Donna Flannery

Amy: Another edition of Diamond Girls and we have Tim Flannerys wife joining us, Donna Flannery and you have been definitely a fan favorite. I mean you never get tired of watching him wave runners in. Im guessing as his wife you sometimes get tired of Tim.

Donna: I have to say he is a little bit of an entertainer. Yeah -- on the baseball field, in the music world and even at home he can be pretty entertaining.

A: How long have you guys been together and how did you meet?

DF: We met in high school -- rival high schools in Anaheim. Gosh, dated on and off for seven years. He went to Chatham College. I went to UCLA and finally got engaged in '80 and married in '81. No. Yes -- married in '81. So, '82 he made the big club for the first time, out of spring training. So, my timing was great.

A: Yeah, you didnt have to do too many visits to the minor leagues. So youve been kind of through this roller coaster of baseball with Tim -- playing, coaching, retiring from coaching, broadcasting, going back to coaching. Youve mentioned some of the women you have been with through this career of his and whats the best advice you were given throughout those times?

DF: Going back, not having to spend any time in the minor leagues, the first go around with Tim, since I was the girlfriend. It was going back in either '93, '94 or '95 was to get yellow pages and the local newspaper to find whats in the area and whats new. We didnt have Google and the Internet and cell phones. Tim and I laughed about it the other day -- when he would be on the road, you would call the hotel. So we just made it a deal, as the young wife, worried, that he would always call me. You could leave messages but it wasnt the instant gratification that the cell phone now gives you.

A: You see the wives now coming in, and youve been there and its a lot. Its a lot to handle.

DF: Im glad there wasnt Twitter and blogging and I think some of the young players today get a little too caught up in it and they need to focus away from that and more on enjoying what theyre doing right now.

A: Do you find yourself ever in a position of adviser or giving some advice to some of the young wives coming in?

DF: Id like to think that I can. When Tim broke in, Dick Williams -- who was a very tough manager -- Tim had a rough game the day before and he came in and Dick Williams told him, Youre in the line up tomorrow but as were talking right now, Im looking for another second baseman. Its a team sport and what a great career you can have as being the guy off the bench and Tim became a very good pinch hitter. He played shortstop in high school but he taught himself how to play third base so he could be that go-to guy. I have to say I love the National League. I love the strategy behind it. I love second guessing the manager and Ill go, Well, why did he do this? and Tim will say, Well, you didnt know that so and so was on the bench and who he had in the bullpen. Tim really taught me the game when we went back to the minor leagues. He didnt really want to talk about it that much as a player. Going through it, he had the clubhouse, he had his friends, but when we went back to the minor leagues and he didnt have that clubhouse, he would come home and I was like, You mean there are plays? So, it was a really great learning curve and I have to say I love where we are at now. I have three beautiful kids that are all grown and kind of on their own. Two of them live at home but I need them to. I need them to so I can be up here with Tim and they can take care of the dog and the cat and the house. Im just in a great spot and I love San Francisco -- love San Francisco.

A: San Francisco loves the Flannery family, thats for sure and they love Lunatic Fringe, which is Tims band. And its been really nice to see more of Tim and the band in the forefront and doing so many good things for the Stow family. So, just give us a little background of what the music life is like with him and what its like for you to watch him perform.

DF: Tims music came about -- his uncle had asked him, You need to record some of those songs. And it was shortly after that his Uncle George was killed in a head-on car crash. So, Tim did start recording and very simple at first, drum track, and I have to say he was a little more pop and then he met Matt Manning from Ireland and then he went back to Kentucky and started filling his blue grass roots, and his music just really transformed into the more blue grass, California -- what does he call it? -- California country. So, its really been fun and he surrounds himself with just excellent, beautiful backup girl singers and fiddlers.

A: Its been exciting to watch. Are you excited for him for Wednesday, when he sings the anthem?

DF: I am. I almost missed it last year when he did it, getting caught in traffic and I always tend to be a little late these days but I really am looking forward to it.

After Giants' first Coors Field sweep in 15 years, Bochy preaches urgency

After Giants' first Coors Field sweep in 15 years, Bochy preaches urgency

DENVER — Bruce Bochy watched the first two games of this road trip from his home in San Diego and the final three from the top step of the dugout at Coors Field. He did not like what he saw, but at the moment he’s more concerned with what he might hear. 

“What you have to careful of — you can’t let any kind of complacency set in and say, ‘It’s early, we’ll be ok.’ I don’t want to hear that either,” Bochy said. “It’s the old adage that you come out with some sense of urgency. All these games are important. You’ve got to stay away from that attitude, too: ‘We’re not through April yet and have 140-something games left.’ That doesn’t work out.”

Three weeks into the season, nothing is working. The rotation has a 5.02 ERA, the worst in the Majors. The lineup scored 10 runs over a five-game road trip and got shut out twice. The bullpen hasn’t been given many leads with which to make up for the first-week trouble. The defense has been uncharacteristically sloppy. 

It has added up to a 6-13 start, tied for the worst in club history. The Giants have lost six of seven and they’ll head home seven games out of first place. 

“Right now there’s nothing clicking,” Bochy said. “Let’s be honest, this has been a rough start and we’re not very good right now. I’m not saying we’re not very good. We are good, but we’ve got to find a way to come out of this. This was a tough way to end this series. We’ve been through it. I’ve got men out there and that’s when you find a way to get through this. They will.”

Perhaps Monday will bring some fresh blood for the roster. Drew Stubbs appears poised to give the Giants another veteran option should they cut bait with a struggling outfielder. Michael Morse could be an option in left field soon, and if he’s mostly relegated to first, the Giants can put Brandon Belt in the outfield. He looked fine there Sunday while playing both corner spots. 

Those are moves made around the edges of the roster, though. There is no magic bullet coming from the outside, not even Christian Arroyo, who continues to mash at Triple-A. This is a $200 million roster and much of that has been spent on the rotation. Through 13 games, it is the worst in the National League, and the ace was lost to an off-field accident. Sure, the starters have pitched at Chase Field and Coors Field, but on back-to-back days they were dominated by Rockies rookies who make a living here. 

Samardzija could not keep pace with left-hander Kyle Freeland, who sawed off a handful of bats while cruising through seven. Samardzjiza gave up a run early, two more in the fourth on a hanging splitter that was blasted to right, and five in the sixth.

Bochy challenged his starting staff to improve after Saturday’s game. He has not publicly done the same with the lineup, but subtle changes have been made here and there. It is a group that, outside of a couple of players, has lacked energy. Because they don’t hit for power, the Giants are reliant on stringing together rallies. For the fourth time in seven games, the lineup failed to put a runner on base the first time through the order. 

“Even in spring training we had our games where we had trouble getting something going early,” Bochy said. “It’s the fourth or fifth before a hit. Somehow, we’ve got to change that.”

The Giants played Sunday without Jarrett Parker (clavicle) and Denard Span (right shoulder sprain), but for the most part the lineup is healthy. Bochy said he has talked to hitting coach Hensley Meulens about possibly altering pre-game routines, but that seems a cosmetic fix. 

“We’ve talked and we’ve shaken up the lineup, but as you saw today, there’s only so much you can do,” he said. 

Bochy knows there is outside noise regarding the roster. His eyes bulged the other day when asked if Arroyo would get a call-up next week. The Giants do not feel he is quite ready, or that there is a spot for him on the infield. For all the potential bench options waiting at Triple-A, this team's core is set, and it’s not outrageously banged-up compared to the rest of the division. 

The Dodgers, who come into town Monday, have 10 players on the disabled list, including No. 2 starter Rich Hill, second baseman Logan Forsythe, and left fielder Andre Ethier. The Rockies, the best team in the NL West thus far, are off to this start without big offseason acquisition Ian Desmond and young slugger David Dahl. Jon Gray, their opening day starter, went on the DL after facing the Giants in San Francisco. Chad Bettis, a rotation member, is getting treatment for testicular cancer. 

This division is better than expected, and as the end of April approaches, the Giants are bringing up the rear. Bochy’s plea for urgency was one that would have fit right in with last season’s second half. Back then, the Giants could at least lean on a huge start that got them into the postseason. As they flew home Sunday, there was nothing to fall back on but a simple truth.

This is the team. It must play better.

“We have everything we need in this room,” Samardzija said. “Sometimes you need to go out on the field and prove it.”

 

Instant Replay: Giants' struggles continue in sweep from Rockies

Instant Replay: Giants' struggles continue in sweep from Rockies

BOX SCORE

DENVER — Bruce Bochy spent about 10 minutes before Sunday’s game talking about potential options in left field and center. The problems for this lineup, however, currently go much deeper than the outfield. 

A day after the Giants managed just four hits off Antonio Senzatela, the bats went completely limp against fellow Rockies rookie Kyle Freeland. The Giants were shut out 8-0, a rarity at Coors Field. They were blanked twice on the road trip and scored just 10 runs during a five-game swing through Kansas City and Denver. 

The sweep at Coors Field was the Giants' first since 2002. At 6-13, they have the worst record in the National League.

For the fourth time in seven games, and third time on this five-game road trip, the Giants went one time through the order without a baserunner. That puts added pressure on your starter, and Jeff Samardzija couldn’t keep it close. Charlie Blackmon hit a leadoff liner to right that was misplayed into a triple and he scored on a sacrifice fly. Gerardo Parra got a spinner down in the zone in the fourth and blasted a two-run shot to right. 

As they did Saturday night, the Rockies pulled away with a huge rally. Nolan Arenado’s infield single and a walk of Carlos Gonzalez set the table in the sixth. Gerardo Parra lined a single to center and all runners advanced when Gorkys Hernandez kicked it. Trevor Story’s single to right was bobbled by Hunter Pence and two more scored. Blackmon’s double made it 8-0.

Starting pitching report: Samardzija was charged with seven earned in 5 1/3 innings. He has a 7.40 ERA through four starts. The starting staff has a 5.02 ERA, the worst in the majors. That won’t play, not when you’ve spent most of your resources the last two years on starters. 

Bullpen report: Hunter Strickland's Mullet had a scoreless debut. 

At the plate: Nope. 

In the field: Brandon Belt’s first start in left this season was rather uneventful. He caught a liner right at him in the first and came up inches short on a diving attempt in foul territory. Belt moved to right in the seventh inning. He had one previous inning there in the big leagues but he actually prefers right because it’s the same angle as his normal position. Belt gloved a liner right at him in the eighth. 

Attendance: The Rockies announced a crowd of 42,011 human beings and one donkey, who was a menace. 

Up next: The first look at the Dodgers. The Giants will see Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and likely Julio Urias in the four-game series.