Giants hope hawk can solve seagull issue at AT&T Park


Giants hope hawk can solve seagull issue at AT&T Park

Anyone who has had the pleasure of taking in a Giants game at AT&T Park without the protective covering of a luxury box knows that the San Francisco seagulls and pigeons become quite a nuisance around the 9th inning.The scene at China Basin approximately three hours after the first pitch of a night game could come straight from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. These birds are aggressive and often don't wait until the last out to start dive-bombing for cold garlic fries or dropping their waste on unsuspecting fans.Well, the Giants have taken notice and may have found a solution in Bruce Lee, a red-tailed hawk that has called AT&T Park home since November."It's a warrior," Giants operations director Jorge Costa told The Bay Citizen. "You don't mess with it."Costa and his co-workers at the Giants hope that Bruce Lee will keep other birds away and are prepared to explore remote-controlled fake falcons if Lee can't handle the foul fowls. Lee's first test will come Monday when the Giants take on the A's in an exhibition game.Since Lee took perch high along the third-base side of AT&T Park soon after the season ended, team employees have noticed him devouring pesky pigeons and intimidating the gulls."Whenever it's even remotely in the area, there is no bird activity of any kind here," Costa said.After opening the waterfront ballpark in 2000 and realizing that the birds were a chronic issue, the Giants explored hiring a falconer to fight the problem. However, Costa told the Bay Citizen that the plan was not cost effective.We just hope that it works out, Costa said. Well see.
Rael Enteen is a web producer with Follow him on Twitter @RaelEnteenCSN.

Giants trade Chris Heston to Mariners

Giants trade Chris Heston to Mariners

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Faced with a crowded depth chart and a need for a roster spot, the Giants shipped right-hander Chris Heston to Seattle on Wednesday night.

The Mariners announced the deal shortly after 7pm PT on Wednesday.

Heston, who made 31 starts and threw a no-hitter for the Giants in 2015, would have been designated for assignment had a deal not gotten done. The Giants will receive a player to be named later. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for closer Mark Melancon, who signed Monday. 

Heston, 28, filled in after injuries to veterans in 2015 and posted a 3.95 ERA and 12 wins, one of which was a no-hitter in New York. He was a first-half savior for an unhealthy staff, going 9-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star break. The long season caught up to Heston down the stretch, and the Giants filled their rotation that December with free agents Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. 

Heston made just four appearances in 2016 after being moved to the bullpen. It was a transition that didn't quite take, and he ended up back in the minors, making 14 starts for the River Cats as he worked to regain some of the velocity that was lost when he dropped 15 pounds during offseason workouts. An oblique injury led to Heston being put on the 60-day DL in June and ultimately ended his season. 

This represents a needed fresh start for Heston, who was hopelessly blocked in the Giants’ system. The Giants acquired Matt Moore at the deadline and Ty Blach and Matt Cain will compete for the final rotation spot. Veteran Albert Suarez and top pitching prospect Tyler Beede are among the starters who had jumped ahead of Heston. In Seattle, he joins a team in need of starting depth, and he should get a shot to return to a big league rotation.

Kuiper has been told to expect many boring ninth innings from Melancon

Kuiper has been told to expect many boring ninth innings from Melancon

Over the last three seasons, nobody has registered more saves than new Giants closer Mark Melancon.

The three-time All-Star is 131 for 141 in save opportunities over that span.

Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper spoke with Nationals broadcaster F.P. Santangelo about what Melancon brings to the table.

"Mike (Krukow) and I both talked to F.P. and he basically said, 'He's boring. The ninth inning is boring.' And we were like, 'Really? Wow. We haven't seen that in awhile.' So a boring ninth inning would be good for everybody," Kuiper said on KNBR 680 on Wednesday. "Our fans, it would certainly be good for our manager and pitching coach because those two guys had to wear it."

[RELATED: Dusty Baker: 'I hate losing Melancon,' Giants have more resources than Nats]

The Giants blew 30 saves in 2016 -- the most in baseball -- and Giants GM Bobby Evans made it very clear from the moment the season ended that adding a closer was the team's top priority.

San Francisco is confident assimilating Melancon won't be an issue.

He looks like one of those guys who will fit into the clubhouse immediately," Kuiper said.