Stow case fodder for both sides in Dodgers vs. MLB

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Stow case fodder for both sides in Dodgers vs. MLB

The headlines in the Dodgers bankruptcy case today havefocused on a number: 189.16 million. Thats the amount Major League Baseballsays Dodgers owner Frank McCourt looted from his team, according to a reportin the Los Angeles Times.But a local angle is taking shape as the Dodgers and MajorLeague Baseball battle for post-bankruptcy control of the team, and it involvesbeaten Giants fan Bryan Stow.The Times said that in Mondays court filings, both sidesare using the Stowcase against the other.All along, baseball commissioner Bud Selig has maintainedthat McCourt, whose messy divorce from wife Jamie catapulted his teamsfinancial difficulties into the spotlight, has mismanaged proceeds from theDodgers -- sometimes in the form of extravagant personal purchases, and to help fundMcCourts 130 million divorce settlement. This, they say, rather than reinvesting themoney back into his team.Bankruptcy judge Kevin Gross previously ruled that theDodgers' stadium security issues, specifically the Stow beating case from March 31, 2011, is relevantin the proceedings in terms of determining the clubs financial condition. Stows attorneys saytheir clients medical bills could top 50 million. The following claims were made on both sides in Mondays courtfilings, amounting to the equivalent of a bankruptcy-court ping-pong match:Major League Baseball says the investigation into the Stowcase revealed inadequacies in Dodgers stadium security under McCourts watch;the Dodgers say such claims are a result of the Commissioners fabricating thepublic misimpression that the security at Dodger Stadium is somehow inadequate.The team also says the 197 LAPD officers on duty on the day Stow was beaten wasthe highest number ever at a Dodger game'; Baseball says the team omitted thefact that McCourt removed uniformed officers before the 2011 season, includingthe opening game when Stow was so seriously injured.'Among baseballs claims are more alleged deficiencies in Dodgerstadium security, such as inadequate lighting in the parking lot, a frontoffice that lacked experienced executives in stadium security and the ease ofunauthorized access to the stadium.'Stow, 42, was severely beaten following the Giants Opening Day game in Los Angeles. Two suspects are in custody. Stow was released from SF General Hospitallast month and sent to an undisclosed rehabilitation facility as the fatherof two attempts to recover from significant brain injuries.Read more on the case in the L.A. Times here.
You can follow Bryan Stow's progress here.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

READ MORE AT CSNChicago.com

Giants notes: Melancon gets injection; Kontos gets an at-bat

Giants notes: Melancon gets injection; Kontos gets an at-bat

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants were annoyed by Monday’s “rubbing teammates the wrong way” report for a number of reasons, but near the top of the list was the fact that the target, Mark Melancon, has been pitching hurt to try and help a last-place team. That’s no longer the case. 

Melancon went on the DL on Wednesday morning and later had a PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection in his right arm to try and ease some of the discomfort in his pronator. He is expected to be out the rest of the first half. Melancon would be eligible to return with two games left until the break, but there’s no point in rushing him. He missed 12 games the first time this came up and he now has more than two weeks to rest before the second half kicks off. 

In the meantime, Sam Dyson is the closer, but he was unavailable Wednesday because of a heavy workload. So Bruce Bochy got creative to close out a 5-3 win over the Rockies. George Kontos came on for a sharp Ty Blach in the seventh and carried the lead to the eighth. Steven Okert got through the 26th out and Hunter Strickland came in to get Ian Desmond to fly out for his first save of the year. 

Because Bochy wanted Kontos to face Pat Valaika in the eighth, he got an at-bat 15 hours after Cory Gearrin got to take his hacks. It at first looked like Kontos had “don’t swing” orders, but he fouled a ball off. 

“The second fastball I got, if it was near the plate, I was going to swing,” he said. 

Kontos said he doesn’t have bragging rights over Gearrin because he fouled a ball off, noting that Gearrin is 1 for 2 in his career and he is 0 for 8. It turns out that they used the same bat, too. Yes, there is a Cory Gearrin model.

“It’s just been hanging out since last year,” Gearrin said, looking down at his equipment bag. “Just in case.”

--- Dan Slania woke up a 4:30, drove to Philadelphia, and boarded a flight that was went down through Nashville to fuel up. He arrived in San Francisco in time for the second inning. And then he watched, met with old teammates, showered … and prepared to fly all the way back to Pennsylvania. 

“I’m going to pass out as soon as I get on the plane,” Slania said. 

He wasn’t complaining at all. The Giants needed a potential innings-eater with Melancon on the DL, and if Slania is sent back down before Friday’s game, he’ll at least be back near Double-A Richmond and the flight back will have been taken on a chartered jet with a bunch of former teammates. Plus he gets a couple of service days. 

“I can tell you it’s well worth it,” Bochy said. 

--- The main story today is about Jae-gyun Hwang, who brought some more life to a team that got its first sweep of the year. The standings are what they are, but the Giants are playing much better, and some players started talking Wednesday about how they’re looking forward to being a spoiler for teams like the Rockies and Diamondbacks. 

More than anything, the players are just happy that they got to listen to the victory soundtrack again and walk out of this park with smiles. 

“We did a really good job of coming into this series and decided what the intent should be,” Nick Hundley said. “We weren’t going to worry about what’s been going on. You control what you can control. It’s nice when the results match up.”

There was a players-only meeting on Monday and Hundley said “everybody got on the same page again.”

Now the tricky part: Keeping it going on the road. 

--- Nolan Arenado is a freak and the Giants should give him a blank check, a ton of Facebook stock, and the rights to the Salesforce building when he’s a free agent in two and a half seasons. 

--- Ryder Jones is hitless in 16 at-bats but he was keeping his head up. He was an inch or two from a double down the line Wednesday and the Giants feel he’s having good at-bats. More than anything, he's not taking those results into the field and he talked about that at length when we sat down for a podcast the other day. If you subscribe on iTunes here, you’ll have it in the morning.