Pablo homers again, but D'Backs rally past Giants

398260.jpg

Pablo homers again, but D'Backs rally past Giants

Feb. 27, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Addition by subtraction certainly seems to be the case for Pablo Sandoval.After losing 38 pounds in the offseason, to a svelte 240, Sandoval already has two home runs this spring, the latest a booming solo shot in San Francisco's 4-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on a chilly Sunday afternoon."He's on a mission to get back to his form of a couple of years ago," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I like the way he's shown up in camp. He's just got a great look about him. I knew with him not playing winter ball he'd probably need some extra at bats, but I didn't think he'd be swinging it this well this early."Sandoval hit an 0-2 pitch from Arizona's Daniel Hudson far beyond the right-field fence, the ball nearly clearing the grassy slope that serves as a picnic area. Like his two-run homer against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, it came from the left side of the plate for the big switch hitter.Matt Cain, in his spring debut, allowed three hits in two scoreless innings for the Giants. Ryan Vogelsong walked two and struck out two in two scoreless innings that followed Cain.Arizona scored all four in the fourth on Konrad Schmidt's leadoff homer, a two-run single by Juan Miranda and an RBI single by Tony Abreu."Tony Abreu had a really good at bat," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's been a little jump at his previous games. You look at the first pitch. It's away and he took it. That's the kind of ball you get yourself out on. Then he got in to the count and stayed on the ball."It was the second late-inning outburst in a row for Arizona. The Diamondbacks scored five in the ninth to force extra innings against Colorado before the Rockies won 8-7 in 10."We started out like, 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, but finished very nicely," Gibson said.Paul Goldschmidt, who played last season at Class A Visalia, had a double in Sunday's rally after hitting a three-run homer in Saturday's comeback.Arizona's Ian Kennedy allowed two runs in the second inning. Cody Ross led off with a double, then Pat Burrell walked. After Sandoval struck out, Ryan Rollinger and Emannuel Burriss each singled in a run.Snow dusted the nearby hilltops with a 50-degree temperature at first pitch. Although the temperature never reached the mid 50s, a crowd 10,342. Saturday's inaugural game at Salt River Fields drew a capacity 12,514.

Matt Williams joins NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants TV coverage

williams-matt-giants-swing.jpg
AP

Matt Williams joins NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants TV coverage

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It has been 30 years since Matt Williams broke into the big leagues with the Giants, and he has been back many times in recent seasons as an opposing player, coach and manager. When the Giants play their home opener on April 10, Williams will once again be affiliated with them, this time in a new role. 

Williams will join NBC Sports Bay Area this season as a studio analyst for the pre- and post-game shows, which are expanding to one hour. After spending most of the last two decades in various on and off-field roles for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Williams is coming full circle with the Giants. 

“It feels like that, doesn’t it?” he said. “I love coaching and managing, but I also enjoy talking about the game and experiencing the game from that angle, which is a lot of fun. I really enjoy it. You get to talk about the intricacies of the game.”

Williams knows it inside and out, and not just because he played 17 seasons for the Giants, Diamondbacks and Indians. He has coached first and third base for the Diamondbacks, most recently during the 2016 season. When the organization retooled the front office in the offseason, changes were made to the coaching staff. Williams has also had a stint as a manager, doing two years with the Washington Nationals. He went 179-145, winning the NL Manager of the Year Award in 2014, when the Giants knocked the Nationals out of the postseason in the NLDS. 

Williams is best known in San Francisco for 10 strong years on the field. He hit 378 career home runs, 247 of them with the Giants. Williams is a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger winner and four-time Gold Glove winner, and he finished in the top five in the MVP voting in 1994 and 1999. While Williams was gone by the time a title drought was broken, he does have a ring to wear around the ballpark. He batted .275 with 16 homers for the champion Diamondbacks in 2001. 

Williams’ time in Arizona also included color commentary for their television and radio broadcasts, and he said he’s looking forward to working with former Giants players he has coached against, and fellow former coach Tim Flannery, who was an NL West rival in the late 1980s. 

“During the offseason, this is always one of my favorite cities to visit,” he said. “It’s home. I’ve been in the Bay Area practically my whole life. It’s a fantastic atmosphere in the ballpark with a great fan base, and the Giants’ recent success has been phenomenal.” 

The Giants plan on that success carrying over into the odd year, and one of the best infielders in franchise history will be along for the ride. 

York: 49ers do not expect short-term benefits from Raiders' move to Vegas

fullsizerender-35.jpg

York: 49ers do not expect short-term benefits from Raiders' move to Vegas

PHOENIX – CEO Jed York said he does not expect the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas to have a significant short-term benefit for the 49ers.

After all, there appears to be a clear delineation between the two fan bases.

“The easy thing to say is this is a great financial gain for the 49ers, which just isn’t the case,” York said from the NFL owners meetings on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

The Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982, leaving the 49ers as the only NFL act in the Bay Area for 13 seasons. During that time the 49ers won four Super Bowls. But there were few tangible benefits to the 49ers that were directly associated with the Raiders' absence from the market.

“You did not see a huge increase in ticket revenue, sponsorship revenue, even in terms of overall exposure in the market, because I think Raiders fans and 49ers fans are just a different group of folks,” York said. “The Raiders fans aren’t necessarily loyal to a certain geographic location. They’re loyal to the Raiders. I think you’ll see those fans follow the Raiders to Las Vegas.”

York said “20-plus percent” of the 49ers’ season-ticket holders live in Alameda County. He said the only change he envisions would be the expansion of some of the 49ers’ philanthropic efforts to some of the East Bay’s underserved communities.

The 49ers’ home, Levi’s Stadium, was built with the design of accommodating two home teams. While the NFL might have preferred the 49ers and Raiders to forge a relationship with a shared stadium, like the New York Giants and Jets, the Raiders never seriously considered a move to the South Bay.

“We had the conversation with Mark (Davis), but when the stadium was up and running in Santa Clara, and Levi’s was really going, it really is the 49ers’ stadium,” York said. “I think there was a little hesitancy of truly being a tenant in somebody else’s stadium, which certainly makes sense that it wasn’t high on their priority list.”

The Raiders figure to remain in the Bay Area for three seasons until their new home in Southern Nevada is ready for NFL action. The Raiders have a lease at the Oakland Coliseum for the 2017 and ’18 seasons. Davis expressed a preference to extend the lease to 2019.

The 49ers would be open to discussing the possibility of the Raiders’ use of Levi’s Stadium – seemingly as a last resort for both sides.

“If that was an opportunity, we’d certainly sit down and discuss it,” York said. “But I think there are a lot of moving pieces right now and it’s really conjecture to talk about 2019 at this point when they’d still obviously prefer to stay at the Coliseum.”