Preseason Giants Chatter

Preseason Giants Chatter

Feb. 9, 2010GIANTS PAGE

A few leftovers from the whirlwind of interviews we conducted Friday and Saturday at AT&T Park ... The parade of players that came through the temporary Comcast SportsNet Bay Area studio at AT&T Park started Friday morning with Tim Lincecum and ended Saturday afternoon with Pablo Sandoval. Nice bookends, I thought. I blogged this Friday, but it bears repeating in the wake of his performance on one of the Q&A stages at FanFest: Jeremy Affeldt is the most underrated character in Bay Area sports. Theres definitely a serious side to him, as evidenced by his Twitter account and the Jeremy Affeldt Foundation, but man, is this cat funny. With fellow reliever Brandon Medders serving as the not-so-straight man, Affeldt basically did an hour of impromptu standup and slayed. Bruce Bochy can be awfully boring before and after games, but to listen to him speak in a more casual and relaxed environment is to realize that your general perception of him might be off. Slingblade breaking down the sixth-inning double switch before a day game after a night game? Ill pass. Bochy unplugged, just talking ball? Count me in. You dont stay in the game at this level for this long without having a thing or two to teach the whippersnappers. Needless to say, Operation Panda was a hot topic with everyone. The general consensus: Good to get out in front of the problem early. Unspoken: Also good to get in front of it publicly. Granted, Sandoval is the baseball equivalent of Charles Barkley in that he can do things that other people his size simply cannot, but now that his weight is something of a public issue, he knows hell be held more accountable than ever. Sandoval looked about the same to me as he did last year. Maybe hes lost a few pounds; who really knows? He hasnt lost any swagger, thats for sure. He rolled into our room with shades atop his faux-hawk and dressed like he was on his way for MTV-Italys TRL. Was surprised to be a tad nervous before we started. Ive been talking to professional athletes for 19 years, and Im either friends or friendly with many of the players scheduled to come in. Why be nervous? Probably because Id never encountered quite this kind of setting as a writer: two chairs, about five feet apart, facing each other in a dark room, a camera and bright, hot lights pointed squarely at each mug. Unsettling, to say the least. Unlike Madison Bumgarner, who told me he was nervous something awful before his big-league debut and that the nerves never really went away, I got over my rookie jitters pretty quickly. It helped not having 35,000 people scrutinizing my every move. Asked about the No. 5 spot in the rotation, Bochy made no bones about it: Bumgarner is the guy. Asked about right field, he spoke of competition between Nate Schierholtz, John Bowker and others. A day later, Bowker and Schierholtz spoke at length about the competition and the difficulty of playing the position at AT&T Park. Elsewhere on that same day, Brian Sabean said the team sees Bowker as a left fielder. Nobody sees Sandoval as a shortstop, but I bet he could do it. Buster Posey, infielder. You might want to start getting used to that. It could happen. Soon. Wait, you mean more than 35,000 people are probably going to see those interviews at some point? Oh, no. Now Im nervous again.-- Mychael Urban

What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.

Notes: Injured Sharks Hansen, Karlsson return to practice

Notes: Injured Sharks Hansen, Karlsson return to practice

DALLAS – Injured Sharks forwards Jannik Hansen and Melker Karlsson both returned to the ice for Thursday’s practice in Dallas, in what Pete DeBoer called “a good first step” in their recoveries.

The coach left open the possibility that one or both could play against the Stars on Friday night, even though neither was skating on a set line for practice.

“We’ll have to wait and see how they feel [Friday] morning and what the recovery is,” DeBoer said. “I’m not prepared to say they’re in tomorrow, but it’s a good sign they’re on the ice and participated.”

Hansen has been out for the past two games since getting a stick in the head from defenseman Brandon Montour on Saturday against Anaheim. 

“Took a couple days [off] to make sure everything was aright,” Hansen said. “Getting better, back on the ice today.”

Officially, it’s an upper body injury. When pressed if it was a concussion issue, Hansen said: “I don’t know. It’s tough to say to begin with, but obviously you do all the precautionary things that [are] involved now.”

Although he has just one assist in his first six games with the Sharks, Hansen seemed to spark the Sharks’ top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, as the line generated one even strength goal in each of the first four games Hansen played.

Karlsson has missed the last six games with a lower body injury. He has 19 points (9g, 10a) in 60 games with a plus-nine rating.

* * *

The lines remained the same for Thursday’s practice. Patrick Marleau was with Thornton and Pavelski; Logan Couture centered Joel Ward and Mikkel Boedker; Tomas Hertl was between Joonas Donskoi and Marcus Sorensen, while the fourth line sweaters were worn by Chris Tierney, Micheal Haley, Timo Meier and Danny O’Regan.

San Jose stayed over in St. Paul on Tuesday night and flew to Dallas on Wednesday morning on their day off.

The Wild game, a 3-2 loss, was the Sharks’ fourth straight. They’ve generated just four goals over that span.

That game also capped off a stretch of seven games in 11 days for the Sharks, who now have just a two-point lead on Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division – a lead that was nine points before the losing streak began.

Was the day off good?

“Yeah. We’ve been kind of struggling scoring goals, so just to kind of relax yesterday and then kind of get back and refocus today,” Thornton said. “But sometimes you just need a little time away from the rink. I think yesterday was needed.”

DeBoer said: “I think our group is pretty mature. I don’t think we’re overeating to the situation. No one’s happy we’ve lost a few, but we also know that we’ve done enough good things that we could have won two or three of those games. We’ve just got to stick with it, clean up a couple things, and score some goals.”

* * *

Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic skated after missing Tuesday’s game with the flu. Tierney missed Monday’s game in Dallas, also due to illness.

Is that all gone now?

“Knock on wood. Nothing today. Hope so,” DeBoer said.

Jets sign former 49ers wide receiver

Jets sign former 49ers wide receiver

Quinton Patton signed with the Jets on Thursday, the team announced.

The 49ers selected the wide receiver in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2013 draft.

He caught just three passes in each of his first two seasons in San Francisco.

In 2015, he registered 30 catches for 394 yards and one touchdown.

Last season, he recorded 408 receiving yards on 37 receptions.

In the 49ers Week 14 loss to the Jets, Patton caught four passes for 31 yards.

Patton visited New York last weekend.