Progress towards return for Giants' Villalona

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Progress towards return for Giants' Villalona

Sept. 2, 2011

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Mychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The strange saga of Giants prospect Angel Villalona took another turn Friday, and for the first time since he was charged with murder in his native Dominican Republic in November 2009, it was a positive turn.According to Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans, Villalona, who signed for what was then a franchise record (for an amateur) 2.1 million bonus as a 16-year-old in 2006 but has been on baseball's restricted list since the murder charge was levied against him at age 19, is eligible for re-instatement and likely to soon report to the club's academy in the Dominican Republic."Honestly, it's hard to say exactly what this means right now because there's been so little contact with Villalona and the terminology, legally, in the Dominican isn't exactly what it is here," Evans told CSNBayArea.com during a brief one-on-one in the AT&T Park press box as the Giants hosted the Diamondbacks in the opener of a crucial three-game series. "So it's difficult to decipher, even for us, exactly what's happened and the timeline. But right now the news is that he's eligible to be re-instated."The next news will come when Angel is, in fact, re-instated, and the next news will be when he reports to the academy, and then when we see exactly what we have." Villalona was charged with murdering a 25-year-old man outside a bar in La Romana, D.R., while on the disabled list of the Single-A San Jose Giants and on a team-approved visit home. He spent three months in jail before being released on bail, and it was widely reported after his release that he'd reached a financial settlement -- the San Francisco Chronicle reported the sum as being just under 139,000 -- with the family of the murder victim.Speculation at the time was that the settlement was paid in exchange for the family dropping the charges against Villalona, and the family did, indeed, ask prosecutors to drop them. The prosecution refused to do so, however, and the charges remained pending until sometime this summer, when they were dropped for lack of evidence. Shortly thereafter, Villalona filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Giants, demanding more than 10,000 in back pay and a reported 5 million in punitive damages. The suit, Evans suggested, will be resolved before Villalona is asked to report to the team's island academy, likely at the end of September.
REWIND: Former prospect Villalona suing Giants for 5 million
Evans conceded that the entire process has been confusing at times to the organization, largely because it's played out in another country."It's obviously something we've taken very seriously as an organization, but it's been difficult at times to really get a handle on," he said.Villalona, 21, enjoyed the best of his three seasons as a professional in 2008, swatting 17 homers with 64 RBIs and a .263 batting average over 123 games with Augusta (Ga.), San Francisco's low Single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League.

Team USA dominates Puerto Rico to win 2017 World Baseball Classic

Team USA dominates Puerto Rico to win 2017 World Baseball Classic

LOS ANGELES -- Marcus Stroman tossed six hitless innings, Ian Kinsler slugged a two-run homer and the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 on Wednesday night to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries.

Stroman dominated the tournament's highest-scoring team. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games after outscoring the opposition 55-26. The U.S. territory finished runner-up for the second time, having lost to the Dominican Republic in the 2013 final.

Stroman, who was named the tournament's MVP, avenged his shakiness in the Americans' 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico during pool play. The right-hander from the Toronto Blue Jays retired the side on three grounders to open the game. In all, he gave up one hit, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches.

He allowed just three balls past the infield until Angel Pagan's double in the left-field corner leading off the seventh, when Stroman departed to a standing ovation, having staked the Americans to a 7-0 lead.

Stroman walked Carlos Beltran leading off the second, but the defense helped him out. Yadier Molina hit the ball to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who started a double play before Stroman struck out Javier Baez to end the inning.

The U.S. pounded out 13 hits and finished with a 6-2 record while making the final for the first time in front of 51,565 at Dodger Stadium.

Kinsler homered off an 0-1 pitch from Seth Lugo into left-center field in the third, scoring Jonathan Lucroy, who singled leading off.

Lugo of the New York Mets allowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked four in four innings. The right-hander won his first two starts of the tournament, including in the second round against Stroman and the U.S.

In that game, Stroman gave up six consecutive singles in a four-run first inning and took the loss against Puerto Rico last Friday in San Diego.

The Americans made it 4-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen.

Fans wore flags of both countries as capes and decorated their faces in team colors. Puerto Rico boosters pounded cowbells, tooted horns and blew whistles early on before their team fell behind 4-0.

Fans were on their feet chanting "U-S-A" when the Americans loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. They were rewarded with Crawford's two-run single that chased J.C. Romero, extending the lead to 6-0.

The U.S. tacked on another run on Giancarlo Stanton's RBI single off Hiram Burgos past diving shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Burgos' wild pitch moved runners to second and third before he walked Lucroy to load the bases a second time. Kinsler flied out to end the inning.

The Americans led 8-0 in the eighth on McCutchen's RBI single with two outs.

The U.S. defeated two-time champion Japan, while Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands to reach the final.

The three games at Dodger Stadium drew 109,892.

Instant Replay: Kings blown out by Bucks, Antetokounmpo at home

Instant Replay: Kings blown out by Bucks, Antetokounmpo at home

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Milwaukee Bucks are where the Sacramento Kings hope to be in two seasons - young, athletic and on their way to the playoffs. Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center, the visiting team jumped all of the Kings early on their way to a 116-98 win. 

The Greek Freak didn’t let up on his fellow countryman, Georgios Papagiannis. Giannis Antetokounmpo went at the Kings from the opening tip, finishing the night with 32 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block.  

Former Kings Jason Terry and Spencer Hawes heard boos every time they touched the ball. Unfortunately for Sacramento, they hit almost every shot they took, combining for 19 points on 6-for-9 shooting.

Greg Monroe added 15 points and five rebounds. Mirza Teletovic finished with 13 points off the bench and Khris Middleton hit 3-for-6 from long range to score 13. 

Rookie Buddy Hield put on a shooting clinic. The 22-year-old shooting guard dropped in 8-of-16 from the field on his way to 21 points and four rebounds

Darren Collison set up his teammates from the opening tip. The veteran point guard dropped in 10 points and a team-high seven assists, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Garrett Temple stepped up his scoring, chipping in 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting and chipped in three rebounds in the loss. 

Willie Cauley-Stein stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and four blocks. 

Arron Afflalo started at the small forward position and added 12 on 5-of-9 shooting. Tyreke Evans came off the bench, posting 18 points in 20 minutes of action behind Afflalo.

Skal Labissiere managed to shake off a rough first half to drop in eight points and grab eight rebounds, and fellow rookie Georgios Papagiannis picked up four points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes off Dave Joerger’s bench.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Antetokounmpo was as advertised and more. The 6-foot-11 forward gave the Kings fits from start to finish on his way to another huge performance.

TURNING POINT

The Bucks blew up in the first half, scoring 69 points on 61.4 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. This game was over before the teams headed in for the break.

INJURY UPDATE 

Kosta Koufos and Ty Lawson both missed the game for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is out with a right hamstring thickness tear, but is expected back soon. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles. 

WHAT'S NEXT 

The Kings hit the road again following the game against Milwaukee. They will face the Golden State Warriors on Friday evening at Oracle Arena, followed by a stop in Los Angeles on Sunday to visit the Clippers.