Amare Stoudemire

Nate Schierholtz: My Giant

I guess I’m a member of the media now, albeit not in the traditional sense. I don’t have locker room access, and I don’t spend my afternoons arguing inarguable points on round table talk shows just to create friction with some guy from the Rocky Mountain News (no weirdo, not THAT kind of friction). And shockingly enough, I’m not even getting paid for this.

Still, I’m supposed to be at least somewhat objective. Nobody likes an insufferable homer for long, except other insufferable homers and people who watch White Sox games. As you grow older, you find different reasons to admire athletes. When you’re a kid, stats and fame pretty much do the trick. As you grow older, it gets tougher to overlook athletic sins such as loafing, unintelligent play or “The Life of Brian.”

The eyes of the baseball world will soon be trained on one of the easiest players to root for in San Francisco Giants history, Pablo Sandoval, and they should. Pandaval, Fat Ichiro, whatever you want to call him, he doesn’t really have a ceiling at this point (alright, maybe he won’t end up with as many hits as Pete Rose, but it could be close). Sandoval’s unbelievable, but I was even more excited when Nate Schierholtz went 4-for-5 with a 9th inning homer than when Sandoval hit those two blasts yesterday.

Objectivity? Out the window. Schierholtz gave me my first pro interview, I know his mom (and I am not alone, as I’ve heard Ralph Barbieri and Mychael Urban mention Schierholtz’s family on multiple occasions on KNBR, and I’m sure it’s from talking to Karen Schierholtz, who really knows her baseball) and he went to the same high school as my girlfriend.

The Giants have been finding reasons not to play Schierholtz for years, to the point where my highest hopes for him were to become one of the great pinch hitters in the National League, a la Dave Hansen or Mark Sweeney. Probably on another team. Now, when the Giants needed it most, even Bruce Bochy’s veteran-love couldn’t keep Schierholtz from breaking through the team’s offensive mess and becoming the only hitter besides Fat Ichiro opposing pitchers have much reason to fear.

I’m happy for Ryan Sadowski, but I’ve seen obscure pitchers throw 6 shutout innings in their Giants debut before (Jamie Brewington, anyone?). To see Nate Schierholtz succeed to the point where he isn’t the consensus third outfielder, but maybe the second-best or even top man in the outfield, has been the most pleasant surprise so far this season for this reporter.

In the link of an eye…

  • Two trade possible prospects for the Giants: Jermaine Dye (who they could have had years ago, when they went after Moises Alou instead) and Mark Teahen, a St. Mary’s product who’d give the Giants a versatile infielder with power. (Extra Baggs)
  • Tim Kawakami tries to keep the Warrior talk going through the weekend, this time by throwing Michael Beasley’s name out there as a potential trade target. Yes, Beasley, even though Kawakami says it would probably take Stephen Curry and/or Anthony Randolph, two players the Warriors don’t want to part with to get Amare Stoudemire. Yes, Beasley, even though he doesn’t rebound, doesn’t defend and has a personality that makes Stoudemire look like Tim Duncan by comparison. (Talking Points)
  • Shaq says he nixed a possible trade to the Portland Trailblazers on — what else — his Twitter page. (SPORTSbyBROOKS)
  • I’m giddy about the Brandon Jennings era. He burst on the scene with a high-top fade, went to Europe against Dickie V.’s wishes, and here’s one of the most candid interviews I’ve ever heard. Maybe it’s so brash, so honest (soooo gonna get him into trouble) because it’s with rapper Joe Budden. Jennings speaks out on Jay Bilas and his late entrance at the NBA Draft, among other things. Oh, and if you don’t like the “n” word (especially in reference to Scott Skiles), don’t click this link. (The Baseline)
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