The most striking thing about Tim Hudson’s conference call today wasn’t anything he said, but how he said it. When it comes to southern accents, the Giants’ rotation can match up with anyone. Madison Bumgarner is the leader in the clubhouse both as a pitcher and a drawler, but Hudson’s voice can evoke thoughts of peach cobbler, moonshine and Carhartt sweatshirts with the best of them.
To balance things out, the Giants probably have to sign a northerner so Tim Lincecum won’t feel lonely. Or someone from the western part of our great nation. We know it won’t be an ace from Japan, because Brian Sabean let everyone know after the Hudson portion of today’s conference call that the Giants have ”pretty much moved past” the idea of bidding on Masahiro Tanaka.
The Giants will sign another starter, and Sabean said it’s possible that Vogelsong could be the final piece of the rotation. However, the Giants GM also referenced putting out several “feelers” and having some good conversations with a lot of people.
Josh Johnson could be an option, as he reportedly wants to sign with San Diego or San Francisco so he can play closer to his hometown of Las Vegas. That could give the Giants extra reason to go higher on a short-term deal, because the Hudson signing proved once again that Sabean and the investors are willing to spend on guys who want to play in San Francisco.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington mentioned the same thing in the aftermath of Boston’s latest World Series win: they built their latest title team around guys who wanted to play in Boston. Hudson mentioned how his family wanted to come to the Bay Area. He talked about the “beautiful ballpark” and the fans, and how opposing players come into San Francisco and feel “envy” when they see the kind of crowd that packs AT&T Park. That last part could’ve been a subtle shot at Atlanta, a town that’s known for not selling out most postseason games.
No left fielder (at least not an expensive one)
Sabean all but said the Giants would look for a right-handed platoon player to share time in left field with Gregor Blanco, which if nothing else should calm fans down who were worried that the Giants would sign Michael Morse (while driving insane the ones who hoped for a guy like Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Soo Choo).
“We’re committed to the pitching first,” said Sabean. That means they’re probably committed to the defense as well. That’s why the Giants sound like they feel a lot better about their offensive core than they do about their overall pitching staff.
Mike Murphy shouldn’t give Hudson Javy Lopez’s old locker
“We are fully engaged with Lopez and hope to have him signed soon,” said Sabean. It was always hard to imagine the Giants letting Lopez walk, since he isn’t a qualifying offer guy and San Francisco probably could’ve gotten a pretty decent prospect for him at the deadline.
Scott Ostler wrote about Pablo Sandoval’s weight … again. That makes three articles this year on the subject, five if you count two blog posts Ostler wrote about his columns about Sandoval’s weight.
One question I hope Pablo Sandoval never asks me in the Giants’ clubhouse: “Does this towel make me look fat?”
Probably won’t happen. We don’t have that kind of relationship. But Sandoval’s weight poses other dilemmas.
His front porch (and junky trunk) is one of those fiery issues that polarize the Bay Area.
Yes, I am a weight Nazi. I believe certain people should meet certain standards. An airline pilot should be sober, a supermodel should not get fat, and a professional baseball player should be held to a minimum fitness standard. Sue me.
Is Pablo Sandoval too fat?
Of course he is. The debate is over whether the excess weight–40 to 70 pounds extra, depending on who’s doing the estimating–hurts him as a baseball player.
Come on, are we really debating this? That’s like asking if an extra 50 pounds of flab would take a model out of the running for the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
I want to be tactful here: Pablo Sandoval is too short. His weight of about 270 would be fine if he were 7 feet tall. So he needs to grow 13 inches or lose 50 pounds.
What should the Giants do with Pablo Sandoval?
Contract-wise, 2014 is his waddle year.
That’s mean-spirited, but Sandoval’s got it coming for putting fans, teammates and his bosses through the wringer, wondering if he’ll ever grow up and slim down.
Sandoval’s career arc bends the wrong way. In his first full season, he hit .330 with 25 homers. Last season: .278 with 14 homers.
Panda should be on a Hall of Fame track. He should be on an MVP track. He should be on a NordicTrack.
Ostler showed a great deal of restraint in leaving out any references to The Biggest Loser, although two of his columns were subscription-only so I can’t guarantee that’s true.
Sandoval is probably going to show up in “the best shape of his life” and play 110-130 games next season.
He’ll probably play well enough in those 110-130 games to get a pretty lucrative offer from someone after his “waddle year.” Maybe even the Giants.
If the Giants don’t re-sign Sandoval, Ostler is running out of time.
Luckily, at this rate he can probably squeeze in two more #fatchat columns by next July’s trade deadline.
Ostler’s paragraphs makes mine look monstrous.