The San Francisco Giants are in a sour mood, and who can blame them.
They lost the NL West they once led by double digits this week to the Dodgers in L.A., in front of all those Angelinos, to whom the Giants are about as popular as Donald Sterling. The Giants had to endure Yasiel Puig flipping his bat as Clayton Kershaw flipped theirs, and if they can’t make up two games on the Pirates this weekend — the Bucs have the tiebreaker — they face a cross-country flight for a wild-card game.
But here’s what makes the Giants really mad: a reporter who reports.
Monday reliever Sergio Romo and coach Shawon Dunston yelled at each other before the series opener in Los Angeles. No word on what was the provocation, although it’s possible Romo, who tops out in the high 80s, was jealous Dunston has a better arm.
Dunston, first pick of the 1982 draft, was a Cubs shortstop who could make the throw from the hole but always seemed to be batting in an 0-2 one because he swung at so many bad pitches (1,000 career strikeouts vs. 203 career walks). The Mets drafted Dwight Gooden four picks after Dunston, which made sense to Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, who said, “Dunston has a better arm.”
What angered the Giants wasn’t what was said, but that it was revealed at all, and the team decided it would punish the source, CSN Bay Area reporter Andrew Baggarly, by refusing to deal with any members of the media as long as Baggarly was around. Baggarly was only doing what comes naturally; it was like punishing Mark Reynolds for striking out.
(If you watch Jeopardy, Baggarly was a three-time champ in 2012 who ceded his title only when he missed the Final Jeopardy answer: This sport introduced in summer 2000 plays out over a raised area 16.5 feet long and 9.5 feet wide in the category New Olympic Sports. Question below; supply your own theme song. Hint: It wasn’t sumo wrestling, which was Baggarly’s guess.)
Never mind that the Los Angeles Times had the same story as Baggarly. Apparently not only did none of the Giants plunk down what it costs for a paper, but they must not have Wifi in the visiting clubhouse at Dodger Stadium.
“In the aftermath” according to sfgate.com, “injured center fielder Angel Pagan broke off an interview because Baggarly was among the media. Starting pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson refused to do interviews in the Giants’ clubhouse at Dodger Stadium while Baggarly was present, talking with media only after Baggarly left the group.”
The Giants may not lead the NL West, but they’re apparently first when it comes to team pettiness.
It’s not unusual of the Giants, or any professional team, to react in an adolescent manner by ostracizing an innocent party. It’s just too bad the Giants couldn’t have used the same tactic on the Dodgers. They might not have lost two out of three if they could have treated Puig the way they did Baggarly and just ignored him.
Thursday the parties apparently made up, albeit belatedly. The Giants have enough opponents.
It’s at least the second time one of them has tried to publicly make one of Baggarly. In 2012, Baggarly asked Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera in July about rumors the outfielder had failed a drug test. Cabrera denied it and Baggarly tweeted Cabrera’s denial.
Cabrera was upset that Baggarly made public Cabrera’s denial, and Baggarly apologized online. “I feel it’s important that I issue a public apology to Melky Cabrera for giving greater voice to a rumor that, to the best of my knowledge and on his word, has absolutely no basis in fact,” Baggarly wrote.
Melky’s word wasn’t worth as much as his .346 batting average, and was as lacking in legitimacy. Two weeks later, Cabrera was suspended 50 games for PED use.
What is trampoline was the correct Final Jeopardy question that beat Baggarly. He made more than $60,000; at $15,000-plus a day, it beat his day job.