Giants Nation? 2014-15 Winter Hibernation.

Somebody toss a Paloma or a M-80 into Sabean’s cave, make sure he awakens in time to get to Fan Fest, where he’ll likely see a park full of puzzled, but respectful, looking fans.  The return of Cain and Pagan = two major off-season moves?  Hudson’s ankle’ll be ok?  In any event, I find it difficult to whine or complain about the Giants these days.

Maybe this is what it’s like to be a Giants fan in 2015.  Great writer Robert Stone, who died a week ago, told this story on NPR. I heard it rebroadcast the other night while I drove home. During his days with Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, Stone (like everyone else) had to endure huge surprise doses of LSD that Neal Cassady slipped into food and drink. Stone thought Cassady was committing “acts of violence,” because acid is strong stuff. You never know how an individual may react. Stone gave as an example a time when he knowingly dropped acid. He said that he peaked for a very long time. He finally got to sleep after collapsing from sheer exhaustion. When he woke, his lower jaw hurt like hell. Afraid that he’d somehow seriously injured himself while he’d been tripping, he ran to a mirror. He flexed his jaw and so forth, inspected everything inside and out, and finally realized what had happened. He had spent 12 hours smiling.

So that’s sort of where we are, isn’t it? Personally, I spent many weeks smiling about the Giants’ triumph and now, waking from hibernation, I find my jaw hurts. No big deal. It may take me a while to get used to the new lineup being the old lineup, with a guy from Santa Cruz playing 3B. But it’ll be fine. At least I’ll have baseball games on the radio while I drive home from work.

PS–just after I wrote the above, the Giants picked up Nori Aoki to play LF. I like that move, right now anyway.

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Hot Stove & Links for the week of 1-5-2015 to 1-11-2015

January 6, 2015

11:02 a.m.
— REAL congratulations to new HOFers RANDY JOHNSON, PEDRO MARTINEZ, JOHN SMOLTZ and CRAIG BIGGIO.

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January 5, 2015

2:51 p.m.
— Per Jeff Wilson (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), INF ADAM ROSALES has signed a 1 yr./$900k deal with the Rangers.
— Per Jon Heyman, NICK HUNDLEY has signed a 2 yr./$6.5m deal with the Rockies.

7:19 a.m.
— Per Jon Heyman, EMILIO BONIFACIO has signed with the ChiSox @ 1 yr./$4m. Per Jim Bowden, the ChiSox have now spent $132m this off season

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Hot stove & l inks for the week of 12-30-2014 to 12-6-2014

December 30, 2014

11:18 a.m.
MADISON BUMGARNER has been named AP Male Athlete of the Year.

9:50 a.m.
— Per multiple sources, ASDRUBAL CABRERA has signed a 1-year deal with the Rays.
😥 From ESPN, Strange But True feats of 2014
😂 From The Onion, Catcher Keeps Signaling ‘I Love You’

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Open thread: Harbaugh’s out

You won’t have Jim Harbaugh to kick around any more. The Baalke/York regime has finally pushed the head coach and sideline Hulk out to the waiting arms of Michigan.

So, did Harbaugh have it coming? He made it well known that he wasn’t on the same page with Baalke and word was that he had lost at least some of the locker room- when that happens it’s only a matter of time before a firing.

On the other hand, dude won games. A lot. With a team that hadn’t seen the other side of .500 in more than half a decade. Did York/Baalke just tear down a good thing and doom the franchise for their own comfort/egos?

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Hot stove & links for the week for 12-22-2014 to 12-28-2014

December 22, 2014

1:32 p.m.
— Per Hank Schulman, MARCO SCUTARO had back surgery yesterday in Miami. Should be 4-6 months before he will be ready for any baseball.

11:26 a.m.
— Per Hank Schulman, the Giants outright ANGEL VILALLONA to the minors to make room on the roster for SERGIO ROMO.

9:54 a.m.
— Per Jon Heyman, the Pirates have won the bidding for JUNG-HO KANG, the Korean SS.
😈 From the Bleacher Report, From the Strange to the Lavish, a Look Inside MLB Stars’ Personal Contract Perks

9:22 a.m.
— Per Player’s Tribune, HEATH BELL has signed a minor league deal with the Nationals.
— Per multiple sources, the Twins have extended the contract of PHIL HUGHES for 3 yr./$42m.
🎪 From the Pittsburgh Gazette, Huntington, Pirates make PNC Park a destination for free agents

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Harbaugh as a lame duck?

Okay, time to change it up with a bit of Niner talk. I’ll leave it brief to give more room for discussion in the comments. The consensus seems to be that, after yesterday’s steaming dump of a loss in Seattle (or even last week’s in Oakland), Harbaugh is as good as gone. Either one or both sides have decided to cut ties and now they’re just playing out the string.

I’m not so sure about this, if for no other reason than he hasn’t been canned yet. History and personalities would suggest that if the Niners had made the decision, he would be gone already and Tomsula or someone else would be in a caretaker role.

Think about the last two HCs: both Mikes Nolan and Singletary were given the axe mid-season. The team did not want to leave either coach in as a lame duck to finish out the year. They made their decision and they dropped the coach as soon as it was decided.

And then there’s Harbaugh. He’s definitely not the type that would decide just to cash a paycheck and say the right thing until the season ends. As much as they’ve been limping along of late, he really doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who would agree to that, especially given his supposedly less-than-friendly relationship with the higher-ups in the organization.

Which leads to two possibilities: one, that his fate hasn’t been decided yet. Or two, they’ve decided or are pursuing a trade to be announced in the offseason. Though in that event you would think it’s going to leak in the coming weeks as the Niners would want to get a new coach in place ASAP and whoever’s getting Harbaugh will want to make what will surely be a big announcement.

So, what’s everyone here think?

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Hot stove & links for the week of 12-15-2014 to 12-21-2014

December 20, 2014

8:27 a.m.
— The Giants make their trade for CASEY MCGHEE official. In exchange, we gave up KENDRY FLORES and LUIS CASTILLO.
🙍 From the LA Times, Angels, Red Sox discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel

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December 19, 2014

The IT’S A PADRES’ WORLD edition!

2:49 p.m.
— Per Ken Rosenthal, Giants talking to Marlins about 3B CASEY MCGEHEE. HUNTER STRICKLAND, MATT DUFFY among SF players under discussion.

12:07 a.m.
— The A’s punt NICK PUNTO from their roster.
— The Yankees obtain GONZALEZ GERMAN (what a name!) from the Mets for $$$. They also obtain DOMINGO GERMAN from the Marlins.

10:30 a.m.
— Per Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs claim OF SHANE PETERSON from the A’s.
— Per multiple sources, the Marlins acquire MARTIN PRADO from the Yankees for GARRETT JONES and NATHAN EOVALDI.

8:19 a.m.
— Per Jeff Passan, Padres nearing a deal that would send RYAN HANIGAN to Boston for WILL MIDDLEBROOKS.
— As the MATT KEMP trade is finalized, the Padres have also acquired OF JUSTIN UPTON from the Braves for LF MAX FRIED, SS JACE PETERSON, 3B DUSTIN PETERSON, and OF MALLEX SMITH.
— Per multiple sources, the A’s have sent C DEREK NORRIS to the Padres for P JESSE HAHN and R.J. ALVAREZ.
— Per multiple sources, the Giants have signed JAKE PEAVY to a 2 yr./$24m contract.

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December 18, 2014

☺ From Nats Insider, Nats recall NLDS, watching Giants win World Series

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December 16, 2014
12:19 p.m.
— Per multiple sources, the Dodgers have designated BRIAN WILSON for assignment.
wilson

11:45 a.m.
— Per multiple sources, the Rockies sign DANIEL DESCALSO.
— Per multiple sources, MICHAEL MORSE signs with the Marlins for 2 yr./$8m.
— Per multiple sources, the Yankees sign CHRIS CAPUANO.
— Per multiple sources, the Rangers sign KYUJI FUJIKAWA and KYLE BLANKS.

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December 15, 2014

12:40 p.m.
— The Astros sign JED LOWRIE.

8:47 p.m.
— Per Ken Rosenthal, the newly acquired DAN HAREN might be traded from the Marlins to another ballclub if the pitcher’s adamant preference to play out west instead of an east coast club ends with his subsequent retirement.
— Per multiple sources, CHASE HEADLEY signs a 4 yr./$56m deal with the Yankees.
— Per Jon Heyman, to avoid a grievance hearing, BRYCE HARPER will make $7m for the next 2 years.

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