Matt Cain was always there. His teammate, Tim Lincecum, might be the Freak, but Cain was the Fixture. The foundation that the San Francisco Giants pitching staff was built on.
A judge ordered two men to stand trial on charges relating to the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow after a Los Angeles Dodgers game last year.
The surprises began with the very first pick of the 2012 MLB draft -- when the Astros selected Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa instead of the widely expected choice, Stanford righthanded pitcher Mark Appel -- and didn't stop there. Here's a quick look at the winners and losers from the first round and the compensation round.
I know what I was supposed to feel on Tuesday, sitting in the morning sun on Pier 30 in San Francisco as Warriors owners Joe Lacob spoke about the franchise's move to San Francisco: This is all kinds of awesome.
SAN FRANCISCO -- "Used to" isn't an encouraging way to describe an athlete who's 27, never had a major injury and was considered state-of-the art just 18 months ago.
Of Major League Baseball's six divisions, only the NL West has sent each of its clubs to the playoffs at least once since 2006. "There's no clear favorite from year to year," says Giants GM Brian Sabean, "which makes it interesting."
Baseball's most important joint is the mending left ankle of a young catcher in San Francisco, a hinge upon which the Giants' playoffs hopes this year might, well, hinge.
Of all the beautiful names given to the places we play games -- Colosseum and Craven Cottage and Camp Nou; Molineux and Maracaña and Madison Square Garden; Polo Grounds and Elysian Fields and Fabulous Forum -- none was ever more evocative than Candlestick Park, which called to my adolescent mind an innocent nursery rhyme ("The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker") and an implement of murder ("Professor Plumb, with the candlestick, in the conservatory").
MILWAUKEE -- The San Francisco Giants have been quiet so far this winter, but rather than chase free agents their biggest goal at present appears to be to lock up superstar pitcher Tim Lincecum. The Giants will make an attempt to sign the two-time Cy Young winner to a multi-year deal, according to people familiar with their thinking.
This week, SI.com will analyze the offseason plans for each team in a division-by-division format. Wednesday will preview the National League and Thursday the American League. Teams are listed in order of finish in 2011.
The San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten into a coma this year after a Los Angeles Dodgers game has improved enough that he was transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility, San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center said Tuesday.
Ten Things that surprise me about the NFL at the quarter-pole:
In the previous four days, the Red Sox, Rays, Angels, Braves and Cardinals all lost games in the eighth inning or later. The wild card races have become such wars of attrition that rumor has it the Mariners are back in it. Throw in the longshot Giants, and the six wild card contenders have gone 8-13 this week. It's absurd enough to root for the ultimate in chaos: the first-ever three-way tie in major league history.
It's hard to fault a team for losing for just the third time in 15 games, but that just underscores how remarkable the Cardinals' surge has been and how little room for error they have heading into the season's final weekend. Having blown a 6-2 lead in the ninth inning on Thursday, the Cardinals trail the Braves for the National League Wild Card by two games with just six to play, the same deficit that the Rays, who beat the Yankees 15-8 Thursday night, face in the American League. That's a tall order for either team, no matter how poorly the leaders in those two races have played this month.
SAN FRANCISCO -- They added an elite hitter. Jettisoned dead weight. Got a pep talk from the home run king.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy wasn't running from the media.
The team with the best chance of keeping the Philadelphia Phillies out of the World Series is the team that trails them in the standings: the Atlanta Braves. No disrespect to the Milwaukee Brewers, a legit threat in their own right, but no team will take a greater inventory of pitching into the postseason than the Braves, whose bullpen is shortening games the way the Yankees did in the late 1990s.
Five thoughts on a mid-August weekend of baseball...
There won't be any Florence + the Machine for Bruce Bochy on his iPod for this 10-game road trip. "Dog Days Are Over" wouldn't be appropriate music, because Bochy and his Giants are right in the thick of the dog days: snarling, mangy, flea-bitten dog days.
BOSTON -- Five Cuts from the weekend in baseball, highlighted by the Red Sox taking two of three games from the Yankees at Fenway Park to take over first place of the AL East ...
Prosecutors in the case of the March 31 beating that left a San Francisco Giants baseball fan severely injured said in court documents Monday that one of the suspects harassed other Giants fans at Dodger Stadium and beat the victim even after he lost consciousness.
Maybe it was the sight of his players flailing in Citizen's Bank bandbox in the first game of a potential playoff preview series.
The 2011 trading deadline went from zero to sixty on Wednesday with a pair of blockbuster deals. The Giants and Cardinals loaded up for the stretch run, and the Mets and Blue Jays capitalized on the desperation of those two contenders by acquiring a pair of young players with star potential.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has postponed the arraignments of two men accused in a March 31 beating that left a San Francisco Giants baseball fan severely injured.
SI.com asked several current and retired SI writers to offer reflections on the best team they ever covered as sports journalists. Here's S.L. Price on the 1989 San Francisco Giants:
The doubleheader that will unfold today at Wrigley Field should be catnip for baseball fans and armchair psychologists.
The biggest everyday star with a chance to hit the trade market this summer remains the Mets' great shortstop Jose Reyes -- although, a Reyes being dealt is far less than a certainty now. As one competing National League executive speculated, "the Mets will need to be overwhelmed'' to move Reyes. For a while, it appeared that his being traded was a foregone conclusion, but now that exec's assessment sounds about right, what with the Mets hanging around the fringes of the wild card race and Reyes generally playing better than just about anyone else in the league.
What's wrong with Tim Lincecum?
When the Red Sox invested $103 million to get Daisuke Matsuzaka before the 2007 season, they and Scott Boras, the agent for Matsuzaka, knew they were getting a great pitcher with one big risk: Could he last for more than three years? With news that Matsuzaka will need Tommy John surgery, their fears have been realized.
It's always been a misnomer to call baserunner-catcher contact at the plate a collision. A collision occurs when both parties are moving. The catcher is often just waiting, helplessly. If he is moving at all, it's often imperceptibly. Until he is hit, that is.
Sure it looked the sun was shining on AT&T Park Thursday. But in truth there was a dark shroud over the ballpark, the San Francisco Giants, their fans and their future.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Buster Posey was carted through a tunnel at AT&T Park on Thursday, a makeshift cast covering his left ankle and no emotion on his face.
The family of Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten at Dodger Stadium, filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday claiming faulty security measures and defective facilities contributed to his attack, court officials said.
The primary suspect in the brutal beating of a of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodgers Stadium is a documented gang member on parole for a number of convictions, the Los Angeles Police Department said Monday.
The man alleged to be the "primary aggressor" in the brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodgers Stadium was arrested Sunday and ordered held on $1 million bail, Los Angeles police said.
A man alleged to be involved in the beating of a San Francisco Giant's fan at Dodgers Stadium was arrested.
Even as she voiced guarded optimism about her son's recovery, the mother of a San Francisco Giants' fan beaten into a coma at Dodgers Stadium lashed out Thursday at those behind the attack -- as well as those who stood by, while it happened.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck kicked off Tuesday a billboard campaign in an effort to find the two men suspected of ambushing and beating a San Francisco Giants fan into a coma.
Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten outside Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium in late March, is set to be transferred Monday from Los Angeles to a San Francisco hospital, his physicians said Sunday.
Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten outside Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium in late March, is now stabilized enough to be transferred from Los Angeles to a San Francisco hospital, his physicians said Friday.
Doctors are concerned that Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten outside the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium in late March, is accumulating fluid in his brain, according to physicians and his family's website.
The first Jose Reyes trade rumor was thrown out early -- surely way too early to be seriously considered, as it came nearly three months before the trade deadline. But it won't be the last.
A San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten outside the Los Angeles Dodgers' stadium late last month was put back in a medically induced coma during the weekend after suffering seizures, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Thursday's Los Angeles Dodgers game was a "safe" event, police said, after security was beefed up in the wake of a March 31 attack in which a San Francisco Giants fan was seriously injured.
Baseball fan Bryan Stow remains in a coma after two men attacked him. CNN's Kara Finnstrom spoke with his family.
Cardinal Roger Mahony visited Bryan Stow Tuesday to pray for the 42-year-old, who remains in a medically induced coma nearly two weeks after he was attacked after a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, a hospital spokeswoman said.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants black and the Dodgers blue blended together on the green infield on Monday night when the teams set aside decades of bitter rivalry to make a unified statement. To let fans know that, at the end of the day, what they're doing is just playing a game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will hold a fundraiser Monday for a San Francisco Giants fan who was brutally beaten last month.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Late on Friday afternoon, as the sun moved West and the breeze whipped the brand-new orange "2010 World Champions" banner in the wind, word came that two miles away the jury in the Barry Bonds trial was sent home and would reconvene on Monday.
The family of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, critically hurt in an unprovoked attack at last week's season opener at Los Angeles' Dodgers Stadium, expressed gratitude Tuesday for the outpouring of support and sympathy they received from baseball fans around the country.
A San Francisco Giants fan remained in critical condition Monday following an unprovoked attack on opening day at Dodgers stadium, hospital officials said.
Every baseball season begins with the same question: Can the world champions repeat? For 10 straight years the answer has been the same: no.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Welcome to the weirdest week in the history of the San Francisco Giants.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The man has been gone for years, his superstar aura has dissipated and now even the name of the recent Giants legend is rarely uttered by his former teammates.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There's a banner in the clubhouse and a logo on the field, empirical evidence that the San Francisco Giants are indeed the defending World Series champions.
NEW YORK -- From atop Coogan's Bluff, a small but steep hill in northern Manhattan, one can look across the Harlem River and see the glistening billion-dollar Yankee Stadium, framed between a pair of apartments in a public housing development that bears the name Polo Grounds Towers because it sits on the land of the ballpark the New York Giants used to call home.
Last winter, as the San Francisco Giants were trying to decide how to fill their need at catcher they had two choices: re-sign a 35-year-old veteran of 12 mostly unremarkable big league seasons or hand the job to a highly-touted 22-year-old who had all of seven games of big league experience.
With 2010 drawing to a close, and 2011 about to begin, it's time for the 30 teams in Major League Baseball to make their New Year's resolutions. On Tuesday I made suggestions for the 14 American League teams. Today, I offer my suggestions for the 16 National League clubs...
With the Baseball Writers Association of America awards as well as the first season of my Awards Watch column in the books, it's time to take a (very) early look at who might be the favorites for these awards in 2011. In stark contrast to the accuracy of my final Awards Watch of the regular season -- I correctly identified 17 of the 18 top-three finishers in the six player awards, missing only the third-place finisher for American League Rookie of the Year -- what follows makes no presumption of being a perfect projection of next year's voting. In fact, it is about as close to picking names out of a hat as you can get, but if you're looking for the odds-on favorites going into the 2011 season, these should be the top three candidates for the three major awards in each league.
Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Nov. 29. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer.
Until Monday, the most convincing proof of Buster Posey's inexperience and youth was his inability to join his team's postseason "Fear the Beard" campaign.
San Francisco erupted in joyous celebrations Monday night after the Giants' World Series win. Honking car horns were heard across the city and bars were packed with revelers.
Many of baseball's best young players are locked up early in their career nowadays, limiting free-agent lists to lesser lights in some recent years. But at least this year's free-agent market still contains a trio of players who will be shooting for $100-million deals (two of them should surely get it), at least a half-dozen legitimate difference-makers, a couple of iconic Yankees Hall of Famers-to-be and a number of very solid pieces -- even though it is seen by some big-league executives as only average overall, at best.
San Francisco hosts a parade in honor of the Giants' World Series win against the Texas Rangers.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- This team, this magical team, was never about the Giants' franchise. People seemed to miss that point. Again and again, you would hear about how the Giants had not won a World Series since 1954 -- since 1954, since 1954, since 1954 -- since Willie Mays turned and ran back on Vic Wertz's fly ball, since Dusty Rhodes crushed every pitch he saw, since Hank Thompson squeezed that last foul pop and gave those New York fans living their lives between Brooklyn and the Bronx their greatest thrill.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Five cuts from the Giants' 3-1 victory in Game 5 to win the World Series ...
Packs of pandas roamed the Marina District. Freak flags flew in the Haight. The thongs were out in the Castro. Bearded women screamed in the Mission.
The baseball commentariat didn't like the San Francisco Giants' odds going into this year. Nor did it like them going into the stretch run, as they were behind the similar, but seemingly more talented, San Diego Padres in the NL West. Nor did it like them much going into the Division Series, the Championship Series or the World Series. Which surely makes the wins all the sweeter, and the triumph all the more deserved.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Giants closer Brian Wilson had Nelson Cruz down to the Rangers' last strike, but still the home fans acted as if there was no way that what had befallen their hitters throughout this World Series would continue to befall them until its end.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The San Francisco Giants, who had not won a World Series since moving West in 1958 and whose fans adopted the word "torture" as a team slogan, are baseball's new champions.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- SI's Joe Lemire provides ongoing commentary and analysis throughout tonight's World Series Game 5 between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Down here, deep in the heart of Texas, the Rangers aren't dead yet. They ran into a tandem of "buzz saws'' (Rangers coach Clint Hurdle's words) in Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner -- a pair of 20-something pitchers for the Giants who shut Texas down in Games 2 and 4 -- and (possibly worse for the Rangers) also continue to face the Giants' winning exacta of momentum and mojo.
Cliff Corcoran breaks down each day's game throughout the postseason.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Giants trotted out a rookie starting pitcher and rookie catcher who began the year in the minor leagues -- the first all-rookie battery since 1947 -- and received an appropriately historic performance.
Five cuts from Game 4 of the World Series, a 4-0 victory for the Giants.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- SI's Joe Lemire provided ongoing commentary and analysis throughout Sunday's World Series Game 4 between the Giants and Rangers.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- In Texas' visiting clubhouse, the lockers of the Giants' starting rotation are aligned in a row, and down that row the ball gets passed among four pitchers who have nothing and everything in common all at the same time.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- SI's Joe Lemire provides ongoing commentary and analysis throughout tonight's World Series Game 3 between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The World Series has provided the coronation of many of the greatest offensive teams in baseball history. Murderers' Row. The '39 Yankees. The Big Red Machine. The M&M Boys. The '98 Yankees. And yet in the 106 World Series ever played, only one team has won the first two games while scoring as many as 20 runs.
A quarter century ago, the San Francisco Giants' former home, Candlestick Park, wasn't a particularly joyful place. The team wasn't very good, the ballpark was cold and old, and fans were usually cranky.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Somebody held up a sign behind home plate at AT&T Park during the late innings of Game 1 that said, in Giants black and orange, "We're Due." And so, in a more diabolical way, was Cliff Lee. The man who put the "O" in October -- there is no way to massage this -- was downright dreadful. Why? It happens.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The famous one is the hipster who looks more like a teenage skater dude than a Cy Young winner. Tim Lincecum, The Freak, is the face of the franchise, but, as the Rangers will soon find out, the Giants have another shutdown ace with crazy hair. On Thursday night, Matthew Thomas Cain of Dothan, Ala., the 26-year-old right-hander with the devastating fastball and the big Art Garfunkel curls, will introduce himself to America when he takes the mound at AT&T Park for Game 2 of the World Series.
This town likes nothing better than a party. A really big party. Preferably one with costumes and cross-dressing and some watercraft involved.
SAN FRANCISCO -- You never want to make too much out of one game. After all, Texas lost Game 1 of the American League Championship Series in catastrophic fashion, blowing a five-run lead at home and looking utterly overmatched by the moment. They promptly rolled the New York Yankees in four of the next five games. It's always tempting, in the middle of a seven-game baseball series, to make one game mean too much.*
SAN FRANCISCO -- The walk to AT&T Park this afternoon was a surprisingly olfactory experience. "I smell a Texan!" shouted one Giants fan, as he approached a wayward white GUERRERO jersey amid all the orange and black. Salt air blew in off the bay. Near the McDonalds on Third Street, passersby were overwhelmed by a sickly sweet odor emanating from somewhere hidden, an odor with which the Giants' ace is not entirely unaccustomed, as the various T-shirts ("Let Timmy Smoke!") sold by street vendors remind you. "Lincecum must be nearby," said one blonde fan, her nostrils flaring.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The pitching duel never materialized, but the previously hibernating Giants offense did.
SAN FRANCISCO -- SI's Joe Lemire provides ongoing commentary and analysis throughout tonight's World Series Game 1 between the Rangers and the Giants.
Sports Illustrated reporter Ryan Hatch spoke with Randy Wolf of the Milwaukee Brewers to get his take on the World Series matchup between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers. Wolf faced the Giants twice this season, losing to them on July 6 in Milwaukee but beating them in San Francisco on Sept. 17 in a 3-0 shutout. Wolf's only start against the Rangers came in June 2009, when he pitched five shutout innings for the Dodgers in Arlington.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Don't judge this World Series by the television ratings. The last time a World Series Game 1 pulled a double-digit rating without the Yankees or Red Sox was way back in 1997, a virtual stone age compared to the media world of the new century. The Giants and Rangers will not start with a big audience, but if they play the kind of baseball they did in the first two rounds for six or seven games, they will grow one.
This is only the second time in 90 years that two teams never to win a World Series for the city they currently represent will meet in the Fall Classic. The only previous time was in 1992, when the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves.
If you placed a heavy bet on a Texas Rangers versus San Francisco Giants World Series before the season, I suggest upholstering the interior of your new private jet in a creamy taupe. Back then, the Giants had 16:1 odds to win their first championship since 1954, and the Rangers were 20:1 longshots to win their first ever.
It's the moment for which San Franciscans have been waiting an eternity. Since the Giants moved West before the 1958 season, they have played in three World Series and lost them all. Now the team few expected to be here has the chance to do what no San Francisco baseball team has ever done and bring home a championship.
Cliff Corcoran breaks down each day's game throughout the postseason.
San Francisco Giants stories in the SI Vault
The 2010 postseason continues to prove the stat-head maxim that power, rather than smallball, is the path to beating good postseason pitching. In the NLCS, the Giants scored 19 runs in taking four of six games from the Phillies; 11 of them involved at least one extra-base hit, and the series MVP, Cody Ross, picked up that honor by roping three homers and three doubles in 20 at-bats. Extra-base hits by Ross and Buster Posey were critical to Game 1 and Game 4 victories, and it was Juan Uribe's eighth-inning home run that provided the winning margin in Game 6. Meanwhile, the Rangers scored 38 runs in their six-game triumph over the Yankees and 30 of them involved at least one extra-base hit. In all, Texas pounded out 24 extra-base hits, including an LCS-high nine home runs. It may be counterintuitive, and it certainly runs counter to received wisdom, but it's true: big ball, not small ball, wins in October.
Let's be honest. The San Francisco Giants' closer looks like he's expecting Johnny Depp to sail into McCovey Cove any minute and carry him off to audition for the next Pirates of the Caribbean.
PHILADELPHIA -- Every big home run has a distinct sound. There was the Albert Pujols home run off Brad Lidge in Houston, the one that sucked the air and life and every last whisper out of the stadium and the city. There was the Derek Jeter home run that sparked a wall of sound that melted slowly into repeated and ever more heartfelt renditions of Sinatra's "New York, New York." There was Kirk Gibson's home run in Los Angeles, where the cheers started loud and only grew louder and louder as people realized, as Jack Buck would memorably say, exactly what they just saw.
PHILADEPHIA -- Five Cuts from Game 6 of the NLCS, where the Giants earned their first trip to the World Series since 2002 ...
On the bright side for the Giants, there wasn't an earthquake in Game 5. So at least that part of their agonizing postseason history was avoided.
Cliff Corcoran breaks down each day's games throughout the postseason.