Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

March 30, 2013
Giants announce opening day roster

OAKLAND -- The Giants announced their opening day roster this evening, opting to proceed with three catchers rather than five outfielders and including third baseman Pablo Sandoval as an active member.

In finalizing the club, the Giants purchased the contract of catcher Guillermo Quiroz and reassigned outfielder Cole Gillespie to minor-league camp. Gillespie will report to Triple-A Fresno.

Sandoval, who has been nursing a sore right elbow, and catcher Hector Sanchez (shoulder) are both on the active roster.

March 30, 2013
A's finalize roster, place Nakajima on DL

OAKLAND -- The A's announced their opening day roster this afternoon shortly after beating the Giants, 4-3, in each team's final exhibition game. Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day disabled list, Eric Sogard made the club as a utility infielder (not surprising, given his .444 spring average), and Evan Scribner claimed the final spot in the bullpen over several other candidates.

First baseman Nate Freiman, whom the A's claimed off waivers from the Astros on March 23, also made the roster and will begin as a right-handed complement to Brandon Moss. Jed Lowrie will likely start out as the A's shortstop, with Sogard and Scott Sizemore sharing time at second base.

Nakajima said he is disappointed to be starting the season on the DL but understands the A's want to make sure he recovers fully from a left hamstring strain. Manager Bob Melvin said when Nakajima is healthy he'll likely head to Triple-A Sacramento for a rehab assignment, which Nakajima said he would welcome.

March 30, 2013
Melvin: A's plan to finalize roster this afternoon

OAKLAND -- The A's roster will take its opening day form this afternoon. Manager Bob Melvin said the team should announce its 25-man roster 20-30 minutes after today's exhibition game against the Giants at the Coliseum.

NAKAJIMA.jpegStill to be resolved are the middle infield and the final spot in the A's bullpen. The infield situation could get a lot clearer if shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima (hamstring) has to begin the season on the disabled list -- which Melvin (left) reiterated today is "very likely." Nakajima (left, making a tag) hasn't played since straining his left hamstring Tuesday. The A's would ostensibly keep Jed Lowrie, Eric Sogard and Scott Sizemore up the middle.

March 30, 2013
Bochy says Giants 'optimistic' about Sandoval's health

OAKLAND -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said third baseman Pablo Sandoval is "doing a lot better today" after leaving last night's game after two at-bats with discomfort in his right elbow. Sandoval isn't in the Giants' lineup for today's game against the A's, but Bochy said he could get an at-bat later in the game.

PABLO.jpegSandoval's (left) status for opening day remains up in the air, and Bochy said that decision could go "down to the wire," meaning Monday morning. Bochy said the Giants are "optimistic" Sandoval will be available against the Dodgers on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles, but they have to consider his health over a full season.

Bochy said the Giants could use Sandoval off the bench the first few games of the season to avoid having to put him on the disabled list. The DL is an option, but the "last option," Bochy said.

March 29, 2013
Sandoval exits with discomfort; Noonan makes the club

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval left the Giants' 3-1 exhibition win over the A's on Friday night after two at-bats at designated hitter due to discomfort in his nagging right elbow.

"Just a little sore," said Sandoval, who didn't appear too concerned. "I don't want it to get worse (with) opening day coming. Just take it day-by-day."

Sandoval lined out softly in the first inning and grounded out in the fourth. Both times he batted left-handed -- the side more affected by the elbow. Manager Bruce Bochy said Sandoval felt the discomfort after the second at-bat and the Giants decided to pull him.

"Being cautious," Bochy said. "We'll see how he's doing tomorrow and re-evaluate him."

March 29, 2013
With Posey deal, Giants lock up the player -- and the person

SAN FRANCISCO -- The overarching message from the Giants today regarding the nine-year, $167 million deal reached with Buster Posey was that Posey's brief -- if impressive -- track record of major-league production was not the only factor in his receiving the largest deal in franchise history.

Giants president and CEO Larry Baer called the deal -- an eight-year extension that will keep Posey with the Giants through 2021 with an option for 2022 -- "the largest and boldest commitment we've ever made to a player." And he stressed that it required the Giants to weigh not only the player, but the person they'd be signing.

"We've gotten to know Buster and his family quite well and there's certain elements that give us a lot of comfort in making this kind of commitment -- his professionalism, work ethic, maturity, his character, the way he plays the game," Baer said. "He plays the game with humility and is somebody you really want to put a franchise around."

March 29, 2013
Sandoval in Giants lineup, says he's on track for opening day

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval is in the Giants' lineup for this evening's exhibition game against the A's as the designated hitter and said this afternoon he's sure he'll be available for opening day.

"No," Sandoval said, shaking his head, when asked if he has any doubts about his status for Monday.

Manager Bruce Bochy wasn't as definite, but said Sandoval's right elbow was feeling good enough today to play catch at 100 feet and take batting practice from the left side. Bochy said the Giants could still scratch Sandoval if he feels anything in the elbow, but "right now he's a go."

Should Sandoval play, the Giants won't be able to backdate him past today if they feel he needs to start the season on the disabled list. Sandoval last played in a game March 16. Bochy acknowledged that's a sign the Giants feel pretty good about where Sandoval is.

"Sure there's going to be some risk, but if something were to happen he probably would need a couple weeks anyway," Bochy said.

March 29, 2013
Giants, Posey agree to eight-year extension for $167 million

The Giants today announced they have agreed to terms on an eight-year contract extension with catcher Buster Posey to keep Posey in San Francisco through 2021.

Posey and the Giants already had a one-year, $8 million deal for the 2013 season. The extension adds eight years to make it a nine-year deal.

The deal, worth $167 million, includes a club option for 2022.

The deal buys out Posey's remaining arbitration years and first five years of free agency. It is reportedly the largest deal in team history and longest ever for a catcher.

Posey, the reigning N.L. Most Valuable Player, hit .336 with 24 home runs and 103 RBIs last season while helping lead the Giants to their second World Series championship in three seasons.

Posey was also named the league's Comeback Player of the Year, having returned from a season-ending ankle injury sustained in May 2011. Both seasons he has played out with the Giants (2010 and 2012) have ended in World Series victories.

The Giants have scheduled a news conference later this afternoon regarding the deal.

March 29, 2013
Noonan makes his case for utility infield spot

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nick Noonan didn't have a locker at the Giants' big-league camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., after he was reassigned March 15. When the Giants brought him back a week later after cutting utility infielder candidate Wilson Valdez, Noonan spent the rest of spring reporting to the nearby minor-league facility, dressing there and then driving to Scottsdale Stadium.

On Thursday, though, Noonan walked into the Giants' clubhouse at AT&T Park to find a nameplate bearing his name above one of the lockers. With a late push and a likely need in San Francisco for a utility infielder, Noonan is playing out this weekend's exhibition series against the A's waiting to hear if he'll be on the 25-man roster come Opening Day.

"This is awesome," the 23-year-old Noonan said before the Giants' 7-3 loss to the A's on Thursday, looking around the clubhouse. "This is where I want to be, and hopefully more good things to come."

Noonan, the 32nd overall pick of the 2007 draft, was batting .194 when the Giants sent him down. But he finished Cactus League play on an 8-for-20 stretch including a 3-for-4 performance against Arizona on Wednesday.

March 28, 2013
Lincecum says he's ready for the season; Sandoval progresses

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum was in control for the first three innings against the A's on Thursday night. He allowed only one hit -- a broken-bat single by Jed Lowrie -- while striking out four. That included blowing a letter-high 92 mph fastball past Yoenis Céspedes to end the first inning.

In the fourth, Lincecum left a changeup up that Céspedes crushed to left for a two-run homer. He then allowed consecutive singles to start the fifth and, after recording two outs, walked Lowrie after getting him into an 0-2 count.

It was Lincecum's final hitter. His outing -- and his spring -- ended after 81 pitches that didn't get him out of the fifth inning. When Jeremy Affeldt promptly allowed a three-run home run to Josh Reddick, it finalized Lincecum's line of five runs allowed on five hits in 4 2/3 innings -- and cemented his spring ERA of 10.57.

Lincecum's next scheduled start is Wednesday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Spring numbers notwithstanding, he said, he'll be ready.

"I feel like my stuff's there," Lincecum said. "Definitely have confidence in all of it."

March 28, 2013
Giants extend contracts for GM Sabean, manager Bochy

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants announced today they extended the contracts of general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy through 2016.

President and CEO Larry Baer said in a statement: "Brian has been the architect of one of the most successful periods in franchise history. He is a brilliant strategist who surrounds himself with some of the brightest minds in baseball - with Bruce Bochy topping that list."

Terms of the agreement were not announced.

- Matt Kawahara

March 12, 2013
Giants notes: Sandoval back in the fold, lineup

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval rejoined the Giants today and wasted no time getting back into the lineup. Sandoval, who was off representing Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, wasn't originally scheduled to play tonight against the Padres but talked his way into the lineup, manager Bruce Bochy said. He'll play third base and bat third.

"I was just going to give him another day, but he said he's ready to go and he wants to be out there," Bochy said.

Venezuela was eliminated in opening-round WBC play with losses to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Sandoval said he enjoyed the experience and had some "great moments" -- among them following a home run by Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera with one of his own in Venezuela's win over Spain. (Sandoval said the two didn't talk at all about the 2012 World Series. "That's past," he said).

March 11, 2013
Giants notes: Torres lets loose in return, Bumgarner sharp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Andres Torres returned to the Giants' lineup today in their 2-1 win over the Rangers and showed the oblique strain that kept him out of games for the past two weeks didn't drain him of his strength.

Torres went hitless in four at-bats but drove a ball to the warning track off Yu Darvish in the first inning. Then, after striking out with the bases loaded to end the fourth, Torres snapped his bat over his knee in frustration.

"My knee's fine," Torres said afterward. "The bat is broke."

March 10, 2013
Oakland's Anderson exits start with strained muscle

PHOENIX -- A's left-hander Brett Anderson exited his Cactus League start against the Arizona Diamondbacks today after just two batters with a strained muscle in the area of his neck and upper back.

Anderson was covering third base after a fielding error by third baseman Josh Donaldson and fell backward reaching for a throw from Donaldson as Diamondbacks runner Adam Eaton slid into the bag.

The A's announced Anderson sustained a strained right trapezius.

*** UPDATE (2:12 p.m.)

Anderson said he felt the muscle "kind of balled up and spasmed a little bit" on the play but that he "(doesn't) think it's anything major."

Anderson had to reach back to his right for the flip and said he felt the muscle tighten as he got up. He said he left the game mostly as a precautionary measure.

"You don't want to overcompensate and change your mechanics and hurt your arm or something else more major," Anderson said. "So it's kind of a precautionary thing, come out and not make it any worse."

March 9, 2013
Giants notes: Lopez debuts, fans stick out an 'ugly' one

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Reliever Javier Lopez threw one inning in the Giants' 13-2 loss to the Royals today, facing six batters in his first appearance this spring. Lopez has been recovering from a bruise on the back of his pitching hand.

"I remembered where the mound was, so that's a start," Lopez joked afterward. "I felt OK. Throwing strikes, so that's positive -- just being able to throw all my offspeed over the plate. Definitely felt like the first time out there for a while."

It certainly had been a while. Lopez's last outing came in Game 7 of the NLCS, when he was on the mound with rain pouring down just before the Giants clinched their trip to the World Series.

Lopez said it normally takes him about six spring outings to feel season-ready -- a very attainable number with three weeks left in March. He allowed a run on three singles Saturday and had two strikeouts. Oddly for the sidewinding lefty, the two Kansas City left-handers he faced both singled, while the strikeouts came against right-handed hitters.

March 9, 2013
Yankees' Rivera left mark on relievers Kontos, Proctor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants reliever George Kontos was drafted by the Yankees in 2006 and invited to his first big-league camp with New York in 2009. Early that spring, the then-23-year-old Kontos made a point of seeking out the Yankees' veteran closer, Mariano Rivera.

"I introduced myself and I asked him for an autograph," Kontos recalled Saturday.

Rivera graciously agreed.

"I had him sign two (baseballs) and of course I still have them," Kontos said. "I'm never getting rid of those, ever."

March 9, 2013
Lincecum (blister) throws simulated game, eyes Tuesday start

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tim Lincecum threw 32 pitches in a simulated game this morning and said he felt no ill effects from the middle finger blister on his pitching hand.

"Didn't really feel it at all. It wasn't really affecting any of my pitches," Lincecum said. "Getting back to normal now."

Lincecum, who has been scratched from his last two spring starts because of the blister, threw all his pitches facing minor leaguers Nick Noonan, Gary Brown and Brock Bond in the simulated game. He is expected to return to the Giants' rotation Tuesday night against the Padres.

March 8, 2013
Giants notes: Romo monitored from afar; hail visits Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he asked closer Sergio Romo to be honest with the staff of Team Mexico today about how his arm feels, one day after throwing 26 pitches in a one-inning outing against Italy in the WBC.

Bochy said Romo told him his arm felt fine but that Romo hadn't played catch yet when they talked on the phone this afternoon. Romo was asked to tell Mexico's coaches if his arm felt tired or sore, and check in with Giants trainer Dave Groeschner as well.

WBC rules say a pitcher who throws 30 pitches in an outing must be given at least one day of rest. But Romo fell four pitches short of that benchmark and so is technically eligible for tonight's game against Team USA.

Bochy also said the Giants wouldn't hesitate to place their own call to Team Mexico if Romo said his arm didn't feel right.

March 8, 2013
A's Melvin likes what he's seeing from Nakajima in No. 2 spot

According to the lineup sent out this morning by the Oakland A's on Twitter, shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima is slated to bat second today against the Seattle Mariners for the second day in a row. The A's have had Nakajima bat in several spots in the lineup this spring. A's manager Bob Melvin, though, said after Thursday's game that he likes what he has seen from Nakajima so far batting in the No. 2 spot.

"I do," Melvin said. "Liked what I saw today, yeah."

Nakajima singled twice in three at-bats Thursday, with both hits going to the opposite field. The shortstop later said that on the first single, which came with leadoff man Coco Crisp on first base, he was trying to move Crisp over and so aiming for the right side. The second hit came on an outside breaking ball that Nakajima waited on and flipped into right field.

"I think that's kind of his game," Melvin said. "Certainly this spring he's been waiting and seeing pitches. .... Whether the ball's in, middle or away he can hit the ball to right field. And in the two-spot, when you have that hole open (between the first and second basemen), you're going to have some hits if you can hit it over there."

March 8, 2013
Giants trying to contact Romo after long WBC outing

SCOTTSDALE -- As Giants manager Bruce Bochy ducked into his daily meeting with coaches this morning, he confirmed that Sergio Romo's 26-pitch outing for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic on Thursday night would be a topic of discussion.

Romo was charged with a blown save in Mexico's 6-5 loss to Italy after allowing two runs on three hits in the top of the ninth. Romo, though, did not reach the 30-pitch benchmark that requires WBC managers to rest a pitcher for at least a day. So ostensibly the Giants closer could be summoned again tonight against Team USA at Chase Field in Phoenix.

That would be a lot of work for this early in spring. Bochy later said the Giants were trying to get in contact with Romo to see how he came out of Thursday night's outing, but hadn't touched base with him yet.

March 7, 2013
A's notes: Milone picking up where he left off, Sizemore returns

PHOENIX -- Even for a Cactus League affair in early March, Thursday's game between the A's and Mariners got off to an odd start. A's left-hander Tommy Milone, the control artist who owned the seventh-lowest walk ratio among qualified starters last season (1.71 per nine innings) issued a free pass to Mariners leadoff hitter Robert Andino -- on four pitches.

Andino dropped his bat and jogged to first base. Order was restored shortly thereafter as Milone froze Andino with a deceptive move to first and picked him off. Milone would allow a two-out single later in the inning and a pair of singles in the third, but ended that rally by striking out Mariners No. 3 hitter Jason Bay and wrapped up his second outing of the spring with a line of three innings, three hits, no runs and three strikeouts.

"Good breaking ball, command of everything," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's the type of guy that you don't notice, and all of a sudden he's out of the game and there are no runs on the board. That's kind of how he pitches."

March 7, 2013
With A's, Young and Lowrie adapting to new roles

PHOENIX -- Before the A's played the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, Jed Lowrie hadn't played third base in a major league game since 2011. And Chris Young had never played left field.

"In any game," Young said. "At any level."

But that's where each found himself on manager Bob Melvin's lineup card. Both players, acquired by the A's this winter, may be asked to play multiple positions this season. So Lowrie, a natural shortstop, and Young, a former All-Star center fielder, are using spring to acquaint themselves with different surroundings.

Both fared well Thursday. Lowrie made a diving play on a grounder to his left in the first inning and battled a tough sun to catch a pop-up in the second. Young made all plays that came his way, including a shallow fly ball in the third that he caught on a run.

March 7, 2013
For A's at 2B, Sizemore back in, Weeks still out

PHOENIX -- Jemile Weeks is experiencing a stall in his attempt to compete for the A's second base job and rebound from a down season in 2012. Weeks is nursing a bruised right shoulder that he suffered when he was upended at second base on a play against the Giants last Friday and won't play until this weekend at the earliest.

Weeks was off to a good start with the bat this spring, hitting .545 (6-for-11) with a home run and five RBIs before the injury. He hasn't played since Friday and did not participate this morning in cut-off and relay drills with the other A's infielders.

"I think it was bad timing," Weeks said. "But it's part of the game, so it's something I have to deal with and just face like a man, and try to get back as fast as possible."

Weeks began last season as the A's everyday second baseman after a promising rookie season in 2011 but hit .221 in 118 games and was sent down to Triple-A late in the year and left off Oakland's playoff roster.

March 5, 2013
Giants notes: Bumgarner takes it slow, Peguero makes a case, Tanaka renews acquaintance with Dice-K

SCOTTSDALE -- Madison Bumgarner threw 223 1/3 innings between the regular season and playoffs last year in his second full season in the majors. Afterward, the 23-year-old talked with his more veteran rotation mates about how they planned to alter their winter workouts following such a long season.

Bumgarner said he ultimately elected not to throw any bullpen sessions until he arrived in Arizona, just throwing long toss at home instead. For that reason, Bumgarner may still be shaking off some rust this spring as he also hones a two-seam fastball and works on better holding opposing runners.

Bumgarner has thrown 5 2/3 Cactus League innings and allowed 12 baserunners on eight hits and four walks. After his two innings against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, in which he allowed three hits and a run, Bumgarner said he saw progress in that his command "wasn't quite as erratic."

March 5, 2013
Tighten up: More on Sean Doolittle's new breaking ball

PHOENIX -- Part of the emphasis this spring for A's reliever Sean Doolittle, the subject of today's print story, is tweaking the breaking ball he threw last season from a curveball into more of a slider. Doolittle, the converted first baseman, rose rapidly from A-ball to the majors in his first season pitching professionally while relying heavily on his fastball. It's a mid-90s pitch that Doolittle moves around the strike zone well. But for a guy who hadn't pitched competitively since college, it was also simply the pitch Doolittle had the most confidence in throwing.

According to the analytics website FanGraphs, Doolittle threw the fastball on 86.8 percent of his pitches in 2012, while mixing in the curveball (9 percent) and a changeup (4.2 percent). Pitching coach Curt Young said that while the changeup was "effective," the curve "wasn't as effective as he wanted." Fiddling with the breaking ball, though, Doolittle said, "wasn't something I really felt like I was equipped to learn on the fly" last season, especially with the A's in the middle of a division race.

Still, Doolittle said the tweak itself has been pretty minor.

"I just kind of tried to re-define what I was doing with it," Doolittle said. "Last year I felt like more times than not I was trying to start the slider out of the zone and have it break back in. Now I've pretty much just changed where I aim, aiming down the middle, and it's just allowed me to get more out in front and more on top of it.

"Doing that you have more arm speed and because you have more arm speed, it's tighter and a little bit later (breaking). It wasn't like a big change. It was more of a mental thing, redefining what I was trying to do with the pitch."

Doolittle said the goal is to draw more swing-throughs with the pitch this season. He felt like the release point started to click for him a couple weeks ago, "and I feel pretty good about it." That doesn't necessarily mean that he'll go away from the fastball, he stressed. Just that he may be more confident going to the breaking ball this season if the situation calls for it.

-- Matt Kawahara

March 5, 2013
A's announce agreement to move spring training to Mesa starting in 2015

SCOTTSDALE -- The A's announced this morning they have reached a 20-year agreement to hold spring training in Mesa beginning in 2015, ending their association with Phoenix Municipal Stadium after 32 years.

The agreement includes two five-year team options that could stretch the contract to 30 years. Beginning in 2015 the A's will hold workouts at Fitch Park and play spring training games at Hohokam Stadium, where the Cubs currently play.

The facilities are scheduled to undergo $20 million in renovations in 2014 after the Cubs vacate them at the end of this year. The A's announced that under the agreement, the City of Mesa will pay $17.5 million -- including $8.2 million in funding from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority -- and the A's will pay $2.5 million of the renovations.

Owner and managing partner Lew Wolff said in a statement the A's are "extremely excited about our future spring home and want to thank the City of Mesa for all their hard work and cooperation in making this agreement possible.

"With the improvements planned over the next two years, we believe Hohokam Stadium and surrounding facilities will rival any in Major League Baseball. Our players and coaches, as well as our great fans, will be the beneficiaries."

The A's formerly trained in Mesa from 1969-78, playing spring games at Hohokam Stadium in 1977. Upgrades to the stadium will include a new scoreboard, re-seating, a remodeled home clubhouse and weight rooms and a field replacement, according to a news release.

The A's have played games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium since 1982.

-- Matt Kawahara

March 4, 2013
A's Notes: Straily sees progress, Sizemore catches a break, Balfour throws a 'pen

PHOENIX -- A's right-hander Dan Straily finds himself in an in-between phase at this early point in camp. Like everyone, he's using spring training to build stamina and hone pitches. But he's also competing for a spot in the A's rotation, which makes it tougher to use his outings to experiment or work on a particular aspect of his game.

Straily seemed to be talking along those lines after his outing Monday against the Angels, in which he pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He said he felt he was locating his fastball better than in his first start, for one thing, but also mentioned a curveball that he left up and that was hit for a double.

"That's a pitch I wouldn't normally throw in that situation, but it's something I'm working on," Straily said. "It might be time to forget about trying stuff out and just try to work on what I have."

March 4, 2013
The blog: Hello, and what you'll find here

In Oakland, the A's are a young and free-spirited club not shy to throw elbows with heavyweights in Texas and Los Angeles. Across the Bay, the San Francisco Giants are embarking on their second World Series title defense in three years, hoping this one turns out better than the first. The purpose of this space will be to follow both teams this year, relaying information from the clubhouse, field and press box as each team tries to follow its 2012 West Division crown with another.

This may require some flexibility from you, the reader. One week the majority of stories here will concern Tim Lincecum's attempt at a redemptive season, the Blanco-Torres left field platoon or the grinding manufacturing line that is the Giants' offense. The next it may be Brandon Moss' travails in the role of everyday first baseman, Yoenis Céspedes trying to realize his full potential or the walk-off shaving cream pies in Oakland.

The good news is there's no shortage of intrigue. The Giants have built a foundation of pitching, defense and just enough hitting, parlayed it into two rings and yet are seen this year by many as chasing the deep-pocketed Dodgers. Last year they became the fourth team ever to win the World Series after hitting the fewest home runs in the majors. Will it continue to work? The A's, as is their wont, used one of the league's lowest payrolls and a fresh-faced, fluctuating roster to wrest the A.L. West from the Rangers on the season's final day in 2012. Now their division includes a new member in the Houston Astros and an Angels team that boasts perhaps the most formidable top of a lineup in baseball. Can they contend again?

These and other storylines will unfold over the next seven months, while the sport adapts to new division alignment and new schedules of interleague play, new ways of analyzing an old game and old faces on new teams, and likely bids farewell to that much-maligned fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move. Meanwhile, please feel free to contact me at with any questions, comments or story ideas you might have. It should be fun to watch.

-- Matt Kawahara

About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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