Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jeff Berry Wants An MLB Rule Change After Buster Posey Hit/Taken From

Last week, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey broke a bone in his lower left leg when he was hit by Florida Marlins’ Scott Cousins at home plate.  Posey was blocking the plate in the 12th inning as Cousins reached home, hoping to score the go-ahead run and earn a victory for his team.  In the process, Posey suffered the aforementioned injury, which will likely keep him out of the remainder of the 2011 Major League Baseball season.

Posey’s agent, Jeff Berry of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), was quick to attack MLB rules that allow for such contact.  Following Posey’s injury, Berry stated,
“You leave players way too vulnerable.  I can tell you Major League Baseball is less than it was before [Posey's injury]. It’s stupid.  I don’t know if this ends up leading to a rule change, but it should. The guy [at the plate] is too exposed.
If you go helmet to helmet in the NFL, it’s a $100,000 fine, but in baseball, you have a situation in which runners are [slamming into] fielders.  It’s brutal.  It’s borderline shocking.  It just stinks for baseball.  I’m going to call Major League Baseball and put this on the radar.  Because it’s just wrong.”
We should expect nothing less from someone who advocates on behalf of his clients.  Furthermore, Berry is a former catcher himself, and knows well about the risk that catchers take by placing their body in front of a player coming full speed toward home plate.  Berry caught at the University of North Carolina Charlotte before playing a year in the Boston Red Sox minor league system.  He later earned a law degree at Oklahoma City University, which additionally helps with his ability to negotiate effectively.  With Casey Close’s departure from CAA, Berry became one of the co-head’s of CAA’s large baseball division.

Jeff Berry Wants An MLB Rule Change After Buster Posey Hit from Sports Agent Blog - Sports Agent News, Sports Business, Sports Law, Sports Contract Negotiations, NCAA Rules and Regulations.
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San Francisco Giants Prospect Gary Brown: TGBB Exclusive with Emerging Outfielder

By Vinnie Cestone

Getty Images
The San Francisco Giants' No. 1 draft pick Gary Brown is a dynamic baseball player with a potent bat and excellent defensive potential, but his blazing speed sets him apart from other players.

Brown demonstrated his talent early while playing college baseball for Cal State Fullerton University. He was a First Team All-American as a junior in 2010, and he once stole 32 bases in a 50-game period during his college career.

Gary Brown is currently using his legs to fuel the San Jose Giants', the Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, winning ways. Although he is still a bit raw and has a lot to learn, the Giants are confident he will be the next spark plug at the top of the order in San Francisco.

Here are five reasons as to how Brown's speed might benefit the big club in the next year or two.

Stealing Bases

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 01:  Gary Brown #86 of the San Francisco Giants safely steals second base under the tag from infielder Bobby Scales #19 of the Chicago Cubs during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizon
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Giants currently rank 20th in Major League Baseball in stolen bases, a dimension of their game they would like to improve upon.

Fortunately for the Giants, help is on the way.

As of May 28, 2011, Brown leads the California League in stolen bases with 28. Although he steals bases at a rate slightly above average, 70 percent, he will likely improve upon that percentage.

Brown said he is confident that him being a steal threat will help his team win ball games, especially by putting pressure on the defense.

"I'm just trying to get there, be in people's minds, and mess with the defense," Brown said. "Anyway to get into the pitcher's head."

In a post-steroid era, the Giants could use stolen bases from Brown to manufacture runs. It would be a welcome change for the Giants to steal more bases than they allow.

Scoring Runs

Tommy LaPorte/San Jose Giants
Tommy LaPorte/San Jose Giants

The Giants currently stand 15th in the National League in runs scored as of May 29, 2011. If the Giants are going to rely on pitching and defense to win ball games, Brown's speed producing runs will be vital.

The Giants, with Darren Ford, saw first hand in 2010 how speed can help a team score big runs. Brown may do the same for them.

Brown is third in the California League in runs scored. He averages just about one run scored per game, leading the A Giants with 47 runs scored in 48 games.

It could be exciting to see Brown's speed in action when he hits balls out to the 421 marker, Triples Alley, at AT&T park. Legging out triples is familiar territory for him—and so is going around the horn the hard way.

"My first career home run in pro ball was an inside the parker in Visalia," Brown said. "It was fun. Your legs want to give out by the time you touch home, but it was good."

Although Brown can be a run-making machine with his legs, he said he understands that he cannot do all the work solo.

"The thing about running is you can't produce a run by yourself," Brown said.

"Someone's got to do something to help you, whether it be the pitcher throwing it away or a guy putting it in play, but you just put yourslef in the best situation to rattle the pitcher up and maybe make him make a mistake to the guy hitting."

Getting on Base


Brown might be the perfect remedy for a baseball team struggling to get on base.

The Giants are at the bottom of the National League in runs scored, largely because of their .306 on-base percentage. Brown's ability to get on base and leg out infield hits could give the Giants a huge jolt to their offense.

"You want to get a hit every game and do your best to put yourself in a position do that," Brown said. "I want to win ball games."

Brown said he looks forward to drag bunting for hits, but he will not do so without thinking. He may look for certain signs and signals that tell him it is a good time for a bunt, or he may just trust his gut feeling.

"The game dictates it [when to drag bunt]," Brown said. "For the most part, I like to see the third baseman back. I see a lot of third baseman in. It's got to be a good bunt and I gotta be feeling it."

Brown's speed and ability to get on base could aid him in coming close to Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, but he said that is the furthest thing from his mind.

"That's something I have never thought about," Brown said. "I'll take a 56-game win streak. I wanna win ball games."

Taking the Extra Base

The Giants are a station-to-station baserunning team, but their young, center-field prospect is anything but that.

Faster than a speeding bullet, Brown can get himself an extra 90 feet by stretching singles into doubles or legging out triples out in the wide open spaces of AT&T Park.

In one game in April against the Lancaster JetHawks, Brown took a routine single up the middle and pulled a rabbit out of his hat by legging out a double.

As Municipal stadium was in awe from Brown's spectacular performance, he was not surprised that he pulled off that trick.

"I've been watching the outfield and trying to be a student of the game," Brown said. "They've been lobbing the ball into their cut-off man, so I took a big turn and waited for them to throw it, and once he let go of the ball, I went ahead and took off for second."

Although Brown said he wants to play his game by being aggressive on the basepaths, he understands that he must be mindful of the game situation.

"The game dictates the situation," Brown said. "If there's two outs and you have the opportunity to be in scoring position, sometimes there's no point in taking third unless you're standing up. It all depends on where the ball is hit, where it's taking the outfielder, and what I see. That's all in the game."

Brown currently leads the A Giants with 22 extra-base hits in 48 games, and many more might be coming once he takes on Triple's Alley at AT&T Park.

Being a Good Center Fielder


The Giants have not exactly put on a defensive clinic in 2011, but their range in the outfield could be worlds better once Brown patrols center field at AT&T Park.

Brown's defensive numbers are good for his first year playing professional baseball. In 44 games at center field for the A Giants, he has a .978 fielding percentage with two errors and four assists.

Brown said he is confident that his speed can help him become a solid center fielder for the Giants.

Still, he said he knows that he has to use his speed wisely before being ready to play center field every day at the major league level. Speed alone is not what will make him a good outfielder—but it will help.

"I'm still working on my defense every day, trying to get better," Brown said. "Most importantly, it's your first step and the routes you take. The shortest distance between two places is a straight line...and speed just helps when you make a mistake...and obviously, those balls way in the gap."



Vinnie Cestone is a Baseball/San Francisco Giants blogger for The Talking Giants Baseball Blog. Unless otherwise noted, all information was obtained first-hand or from official materials from the San Jose Giants,, or

This article was featured on The Bleacher Report.

Follow me on twitter @vintalkingiants.

Questions or comments? E-mail my blog mailbag at Your questions may be answered on my blog.

Be sure to use the #talkinggiants tag when referring to my article on twitter.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Blog Post Dedicated to Buster Posey, Express your thoughts and get-well wishes

As all of you may know, Buster Posey was injured in a collision at home plate Wednesday night in a game against the Florida Marlins. He has a broken ankle and torn ligaments. He could be out anywhere between six-to-eight weeks and the rest of the season. Truly, this is a big loss in the lineup for the Giants. Let's hope he will be back before the season is over.

The collision was a clean hit according to the rules of baseball. The runner at third, Scott Cousins, was trying to score the lead run in extra innings. As Giants' right fielder Nate Schierholtz fired the ball home as Cousins tagged up and came towards the plate, Cousins railroaded Posey to try to knock the ball loose -- but Posey never had the ball and had his body was turned away from home plate. The result was very unfortunate.

This is where fans can chime in. Give Posey some get-well wishes in a comment below. I hope to get this comment chain growing. If it grows enough, maybe Posey will see it. Your support for the Giants' star catcher is much appreciated.

So, let's start leaving those comments and get-well wishes.

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Get well soon Buster! We will miss you!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

San Francisco Giants Blog | Splashing Pumpkins: Game Recap: Giants 2, A's 1

Recap of last night's game, courtesy of this fine blogger.

San Francisco Giants Blog | Splashing Pumpkins: Game Recap: Giants 2, A's 1: "Your obligatory Nate Schierholtz GIF of the night -- And..."

8th INNING WEIRDNESS: Ten Prospects to Watch

I thought this would be relevant, since I'm doing A Giants work.


8th INNING WEIRDNESS: Ten Prospects to Watch: "This is not necessarily a list of the top 10 Giants' prospects. I'd probably consider most of them to be in the top 10, but it's more a list..."

8th INNING WEIRDNESS: Why I Hate the Idea of Playoff Expansion

Read this nice piece on MLB playoff expansion...Trying to keep my blog fresh, so when I'm too busy to write, I will re-blog articles I like. Click on the links in the entry to be directed to the author's site to read the whole thing.


8th INNING WEIRDNESS: Why I Hate the Idea of Playoff Expansion: "In 1993, the Giants had one of the best seasons in their franchise's history. It was the first year of new ownership after Peter Magowan sav..."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 5/19 Preview, Lineups, and More


Tonight's Giants lineup against Chad Billingsley looks like this:

Torres cf
Sanchez 2b
Huff 1b
Posey c
Schierholtz rf
Ross lf
Fontenot ss
Tejada 3b
Bumgarner p

Nate Schierholtz batting fifth here has to leave fans scratching their heads. He is hitting .282, with three home runs and 11 RBIs, but he is not your typical RBI power hitter. Pat Burrell might have been a better fifth-place hitter in the lineup because he brings something to the table that the Giants lack and is much needed -- patience and a legitimate home run threat.

Nonetheless, it is good to see Miguel Tejada out of shortstop. He just did not look comfortable there so far this year.

With the Rockies winning big against Philadelphia right now, this is a big game tonight for the Giants. If the Giants win, they would stay in first. If they lose, the Rockies would claim the National League West lead by a half game.

Madison Bumgarner (0-6, 4.25 ERA) is looking for his first win of the year tonight. If he is to get it, the Giants will need to play solid defensive baseball since Bumgarner makes hitters put the ball in play. This may be one advantage of having Schierholtz in there over Burrell.

Billingsley has been tough on the Giants in his career, but if they play their game (pitching, pitching, and more pitching), they should be just fine tonight at Chavez Ravine.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gary Brown: Is He the San Francisco Giants' Next Great Superstar?

It is a clear, cool night at Municipal stadium, as the San Jose Giants' speedy center fielder Gary Brown patiently awaits for a pitch in a 1-1 third-inning tie against the Lancaster JetHawks' right-hander Robby Donovan.

Then, like a 10-year major league veteran, the leadoff hitter Brown takes an outside fastball and laces it up the middle for what appears to be a routine single to center field.. As fans appear content with a leadoff runner at first, Brown suddenly dashes towards second base, as the JetHawks' center fielder fields the ball and fires to second.

Brown slides in safely, and it was not even close.

Brown started with the San Jose Giants, the Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, in April 2011. He was selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft.

The fleet-footed center fielder is rated third among all prospects in the Giants' organization according to Baseball America. The publication also designated Brown as the "fastest baserunner" and "best defensive outfielder" in the Giants' system.

Brown tasted the major leagues briefly in 2011 when he was a non-roster invitee in spring training for the Giants. One of his big accomplishments there was an extra-inning, walk-off single against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Although Brown has much to prove before he is penciled in as the every day center fielder at AT&T Park, here are five reasons as to why he will be the next great Giants' superstar.

His Speed (Offensively)

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 01:  Gary Brown #86 of the San Francisco Giants safely steals second base under the tag from infielder Bobby Scales #19 of the Chicago Cubs during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizon
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Brown was drafted by the Giants for his speed, and he looks forward to using it successfully during his professional baseball career.

"The most obvious key to my success is my legs, running," Brown said. "I just got to learn how to use that to the best of my ability."

Brown has been impressive on the basepaths in 2011 for the A Giants. In 36 games, he leads the California League with 22 stolen bases.

The speedy center fielder has been thrown out 10 times in 2011 but has lots of time to tune up his baserunning ability. He is confident that he could live up to his potential and develop into a great base stealer.

"I believe I have an opportunity to disrupt guys on the bases," Brown said. "I'm just trying to get better every day...staying calm and not getting ahead of myself."

Brown would add another dimension to the major league Giants' offense. The Giants currently have another excellent runner in the organization, Darren Ford, who already has demonstrated how speed could help a big league team win.

Baseball America considered Brown the fastest man in the Giants' organization, but he said Ford may have the slight edge if they were to race.

"We joked about that in spring training," Brown said. "It would be close, but I think he's got me."

His Potent Bat


Brown compliments his speed with a solid bat. He is tearing up the California League and will continue to get better with experience.

In his 150 at bats, Brown has been an on-base machine. Since starting with the A Giants in 2011, he is hitting .367 with three home runs, 30 RBIs, and an impressive .445 on-base percentage.

Brown is also slugging .513 with a .958 OPS. Giants fans will be impressed with the 22-year-old's  professional, disciplined plate approach at such a young age.

Brown's philosophy is to be patiently aggressive at the plate. Although he is not one to take a bunch of walks, he already has shown enough plate discipline to wait for his pitch or hit a knee-high outside fastball hard up the middle.

"When you go up to the plate, you can ask any hitter," Brown said. "They're not going to say they're trying to walk. Just see pitches, and if they don't give them to you, you try to lay off them."

Brown has the right mentality to be a great hitter in the major leagues. As he gets wiser and stronger, he just may evolve into one of the greatest hitters in baseball.

His Defense


Baseball America rated Brown as "the best defensive outfielder" in the Giants' organization, and so far, with the A Giants, he has shown why.

With his cannon arm, excellent range, and blazing speed, Brown has the potential to be a perennial gold glover in the major leagues.

Brown has not had impressive defensive numbers yet, but he has shown he has the tools. In 33 games played in center field, Brown has a .970 fielding percentage and has made two errors along with three assists.

Brown is not worried about his defense, and he is confident he will improve.

"I'm just trying to do my best in...taking good routes and just staying calm and not getting ahead of myself," Brown said.

Still, Brown has shown great range, an excellent arm, and the ability to track down balls that would normally get down for hits.

"I believe I have an the outfield to steal some hits and make good throws...just all around finding a way to use my legs," Brown said.

His Focus

Tommy LaPorte/San Jose Giants
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Although Brown is a young, rising superstar prospect, he knows that he cannot get ahead of himself. His focus must remain on the field in which he can control -- where he is playing right now.

Even though Brown hopes to someday patrol the wide-open spaces of AT&T Park's outfield, he will take his game one step at a time.

"Right now, my home is here at Municipal Stadium, so when I get the opportunity to play there,
I'll worry about it," Brown said. "For right now, it's the 390 in center."

His Confidence

Tommy LaPorte/San Jose Giants
Tommy LaPorte/San Jose Giants
At just 22, Brown displays the swagger and confidence of a 10-year veteran.

The young, well-spoken center fielder does not hold anything back. He is an all-out baseball player who is sure of himself and will use everything he has in the gas tank.

"I hope for an opportunity to show what I can do," Brown said. "I'll do my best to play hard every day."

When the major league Giants' manager, Bruce Bochy, and the general manager, Brian Sabean, mull over whether or not Brown should patrol AT&T Park's big center field, he is ready to demonstrate his game to them. Still, he understands the decision will ultimately be the Giants'.

"If they say I'm ready, I'm ready," Brown said. "I don't need to pitch it to them."

With Brown's confident attitude, he could very well be the next big league Giants' captain.

This article was featured on The Bleacher Report.

Follow me on twitter @vintalkingiants.

Questions or comments? E-mail my blog mailbag at Your questions may be answered on my blog.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Students Relieved but Cautious After Bin Laden’s Death

Here is another one of my great news stories. Enjoy...

Reactions at De Anza College are mixed, from elation to concern to apathy.

De Anza College students have had mixed reactions to the May 1 killing of Osama bin Laden, from elation that the terrorist is dead to concern of a possible retaliation to apathy.
Bin Laden, the founder of the international terrorist organization al-Qaida, was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. He had been hiding in a mansion in an affluent neighborhood in Pakistan, where U.S. Navy SEALs raided the compound and shot and killed the terrorist leader.
Franco Miranda, 20, a third-year computer science major at De Anza, checked his Yahoo email account on the night of May 1 and said he was relieved when he read in a news flash that bin Laden was dead. He also said he was ecstatic but surprised that justice had been finally served.
“I was extremely shocked but in the sense of happiness that Osama was confirmed dead, even though it took 10 years for it to happen,” Miranda said.
Unlike Miranda, 22-year-old Michael Jimenez, a second-year liberal arts major at De Anza, said he cannot sleep any easier because of bin Laden’s death. He said he fears the killing could incite a violent retaliation from al-Qaida.
“I am not relieved yet, because there are plenty of other terrorists out there that could severely damage us,” Jimenez said.
Although Jimenez is fearful of a possible terrorist strike against the U.S., he said he was confident that the American government would keep citizens safe at home.
“I think our intelligence is pretty top-notch,” he said. “I don’t think the terrorists would try anything here. Maybe they will go after American embassies in other countries.”
Ashkon Afsari, 21, a first-year business major at De Anza, agrees with Jimenez that an American embassy could be a potential terrorist target, but he does not rule out a retaliatory attack on American soil.
“I think retaliation is imminent,” Afsari said. “There are areas of high concentration that could be targets. I fear attacks on a U.S. embassy.”
Upon hearing the news of bin Laden’s death, some college students rushed to the White House and Ground Zero to celebrate, waiving patriotic signs and chanting “USA.” Sylvie Belinga, 27, a fifth-year journalism major at De Anza, decided not to celebrate, she said, because it is not her nature to outwardly cheer for someone’s death, even if it is the man responsible for 9/11.
“I did not celebrate, because I am not that much of a party person,” Belinga said. “All I wanted to know was how to get more information of how he was killed and how it unraveled.”
On the night of bin Laden’s death, President Barack Obama told the world that the U.S. killed the terrorist leader in Pakistan.
“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,” President Obama said during a televised statement.
Although the president assured the world that bin Laden was dead, Afsari was not entirely convinced.
“I started with thinking of how the United States needed something to boost morale,” Afsari said. “That, along with the conspiracy theories I’ve heard and the concealment of the body, made Osama’s killing seem not real.”
While some De Anza students said they felt relieved or concerned about bin Laden’s death, some students are apathetic.
Megan Kemmer, 27, a first-year photography major at De Anza, is flying to New York soon and said she does not feel scared or excited about bin Laden’s death and its impact on her trip. Nonetheless, she will remain aware of her surroundings.
“I’m not fearful, but I am cautious,” Kemmer said. “I never doubted our security when he was still alive, nor now that he’s dead. I didn’t have any change of heart when I found out the news.”
Still, Kemmer said she understood the significance of bin Laden’s killing.
“History has been made.” Kemmer said. “Our children will be learning about this one day in history class.”

This article was featured on Cupertino

Follow me on twitter @vintalkingiants.

Questions or comments? E-mail my blog mailbag at Your questions may be answered on my blog.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants Preview - From Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News              VS     

Here is an excellent preview for tonight's game featuring the Giants and Rockies. Perhaps a Willie Mays trivia of the day is in order.


Say hey, Fontenot still holding down Mays’ old spot

Filling in for Baggs as he works his way back from the road …

Happy 80th, Willie … if we could only pencil you into the No. 3 spot tonight … instead, here’s tonight’s lineup vs. the Rockolas ...


Higher Education Costs Create Financial Burdens

The Giants lost today 5-2 against the Mets in yet another terrible offensive performance. They ended up 5-5 on the trip, but they could have done much better. Because of the loss, I decided to change things up and publish a news story I wrote for Cupertino Check it out and let me know what you think. It is on the increased cost of education.


De Anza College's value spares some the increased cost of education that leave some students and parents in a financial bind.

The poor economy and the ever-increasing cost of education leave some students and parents with nightmares about how to cope with the high price tag associated with attending college, forcing some to cut back, or cut out.

Cupertino's De Anza College is a more affordable option for students, which leads some students to start college careers there before transferring to four-year universities. The cost of supplies, fees and textbooks combined are $2,075 at De Anza—about one-fifth the cost of attending University of California.

According to the University of California’s website, UC regents voted in November to approve an 8 percent fee increase. This increased annual student fees by $822, bringing undergraduate costs to $11,124 for the academic year—not including housing.

Although De Anza is easier on the pocketbook, it still comes at a cost that some students can't afford without sacrificing, or having to work to afford an education. Still, the need for a higher education is recognized as a necessity to get ahead.

Brittany Sims, 21, a third-year journalism major at De Anza, had high hopes of attending Delaware State University, but the $40,000 debt that came along with going to school there was too much for her to bear.
Although De Anza College is cheaper for her to attend, Sims plans to transfer to San Jose State University, along with supporting her 8-month-old infant at the same time.

“The cost of education is not affecting me now, but when I get my career job after I get my master’s degree, I will have major debt already,” Sims said.

Some students tried to compensate for the high cost of education by working more hours at a job than they would usually work.

First-year nursing major Kalley Phillips, 18, works nearly full time at a bakery to pay her fees at De Anza College. In high school, her parents would pay for her gas, school supplies and lunch, but now, the financial burden is on her.

“My parents haven’t been able to support me as much as they hoped,” Phillips said. “Thus, they encouraged me to go to a community college as opposed to a Christian private school that has a great nursing program.”

Other students have been forced to cut the things they love to pay for school.

Anthony Nguyen, 23, a third-year journalism major at De Anza college, cut down on one of his biggest loves so he could afford his student fees.

“I will save up by cutting back on buying video games, at first,” Nguyen said. “When I transfer, I have no idea what I am going to do.”

The record-high cost of attending UCLA forced 22-year-old Milagro—who requested for safety concerns that his full name not be used—a fifth-year English major, to postpone his education for the majority of the 2010-11 school year. Homeless and sleeping at friends’ apartments at Stanford University, he is doing the best he can working multiple jobs in Palo Alto so he can support himself and his family.

“After my third year in college, I spent 16 out of 20 months homeless,” Milagro said. “I took a quarter off to support my twin brother, and I worked a minimum of five jobs, totaling 30 hours per week.”

Milagro’s brother attends Stanford, and his parents are in dire straits financially.

“The high cost of education was the leading cause for my parents to declare bankruptcy,” Milagro said. “There was a discrepancy between the rising cost of education and my parents’ ability to contribute to me and my brother.”

So parents, too, have also been forced to make sacrifices to pay for their children’s education.

San Carlos homemaker Janette Strobeck, 56, a regular customer at Peet’s Coffee in Cupertino, said she worries about her daughter’s education expenses and the impact it will have on her and her husband in the future. Kristi, her only daughter, is a senior at Summit Preparatory Charter High School.

“My daughter’s education costs delay our retirement plans, due to having to pay those student loans,” Strobeck said. “It makes us more concerned about what’s going to happen once the education ends.”

Like Nguyen, Strobeck is forced to cut corners to pay for her daughter’s education.

“Our family has to make sacrifices,” Strobeck said. “My daughter stopped doing kickboxing, which she loved, just so we can make it.”

This article was featured on Cupertino

Follow me on twitter @vintalkingiants.

Questions or comments? E-mail my blog mailbag at Your questions may be answered on my blog.

Be sure to use the #talkinggiants tag when referring to my article on twitter.

Don't forget to take my poll on the left of my blog. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants Who Deserve an Extension

DENVER, CO - APRIL 18:  Starting pitcher Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants delivers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Lincecum recorded 10 strike outs as he earned the win as the Giants defeated  
Whether it is a freezing foggy night in San Francisco or a sweltering hot day in LA, Tim Lincecum is always seen sporting his Giants hoody.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images 
Tim Lincecum is the face of the San Francisco Giants, but in a time where team loyalty is down and money is king, is it possible that he and other beloved Giants will end up elsewhere?

If there was ever a pitcher in baseball who deserves a lifetime contract extension, it would be Tim Lincecum.

Lincecum's stay with the Giants has been nothing short of impressive. Since his start with the Giants in 2007, he has a career 3.00 ERA, with a 58-28 record, 939 strikeouts and 1.173 WHIP—plus Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009.

Back in February 2010, Tim Lincecum signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the Giants. Lincecum, 26, is under club control until at least 2013, but he will face another arbitration hearing at the end of the 2011 season if another deal is not made.

Whatever the price, the Giants are best served in signing their ace right-hander—who won the clinching game of the 2010 World Series—no matter the price. He is the heart and soul of the Giants, and the energy in San Francisco would deplete worse than the 1970s crisis if their Freak was racking up strikeouts for another team.

Here are four other players who deserve a contract extension and should play in San Francisco for a long time.

1. Buster Posey

DENVER, CO - APRIL 19:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Buster Posey is an exciting young talent who perhaps single-handedly led the Giants to their first World Series title in San Francisco—both with his hitting and the way he handled the pitching staff.

What Posey did in his rookie season was incredible. Coming up in May hoping to jolt the Giants' struggling offense, Posey hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI in 108 games. He also had a strong OPS of .862.

Most importantly, Posey has the poise of a 10-year veteran at just age 23. Handling a pitching staff in his rookie season with the likes of Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez is an impressive feat in itself.

Because the gutsy catcher will continue to get better, he deserves a contract extension. He is under team control until at least 2015 but is eligible for arbitration after this season (he signed a one-year, $575,000 contract with the Giants this past March).

2. Matt Cain

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 08:  Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants throws out the first pitch before the start of the opening day game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 8, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Marcio Jose
Pool/Getty Images

Matt Cain established himself as a big-game pitcher in 2010. He has yet to give up an earned run in the postseason, and he has followed it up by pitching well in 2011—minus one start at Coors Field, a pitcher's graveyard.

Matt Cain, 26, impressively makes his 91 mph fastball work. When he first came up to the big leagues, Cain threw 96-plus and tried to strike everyone out, but now, he learned how to pitch by manipulating his fastball movement and developing a good changeup.

Greg Maddux played for a long time with low velocity but lots of movement and control. There is no reason Cain cannot do the same.

In his Giants career, Cain is only 59-63, but he has a lifetime 3.45 ERA and a .230 batting average against.

Cain signed a $27.25 million, three-year contract in 2010, but the Giants would do no harm by signing him to a more long-term contract.

3. Brian Wilson

DENVER, CO - APRIL 19:  Closer Brian Wilson #38 of the San Francisco Giants pitches in relief in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Wilson earned a save as the Giants defeated the Rockies 6-
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Brian Wilson earned his paycheck in the 2010 postseason. Wilson provided Giants fans more torture than watching grandma's home movies, but the end result is worthy of a contract extension.

In his first playoff appearances, Wilson amassed six saves and 16 strikeouts in 10 games. Like Cain, Wilson did not give up an earned run in the postseason.

Wilson's two-year, $15 million contract extension he signed in March 2010 expires at the end of this year. He is eligible for arbitration after this season and will be a Giant until at least 2012, but the Giants should lock him up beyond that.

If they do not, it would kill the whole "Fear the beard" slogan.

4. Jonathan Sanchez

DENVER, CO - APRIL 19:  Starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez #57 of the San Francisco Giants delivers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Sanchez earned the win as the Giants defeated the Rockies 6-3.  (Photo by
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Despite all the baserunners, walks and frustrations associated with Jonathan Sanchez, he is still a good major league pitcher. Although he led the National League in walks in 2010, Sanchez led the Giants with a 3.07 ERA, and he had a .204 batting average against.

Sanchez will be a Giant until at least 2012 but is eligible for arbitration after this season. He signed a one-year, $4.8 million deal before the 2011 season.

Sanchez, 28, gives Giants fans fits, but in the end, he is a formidable pitcher with electric stuff. On the days he can control his great stuff, he can pitch as well as Lincecum or Cain.

The Giants should give him a contract extension, but because of his inconsistency, perhaps one not as long or as large as Lincecum's or Cain's.

5. On the Fence: Pablo Sandoval, Madison Bumgarner, Sergio Romo

DENVER, CO - APRIL 19:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Pablo Sandoval has not earned anything yet—and he knows it.

After batting .330 in 2009, Sandoval laid an egg in 2010. Sandoval helped his cause by losing the weight in the offseason, but his success or failure in 2011 and beyond will determine whether or not he will continue his Giants career long term.

Madison Bumgarner has been awful so far in 2011. He is 0-3 with a 7.73 ERA and batters are hitting .357 against him. He is not eligible for free agency until 2016, so the Giants have plenty of time to assess his worth.

Sergio Romo did not help his cause during Sunday's game against the Braves. He threw a hanging slider to Dan Uggla, which he hit for a game-tying, eighth-inning home run.

Romo is prone to giving up big home runs late. He did so during the NLDS in Atlanta and various times throughout the 2010 season. Romo did develop a good sinker this season, but the Giants might want somebody who throws harder pitching in the eighth inning.

Romo will not be a free agent until 2015, so the Giants have time to assess his worth. They need to know whether or not he will be the pitcher who throws a good, tight slider or the pitcher who hangs them.

Vinnie Cestone is a Baseball/San Francisco Giants Featured Columnist for The Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all information was obtained first-hand or from official materials from and

This article was featured on The Bleacher Report.

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