San Francisco Giants Struck Out on Superstars, But Still Intriguing in 2023

The San Francisco Giants fascinate me going into the 2023 Major League Baseball season. (And I’ve previously written about my admiration for their manager, Gabe Kapler.)

I don’t know how often I’ll watch them playing on Pacific time (especially as I try to prize sleep and stay on a consistent routine), but a team that tried to take that big step and fell short — or should I say took a big swing and missed — is very intriguing.

Aaron Judge or Carlos Correa signing with the Giants could’ve had a significant effect on the balance of power in Major League Baseball. What would the New York Yankees be without their star, 62-home run slugger? Would the Minnesota Twins begin a downward spiral without Carlos Correa? And what if Correa signed with the New York Mets, as he clearly wanted?

In Sunday’s New York Times, James Wagner visits the Giants and looks at a roster bolstered by $175 million worth of free-agent additions including outfielders Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger, and pitchers Sean Manaea, Taylor Rogers, and Ross Stripling. All of them are good players, but not stars. And certainly not the marquee names that bring fans to the ballpark and attract media attention during Spring Training.

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Baseball Radio: Pitch Clock, No Shifts, Braves Peak, Yankees Slump, Giants Turn

After a week off for Labor Day and schedule switcheroos, we’re back for a baseball segment on Asheville’s WISE Sports Radio. And we’re just in time to discuss new rules changes in baseball, including a (much-needed) pitch clock, getting rid of the defensive shift, and larger bases on the field.

Our conversation also includes asking whether the Atlanta Braves peaked too early in their surge up the National League East standings, the New York Yankees’ recent struggles, the downward turn of the San Francisco Giants, and the future of Tony La Russa as Chicago White Sox manager.

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Gabe Kapler, the Most Interesting Man in Baseball

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Is San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler the most interesting man in baseball? My guess is that he doesn’t mind being viewed that way and does his part to create that impression.

ESPN’s Tim Keown followed Kapler around for a feature article that reinforced the perception that the Giants skipper is hardly an old-school baseball man like Buck Showalter, Dusty Baker, Brian Snitker, or Bob Melvin. Those guys don’t have writers highlight their fitness, facial hair, nutrition, shoes, taste for Scotch, and fashionable watches. (Unless I missed those profiles of Jim Leyland 12-15 years ago…)

Oh, and Kapler’s diet:

“His diet consists almost solely of red meat, and it’s almost because he recently began mixing in some berries and the occasional bacon-and-egg breakfast. ‘There’s really not a lot of vitamins the body needs that doesn’t cover,’ he says of red meat and berries. ‘Now, I’m making that statement without being an expert on the topic. I always know there’s a chance I could be wrong.'”

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Baseball Radio: Miguel Cabrera, Oakland A’s, Kyle Schwarber vs. Angel Hernandez, Gabe Kapler

Miguel Cabrera reaching 3,000 hits didn’t appear to draw the national headlines that such a story once did. But we led off our WISE Sports Radio baseball segment with the Detroit Tigers slugger joining some of the sport’s legends with his achievements.

We also discuss Kyle Schwarber going nuts over Angel Hernandez’s strike zone, poor attendance at Oakland Athletics games, and San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler refusing to play by baseball’s unwritten rules. And I included a few footnotes after the jump.

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