Sabean, Bochy get extensions from Giants
03/29/2013 12:00 AM
04/01/2013 7:51 AM
SAN FRANCISCO – Not two full years had passed since the ticker tape fell on the first World Series parade through San Francisco before the Giants were rolling through the city's streets again last fall, their second championship trophy in three seasons in tow.
The moment was not lost on Giants president and CEO Larry Baer, a native San Franciscan, as he rode the parade route in an open car.
"The glory days of the franchise are now," Baer said Thursday. "And I think it's important to acknowledge that and pay tribute to the people who have done it."
The Giants did so by announcing contract extensions for general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy through the 2016 season. The agreements, terms of which were not announced, add two years to each deal after the Giants exercised options for 2014 on both Bochy and Sabean during the winter meetings in December.
Baer said the team planned on the extensions all along but was crunched for time after the postseason. He said there was "a lot of incentive" to get the deals done before Opening Day so Bochy and Sabean wouldn't be thinking about them during the season.
In the longer view, they aim to preserve a symbiotic relationship between GM and manager, who will have been together a decade if they finish out the contracts.
Sabean, in his 17th season with the Giants, said the fact that both live across the street from AT&T Park and are often together has helped foster their working relationship. Bochy, whom Sabean brought in before the 2007 season, said there is open and constant collaboration between himself and the front office.
"It makes the task of managing a lot less daunting when you have the support that I get," Bochy said.
Under Sabean, the longest-tenured GM in baseball, the Giants have a .537 winning percentage and three National League pennants. Two have come with Bochy at the helm, along with a 22-9 postseason record and the two World Series rings.
Success was not immediate upon Bochy's arrival from San Diego. The Giants finished with 91 and 90 losses in his first two seasons, respectively. In four seasons since, they have finished at least 10 games over .500 and averaged 90 wins.
"Bruce is a tough SOB, but he doesn't come off that way," Sabean said. "And I think that's what's really appreciated by his players.
"If you work with him every day, you see how he empowers the players and makes them responsible, but more so lets them really take over the team.
"I know the players really love playing for him."
Bochy, whose 1,454 career wins rank third among active managers and 23rd all-time, left San Diego having won the N.L. West in 2006. Though a former player and manager for 12 seasons with the Padres, he said acclimating to San Francisco was a quick transition.
"We have a great thing here – great city, great fans, great staff," Bochy said. "I'm very, very excited about this and I'm very happy to continue my journey here."
Final tuneup – Tim Lincecum threw 81 pitches but couldn't get out of the fifth inning in his final spring training start, allowing five runs on five hits in the Giants' 7-3 loss to the A's. He struck out six, and said afterward he is season-ready.
"I feel like my stuff's there," Lincecum said. "Definitely have confidence in all of it."
Lincecum cruised through the first three innings before leaving a changeup up to Yoenis Cespedes, who launched a two-run homer in the fourth. After Lincecum departed with two on and two outs in the fifth, Jeremy Affeldt allowed a three-run homer to Josh Reddick.
A blister on his throwing hand abbreviated Lincecum's spring, and he finished with a 10.57 ERA in five outings.
"I wish I would've gotten out there more," he said. "But I think we're at the point where you kind of put that to the wayside and just try to compete out there and get outs."
Sandoval update – Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (sore elbow) took batting practice and ground balls before the game. To be ready for Opening Day, though, Sandoval will likely have to face live pitching this weekend against the A's, Bochy said.
"It's going to be critical that he gets at-bats, or else we'll probably have to go another direction for a week or so," Bochy said.
About This BlogMatt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.
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