Monthly Archives: April 2021

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The SF Giants laid off roughly 50 full-time employees as part of an organizational downsizing under cover of lost revenues from the COVID-19 pandemic. Longtime coaches Dave Righetti and Shawon Dunston were caught in the cuts.
According to a report by Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic Bay Area, former MLB players and longtime SF Giants coaches Dave Righetti, and Shawon Dunston were part of the organization’s substantial layoffs three weeks ago.

Righetti was the Giants pitching coach for 18 seasons, working with managers Dusty Baker, Felipe Alou, and Bruce Bochy. He moved to the front office and worked as a special assistant to player development since leaving Baseball Cheap Jerseys the coaching staff following the 2017 season. A member of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, Righetti was born and raised in San Jose before becoming the tenth-overall pick in the 1977 MLB draft.

Spanning from 1979-1995, Righetti’s 16-season MLB career may be one of the most underrated pitchers of the 1980s. After three successful seasons as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, he became the team’s closer in 1984 and solidified the bullpen for eight seasons. He made two All-Star appearances as a reliever and accumulated 252 career saves.

Dunston is more known for his 18-year playing career that included three stints with the Giants. The first overall pick in the 1982 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs, Dunston spent the first decade of his career with the Cubs, where he served as the team’s everyday shortstop and reached a pair of All-Star teams.

Before the 1996 season, Dunston signed with the Giants and would hit .300 and win the Willie Mac Award before returning to the Cubs the following offseason. Before the end of his Major-League career in 2002, he would have two more stints in San Francisco and appearances with the Pirates, Cleveland, Cardinals, and Mets. Dunston finished his career with 150 home runs and nearly 1600 hits.

After ending his playing career, Dunston joined the Giants coaching staff, where he’s served in several positions over 12 years with the organization. He was set to become more focused on player development in 2020 before the minor-league season was canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEXT: 16 Giants Become MiLB Free Agents
Needless to say, Dave Righetti and Shawon Dunston made massive contributions to the SF Giants organization over their combined three decades as coaches and advisors. Seeing them laid off while Giants principal owner Charles B. Johnson spends millions on political donations should be particularly frustrating for fans. Hopefully, both can find another opportunity soon.

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Sometime late this summer, barring injury or some other unforeseen circumstance, Brett Gardner will play his 112th game of the season. Some of these will come at any of the three outfield positions, including right, a new addition to his defensive repertoire. Some will come pinch running or pinch hitting in National League ballparks.

Some, no doubt, will come during stretches when the men who would otherwise occupy those slots — Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton — are unavailable, either because of injury or illness or the need to take a few days off. There will be any number of ways that Gardner will find his name Baseball Jerseys Cheap in a box score.

And when he hits 112 games for the season, he’ll also hit 1,660 for his career.

And that will nudge him past Tony Lazzeri, “Ol Poosh-em-up” Tony, and that will put Gardner in 15th place on the Yankees’ all-time list. If he winds up playing for them in 2022 (and both player and team have an option for that) he could, quite easily, play in the 238 games required to slip past Don Mattingly into the Top 10, and then it would only take five more games to hop over Bill Dickey into ninth.

“I appreciate,” Gardner said Tuesday, an hour or so before the Yankee would beat the Philliies 4-2 in an exhibition game at Tampa’s George M. Steinbrenner Field, “that this relationship has lasted as long as it has. It’s definitely not something I take lightly.”

Appreciation is something that has only grudgingly come Gardner’s way, mostly because it has felt that every year since he showed up in 2008, there has been some other player either coveted by Yankees fans or imported by the Yankees to, first, minimize Gardner’s playing time and, ultimately, turn this lifetime Yankee into an ex-Yankee.

Yankees Brett Gardner
Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner.
Corey Sipkin
Except every spring, every summer, every fall, when you walk in the Yankees clubhouse, there Gardner is. When you look at the lineup card every spring, every summer, every fall, there he is, too: Since 2010, Gardner has failed to appear in at least 140 games only twice — last year, when 60 was everyone’s max (and Gardner played in all but 11); and in 2012, when he hurt his elbow diving for a ball in April and missed five months.

There is something endearing about Gardner’s enduring career as a Yankee. He has been a winning player for years, a reminder that you don’t need to stuff a team with All-Stars to succeed. The Yankees have crafted dynasties around the every-day likes of Scott Brosius and Bucky Dent, Clete Boyer and Joe Collins, Frankie Crosetti and Mark Koenig.

Brett Gardner compares favorably to all of them. And to date, every big league memory he has compiled has been in the sacred pinstriped vestments of the Yankees. It’s rare for someone to do that in baseball in 2021, rarer still for that to happen for a Yankee who is bound for neither Monument Park nor Cooperstown.

“I’ve been spoiled,” Gardner said. “I came up here and I don’t know anything different. I don’t know what it’s like on the other side. Lots of guys who come up in other organizations hear what a great experience it is to play for the Yankees but never know, at least until they come here.”

“This,” he said, “is all I’ve ever known.”

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Brett Gardner’s return isn’t a ‘reward’ for his Yankees past
Most of the other Yankees on the list ahead of Gardner are one-name-only immortals: Jeter, Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle. Yogi. DiMaggio. Scooter. Bernie.

The one name that sticks out is seventh on the list: Roy White, who played every inning of his 15-year, 1,881-game career as a Yankee, who was a part of two titles (1977-’78) and more than a few lean years, a two-time All-Star who, like Gardner, always seemed to be on the verge of being replaced once George Steinbrenner started collecting stars like live-action baseball cards in the ’70s.

Except every spring, every summer, every fall, when you walked into the Yankees clubhouse … there White was. And here Gardner is. He’s a .259 lifetime hitter with a 101 OPS+ for his career … and yet here he is. Again. He is a one-time All-Star, a one-time Gold Glover who has never received even one MVP vote in his career. And yet …