Former Giants payroll manager facing embezzlement charges

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According to KGO-TV in San Francisco, Robin O’Connor, a former payroll manager with the Giants, was arrested on federal charges associated with embezzling more than $1.5 million from player accounts.

O’Connor, who worked in the Giants’ front office for four years, received an annual salary of $80,000. An FBI affidavit says the 41-year-old mother-of-two embezzled $1,513,836.28 from the Giants’ payroll between June 2010 and June 2011. She was formally charged with wire fraud and fraud in connection with a computer.

The scheme blew up when O’Connor applied for a loan from Bank of America to buy a home in San Diego. She allegedly forged a letter from the Giants’ HR manager, explaining that the large deposits in her account were due to her “outstanding contributions … that assisted us in accomplishing our goal of winning the 2010 World Series.” That’s right. Who needs the likes of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Juan Uribe, Cody Ross, Edgar Renteria and Brian Wilson when you have O’Connor? She was clearly the key to their title run. Anyway, when Bank of America sent a letter back to the Giants for confirmation, she was toast.

O’Connor has been released on $500,000 bond and is scheduled for arraignment in a month. While it’s too bad that some of the players were the victims in this featherbrained scheme, she may have saved Brian Sabean from spending $1.5 million on yet another ancient shortstop. Perspective, people.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.