Did Brewers' celebration go too far?

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Sunday’s extra-inning affair between
the Brewers and Giants was everything you could ask for in a September
baseball game. A little bit of history, the Brewers turned a
triple-play for the first time since 1999. The game had plenty of
drama, too, ultimately being decided on a 12th inning walk-off blast by
Prince Fielder. The loss knocked the Giants two games behind the
Rockies in the Wild Card race. So why am I writing about this on Monday?




Upon rounding the bases after his
game-winning homer, Fielder untucked his uniform, seemingly setting
things up to toss his helmet as he approached home plate, a popular and
accepted form of celebration in recent years. However, the Brewers went
against the grain, using a choreographed celebration where when Fielder touched the plate, he extended his arms to the sky and his teammates fell to the ground around
him. With even veterans like Craig Counsell taking part, it was a
ridiculous piece of theatre that
won’t be forgotten by the Giants any time soon.



“Did you see that celebration?” bench coach Ron Wotus
asked. “You would like to think professionals would have a lot more
respect for the game and their opponents. That was choreographed.”




Yet, if you were to read the recaps
this morning, you’ll see the incident celebrated in pictures and
highlights. I’m no Yankees fan, but imagine if this was Alex Rodriguez?
The criticism would be overwhelming. Fielder is getting a pass today. No bones about it.




Surely the Brewers may have thought
twice about doing this if they were going to face the Giants again on
Monday, but don’t be surprised to see Fielder catch one in the back or
worse when he faces them next season.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.