The world is a funny place. After years of thinking you know someone, you wake up one day to find out that they actually like hockey. That’s what happened over the weekend, as all sorts of people I once considered to be respectable were asking me whether I was watching the USA-Canada game, telling me that their heart skipped a beat when the U.S. tied it up to send it into overtime and all that jazz. It’s much like the way everyone I knew suddenly liked curling a couple of weeks ago, only this time it was without any apparent irony.
Well, it’s time for these folks to put their mouse clicks where their mouth is, as we’ve launched ProHockeyTalk (RSS! Twitter!). Emceed by Brandon Worley, PHT will provide you with all the NHL news, rumors, insight, analysis, “Slap Shot” references and poutine you could possibly want, all in one convenient location. You should totally check it out. I’m a huge Cleveland Barons fan, so I’ll definitely be reading. Johnny Damon and Scott Boras will be clicking there every day too. They LOVE octopus.
In other news, ProCurlingTalk’s launch — originally scheduled for next week — is going to be delayed. Some squatter owns that URL and he’s being a real jerk in negotiations. I’ll give you the heads up.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.