If you’ve kept up with the World Cup at all, you’re well aware of what a vuvuzela is by now. The plastic air horns blown by South African natives have now infiltrated the United States, and in the least likeliest of places.
The Marlins gave away 15,000 mini vuvuzelas on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium and encouraged fans to blare them throughout the Feesh’s interleague game against the Rays. It didn’t go over well with some people — namely the media attempting to craft stories about the game with constant buzzing fluttering around the park — but the fans in south Florida sure seemed to like the things.
MLB.com beat writer Joe Frisaro was in attendance, and says that Sun Life Stadium “vibrated loudly” after Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan homered in the fourth inning. Dan Uggla threw in earplugs at one point and first base umpire Ed Rapuano did the same.
The Marlins have averaged a major league-low 16,213 fans this season and yet still caused a ruckus. Imagine if vuvuzelas were distributed in Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium, where over 43,000 fans stream in on most nights. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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.