Giants former payroll manager sentenced to 21 months in prison

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Remember the Giants former payroll secretary who was arrested for embezzlement? And who was caught, not because of someone’s shrewd eye, but because she forged letters explaining why she was getting all of those extra pay checks, thereby creating her own red flags?  Yeah, that was awesome.

Well, she’s going to jail for 21 months:

Robin O’Connor, of American Canyon, was fired by the team last July after it was discovered she had been transferring team funds to her personal bank accounts over the prior year. Prosecutors said she used some of the money to pay off debts, but also toward a second home in San Diego, spa visits, pet grooming, home improvements and travel.

She stole $2.2 million and has returned roughly $1.6 million of it. Which shows just how responsible she was, given that she was probably saving that money for retirement and thus had it ready to return. Much better than spending the whole shebang on pet grooming. $600,000 for that kind of thing is plenty.

In other news, Barry Bonds remains the worst criminal in the history of San Francisco sports.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.