Was tuned in to the Fenway Park 100th celebration going on right now. This was the scene, as scores of former Red Sox players, in uniform, made their way out to the field from the big garage door in center, each of the players taking their customary position on the Fenway Park field. Very cool:
The best moment: Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr’s entrance. They’re in wheelchairs and where pushed out to second base by Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek. You don’t have to be a Red Sox fan to get a little misty at that.
Sadly, MLB.com’s feed of it had no crowd noise at all, the proceedings being drowned out by John Williams music. It felt like I was watching a pre-taped cinematic moment, not a live event. Poor form, MLB.com.
But maybe the most notable thing — which people there in person tweeted to me and which made me wonder if perhaps it was the reason MLB.com tuned out the crowd noise — was when Terry Francona entered the field. The crowd gave him the biggest ovation of the day and began chanting “TITO, TITO, TITO!” So, yeah.
Happy 100th, Fenway Park.
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.