My personal experience as a kid and as a parent of kids playing youth sports has been hit and miss. There are a lot of good coaches out there with their heads on straight. Lots of good parents too. Probably most of them are good. But there are also jerks, and the higher you go in youth sports — the more competitive the landscape — the more likely you are to encounter jerk coaches or parents.
The Little League World Series is about as high as kids that age can go. It’s crazy competitive. So it wouldn’t be shocking to find some jerks at that level, even if most of them are now well enough versed in how it is covered to not be super obvious about it.
Which makes this coach, Dave Belisle of the Cumberland, Rhode Island team, so damn refreshing and even inspirational. I want a guy like this coaching or teaching my kids in anything they do. This is so pitch perfect. In a crappy, crappy week of news, this is most welcome indeed.
UPDATE: Sorry: been having trouble with the embed code. You can see the video here.
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.