Cubs manager Joe Maddon has a charitable foundation called the “Respect 90” foundation, which helps disadvantaged kids. This is part of its mission statement:
“In his 12 seasons as a major league manager, Joe Maddon has made few demands of his players, but there is one: all players must run hard to first base. ‘I ask our players to run hard for 90 feet to respect that distance and the respect will come back to you,’ he says.
That’s a good philosophy! I’m wondering, though, if instead of merely leaving it up on the foundation’s website, Maddon shouldn’t print it out and tape it to the clubhouse wall. Preferably someplace close to Willson Contreras‘ locker:
As you can see, Contreras admired that as a homer but it hit the wall and he was lucky he made it in safely with the double. The photo at the top of the page was the slide he was required to execute in order to make it.
Maddon likely wasn’t pleased with it, but Contreras was contrite about it after the game. He’s not known to be a slacker or a hot dog. He’s been slumping badly and, I imagine, he was simply jacked to have finally, he thought, hit a homer. Stuff happens.
But it’s never not funny to see a guy’s startled realization that he misjudged a blast and suddenly have to shift into high gear like that.
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.