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Monday, November 09, 2009

Off-field Issues Surround Giants

The Giants organization has been in the news quite a bit lately, and it's not the kind of news that you hope for. I'm sure most Giants fans are aware of the trouble that "The Franchise" got into a couple of weeks back after being caught with an illegal substance, as well as the tragic news out of the Dominican that involves Giants' elite 19 year-old infield prospect, Angel Villalona.

Now, these two issues are drastically different and on completely different levels, but both seem to be making news each day over the past week or so. The Lincecum news isn't something that is going to get him into any kind of legal trouble, or get him any suspensions from the MLB or the Giants, but it is something that will likely follow him wherever he goes in the immediate future. I'm not in anyway comparing steroid use to marijuana smoking, but I'm expecting the same type treatment from road fans towards Linceucm as Barry Bonds got after the steroid scandal. Obviously not to the extent Bonds got, as Lincecum is generally well-liked in opposing cities, but you'll definitely be seeing some signs and hearing some rants, and he's going to have to keep focused. I can't wait to see what the fans at Dodger Stadium, or in New York have to say to Timmy once he takes the mound in there yards. Again, this is not something that is going to hurt Lincecum's status as an elite pitcher or anything like that, but I guarantee you that this is going to be something that won't go away as quickly as I'm sure he's hoping.

As far as the Villalona case goes, things are starting to pick-up in the investigation and it's not looking pretty for the 19 year-old. Andrew Baggarly reported yesterday that two new witnesses have come forward and are set to testify against Villalona, the main suspect in a homicide in Santo Domingo in September. However, Villalona apparently has reached an agreement with the victims family in which Villalona will pay them 150,000 to drop charges. Even if they do drop the charges though, Villalona is still facing trial and the possibility or 20 years in prison if convicted. This situation really cannot end up well for the Giants no matter what happens in the case. If Villalona is found guilty, his professional baseball career will be finished and he'll be incarcerated until he's 40. However, if he's found not guilty and avoids prison, then what do the Giants do with him? I'd hate to speculate on a case I know very little about and accuse Villalona, but how on earth do you employ someone in his situation if he does manage to get off? I guess only time will tell, but my feeling is that Angel Villalona's career has ended before it really got a chance to start, and it's such an unfortunate situation in all aspects.

AFL Stuff
: The Arizona Fall League has been going now for a few weeks and the Giants have a few prominent youngsters getting some action in. SS Brandon Crawford, OF Thomas Neal, C Buster Posey, as well as pitchers Joe Martinez, Daniel Turpin and Scott Edlefson are all playing for the Scottsdalle Scorpions. Neal and Crawford are both having respectable offensive showings. The 22 year-old Neal, who tore up the California League for San Jose in '09 with a .337 avg, 22 HR/90 RBI season, is hitting .288 with a homer and 7 RBI and leads the team with 8 stolen bases for the Scorpions. His play over this year has put him on the map as one of the Giants' top outfield prospects. Crawford, who had a terrefic start in A and a solid finish in AA in '09, is hitting .309 with a .845 OPS with a home run and is second on the team in runs scored and walks. Both of those guys have played much better than Buster Posey, who's hitting just .224 with 2 homers and 8 RBI in 15 games. On the mound, Joe Martinez has looked pretty good, sporting a 1-0 record with a 4.32 era and 17 k's in 16 2/3 innings spread over 5 starts.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Robert D. said…

    Sucks to hear the news about Villalona. I really had high hopes for the guy.

    The only issue I have with Lincecum being caught with the green is the message it sends to the 13-14 year olds who may now decide to smoke pot because their idol or role model was doing so. But being totally honost, I don't even see why this story made news. All it does is embarass the player, and the crime is so petty that it's surprising that he even got into any trouble at all.....

    Good article man!

  • At 9:40 AM, Blogger stupidmop said…

    I actually think things might work out for Villalona. A part of me really thinks the guy is innocent. Since the family has basically accepted a pay-off, and has since stated they want no part in the trial or investigation, I expect the other "witnesses" to probably do the same, especially if Villalona buys them out as well. What do the Giants do with him? If he isn't convicted of murder, then they should not do anything to hinder his career. In America, you are innocent until proven guilty. We shouldn't punish him for something his own country's judicial system couldn't punish him for.

    As far as Lincecum is concerned, oh well. We might see some signs for a while but that will be it. Considering most people in Los Angeles have probably smoked weed sometime in their lifetime, I doubt there is going to be some outrage. Just the normal heckling. Lincecum can deal with it. If he could not deal with heckling, then he wouldn't be a big league pitcher.

    Great post. I like reading your blog.

  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah, I'm not too concerned with Timmy. I think he'll be able to handle the heckling on the road. It should be interesting to see what fans come up with as far as signs go though...

    Stupidmop, I really hope your right regarding the Villalona case. I haven't been following it too closely, and I'm getting most of my updates through Andrew Baggerly and it seems like you have been following that case a little closer. I'm just wondering what will happen with him if he's found innocent and is freed? It'd be tough for the Giants to continue on with him as nothing happened at all, but then again, what can they do if he's not convicted? It's just a messy situation all around and I'm looking forward to it being resolved.

  • At 4:13 PM, Anonymous King of Cali said…

    Cool blog... keep up the good work. I'm a die hard sf giants fan and love reading/talking about the giants. Check out the site i started for all the latest SF Giants Rumors Updated Daily!

    ~King of Cali

  • At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Does the MLB test for marijuana? It seems like they would because they do all these other drug tests... Not that I think weed is a big deal or anything, just surprised someone of Lincecum's stature would take the chance on that if baseball drug tests randomly during the off-season. I don't know the rules though. Anyone else more familiar with that?


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