Category Archives: Wholesale Giants Jerseys

Donovan Solano Jersey

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Stat line
228 PAs, .330/.360/.456, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 116 wRC+, 1.6 rWAR

Donovan Solano was not supposed to be a name we remembered this time of year. He was one of Farhan Zaidi’s earliest moves, signed to a minor league contract (like so, so many others) the day after his 31st birthday.

14 years after signing with the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent, Solano had provided all of 0.9 Wins Above Replacement in his career, per Baseball-Reference. He was supposed to be the minor leaguer that provides a little emergency depth in Sacramento, before being waived prior to ever seeing what Oracle Park looks like.

Well that didn’t happen. Solano was called up in May, and stuck with the team the rest of the year, platooning with Joe Panik, and then playing a utility role. He was the Giants best infielder, which is both a testament to magically flipping some switches and the rest of the Giants infield dramatically disappointing.

But he was good. Good at a time when he had no right to be. Good at a time when few others were.

Role on the 2019 team
Despite being the Giants best infielder, Solano’s role was as a pinch-hitter and backup middle infielder. This is understandable. He’s on the older side (in baseball years), with an invisible track record, and a nearly invisible contract.

It made more sense at second base to see if there was anything left in the Panik tank, and then to give Mauricio Dubon reps, than it did to play a guy with a limited long-term role.

It made more sense at shortstop and third base to play the expensive, long-term contracts of Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria, respectively, than to find cheaper production elsewhere, when there’s no easy path to shedding the expensive production.

His role was backup infielder extraordinaire, something the Giants haven’t seen much of in recent years.

Solano finished third among Giants position players in rWAR. When your backup infielder who receives fewer than 230 plate appearances finishes third in WAR, then something has either gone terribly wrong or terribly ri…….no, wait, just terribly wrong.


Role on the 2020 team
Solano’s role on the 2020 team will likely be exactly what it was in 2019: Backup middle infielder.

Barring a shocking trade, Brandon Crawford isn’t going anywhere. And the Giants will play him, though if his cold bat continues, it seems quite possible that Crawford will be platooned. Dubon will likely be the everyday second baseman (unless he’s the part-time second baseman and part-time shortstop), meaning there’s no permanent place for Solano, but lots of part-time space for him.

If he replicates his 2019 performance, the Giants will have no choice but to find a way to get his bat into an otherwise dreary lineup.

Expect him to see more than 228 plate appearances next year, though not a ton more. Unless, of course, he’s traded. Or unless, of course, he was a flash in the pan who doesn’t actually break camp with the team.

All of these options are distinctly possible.

How Farhan is Solano?

I’m going for three Farhans, assuming Solano is the player we saw in 2019. That probably shouldn’t be the assumption, but for the sake of this article, I’m pretending it is.

Last year Solano was very valuable, could play at least three positions, and made the league minimum. He was a good clubhouse guy, and happy to start one day, rest two days, and repeat.

Versatility and flexibility is the name of the game with Zaidi. Solano isn’t four Farhans worth of either of those things, but when he’s hitting 20% better than league average, he’s three Farhans worth.

[Editor’s note: Solano is also one of the candidates for Batter of the Year. If you think he’s the best the Giants brought to the plate in 2019, vote for him our poll.]

Tyler Rogers Jersey

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Stat Line
17.2 IP, 8.15 K/9, 1.53 BB/9, 1.02 ERA, 2.08 FIP, 2.87 xFIP, 0.5 fWAR, 0.7 rWAR

Tyler Rogers rules.

I had this whole intro about seeing him for the first time in Sacramento and how he worked his way up to the majors, but that didn’t really cut to the core of things, which is this: Tyler Rogers is the single most fun player to watch on the Giants.

It’s not just that he has that unique delivery, ultra underhand, with his knuckles almost scraping the ground, but it’s so dang effective. In the month of September, Rogers had the second most fWAR of any Giants pitcher, ahead of Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith and everyone not named Tyler Beede (Beede, for the record, pitched 10 more innings than Rogers in September and was worth 0.1 more WAR).

That combination of uniqueness and effectiveness makes him an absolute delight on the mound. Nobody throws like Tyler Rogers. Almost nobody’s as good as Tyler Rogers (among relievers who pitched at least 10 innings this year, he was fourth in the majors in ERA and no, YOUR sample size is small).

And this is all coming on the heels of two straight offseasons where Rogers was available to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, and every team in the majors said, “Nah, we’re good.” Grant had a thing for a while about how the Twins, who literally employ Rogers’s twin brother Taylor Rogers, could have had an actual set of twins on the roster and they chose not to. Is that why they continued their proud tradition of losing to the Yankees in the playoffs? Yes, it definitely is.

The important thing is this: every team could have had Tyler Rogers for a tiny amount of cash. They all declined. The thing the Giants didn’t see in him for years (his delivery and mid-80s fastball playing in the majors) is the same thing the league didn’t see in him for years, and now Rogers is making them all look stupid, including the Giants for not bringing him up in 2017 or 2018, both All-Star seasons for Rogers in AAA.

Somehow, probably due to anti-Giants media bias, Tyler Rogers was completely shut out of Rookie of the Year balloting. This is a travesty, and the only way the nation will ever recover is a long series of Congressional hearings to get to the bottom of it.

Role on the 2019 team
Late season bullpen reinforcement. Even before Reyes Moronta and Tony Watson went down with season-ending injuries, they were having poor Augusts, and with Sam Dyson and Mark Melancon traded (along with Drew Pomeranz), that strong bullpen from the first few months of the year had just about crumbled into dust. Rogers was one of the guys the Giants brought up from Sacramento to try to stop the bleeding, and he was very successful at it. The team was still bad, of course, but at least they had one young guy in the bullpen who was absolutely not the problem.

Role on the 2020 team
There’s a spot in the bullpen that’s his to lose. Rogers has spent years putting up great numbers in the minors, and he just kept on trucking when he hit the majors. It’s certainly possible that he gets optioned after a weak spring, but if you were filling out a preliminary 8-man Giants bullpen for 2020, he’d absolutely be on the list.

How Farhan is Tyler Rogers?

3.5 Farhans. Rogers is cheap, he has options, he was undervalued by both the previous regime and all of baseball — Eligible for the Rule 5 draft twice! Twice! — and he gets there, to put it mildly, unconventionally. Farhan signed Pat Venditte last year because he checked very similar boxes, and while that didn’t work out, it did show that he’s open to pitchers who succeed in unorthodox ways. Rogers certainly does that, and the team can pay him the major league minimum, and they can send him down to Sacramento on a whim if they need a major league roster space for, like, DFA Pickup Number 7 in June.

Boy, isn’t it great to be an extremely Farhan player?

Matt Cain Jersey

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The San Francisco Giants selected Matt Cain with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2002 MLB draft as one of the top high school pitchers in the nation.

By the start of the 2005 season, he ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the farm system and the No. 13 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America.

He made his MLB debut on Aug. 29, 2005, tossing five shutout innings against the San Diego Padres. The 20-year-old went on to make seven starts down the stretch that year, posting a 2.33 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 46.1 innings.

Since he fell short of the 50-inning rookie eligibility cut-off, he maintained his prospect status heading into 2006 and again ranked as the club’s No. 1 prospect while climbing to the No. 10 spot on the leaguewide top 100.

He was a full-time member of the team’s starting rotation from the jump in 2006, going 13-12 with a 4.15 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 179 strikeouts in 190.2 innings to finish fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

From there, he steadily emerged as one of baseball’s best starters, going 70-65 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while averaging 178 strikeouts and 217 innings during the six-year span from 2007 to 2012.

His performance during the 2010 postseason was one of the most dominant runs in MLB playoff history. In three starts, he allowed just 13 hits and one unearned run over 21.1 innings of work. He tossed 7.2 scoreless innings in Game 2 of the World Series.

While he was not quite as dominant during the 2012 postseason, he still did his part with a 3.60 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in five starts, including seven strong innings in a no-decision in Game 4 of the World Series.

He also threw a perfect game during the 2012 season, blanking the Houston Astros at AT&T Park on June 13. He racked up 14 strikeouts in what was the 22nd perfect game in MLB history.

He was given a six-year, $127.5 million extension at the start of the 2012 season, which was the largest contract ever for a right-handed pitcher at the time.

His ERA spiked from 2.79 to 4.00 in 2013 and he averaged just 16 starts per year over the final four seasons of the contract, but his peak was more than good enough to etch his place in San Francisco Giants history.

All told, he won 104 games with a 3.68 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 1,694 strikeouts in 2,085.2 innings during his 13 seasons with the team. That was good for 29.4 WAR, as he was named to three All-Star teams and twice finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting.

It’s his postseason track record that really pushes him over the top, with a 2.10 ERA in eight career playoff starts.

Check back here regularly as we count down the 50 best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s.

Kirt Manwaring Jersey

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Dylan Manwaring, son of former San Francisco Giants catcher Kirt Manwaring, was signed on March 28 to a minor league contract by his father’s team of ten seasons. Earlier that same day, Dylan was released by the Atlanta Braves, who drafted him in the ninth round of the 2013 draft, after three disappointing seasons in rookie ball.

His father Kirt was selected in the second in 1986 by the Giants, where he went on to appear in 709 games while collecting 16 home runs and 207 RBIs. He earned a gold glove in 1993, finishing the year with 45 percent accuracy when attempting to throw out base stealers — the National League’s second highest percentage that year. He was traded during the 1996 season to Houston for Rick Wilkins, spending the remainder of that season with the Astros before finishing his career with the Colorado Rockies for three years.

Dylan, playing exclusively third base with both the Gulf Coast Braves and Danville Braves, batted .157 in 330 plate appearances. The Giants will look to convert him into a right-handed pitcher, something he succeeded at in high school. Perfect Game had him topping out at 92 mph in 2013 before the draft. He’ll likely spend the season in Extended Spring Training while coaches work to complete the transition to pitcher, putting him on track for an AZL Giants or Salem-Keizer Volcanoes placement by mid-June.

Kirk Rueter Jersey

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After secretly watching Child’s Play at the age of nine, I was terrified of my toys coming to life and killing me. So when Toy Story came out, I thought of it more as a horror flick instead of the humorous family film that other people did. As I’ve grown older and come to accept that dolls are rarely possessed, I’ve been able to appreciate the film for its intelligent storytelling and heartwarming story about friendship.

But when the Giants celebrated Pixar Day on Sunday, all those old fears came rushing back. No, not because John Lasseter was in attendance or for the Pixar-style player introductions:

Rather, it’s because of Kirk Rueter. Nicknamed “Woody” for his resemblance to the animated cowboy, the two look so much alike that it’s almost enough to convince a full grown adult that his toys could morph into people if not closely watched:

Woody and Reuter

But if Kirk Rueter is Woody, how does the rest of the cast shake out?

Buzz Lightyear is clearly Eric Hinske, down to the square jaw and tuft of hair on his chin: Hinske and Buzz

Mr. Potato Head was obviously modeled off of former Yankees slugger and current Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly:

Mattingly and potato

Stinky Pete and Sean Doolittle could swap lives for a day and no one would blink an eye: Stinky Pete and Doolittle

And Rex’s closest match is obviously … this terrifying Tyrannosaur that threw out the first pitch for the Padres: Rex and Rex Tyrannosaur Now we just have to hope that Disney decides to make a live action Toy Story. Because we’ve already got the cast.

Michael Clair writes about baseball for Cut4. He believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit and Adam Dunn’s pitching performance was baseball’s greatest moment.

Joe Medwick Jersey

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Baseball’s primary concern has always been making money, a goal which is shared by both owners and players.

Many of today’s fans, especially older fans, resent players’ salaries.

They read or recall when players worked in car dealerships or clothing stores during the winter to supplement their baseball incomes, which free agency has changed, but it has always been money first and winning second.

Joe Medwick Was a Great Star

Joe Medwick’s trade from the Cardinals to Brooklyn in 1940 is an excellent example.

Medwick joined the Cardinals in 1932. He never batted less than .306, and in 1937 he led the National League with 31 home runs, 154 RBIs, and a .374 batting average. In those days, it was not yet referred to as winning the Triple Crown.

Medwick Wanted More Money

Medwick wanted more money, but Cardinals owner Sam Breaden fought to keep salaries low.

In 1940, Medwick was making $18,000, which was one of baseball’s better salaries, although it was acknowledged that he deserved more.

Medwick was bitter at the way the Cardinals treated him, but it never affected his game, which was true for most players since their salary was based on the previous year’s performance.

The Cardinals Traded Medwick to a Primary Rival

The Cardinals, Dodgers, and Reds were embroiled in a tight pennant race when, on June 12, 1940, the Cardinals sent Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis, who had won 22 games in 1939, to Brooklyn for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, minor leaguers Sam Nahem and Bert Haas, and at least $100,000.

Trading Medwick to a primary rival was not as important as getting rid of a player who continually held out for more money. The $100,000 was also nice.

Medwick Was Elated

When he discovered he had been traded, Medwick was elated. “I’m the happiest guy in the world. Nothing ever happened to me that tickled me so much.”

Brooklyn had agreed to increase Joe’s salary to $25,000 a season, which helps explain his joy. He and Brooklyn manager Leo Durocher were also close friends from their days with the Cardinals, which was an added bonus for both.

The Reds easily won the 1940 pennant, but in 1941, Medwick hit .318 with 18 home runs and 88 RBIs to help Brooklyn win its first pennant since 1920. It was Medwick’s last solid season.

Medwick Joined the Giants

In July of 1943, he had become a part-time player and was put on waivers.

The only team that claimed him was the last place Giants, who put in so many waiver claims that they hadn’t realized Brooklyn didn’t pull Medwick off the list when he was claimed. New York paid Brooklyn $7,500 for the future Hall of Famer.

A Yankee? Not Really

No longer a star, Medwick was a respectable player with the Giants, who sent him to the Braves in 1945.

He later played for the Browns, the Dodgers again, and on Dec. 11, 1946, there were two lines in a story about the Yankees.

“Joe Medwick, discarded by the Dodgers after last season, has signed a Yankee contract.”

On April 29, 1947, the Yankees released Medwick before he played a regular game for them. A few weeks later, the Cardinals signed him, and although he hit .307 in limited duty, Joe was finished.

Leverage Has Shifted

Before free agency, players, especially greats such as Joe Medwick, had little leverage. They accepted what the owners offered, or they didn’t play.

Medwick had been an integral part of the Cardinals’ Gashouse Gang, but money, or a lack of money, compromised his loyalty to the team.

Free agency has given the players the leverage. Salaries are not based on what a player did last season. They are based on projections of what teams believe a player will produce in the future.

All that has changed is who is in charge of the money.


By KINGSLEY CHILDS Times Wide World. (1940, June 13). STAR OUTFIELDER TRADED BY CARDS: COME TO THE DODGERS FROM THE CARDINALS. New York Times (1857-Current file),30. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2005). (Document ID: 113092162).

By ROSCOE McGOWEN. (1940, June 14). Medwick and Davis Join Dodgers for Big Series With Reds Opening Today. New York Times (1857-Current file),p. 27. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2005). (Document ID: 112741145).

By JOHN DREBINGER Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. (1943, July 17). DODGERS TRANSFER MEDWICK TO GIANTS. New York Times (1857-Current file), 9. Retrieved June 29, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2005). (Document ID: 85110381).

By JAMES P. DAWSON. (1946, December 11). BOMBERS LAND MEDWICK. New York Times (1857-Current file), 47. Retrieved June 29, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2005). (Document ID: 88389952).

By JAMES P. DAWSON, & Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. (1947, April 30). YANKEES RELEASE MEDWICK OUTRIGHT, New York Times (1857-Current file), 28. Retrieved June 29, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2005). (Document ID: 88780446).

Gus Mancuso Jersey

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One of the most-revered general managers and scouts in the game’s history finds his way to #2 on our list of the best all-time general managers
St. Louis Cardinals, 1918-42; Brooklyn Dodgers, 1943-50; Pittsburgh Pirates 1951-56

Largely due to his status as a cultural innovator, Branch Rickey is probably the most famous of the best all-time general managers in baseball history.

It was Rickey who broke the game’s color barrier in 1947, bringing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

It was also Rickey who established the concept of organizing minor league teams into a major league farm system, doing so while with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1920s.

Rickey began as baseball coach at Michigan, where he also earned a law degree. Following a modest major league playing career, he joined the Browns front office in 1915, assumed managerial duties and briefly fought in World War I. When Phil Ball purchased the Browns, Rickey seized an opportunity to become president of the cross-town Cardinals. You can read the rest of his life story in any of several award-winning biographies or on his Hall of Fame plaque.

This revered image we all hold of Rickey – he was, after all, nicknamed “The Mahatma” – doesn’t square with parts of his rankings, especially for short-term performance. Those range from good but not great to so-so. Again this is largely shaped by his experience in Brooklyn.

Two specific factors come into play. The first is that for all his game-changing accomplishments in that city, the first three of Rickey’s seven seasons in Brooklyn were at best average; his teams never finished within 10 games of the pennant.

The second is the reality that Rickey’s greatest impact on Brooklyn actually outlasted him. The core of players he brought in during the late 1940s – Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo, Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine – contributed between 12 and 20 games of positive impact on Dodger championship teams in 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1956, while Rickey himself was the GM in Pittsburgh.

Put another way, Rickey’s ghost had more influence on those pennant runs than the actual Brooklyn general manager at the time, Buzzie Bavasi.

Under Sam Breaden in St. Louis, Rickey was a consistent force. His Cardinals won pennants in 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934 and 1942, and Rickey’s short-term personnel moves were the impetus behind four of those championships.

Combined with the 1949 Brooklyn pennant – ascribable to Rickey’s decision to sign and use Don Newcombe, that gives him claim to having personally maneuvered his teams to five pennants. Only one man, John Schuerholz, can claim more, and only one other, George Weiss, can claim as many.

The executive of the year award was created by the Sporting News in 1936, and Rickey was its initial winner. This involves ironic hero worship for 1936 was arguably Rickey’s worst season as a GM. His Cardinals finished five games behind the champion Giants, and Rickey was the reason, costing the Cards nearly 10 games via a series of unproductive moves.

He won the award again in 1942, a year in which he was arguably deserving, and deserved to win in 1941 but was beaten out by the Yankees’ Ed Barrow. There was no such award prior to the mid 1930s, but if there had been Rickey would also have been a logical pick in 1921, 1928 and 1932.

Rickey was hired away from the Dodgers by Pirates owner John Galbraith late in 1950 to take over that woeful team. It was an inglorious conclusion to a glorious career. Rickey’s short-term impact on the Pirates averaged -9.3 games.

If you ranked all the GMs in Pirate history for average short-term contribution, Rickey would tie for dead last; if you did the same with long-term impact, he would be fourth worst.

Yet in Pittsburgh as in Brooklyn (and as in St. Louis prior to that with Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter), Rickey’s impact far outlasted him.

Although he never got the Pirates into contention, Rickey left his successor, Joe L. Brown, with nine players who would comprise the core of the 1960 World Series champions. Those nine – Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Bob Skinner, Vern Law, Bob Friend, Elroy Face, Dick Groat, Roman Mejias and Bill Virdon – contributed +12 games of value to that team.

As in St. Louis and Brooklyn, the legacy was long-lived, Clemente and Mazeroski playing central roles in Pittsburgh’s divisional titles in 1970, 1971 and 1972, including the 1971 World Series victory over Baltimore. The total Rickey residual impact on the Pirates through 1972: +81.8 games.

Rickey was by nature a long-termer, as witnessed by the -2.39 average short-term impact and his +5.58 average long-term impact of his moves on his teams. The byproduct of that long-term focus, his unparalleled legacy achievements, are the reason he ranks second on the all-time list.

His cumulative residual impact on teams he had formerly overseen was a staggering +337.5 games, more than 8.6 standard deviations above the +23.07 average for all GMs in the ranking. For comparative purposes, the second highest residual impact all time, by Larry McPhail on the Reds, Dodgers and Yankees, measures +161.9 games, less than half Rickey’s total.

When his sentence in Pittsburgh finally expired, Rickey became the face of the Continental League, a Potemkin third major league envisioned in the late 1950s whose mere potential forced the two existing leagues to expand back into New York along with a few other cities.

Branch Rickey
In the first six categories, values reflect the standard deviation of the GM’s performance above or below the historical mean for that category. Category 7 awards or deducts points for seasons in which the GM’s short-term impact exceeded the margin by which his team either reached post-season or failed to do so. Category 8 represents post-season appearances; in categories 7 and 8 indicated points are based on numbers of teams and post-season berths.

1 Short-term average: -0.37

2 Short-term total: -1.85

3 Long-term average: +0.48

4 Long-term total: +2.60

5 Residual average: +1.57

6 Residual total: +8.63

7 GM’s post-season shares:

1928 award +1.0. Rickey aided the Cardinals by +7.6 games; they qualified for post-season by 2 games. Key moves: Acquired George Harper +1.5; signed Clarence Mitchell +1.3; traded Jimmy Ring -3.7; traded Bob McGraw -1.8.
1930 award +1.0. Rickey aided the Cardinals by +5.0 games; they qualified for post-season by 2 games. Key moves: Acquired Burleigh Grimes +3.6; promoted rookie Gus Mancuso +1.4,
1934 award +1.0. Rickey aided the Cardinals by +4.1 games; they qualified for post-season by 2 games. Key moves: Acquired Spud Davis +1.4; promoted rookie Paul Dean, +2.5; promoted rookie Bill Delancey +2.5.
1936 penalty -1.0. Rickey hurt the Cardinals by -9.8 games; they failed to qualify for post-season by 5 games. Key moves: Acquired Roy Parmelee -1.3; released Gene Moore +1.6; traded Burgess Whitehead +2.4; promoted Bruce Ogrodowski -1.1; promoted rookie Art Garibaldi -1.0.
1942 award +1.0. Rickey aided the Cardinals by +4.9 games; they qualified for post-season by 2 games. Key moves: Promoted rookie Johnny Beazley +3.5; promoted rookie Stan Musial +3.2; promoted rookie Whitey Kurowski +1.1.
1949 award +1.0. Rickey aided the Dodgers by +2.3 games; they qualified for post-season by 1 game. Key moves: Promoted rookie Don Newcombe +2.9.
1950 penalty -1.0. Rickey hurt the Dodgers by -4.2 games; they failed to qualify for post-season by 2 games. Key moves: Promoted rookie Don Bankhead -1.7; promoted rookie Bud Podbelian -1.2; sold Johnny Hopp +1.7.
Category 7 total: +3.00

8 Credit for post-season appearances (1926, +1.0; 1928, +1.0; 1930, +1.0; 1931, +1.0; 1934, +1.0; 1942, +1.0; 1947, +1.0; 1949, +1.0): +8.00

Grand total: +22.06

NEXT: Best all-time GMs #3 Ed Barrow
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That leaves just one more GM to go in our countdown of the best all-time general managers. Who could it be? Comment below!

Greg Minton Jersey

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It’s all over but the accounting.

Maybe you were with me through the summer in believing that the defending champion Red Sox would find their strangely absent mojo, go on a winning streak reminiscent of their 2018 magic, and reward faith by slipping into the postseason and perhaps even sticking around a while.

It’s not happening, of course. It never really came close to happening. They never got hot, some important players got hurt, and the slog through the spring and summer will end with a suspense-free September.

There’s no more resisting what the math is insisting on telling us. After Tuesday’s 7-6, 15-inning loss to the Giants at Fenway Park, there are 12 games left in the season, just four at Fenway, and they’re nine games out in the wild-card race.

These are the last days of the 2019 Red Sox. There will be no postseason, just portmortems. There will be a new World Series champion this year.

I suppose many of you realized this several weeks, ballgames, and degrees on the Fahrenheit scale ago. Maybe you wrote ’em off when Chris Sale went down for the season with an elbow injury a month or go, or the bullpen blew its 20th save (or its 21st, or 22d . . . ), or when another Joe Hardy clone came through for the Yankees, or when you’d check the box scores after a Red Sox win and realize the Indians, A’s, and Rays all refused to yield in the wild-card chase.

Maybe you came to grips with it when president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski did not add a helpful pitching arm at the July 31 deadline.

You probably came to grips with it before Dombrowski was informed he was no longer the president of baseball operations approximately six weeks later.

There’s a little less hustle, a little less bustle around Fenway now, with the kids back in school and the knowledge that the tension of the postseason isn’t coming to Jersey Street this fall.

The sausage guy and the program peddlers still compete for your attention and dollars as you head toward the entrance, but it’s a quieter experience, even as you encounter moments of denial about the team’s status here and there.

The scoreboard still plays a “We were born for this’’ highlight reel before the anthem that leaves you wondering exactly what “this’’ is this year. Third place in the AL East?

Even Tuesday night, with Carl Yastrzemski’s 29-year-old grandson Mike making his anticipated Fenway Park debut as the leadoff hitter for the Giants, the crowd fell somewhere between late-arriving and non-arriving.

If the actual attendance was within a few thousand of the announced 35,925, it must have been because many of them were masterfully disguised as red seats. By the time the 5-hour-54-minute affair — which featured a major league-record-tying 24 pitchers — was over, the crowd seemed to consist mostly of Yastrzemski’s buddies from Andover and St. John’s Prep.

But Tuesday’s game, if prolonged, was a nice reminder that small satisfactions can be found at the ballpark even if the outcome takes too long to arrive and carries little consequence.

Jackie Bradley Jr. homered in the fifth — helping the Red Sox rally from a 5-1 deficit — and made a spectacular leaping catch at the wall in the 12th. Juan Centeno — go ahead, Google him, I’ll wait — tied it at 6 with a five-pitch bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 13th.

Did I mention that there were 24 pitchers, a group that may or may not have included John Montefusco, Greg Minton, and Ed Halicki?

More than anything, it was a nice night for the sentimental and nostalgic. Yastrzemski crushed a Nathan Eovaldi fastball over the center-field fence in the top of the fourth — the first MLB home run at Fenway by a Yastrzemski since his grandfather hit the 451st of his 452 on July 31, 1983. If that didn’t make your cynical little heart grow three sizes, you’re rather hopeless, Grinch.

If the game had mattered, it would be considered a frustrating defeat for the Red Sox. But it was just one more line in a redundant story, one more loss for a team that has lost 17 more games than it did a season ago, with 12 still to play. You endure enough tough losses, and eventually they don’t seem so tough anymore as that descent from the fringes of the playoff race refuses to cease.

There are reasons to still watch these Sox in their final days of the season. Rafael Devers, still playing with joy, is seeking his 30th homer to go with 50-something doubles; Xander Bogaerts, the leader of this team for the foreseeable future, has already hit those milestones. There are young bullpen arms to watch; Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Taylor in particular offer hope for next year. Andrew Benintendi, who has had an season inferior to Mike Yastrzemski’s, would be well-served by finishing strong and reminding us he can be a cornerstone.

On the bummer side, Mookie Betts’s next home run, and J.D. Martinez’s too, could be their last in a Red Sox uniform. Let’s hope that’s not the case, especially in regard to Betts, who in his “down’’ year is on pace to slash .293/.391/.527 with 30 homers, 85 RBIs, 43 doubles, 183 hits, and 142 runs. He’s a generational player, a Red Sox star who has the chance to be the Yaz of his time.

Tuesday night, we were pleasantly reminded of Yaz’s time, thanks to his grandson. It’s been that kind of season, when the best we can do while waiting until next year is to appreciate a sweet meeting between the present and the past. It almost makes a near-six-hour game in a lost season worth it.

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Dick Dietz, the former Giants catcher who was involved in one of the most famous disputes in baseball history, died in Clayton Ga., of a heart attack on Tuesday. He was 63.

Nicknamed “The Mule,” Dietz spent eight years (1966-73) in the major leagues, the first six with the Giants. He was an All-Star in 1970, a key member of the 1971 NL West division champs, but is best remembered for being a principal in a controversial umpire’s decision.

On May 31, 1968, Dietz was batting against the Dodgers’ Don Drysdale, who was working on a fifth consecutive shutout. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth inning, Dietz was hit by a pitch, which would have driven in a run and ended Drysdale’s streak. But umpire Harry Wendelstedt maintained that Dietz had not tried to avoid the pitch, a ruling disputed heavily by Giants manager Herman Franks, who was subsequently ejected from the game. Dietz eventually was retired, as were the next two hitters, and Drysdale’s streak, which would reach a record 58 2/3 innings, continued.

“That was a bad call,” former Giants third baseman and later manager Jim Davenport said Wednesday. “Nobody in their right mind would want to stay in the way of one of Drysdale’s pitches.”

A career .261 hitter, Dietz’s best year was 1970, when he hit .300 with 22 homers and 107 RBIs. He hit a home run off Catfish Hunter in the ninth inning of the All-Star Game that year to start a three-run rally that tied the game, eventually won in 12 innings by the National League on Pete Rose’s notorious crash into Ray Fosse.

The following year Dietz was instrumental in the Giants winning their division. Hit in the head by a pitch in midseason, Dietz caught every game during the Giants’ tense stretch run with his head wrapped in a bandage.

** FILE ** San Francisco Giant’s Dick Dietz is shown in this undated file photo. Dietz, a =former All-Star catcher Dick died Tuesday, June 28, 2005, from a heart attack in Clayton, Ga., the Hunter Funeral Home said. He was 63. Dietz hit .261 with 66 home runs and 301 RBIs from 1966-73, mostly with the San Francisco Giants. (AP Photo) AN UNDATED FILE PHOTO
** FILE ** San Francisco Giant’s Dick Dietz is shown in this undated file photo. Dietz, a =former All-Star catcher Dick died Tuesday, June 28, 2005, from a heart attack in Clayton, Ga., the Hunter Funeral Home … more
During the clubhouse revelry after the Giants wrapped up the title on the final day of the regular season, Dietz grabbed a radio microphone and told the audience, “The Dodgers can go to hell.” Ironically, Dietz wound up with the Dodgers the next year. He was limited to 27 games in 1972 because of an injury and finished his career the next season with the Braves.

“I remember him being a great teammate,” Davenport said. “He was great to be around, always had a smile on his face.”

His former roommate, Jack Hiatt, now the Giants’ director of player development, said Dietz’s attitude was infectious. “He was a tremendous competitor, but he never got too far down after we lost a game. He would say, ‘We’ll get ‘em tomorrow.’ And that affected all of us in a positive way.”

Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry said that Dietz was an ideal batterymate.

“He had a little trouble catching the high pitches, but was great with the low ones,” Perry said. “I didn’t pitch high anyway, so we got along great. He caught my no-hitter in 1968.”

Retired broadcaster Lon Simmons said that while Dietz was, “probably a better hitter than he was a catcher, he managed to get the job done behind the plate. I remember once he had an unassisted double play, ran out to second base to get the second out. That’s rare for a catcher.”

After his retirement as a player, Dietz served as a minor-league coach and manager. He managed the Giants’ San Jose Class-A team in 1994-95 and the independent Sonoma County Crushers in 1996-99.

” ‘The Mule’ was a joy to work with … a sweet, gentle man who loved to laugh and loved the game of baseball. His favorite times were spent around the batting cage, encouraging the hitters and enjoying the moment,” said Bob Fletcher, who owned the Crushers.

According to Hiatt, Dietz and his wife, Betty, had moved into their own log cabin in Georgia within the last year. “I just talked to him four days ago, and he was talking about how happy he was in his new home,” Hiatt said.

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants fell short of their goal to secure a playoff berth in 2019, but they still managed to provide several highlights over the course of the regular season. Here’s a look back at the Giants’ top 10 moments of the year:

1. Solano’s walk-off knock extends July surge
July 18 vs. Mets
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner delivered a vintage performance, allowing only one run over nine innings, but he came away with a no-decision after the game went into extra innings. Still, the Giants rewarded his effort with a dramatic 3-2 win over the Mets in 16 innings. Pete Alonso homered to give the Mets the lead in the top of the 16th, but Donovan Solano responded with a walk-off single that capped the Giants’ rally in the bottom half of the inning and extended the club’s winning streak to six games.

2. Pillar snaps Giants’ grand-slam drought
April 8 vs. Padres
Acquired from the Blue Jays on April 2, Kevin Pillar quickly endeared himself to the Giants by crushing their first grand slam since April 8, 2017, during a 6-5 loss. San Francisco was the only team in the Majors not to hit one in 2018.

3. Three rookies combine for four-hit shutout
Sept. 13 vs. Marlins
Tyler Beede was brilliant over 6 1/3 innings, allowing only three hits while walking one and striking out five. Two fellow rookies, Tyler Rogers and Shaun Anderson, recorded the final eight outs to seal the Giants’ 1-0 win.

Beede’s 6 1/3 scoreless frames
Sep 14th, 2019 · 1:16
Beede’s 6 1/3 scoreless frames
4. Belt breaks out with grand slam
Aug. 17 vs. D-backs
Mired in a deep slump heading into this series, Brandon Belt was dropped out of the leadoff spot and immediately took to the change of scenery, crushing his second career grand slam and driving in six runs to help lead the Giants to an 11-6 win at Chase Field.

5. Posey’s slam caps comeback win
July 12 vs. Brewers
All-Star closer Will Smith blew his first save of the season after Christian Yelich tripled and scored in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings, but the Giants staged the decisive rally in the 10th after Buster Posey launched a tiebreaking grand slam off Matt Albers to lift San Francisco to a 10-7 win. It was Posey’s first grand slam since June 24, 2015.

6. Slater delivers timely pinch-hit grand slam
July 6 vs. Cardinals
Austin Slater couldn’t have picked a better time to produce his first career grand slam. Slater came off the bench to face Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas with the bases loaded and the game tied in the fourth inning and drove a slider to the opposite field to help power the Giants to an 8-4 win.

Slater’s 1st career grand slam
Jul 7th, 2019 · 0:53
Slater’s 1st career grand slam
7. Dickerson’s memorable Giants debut
June 21 vs. D-backs
A little more than 10 hours after earning a promotion from Triple-A Sacramento, Alex Dickerson authored one of the best debuts in Giants history, launching a grand slam and collecting a career-high six RBIs in an 11-5 win over the D-backs. Dickerson became only the third player to hit a slam in his San Francisco debut, joining Bobby Bonds and Brandon Crawford.

8. Sandoval crushes walk-off homer
July 24 vs. Cubs
Pablo Sandoval committed a throwing error and hit into two double plays before redeeming himself in the bottom of the 13th inning, when he hammered his fourth career walk-off home run to lift the Giants to a 5-4 over the Cubs. It marked the Giants’ 17th victory in 20 games and their fourth walk-off win in six days.

9. Giants walk off on Smith’s misplay
July 19 vs. Mets
Everything seemed to break right for the Giants during their torrid July stretch, as was evidenced by this strange 1-0 win over the Mets. With two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Sandoval lifted a routine fly ball that was dropped by Mets left fielder Dominic Smith, allowing Dickerson to score the game-winning run from first base.

Must C: Giants walk-off on error
Jul 20th, 2019 · 1:52
Must C: Giants walk-off on error
10. Panik plays role of hero
May 21 vs. Braves
The Giants entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing by two, but they rallied to score three runs and stun the Braves in a 4-3 win at Oracle Park. Joe Panik delivered the knockout blow with a two-out, two-run single off Atlanta closer Luke Jackson for his second career walk-off hit.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.

Read more: San Francisco GiantsMadison BumgarnerDonovan SolanoKevin PillarTyler BeedeTyler RogersShaun AndersonBrandon BeltBuster PoseyAustin SlaterAlex DickersonPablo SandovalJoe Panik