Tag: Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada Sinks to a New Low

Taking performance-enhancing drugs and lying about his age apparently did not suffice for Miguel Tejada. The former American League MVP has been suspended for purchasing shares of the Gigantes del Cibao franchise of the Dominican Winter League while he was still an active member of the Aguilas Cibaenas, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

One would be hard pressed to find a more boneheaded decision by an athlete. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Mark Townsend, Tejada’s latest blunder broke a pair of rules. It is a “conflict of interest,” and “it’s against league rules.” A report by Dionisio Soldevilla on MLB.com, translated into English, has the details:

Tejada played for Cibao Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League and admitted earlier this month that three years ago bought the 72% stake of the company that ran the franchise for the city of San Francisco de Macoris.

This is an unfortunate mistake by the former All-Star, who has suffered a severely damaged reputation since his days of stardom in the early 2000s. Once one of the best shortstops in baseball, Tejada compiled five consecutive years of 100-plus RBI, from 2000-2004. He also earned a reputation as one of the most durable players in the game, playing in all 162 games from 2001-2006.

Since his prime, he has been involved in a number of controversies, including being named in the Mitchell Report in connection to steroids. In 2009, he was charged with lying to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, later pleading guilty. Most recently, he was suspended for 105 games by MLB on Aug. 17, 2013, for testing positive for Adderall. It was his second positive test for amphetamines.

In 2008, Tejada was also involved in a controversy regarding his age. He was questioned about his birth date in an E:60 interview and later admitted to being two years older than he was officially listed.

Now he is involved in this recent scandal. What will Tejada do next to tarnish his reputation? His impressive career numbers are beginning to take a backseat to all the mistakes he has made throughout his career.

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Miguel Tejada Suspension: What This Means for the Royals Playoff Push

It was announced on Saturday that the MLB suspended Miguel Tejada for multiple positive tests for amphetamines, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

While the ramifications across baseball, which is continually dealing with PED and other drug violations, remain to be seen, the effect that Tejada’s suspension will have on the Royals is also an issue that needs attention. 

The Royals are one of the hottest teams in baseball as of late. They’ve put themselves in the playoff hunt, and after Friday’s sweep of a double-header against the Detroit Tigers, they’re just five games out of the Wild Card. 

Tejada had already been placed on the 60-day disabled list for a strained calf prior to the announcement of his suspension, per Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. So the Royals aren’t necessarily losing a player that they have been relying on. 

However, prior to being placed on the DL, Tejada had been hitting .288 this season with 20 RBI in just 156 at-bats. The 39-year old had also been a tremendous leader in the clubhouse for the Royals. 

And perhaps that is what will be missed the most in Kansas City. Tejada’s leadership. 

The former AL MVP has dipped off over the past few years in talent, ut having a guy who’s had a great deal of success was a welcome presence for Kansas City, a team that’s been a doormat in the AL since most people can remember. 

Another effect that Tejada’s suspension could have on the team is that of distraction. All the attention surround Kansas City in the previous weeks has been positive considering the team’s midseason turnaround. 

But now, at least for the next few days, the focus will be shifted from how the team is playing on the field to how one of its players has been acting off it. The Royals are in the middle of a push to grab that second wild card spot. They’re also in the middle of a five-game series against Detroit, a series they almost have to leave as winners of. 

If the team lets this issue distract them from playing well on the field, then the Royals’ recent success could all be for naught. 

To replace Tejada on the roster following his placement on the DL, the Royals went out and acquired Jamey Carroll from the Twins and Emilio Bonifacio from the Blue Jays. Both those veterans will have to step up in leadership roles if this team wants to stay focused and energized for the rest of the season. 

Guys like Billy Butler and James Shields will also have to step up in the clubhouse and make sure this team stays zoned in on the now realistic goal of making the playoffs. 

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Miguel Tejada Suspended 105 Games by MLB for Amphetamine Use

With Major League Baseball already suspending the likes of Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez among others this season, it seemed as though the performance-enhancing drug firestorm had come to an end.

That is not the case, however, as Kansas City Royals utility man Miguel Tejada has been suspended 105 games without pay for amphetamine use, according to a press release from the league.   

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports notes that Tejada tested positive for Adderall and that it will be the third-longest non-lifetime ban in league history.

Tejada later issued a statement, saying that he took medication while applying for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE), via Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.

“I apologize to my teammates, the Royals’ organization and to the Kansas City fans,” he said in a statement released through the players’ union. “I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat.

“I took that medication while re-applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Under the requirements of the Joint Drug Program, I made a mistake in doing so.”

Section 3.I of the league’s drug prevention policy outlines the guidelines for the TUE, saying the player must have a documented medical need for the prescription.

According to Passan, Tejada’s seemingly arbitrary suspension stems from the fact that he has now tested positive a total of three times. He will be serving 25-game and 80-game suspensions one after the other.

After sitting out the 2012 season, the Royals signed the 2002 American League MVP this offseason. Tejada has been a valuable bench player for the Royals, hitting .288 with three home runs and 20 RBI while playing multiple positions.

Tejada was recently placed on the 60-day disabled list, per Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. According to Passan, he will be able to serve the first 41 games of his suspension while on the DL, but he is more likely to retire than serve the second part of the suspension next year.

At 39 years of age, Tejada is clearly on the back end of his career. He wasn’t going to play for the Royals again this season, so it doesn’t affect their pursuit of an AL Wild Card spot, but the suspension may have effectively ended Tejada’s career.

According to Passan, Tejada will not appeal the suspension (unlike A-Rod), so he will begin serving it immediately.

If Tejada has, in fact, played his final MLB game, he will retire with a career batting average of .285 along with 307 home runs and 1,302 RBI. Those are great numbers for a guy who played most of his career at shortstop, but there will always be questions about the authenticity of his production.


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Kansas City Royals Sign Former MVP Miguel Tejada to a Minor League Deal

The Kansas City Royals are continuing their makeover for the 2013 season by signing 2002 AL MVP Miguel Tejada.

According to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), Tejada’s contract is a one-year minor league deal that can be worth $1.1 million if he makes it to Kansas City. There are additional incentives that can make the contract worth $1.5 million in total.

In 2012, he played 36 games in the Baltimore Orioles organization but requested and was granted his release at mid-season.

With the Royals, he will probably be asked to play a utility role. He could back up Mike Moustakas at third base, Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella at second base and play some at the designated hitter.

When he played for the Oakland Athletics in the early 2000s, he was one of the elite players in the game. The power hitting shortstop won the MVP in the 2002 season made famous by the movie Moneyball.

He translated his Oakland success to a six-year, $72 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles after the 2003 postseason.

Tejada career has had its share of controversies. His former Baltimore teammate Rafael Palmeiro named Tejada as the man who gave him a steroid-tainted needle, according to ESPN.com. Tejada has denied it.

And issues aboutTejada’s age, name and birth certificate, reported by ESPN, swirled around him and ended a televised interview with him storming off the set.

The Royals are hoping that is all behind him. They are signing a veteran player who as recently as 2010 was a contributor to the Padres‘ surprising 90-win season. He is a six-time All Star who was named to the team as recently as 2009.

He has 2,362 hits and 304 home runs in the bank as well.

All the Royals need him to be is a role player. Tejada might be up for the challenge.

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Great Moments in Steroid Scandals: The Baltimore B-12 Blunder

After Melky Cabrera’s shoddy webmaster skills died a timely death, I started thinking about past ruses of steroid explanation. 

Instant comedy seems to be born every time a baseball player is accused or caught red-handed in using performance-enhancing drugs.  Some dopey anecdote is concocted, and the authorities and the fans are supposed to blindly buy it.

So, without further adieu, here is the first installment of “Great Moments in Steroid Scandals.”

“Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never.”

You remember that one, right

Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro looked into the eyes of Congress, wagged his sanctimonious finger and affirmed to the world he wasn’t dirty.

His adamancy spoke volumes, as his performance in Washington was actually worthy of Tinseltown.  The only enhancers Raffy ever took were Viagra pills—and he was paid to tell us that.

But only 135 days after Palmeiro’s fire-and-brimstone speech of innocence, he tested positive for the powerful and MLB-banned supplement stanozolol.  Subsequently, he was suspended for 10 games (the ban at the time in 2005).

So, let’s try this again.

“I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program.”

After this statement of desperation, he was mum to the public about his positive test.  But ESPN soon learned that Palmeiro, when talking to an MLB arbitration panel, threw his teammate Miguel Tejada under a massive bus.  He claimed Tejada had given him a dreaded B-12 pill that logically must have been tainted.

With Tejada having his steroid transgressions as well, the case simply looked like a juiced guy trying to save his hide on the laurels of another juiced guy.

Because both guys were dirty, their stories weren’t believable, and the mystery B-12 pill never did any real damage.  Sure, Tejada was convicted of perjury for lying to Congress about Raffy’s checkered steroid past, but it was a minor violation that did no real damage.

As for Palmeiro and that completely legal pill that somehow caused a positive test for an extremely dangerous steroid, well he’s sticking to his story.

In 2006, he told the Baltimore Sun, “Yes sir, that’s what happened. It’s not a story; it’s the reality of what happened,” and “I said what I said before Congress because I meant every word of it.”

I apologize for asking such a silly question, but if Palmeiro regularly took B-12 pills, then why didn’t he buy his own pills?

  Appeared originally on Sporting Sarcasm

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Baltimore Orioles: Should O’s Invite Miguel Tejada to Spring Training in 2012?

ESPN Deportes reported that former Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada wants to continue playing baseball in 2012. He was released by the Giants on Thursday after a subpar season.

While the Orioles have a very good shortstop in J.J. Hardy, Baltimore should consider whether or not Tejada could temporarily fill a need at third base.

Admittedly, he was given a shot at third for the Orioles in 2010 and his performance there was not great. While Mark Reynolds was downright awful fielding third base for the Orioles, Tejada was not substantially better, committing 15 errors in 280 chances over 93 games with the O’s for a fielding percentage of .946.

However, in 2011 with the Giants, he split time evenly between 3B and SS. His performance at third dramatically improved, and in 44 games at the hot corner he committed just two errors in 130 chances for a fielding percentage of .985.

While his hitting this season with the Giants was not nearly as good as it had been during his stint with the Orioles from 2004 to 2007, he was playing in San Francisco. That’s probably not the only reason his hitting has declined, but it should be noted that AT&T Park is a less hitter-friendly ballpark than Camden Yards.

Chris Davis was recently picked up from Texas, and although he has played more games in the majors at first, he has also spent a bit of time covering third. If he plays to his full potential, he could be a long-term solution at third. But he hasn’t proved that yet. 

Josh Bell, likewise, hasn’t yet proved that he’s capable of handling the hot corner in the majors.  Reynolds is much better at first base than third, and unless they can persuade Prince Fielder to come to Baltimore, he may be their best option at first base.

Baltimore should consider giving Tejada a minor league contract and inviting him to spring training in 2012. A little competition from a veteran all-star would be a good thing for the O’s in spring training. 

Given the chance, Tejada may also perform much better at Oriole Park, which is not only a more hitter-friendly ballpark than AT&T, but also the place where he had some of the best years of his career.

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San Francisco Giants: Pablo Sandoval Breaks Hand, Out 4-6 Weeks

The Giants offense has been lifeless over the past week and now, their best offensive threat is injured.  Third baseman Pablo Sandoval broke the hamate bone in his right hand while taking a swing in Washington on Friday and will have surgery to remove it this Tuesday in Arizona.  He will likely miss at least 4-6 weeks, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The injury to Sandoval couldn’t come at a worse time for a Giants lineup that is struggling to score runs.  The Giants have been shutout twice in the past four games and many of their key hitters currently have batting averages in the low .200s.

Ryan Rohlinger, who got some playing time with the Giants last season, has been called up from Triple-A Fresno and should be with the club for Sunday’s game against the Nationals.  On Saturday, Bruce Bochy moved Miguel Tejada, who has played the last several years at third base, to the hot corner and gave Mike Fontenot a start at shortstop.

After their dismal offensive start to the current ten-game road trip, questions arose about what the Giants need to do to wake up at the plate.  Now those questions will only intensify, as the Giants’ leading hitter, Sandoval, is out for at least a month.

One of the questions that is certain to come up is whether the Giants should recall Brandon Belt, who was sent down to Fresno to work on what has been called a minor tweak needed for him to square up fastballs.  Belt, since being sent back to Triple-A, is hitting .429 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI’s in just five games.

It appears that Belt has made the minor adjustment to his swing and, from all accounts, he looked to be a very patient hitter at the plate during his 17 games with the Giants, walking eight times in 52 at-bats.  His high strikeout total and lack of productivity when swinging, however, led to his demotion to Fresno.

The Giants will need to give serious thought to the idea of bringing Belt back to bolster a lineup that is in dire need of new blood.  Last season, when Buster Posey was called up from Fresno in May, his presence gave the Giants a spark that led to a remarkable turnaround, from a .500 ballclub just prior to the All-Star break to a postseason berth and eventually, a world championship.

Perhaps what this club needs now is another infusion of new blood in the form of Brandon Belt’s bat.

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San Francisco Giants: Giants’ Sweet Torture Continues in Extra-Inning Affair

Aaron Rowand hits game-winning single in the bottom of the 12th inning and goes 2-for-3 in Giants’ 5-4 win.

Looks like things have not changed much since last year.

The San Francisco Giants continued their victorious but torturous ways, as a sellout crowd at AT&T Park witnessed one of the greatest, yet weirdest games baseball fans will ever see.

The game featured two dramatic ninth-inning rallies with two outs and nobody on, a strike zone the size of a golf ball at one time and an SUV at another, an unlikely hero two home openers in a row, and an extra-inning dogfight where the Giants stranded a runner at third with nobody out in the bottom of the 11th inning.

If you thought that was weird, the St. Louis Cardinals moved their left fielder and put five men in the infield in that bottom of the 11th inning—and it worked when Aaron Rowand lined a smash right to third base, which was manned by left fielder Allen Craig.

The Giants achieved their 5-4 victory and broke the 4-4 tie in the bottom of the 12th inning when Rowand roped a game-winning single off the left-center field wall with the bases loaded. Coincidentally, it was just last year on the Giants’ 2010 home opener when Rowand hit an RBI infield hit in the 13th inning to beat the Braves 5-4.

“This one was a lot easier than the last one trying to leg it out,” Rowand said.

The 12th-inning rally began off Cardinals lefty Brian Tallet (0-1) when Miguel Tejada hit a one-out single to left. With two outs, Andres Torres reached on a catching error by first baseman Albert Pujols.

Cardinals manger Tony La Russa elected to walk Freddy Sanchez to load the bases for an unlikely hero. Rowand promptly silenced the naysayers by coming through in the clutch for the second home opener in a row.

“It was a lefty in that situation, so I hope they got to me,” Rowand said.

The ecstasy at AT&T Park by the end of the 12th inning was nothing of the sort back in the top of the ninth inning. With the Giants up 3-2 and Brian Wilson looking for his first save of the year, Wilson lost the 12-pitch marathon battle with Ryan Theriot, as he singled in the tying and lead runs with the bases loaded. The inning started with two quick outs.

Wilson was angry, as he walked off the mound in the top of the ninth inning. He seemed to disagree with home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman’s strike zone and began shouting at him while he was leaving the field.

“I was a little pissed,” Wilson said. “Emotions are flying. It’s opening day. Oh well, that’s what happens.”

It appeared that the Giants’ opening day party, which included their championship flag being hoisted and set atop a pole forever at AT&T Park, was ruined by the Cardinals’ ninth-inning rally. However, the Giants returned the favor and started a two-out rally of their own, which concluded with a game-tying single to right by Pablo Sandoval.

It appeared the first baseman Pujols was out of position when Sandoval hit his hard ground ball to the right side, as he broke toward the bag as the pitch was being thrown by closer Ryan Franklin. Nonetheless, the Giants enjoyed every minute of it.

“The game was an emotional roller coaster, a great game,” said Bruce Bochy, Giants manager. “These guys fought hard. It was quite a ball game for a home opener.”

Lost in all the hoopla was a fine starting pitching performance by Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez. Although he threw a lot of pitches early, he battled through a first-inning jam and allowed just one run while striking out seven in five innings of work.

The Cardinals scored first on a Tyler Greene single in the top of the second inning. The Giants would tie the game on a third-inning home run by Miguel Tejada, his first as a Giant.

The Giants grabbed the lead on a Freddy Sanchez double in the second inning. They would tack on another run in the sixth inning on Pat Burrell’s third home run of the year, making the score 3-1.

For the most part, the Giants kept Pujols in check. The Cardinals slugger went just 1-for-6, with an RBI single in the eighth inning that cut the Giants’ lead to 3-2. Pujols’ average fell to .179 for the year.

Dan Runzler (1-0) pitched a perfect 12th inning to earn the win in relief. He was one of eight pitchers used by the Giants in the game.

Although the torture called Giants baseball continued, like last year, torture still never felt so good for the fans in San Francisco.

My Thoughts

This was just a great baseball game.

The Giants did something that all good teams need to do to be successful. That is to not quit, even when all seems lost.

When the Giants blew their 3-2 lead in the ninth inning, many teams might have felt so deflated and just rolled over—not the Giants. They roared back with a two-out rally. Rowand (2-for-3) got things started with a two-out single, and would eventually come in to score on Sandoval’s game-tying single.

Another instance where the Giants showed resiliency was after the bottom of the 11th inning. After Torres doubled and advanced on a wild pitch with nobody out, the Giants suffered a crushing blow. Victory was within reach, but the Giants stumbled.

Freddy Sanchez struck out, and then, Aaron Rowand hit a hard, low liner that the left fielder dove for and trapped at third base. La Russa moved the left fielder to third base, and it actually worked, as Torres was nailed in a rundown on the play. Mark DeRosa then struck out on some questionable pitches for the third out of the inning.

Again, the Giants could have rolled over and let the failure get into their heads. Fortunately for the Giants, this did not happen, as Runzler came out and pitched a scoreless top of the 12th, setting up the Giants’ walk-off win at the bottom of the inning.

Another thing to note: Bruce Dreckman’s strike zone was awful today. The one thing players ask for in a home plate umpire is consistency, no matter if his strike zone is high, low or wide. It seemed that early in the game, Dreckman’s zone was very tight when Sanchez was on the mound. Later on, his strike zone widened, especially during DeRosa’s 11th-inning at bat.

If the Giants are going to do this torture bit on their fans again, it should be another fun season in the wacky world of San Francisco Giants baseball.


The Giants are now 3-4 and have won three home openers in a row. With home runs from Burrell and Tejada, they now lead the National League in home runs with nine (tied with the Reds and Brewers).

Rowand got his second-straight walk-off hit in a Giants home opener.

Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday says he may play this weekend after having his appendix removed just five days ago.

Pujols has hit into five double plays in seven games so far this year.

Tomorrow, Matt Cain will look for his second win of the year against the Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia. The game will start at 7:05 p.m. to accommodate the Giants’ ring ceremony.



  1       2















  0       1















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W: D. Runzler (1-1)

L: B. Tallet (0-1)


Vinnie Cestone is a Baseball/San Francisco Giants Featured Columnist for The Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials from Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Stats and other information came from ESPN.com and MLB.com.

This article was featured on the blog Talking Giants Baseball.

Follow me on twitter @vintalkingiants.

Questions or comments? E-mail my blog mailbag at vc4re@yahoo.com. Your questions may be answered on my blog.

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San Francisco Giants: Clayton Kershaw, Errors Too Much in Opener at L.A.

The Giants did not expect to start their trek to a repeat title like this.

The Giants hit a road block on Thursday’s opening day at Dodger Stadium, kicking the ball around in the sixth inning.

Miguel Tejada botched a throw to second with a runner at first with one out, followed by a rare Posey throwing error with the bases loaded. Just nanoseconds before, Posey made a great save on a pitch by Lincecum in the dirt.

The Dodgers drew first blood in the game on the error.

As Posey threw the ball, the runner at third, Matt Kemp, appeared to already be back on the base.

“I thought he was off the base,” Posey said after the game. “I would not have thrown it if I thought he wasn’t.”

To complicate matters further for the Giants, Clayton Kershaw was dominant for the Dodgers. In seven shutout innings of work, Kershaw held the Giants to four hits and one walk, including nine strikeouts.

Cleanup hitter Buster Posey was one of the few to get something going against Kershaw, finishing the night one for four, but with two strikeouts.

“He did a good job of moving the ball around and mixing up some off-speed pitches,” Posey said of Kershaw.

The Giants seemed to struggle in all facets of the game in their three-error debacle—except for pitching. Tim Lincecum was nearly as fantastic as Kershaw, but earned a tough loss, pitching seven strong innings of unearned one-run ball.

The Dodgers tacked on another run in the eighth inning on a James Loney RBI double.

The Giants avoided embarrassment by scoring in the ninth off Jonathan Broxton. Burrell lined a screamer over the left field wall, reminiscent to his game-winning home run off Jonathan Broxton last July.

Brandon Belt had a game to remember. In his first at bat, he accomplished an important milestone—his first major league hit, an infield single.

Belt had impressive at-bats throughout his 1-for-3 night, including a walk off Clayton Kershaw.

Although he made the last out of the game on a soft line drive to Uribe, Belt battled Broxton till the end.

Starter Tim Lincecum shrugged the loss off as best he could.

“Games like this are going to happen,” Lincecum said. “Hopefully, we’ll get them tomorrow.”

One noticeable improvement was the defensive play of Pablo Sandoval. During the sloppy sixth inning, Sandoval shined, as he saved two runs with a diving play on a line drive to his left. Runners were on second and third at the time.

The good news for the Giants? Tomorrow is a new month.

WP: Clayton Kershaw (1-0), LP: Tim Lincecum (0-1), Broxton (S, 1)

HR: Pat Burrell (1, 9th inning off Broxton)

My Thoughts

Aside from the errors in the sixth inning, the Giants cannot expect to win many games by scoring two runs. Clayton Kershaw is a great pitcher, but some questionable at-bats hindered their chance at mounting a rally.

An at-bat of note was Andres Torres’ eighth inning plate appearance. Hong-Chih Kuo threw six straight balls to start the eighth inning, but Torres swung at what appeared to be ball three.

Torres would go on to have a good, long at-bat and line out to Andre Ethier in right field, but Torres probably should have taken a strike there with Kuo struggling with his control. If he takes the 2-0 pitch, the count might be 3-0 (the pitch was borderline) and who knows what happens?

Although Belt did not get the ball out of the infield, his approach was good. In the fifth inning, Belt somehow laid off Kershaw’s two-strike off-speed pitches and worked out a walk. Even his last at-bat off Broxton was a two-strike battle, although it was a line drive out to third base.

A questionable defensive miscue came from Buster Posey in the defensive nightmare sixth inning.

After Posey made an amazing block to keep the runner at third, there was no reason to throw the ball. The runner at third, Kemp, was standing on the base as Posey fired an errant throw to third.

The bottom line is the Giants did not get it done offensively or defensively. Scoring one run will not win many ball games.

Regardless of the errors, the Giants gave up few enough runs to win. Every team makes mistakes, but the good teams make up for those errors and pick up their teammates who caused the blunders.

The Giants have to do what they did last year to win. That is to catch the balls they could get to, get timely hits, and have fun.

The Giants will try to rebound tomorrow against the Dodgers at 7:10 p.m. from Dodger Stadium. Jonathan Sanchez will make his 2011 debut against Chad Billingsley.





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This article was featured on the blog Talking Giants Baseball

Questions or comments? E-mail my blog mailbag at vc4re@yahoo.com. Your questions may be answered on my blog.

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Five Former Fantasy Studs Who You Want to Avoid

You know their name, but can you trust their game? Here are some former fantasy studs that you should avoid on fantasy draft day.

Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta Braves
I love Chipper Jones. I believe he has put together a Hall of Fame career. I wouldn’t touch him this year, even with his reasonable 186 ADP. He hit just .264 and .265 the past two years. He has just one 500 at-bat season (2007) in his past seven years. It was easy to justify owning him when he was hitting well north of .300, but he’ll be 39 in April. He’s far to great of an injury risk to trust on your team. If he slides big time in your draft, maybe you can take a look at him since third base is so shallow, but he’s going (on average) before Placido Polanco, Chase Headley, Kevin Kouzmanoff and countless other that will like be more productive this year.

Alfonso Soriano, OF, Chicago Cubs
It’s not that Soriano shouldn’t be on fantasy rosters. I just think you can get far better value at his ADP of 98. Some of the outfielders that are going (on average) after him are Corey Hart, Nick Markakis, Delmon Young, Michael Stanton, Drew Stubbs and a rash of other superior options. Again, if he slides in your draft go ahead and take him, but his speed has diminished and his power is average. Take someone with more upside because Soriano is obviously on the wrong side of his career track.

Manny Ramirez, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Manny has just 28 home runs in his past 194 games. His OPS (.869) was the lowest since his first cup of coffee with the Indians back in 1993. It was just .739 in his 24 games with the White Sox. Do I believe Manny can still hit? Absolutely. The problem is whether or not he’ll be motivated. Can he stay healthy? There are a lot of questions for somebody with an ADP of 160.

Miguel Tejada, SS, San Francisco Giants
Tejada had an OPS of .693 last year for the Orioles and the Padres, which is a far cry for his career mark of .801. He rarely misses, so health shouldn’t be a concern. I just fear that his skills are eroding. After all he’ll be 37 in May. On top of that, Bruce Bochy already acknowledges that he will give Tejada plenty or rest this year. His ADP of 203 makes him a reasonable option. I just prefer guys with more upside.

Johnny Damon, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Had the Rays not signed Manny Ramirez, I would like Damon a little more. He would be able to get some at bats at designated hitter. Playing in the field could take its toll on Damon, who turned 37 in November. He hit just eight home runs last year, and I don’t see significant growth in that category. He could have hot streaks, in which I would entertain riding them out, but I’m not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling that his return to the AL East will be favorable.

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