Results tagged ‘ Brian Harper ’

Bochy salutes all-time saves leader Hoffman

Tuesday, Jan. 11

SAN FRANCISCO — Trevor Hoffman accumulated 457 of his record 601 career saves with Bruce Bochy managing him in San Diego from 1995-2006. Thus, it’s fair to suggest that nobody appreciates Hoffman’s handiwork more than Bochy, who’s entering his fifth season as the Giants’ manager.

Typically, closers are viewed as individuals who live for the ninth inning and don’t influence the success of their fellow relievers. But after Hoffman announced his retirement Tuesday, Bochy spoke of Hoffman like basketball coaches used to speak of Magic Johnson or Larry Bird.

“He made those guys better,” Bochy said, citing Padres setup relievers such as Doug Bochtler, Tim Worrell, Dario Veras, Scott Linebrink and Akinori Otsuka. “That’s what great players do. If you look at the bullpens he’s pitched in, it’s not by coincidence that the rest of the guys had great years, too.”

Hoffman accomplished this, Bochy said, by inspiring others to join him in his daily workouts and counseling unlucky teammates who absorbed a tough defeat.

“He was really a great pleasure for me to manage,” Bochy said. “He was so respectful to the game and his teammates and did whatever I asked. I consider myself fortunate to have had Trevor Hoffman all those years.”

Bochy began regarding Hoffman as a Hall of Famer after the right-hander reached the 400-save plateau in 2005. Apparently, Hoffman didn’t share those thoughts. He continued to punish himself in conditioning exercises, which, Bochy said, is part of “the beauty of great players.”

Added Bochy, “He never felt like he arrived as a player. He was religious with his workout.”

*****

The Giants will officially announce their Minor League managing and coaching assignments later this week, but most of them are known already, since the respective teams released their staff lists Tuesday or earlier.

As expected, Steve Decker will return as Triple-A Fresno’s manager.

The Giants switched personnel at Double-A Richmond, where Dave Machemer, most recently low-Class A Augusta’s manager, has replaced Andy Skeels. Machemer managed at Double-A from 2005-07.

Brian Harper left the organization and created the San Jose managerial vacancy for Skeels, who piloted that team to the high-Class A California League title in 2009.

Chris Haft

Ford, Bowker highlight intrasquad game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Center fielder Darren Ford turned the Giants’ intrasquad game Monday into a one-inning personal showcase.

Widely considered the organization’s fastest player, Ford raced into the right-center field gap to catch Francisco Peguero’s line drive for the game’s first out. Ford then led off the inning’s bottom half by tripling to left-center field. He proceeded to score on Kevin Frandsen’s groundout.

Ford slid into third base, but he easily would have been safe had he gone in standing up. Not too many players possess enough speed to hit standup triples to left or left-center. This 24-year-old does.

“It’s always a blessing to go out there,” said Ford, who seems truly humble. “I was given a gift. I’m just using it any way I can, whether it’s offensively or defensively.”

Ford amassed nine triples (while stealing 35 bases) in 380 at-bats while hitting .300 for Class A San Jose. He acknowledged that he was thinking “third base” once he left the batter’s box. It’s a habit for him.

“I try tio go as far as I can until they stop me,” he said.

After Ford scored, John Bowker belted a drive down the right-field line that somehow stayed fair. It was an impressive home run by Bowker, a left-handed hitter who defied the percentages by victimizing left-handed pitcher Clayton Tanner.

That was it for the scoring as Richmond manager Andy Skeels’ “Armed Forces” defeated “Harper’s Heroes,” led by San Jose manager Brian Harper, 2-0 in three innings. Craig Clark, Tony Pena Jr., Dan Turpen, Craig Whitaker and Rafael Cova each pitched a shutout inning.

– Chris Haft

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