Odds & Ends-Volume 170

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We begin a special edition of Odds & Ends with the Giants and longtime reliever SergioRomo.png Romo parting ways. Romo will sign with the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers after spending his entire career with San Francisco,where he was a three-time world champion and an All-Star.

In a text to KNBR-AM in San Francisco, Romo had this to say:

“It wasn’t my choice not to be a Giant again as I was straight up told I didn’t have a spot there anymore. So, I chose L.A. for my family and not to piss off, in spite, nor to hurt anyone with the Giants. I have no vendetta and no ill-will towards any of my friends that I was made to leave behind in San Francisco. I will not do anything to show any of them up up as I respect and truly love everyone one of them for the way they accepted me and let me play on their team.”

Many fans are upset with the move,calling Romo a traitor and pretty much saying that he is dead to them because he went to the Dodgers,who by the way is his father’s favorite team and the team he followed growing up in Southern California.

I,however,am not going to get on Romo’s case about leaving. When the organization doesn’t want you anymore, it’s time to go elsewhere. He had the choice to go anywhere he wanted and he chose a place that welcomed him. If you were rejected by an employer, wouldn’t you go find another job,too? That’s exactly what Romo did. I know he went to a hated archrival and I, just like you, will have some trouble seeing him in their blue and white uniforms when the season starts, but he deserves to be treated a little bit better than he has. You can be mad that he went somewhere that you didn’t want him to go to,but he had to do what was best for his career and for that,I applaud him.

I also don’t blame the Giants for wanting to go in a different direction in terms of who they want in their bullpen going forward. That was the team’s Achilles heel last season and was what killed their World Series hopes as the season went on.

” …I will truly be leaving my heart in San Francisco and that’s no lie,” said Romo in the same text to KNBR-AM.

I believe him when he says that!

javierlopezContinuing with departures from the Giants, Javier Lopez has done the same,but in retirement form after 14 seasons in the big leagues.

Lopez,39, won four world championships in his career, three of them with the Giants and was a solids arm out of the bullpen with his sidearm delivery and was a key figure in helping the team win their three world championships this decade.

“Javier is the kind of player every manager would want to have on his team,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He was not only great to have in the bullpen but in the clubhouse too. Winning the 2016 Willie Mac award (as the Giants’ most inspirational player) showed how much he was revered and appreciated by his teammates.”

“More than anything, it’s just time,” Lopez said. “It’s a young man’s game. Although I think I can compete, it’s getting harder and harder to get ready for spring.”

Lopez is going to be missed by many Giants fans like myself. He was such a solid guy in his career and a guy you could call on in the late innings to get some of the best hitters to strike out. However, I hated that he wasn’t used enough towards the end of his career. He would only face one batter and then be sent to the dugout. Not that Lopez complained,but he could’ve been used a lot more.

Despite that,I wish him all the best. He will be missed!

brianwilsonContinuing with former Giants, one of their biggest characters is eyeing a comeback. That man is Brian Wilson,who was with the Giants from 2006-12, has announced he will try and come back as a knuckleball pitcher.

Wilson,34,no longer has the trademark beard and has not played in the majors since 2014 when he was with the Dodgers.

“I always said that once my career was over I was coming back as a knuckleballer,” Wilson told Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown. “I’m good with it. Man, I get to play a game. It’s going to be pretty fun.”

In Wilson’s last major league season, the three-time All-Star compiled a 4.66 ERA and lost command of what used to be a high 90’s fastball.

I don’t know if any team is going to give him a tryout (two teams have seen his knuckler),especially a guy who has had two Tommy John surgeries and is approaching the wrong side of 30, but it’ll no doubt be interesting to see if he has anything left in the tank to make a comeback like he intends. He may not have the beard anymore,but he has a lot of character and that’s never a bad thing to have on your team.

mikekrukowSomeone else who has a lot of character is Mike Krukow. He is fun to watch and listen to during baseball season with his longtime colleague,Duane Kuiper. Unfortunately for Giants fans, we will be seeing less of Kruk due to health issues.

Krukow,65,has been battling a degenerative muscle disease for over a decade now and made his condition known to the public in 2014. As a result, he cannot manage stairs, which made trips to older ballparks like Wrigley Field next to impossible. He relies on the use a cane and requires wheelchair assistance to board airplanes.

Krukow will broadcast 117 games,which consists of home games and solely traveling to games against NL West rivals. Jeremy Affeldt and the aforementioned Javier Lopez will replace Krukow in the booth on the faraway travel games.

As for playoff games: “No way I’m missing those games,” Krukow said.

“I’m feeling good, but at the end of last season, it became pretty obvious I couldn’t do the whole thing again,” Krukow said. “I approached the Giants and they were fabulous. They said, `We’ll take what you can give us.’ So I won’t do the longer trips just so I can preserve some strength, because I want to do this for a long time. And I believe that I can, but I’ve got to be smart about it. It’s a grind, and I have to be respectful of that.”

While I’m glad Krukow wants to do this for the long haul,I will miss him on road trips outside of the NL West. He and Kuip are part of what make summer and baseball great and

I hope these guys are able to do their thing as long as Krukow can stay healthy enough to do so. I’m sure Lopez and Affeldt will do a great job while he’s away.

Terrell Owens was snubbed from being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for theowens second consecutive year. Had he been elected, Owens would’ve joined a class that includes but is not limited to Kurt Warner, Terrell Davis, LaDainian Tomlinson,and Jason Taylor.

Some are defending the snub, but others are outraged by his omission from Canton.

“When someone like Terrell Owens doesn’t make the Hall of Fame consecutively, that’s not good for the Hall. That’s not what we represent. I played against this guy. This guy was a man amongst boys,” said Deion Sanders of NFL Network

Recently retired receiver Steve Smith Sr. said, “I think, personally, they want to stick it to him. … There are a number of Hall of Famers who had numerous off-the-field issues that were 10 times worse, detrimental to their team and detrimental to them individually. And, also, would probably be detrimental to some of their families, some activities that they did.”

Here’s how I feel about this: Owens was incredibly talented and without question has the resume to get intoCanton,and I believe he will one day. However, he is,for better or worse, paying the price for rubbing teammates,reporters,and entire franchises the wrong way during his playing career.

Look,Owens isn’t the first guy to not make it on his first or second try when he probably should’ve and he won’t be the last. Remember Cris Carter? He failed to make it in for several years and I believe a lot of that had to do with some of his early career troubles off the field,some of which led to his release from the Eagles. Carter was noted to have the best hands in football,but it took him some time to get in. Like I said, he will get in some day,but his turn just isn’t now.

PatsLogo.jpgSeveral New England Patriots are planning to decline to go to the White House following their win in Super Bowl LI over the Atlanta Falcons,and the list seems to be growing.

It started with Martellus Bennett pledging not to go before the game even started and the Patriots won. Devin McCourty and Dont’ A Hightower followed suit thereafter and Thursday saw LeGarrette Blount,Alan Branch and Chris Long added to the list of players who will pass on the celebration at the White House. Of the six players listed, Long is the only one who is white.

“Planned on skipping, hadn’t been asked. Not *joining* anyone. My call,” Long said on Twitter in regards to an open letter by Chuck Mordiano of the New York Daily News urging him to join his teammates in boycotting the White House visit.

The other players had their own reasons as well.

“I will not be going to the White House,” Blount said on the Rich Eisen show. “I don’t feel welcome in that house. I’ll leave it at that.”

McCourty echoed Blount’s words while Hightower simply said, “Been there, done that.”
Branch had his own reasons,none seeming to have to do with Donald Trump.

“I’ve got four kids at home so I’m just going to hang out with the family and continue celebrating until the next season starts,” Branch said.

Many in the Patriots organization have friendly ties to Donald Trump. Owner Robert Kraft is a personal friend while quarterback Tom Brady voted for him and coach Bill Belichick has offered praise for Trump.

I’m actually okay with these six men deciding not to go to a place where they aren’t going to feel welcome. Beyond that, the last time the team won the Super Bowl,it was the player this franchise is identified with most,Brady,who skipped out on going. Sure,he was ridiculed for it and yes,these players who are skipping on visiting Trump are getting criticized for their declines to attend the event,but when you have somebody like Trump who is and has been divisive and has policies that don’t seem to benefit everyone, you’re going to have players take such a stand and say enough is enough. I can only hope more players will occupy this list in the days to follow because there’s more than enough room for those names to go on.

That’s it for Odds & Ends,we’ll catch you next time!

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