Season 2

21 Mar 19
The Packie

After 18 days of being biggest contract in MLB history record for Bryce Harper is gone. Not only is it gone but has been obliterated. As I reported a couple of weeks ago Harper had the bigger overall contract, though not a great one. Well now Mike Trout outdid him in a big way. As […]

21 Mar 19
Heavy.com

What are some funny March Madness bracket names? Check out our list of a few clever bracket team names for the 2019 NCAA tournament.

21 Mar 19
Blue Chip Sports

We are back! It’s the NFL offseason which means, more importantly, it’s NFL mock draft season. I’ve always looked at the start of mock draft season as the Monday after free agency begins, because every year the player movement wildly alters the state of the draft. And sure enough the blockbuster deal that sent New […]

21 Mar 19
Montgomery Blair Sports-Stat

    To determine what variables we would use in our model, we first ran linear regression to determine what variables were best at explaining the 2018 NCAA tournament. The most predictive variables were Seed, AP Poll score, Offensive Efficiency, Defensive Efficiency, KenPom ratings, and Wins Against Tournament teams. We chose Offensive and Defensive Efficiencies, KenPom […]

21 Mar 19
High Velocity Sport

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was ejected early in the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game after sparking an on-court skirmish by shoving Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid to the court after a collision on a screen.   The 7’0″, 250-pound big man leaned in with his shoulder on the screen and knocked […]

21 Mar 19
Heavy.com

Analyzing the betting line and offering a pick and prediction for the Duke Blue Devils and North Dakota State Bison in the first round of the march madness tournament

21 Mar 19
Daily Democrat
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
Oroville Mercury-Register
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
Red Bluff Daily News
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
Paradise Post
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
Times-Standard
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
The Reporter
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
Chico Enterprise-Record
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
East Bay Times
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
The Mercury News
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In the middle of a hectic clubhouse, Giants relief pitcher Will Smith found a free minute and an open table to get caught up on his fan mail. He tore through a stack of white envelopes one by one, unfolding each personalized note, using a Sharpie to put his autograph across the dozens of baseball cards bearing his name, then stuffing them into self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to their senders. “This is like a week (of mail) stacked up,” he said, laughing at his collection. “I haven’t done this in a while.” That might be because, unlike past springs when injuries kept him off the mound, Smith hasn’t had a lot of spare time this camp. Instead, he’s been busy building his case to remain the Giants’ closer. “It’s been awesome, just to be a regular guy,” Smith said. “To be able to go out, no restrictions.” By the end of last season, the left-hander was San Francisco’s top option at the back of the bullpen. Throwing a heavy serving of sliders and curveballs, Smith collected 14 saves in 18 opportunities and recorded a 2.55 ERA. At the beginning of the season, however, his role had been unclear. After undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2017, Smith still wasn’t fully recovered. While his teammates got to play, he was limited him to a tedious routine of bullpen sessions and rehab treatments. He didn’t even make a full return to the mound until early May, more than a year after the procedure on his elbow. “I wasn’t nervous about how my elbow would feel or anything,” he said. “I was just nervous being back in the big leagues again. You’ve waited so long. … It was just one of those, ‘It’s finally here,’ nervous-type moments.” He has been rock solid since. This spring, Smith has three strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings. Though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to officially name his closer, Smith appears to be leading the pack of potential candidates. The Georgia-native wasn’t expecting such a role when he was traded to San Francisco in the middle of 2016. During previous stints with Kansas City (2012-13) and Milwaukee (2014-16), Smith had only one career save. Rather than finish games, he served as a somewhat anonymous set-up guy. For example, one of the baseball cards Smith signed last week displayed his name and stats, but was accidentally printed with a picture of fellow Giants reliever Tony Watson. Though that mix-up would almost certainly not happen to one of the game’s big-name closers, the laid-back Smith found it funny. “A lot of people try to get me and [Watson] to sign the same card,” he chuckled. But 2018 was a career-changing season for Smith. After years of being a No. 2 in the bullpen, he quickly became one of baseball’s more effective shutdown guys. This offseason, his name was mentioned in trade rumors before the Giants signed him in January to a one-year deal worth reportedly $4.225 million. There’s still the potential he could be dealt, perhaps as a piece in the Giants’ pursuit of another outfielder. But that hasn’t weighed on his mind this spring. Instead, he’s enjoyed being able to “just be with the guys” as a healthy member of the clubhouse. “The last couple years, I wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I wouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said. “But now, whatever’s on the schedule, I get to do.” Smith insists he’ll be happy regardless of his role too, even if that means his baseball card next year doesn’t show another big number in the saves column for the 2019 season. “I’ve always said if everybody in the bullpen takes the mentality that ‘We’re all closers, we’re just the sixth or the seventh (innings),’ everything will be fine,” Smith said. “One guy just happens to throw in the ninth inning.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to again see Smith on the mound at the end of most Giants games this season though. Last year he was effective even without a spring to prepare. This season, he’s excited to see what he’ll be capable of with a full spring camp under his belt.      
21 Mar 19
Off-Beat Lifestyle

Spring is finally here! Today is the day. SPRING! We made it. I first want to say thank you to everyone who has been following: Countdown to Spring DIY segment. I deeply appreciate all the love and support. I am excited to announce that the next segment will be……. Recipes for the Soul: Spring Edition. […]

21 Mar 19
Saskatoon StarPhoenix

After recording a team-high 75 points in 68 games in the regular season, Saskatoon Blades’ defenceman Dawson Davidson has been named to the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference 1st All-Star Team. The Moosomin product’s tally tied him with Moose Jaw Warriors captain Josh Brook for the most points among WHL defensemen. Davidson, however, is the […]