LOS ANGELES -- This time, Matt Cain's return to the Giants' starting rotation appears as if it'll actually happen.
Manager Bruce Bochy all but officially declared Cain fit to face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. The right-hander, San Francisco's season-opening No. 2 starter, has missed his last two outings and was forced to go on the disabled list with a cut on the index finger of his throwing hand.
Asked Thursday if Cain were ready to rejoin the rotation, Bochy replied, "I'd say he is. Barring any setbacks, he's good to go on Saturday."
Cain took batting practice and tossed a ball briefly off a bullpen mound, indicating that he was preparing for an imminent start. "He threw for a little while, just to test it," pitching coach Dave Righetti said of Cain's mound session.
Cain was scratched from his scheduled start against San Diego on April 29 when he sliced the tip of his right index finger while trying to make a sandwich. Yusmeiro Petit replaced Cain and threw six shutout innings. Cain was earmarked to pitch Monday's series opener at Pittsburgh but was again scratched when the Giants decided that he wasn't sufficiently healed.
Affeldt strengthens charitable push
LOS ANGELES -- Continuing to back up his convictions with action, Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt has pledged to donate one day's pay during this season to support Not For Sale, a global nonprofit organization protecting people and communities from human trafficking.
Affeldt has remained deeply involved with Not For Sale for several years. Based on his 2014 salary of $5 million, his contribution would total approximately $27,322.40, since there are technically 183 days in a Major League season.
Other Major Leaguers who have made the same commitment include Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, Indians right-hander Justin Masterson and Braves right-hander Gavin Floyd.
Affeldt said that this method of contributing to Not For Sale's cause is less "in-your-face" than some charitable drives and thus could prompt big leaguers to feel more comfortable with donating. "It wouldn't feel like, 'Here's another group trying to take more money from a ballplayer,'" he said.
Ex-Giants owner Lurie enters Bay Area shrine
LOS ANGELES -- Much of the Giants' organizational stability and continuity began with Bob Lurie, the club's former owner who was inducted Tuesday night into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
The team has had only three general managers since September 1985 -- Al Rosen, Bob Quinn and Brian Sabean. During that same period, four men have managed the Giants: Roger Craig, Dusty Baker, Felipe Alou and Bruce Bochy. President and chief executive officer Larry Baer initially joined the Giants as the club's marketing director in 1980, left the organization to attend Harvard Business School in 1983 and returned in 1996.
"We tried to run it as a family," said Lurie, who spent 1976-1992 at the Giants' helm.
Lurie's purchase of the Giants kept the organization from moving to Toronto.
"It was a great honor and privilege to be able to do it," Lurie said. Referring to the club's World Series triumphs in 2010 and 2012, Lurie added, "A lot has happened since, obviously. It's been so exciting."
When Lurie bought the Giants, they inspired so little faith in the Bay Area at that point that he had to scramble to gather enough funds to buy the team. His initial co-investor was Arthur "Bud" Herseth, a Phoenix cattle rancher who admitted knowing extremely little about baseball.
Lurie presided over the largest home attendance spike in club history, in terms of percentage (1,740,477 from 700,056 in 1977), brought the 1984 All-Star Game to Candlestick Park and hired the shrewd duo of Rosen and Craig, who ended a 27-year drought by constructing a pennant-winning team in 1989.
But Lurie tried in vain to find the Giants a new Bay Area home to replace reviled Candlestick. Ironically, one of the proposed sites was China Basin, where the Giants' hugely popular AT&T Park stands. Four ballpark ballot measures failed, largely because voters refused to commit tax dollars to any stadium project. Having exhausted his options, Lurie agreed to sell the Giants to a group that would have moved them to Tampa-St. Petersburg following the 1992 season. Then Peter Magowan, as Lurie did 16 years earlier, guided an effort to keep the Giants in San Francisco.