San Francisco Giants could have buyer's remorse after off-season spending

The San Francisco Giants spent more than twice as much as the Dodgers on starting pitching over the off-season. That doesn't guarantee they will have the superior rotation.

Evidently, $220 million doesn't buy what it once did.

While the additions of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija could make the Giants rotation special, there is as much trainwreck potential in San Francisco as there is in Los Angeles, perhaps more, considering how much was staked financially.

Signed for $130 million over five years to be the No. 2 starter behind Madison Bumgarner, Cueto has been one of baseball's most consistent starting pitchers, as his earned-run average over the last five years is second only to Clayton Kershaw's. But industry gossip about Cueto's elbow intensified last season, as the right-hander missed an early-season start with the Cincinnati Reds and failed to perform consistently after a midseason trade to the Kansas City Royals.

Samardzija is no sure thing, either, as the $90-million right-hander was 11-13 with a 4.96 ERA last season with the Chicago White Sox. The former All-Star made his Giants debut Wednesday in Milwaukee and it was more of the same for him, as he was charged with three runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Behind Cueto and Samardzija are Jake Peavy and Matt Cain.

Peavy, who will start Thursday against the Dodgers in the opening game of a four-game series at AT&T Park, was once considered the best pitcher in the National League. He is now 34 and year removed from a season in which he was limited to 110 2/3 innings because of lower-back problems.

Cain, the team's one-time ace, looks finished. Arm trouble limited Cain to 90 1/3 innings in 2014 and 60 2/3 innings last year. He made three starts in spring training this year and posted a 7.71 ERA.


Arizona Diamondbacks Manager Chip Hale is already buckling under the weight of the increased expectations thrust on his team.

After a season-opening loss to the Colorado Rockies on Monday, Hale voiced some bizarre complaints about the hype surrounding opening day.

"You guys built it up really good," he told reporters in Arizona. "You did a nice job of it. I said it before the game, you guys really hyped it up."

On the anticipation of Shelby Miller's Diamondbacks debut the next day, Hale said, "Probably build it up just the way tonight was built up, I'm sure you'll do a good job of that, too."

Hale apologized Tuesday, explaining that he said what he said because he didn't want his players to adopt a "the-sky-is-falling type of attitude." However, his overreaction only reinforced the idea that the sky is actually falling on the Diamondbacks, who might have lost All-Star center fielder A.J. Pollock for the season because of a fractured elbow.


Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob is the one of the most underappreciated people in the world. Either that or he's delusional.

In a New York Times magazine profile published last week, Lacob claimed to be one of the top-10 blackjack players in the world. But there's more. He also said the Warriors' success is the byproduct of his management style.

You read that right: He thinks the Warriors win because of how they're run, not because they have a player in Steph Curry who can score from practically anywhere inside of half court.

"We're light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we're going to go about things," Lacob said. "We're going to be a handful for the rest of the NBA to deal with for a long time."

Of course, what Lacob says doesn't count nearly as much as what he does, and, so far, his high opinion of himself hasn't adversely affected the team's basketball operations.


Manny Pacquiao fights Timothy Bradley on Saturday, but that won't be the day's most significant event in boxing. That designation belongs to British heavyweight Anthony Joshua's fight against International Boxing Federation champion Charles Martin.

A hard-punching former Olympic gold medalist, Joshua is the star-starved division's best prospect since Ike Ibeabuchi, whose once-promising career was derailed by legal problems.


Mallory Pugh, a 17-year-old forward on the U.S. senior national women's soccer team, will be playing for UCLA starting in the fall.

Pugh will be joined in Westwood next year by Ashley Sanchez, a high school junior from Monrovia who was also part of the national team's most recent training camp.


Kenta Maeda hits a home run, pitches Dodgers to 7-0 victory over Padres

Clippers send Lakers to franchise-worst 62nd loss, 91-81

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