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How to make the 2023 All-Star Game all about the San Francisco Giants

Being a fan means always being able to find a way to make it about your favorite team.

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Los Angeles Angels v San Diego Padres Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

Look, I’m still a little perturbed that Thairo Estrada didn’t merit a selection, even though that feeling is moot. It’s great that Camilo Doval will represent the San Francisco Giants at the 2023 All-Star Game, but they could’ve had more. So, I’m going to look at the rosters for both teams and connect them all to the Giants somehow, just to really paint this game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle as Orange and Black as possible.

Eleven years ago, the San Francisco Giants All-Stars tormented the American League All-Stars and a global audience on their way to leading the NL to an 8-0 — the last win the National League has had against the American League. So, the league and its broadcasters, heavily biased towards the Yankees and Red Sox and, therefore, the American League, have had every incentive to downplay and diminish the San Francisco Giants players and franchise. Let this post be dirt thrown in the eye of that view.

National League

C: Sean Murphy (ATL)

He played for the Oakland A’s, and like everything involving the A’s, the Giants are right there. The Giants have been a silent partner in helping to shove the team out of the Bay Area, they’ve taken some really silly potshots from the A’s, once the team that dominated the market — it’s a fraught history between the franchises, and usually, fans have been cool about it, but just like it’s easy to think about the Yankees if you mention the Red Sox, it’s easy to think about the Giants when you mention the A’s. Also, the Giants tried to trade for him this past offseason.

1B: Freddie Freeman (LAD)

He was drafted (78th overall) in the same draft as Madison Bumgarner (10th). Why the Giants didn’t select him with one of the five other picks they had in the first round we’ll never know. Scratch that: we do know. The Giants have largely been pretty bad at drafting (and developing prospects). They took Tim Alderson (via the pick the Dodgers surrendered after signing Jason Schmidt in the offseason), Wendell Fairley, Nick Noonan, Jackson Williams, and Charlie Culberson, players who combined for a career bWAR of -1.3. Oof.

Back in April, Freeman had a 15-pitch at bat against Taylor Rogers in San Francisco that led to a bases loaded walk in a tie game.

The LA Times wrote about how much this at bat fired up the team:

“It was incredible to watch,” infielder Max Muncy said. “Everyone was just going nuts.”

It wasn’t just that the Dodgers had trailed by three runs early in the game, or that, at 6-6, they were staring a rare sub-.500 record in the face.

Rather, their new-look roster had been admittedly searching for a new identity during a sluggish start to the schedule. They had been waiting for a moment to snap out of a growing early-season malaise.

The Giants-Dodgers rivalry sparking the Dodgers to play better? A surprise to everyone outside of San Francisco and Los Angeles, I’m sure. Freeman has faced the Giants a lot, but this season, he’s just 1-for-13 with 1 RBI (that walk). So... there!

2B: Luis Arraez (MIA)

Okay, look, nobody’s going to talk about anything other than Arraez’s pursuit of a .400 batting average season. As I write this, it’s at .388. He’s a deserving starter at second base even though I think Thairo Estrada being the better defender and a top hitter qualified him, too. So, nobody’s going to want to talk about other second base candidates. Fine.

If we’re just going to talk about Luis Arraez getting hit after hit, then we should start with his very first hit in his major league career, which happened on May 18, 2019 when he was with the Twins in a game against the Mariners. He replaced Jorge Polanco at shortstop in the bottom of the 5th. His first at bat was a flyout in the top of the 6th. His second at bat was in the top of the 8th. He hit a double.

Off of former Giant Cory Gearrin.

3B: Nolan Arenado (STL)

This year, Arenado cruised into a starting spot based on reputation. He wasn’t the best third baseman in baseball, let alone the National League, but fine, whatever. His brother, Jonah Arenado, was at one point a Giants prospect, and if Arenado really puts on a show in the game and they get to talking about him some more, then maybe that could come up. As much as I’d like to impress upon the audience that he kills the Giants, Baseball Reference says his 81 tOPS+ means he has actually been 19% worse against them than his career average OPS. So.

SS: Orlando Arcia (ATL)

From Anaco, Venezuela, the same city as former Giants reliever Enderson Franco.

OF: Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL)

Cousin of Alcides Escobar, whom the Giants defeated when he was with the Royals in the 2014 World Series.

OF: Mookie Betts (LAD)

Plays for the Dodgers, so plays against the Giants. He won the 2021 NLDS for the Dodgers against the Giants, batting .450/.455/.600 in 22 PA.

OF: Corbin Carroll (AZ)

Plays for the Diamondbacks, therefore plays against the Giants. Also, he’s on pace for a 25 home run, 25 stolen base year in just his age-22, which would make him just one of 10 players to have accomplished such a feat by that age. One of those players? Barry Bonds.

DH: J.D. Martinez (LAD)

His first of just two 40 home run season came in 2017 after he’d been traded to the Diamondbacks from the Tigers. It happened in a game against the Giants.


C: Will Smith (LAD)

Has the same name as former Giants closer and current Rangers reliever Will Smith. Also a Dodger, therefore a Giants rival.

C: Elias Díaz (COL)

A Rockie, therefore, a Giants rival, but also from Maracaibo, Valenzuela, generally considered to be a baseball hotbed, but one the Giants haven’t been able to get into bed with, save for the 1997 Wilson Alvarez trade.

IF: Matt Olson (ATL)

You know, Olson is so tied up in A’s and now Braves (by way of being from Georgia) lore/history that it just seems weird to insert the Giants into this situation, but it’s easy enough to do. He went to Parkview High School, the same high school attended by former Giants Jeff Francoeur and Jeff Keppinger.

IF: Ozzie Albies (ATL)

From Curacao, birthplace of former Giants bench coach Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens.

IF: Austin Riley (ATL)

The Giants spent $3,733,800 on Phil Bickford and Chris Shaw with the 18th and 31st picks in Round 1 of the 2015 draft. The Braves paid Austin Riley a bonus of $1,600,000 as the 41st pick. Amateur scouting and drafting would appear to be exceedingly difficult.

IF: Dansby Swanson (CHC)

The Giants talked to him during the offseason, too.

IF: Pete Alonso (NYM)

Someone went ahead and put together this highlight video of all 9 career home runs Pete Alonso has against the Giants. This video is just three days old, meaning Pete Alonso vs. the Giants is in the zeitgeist.

OF: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (AZ)

Traded from Toronto to the Diamondbacks, so that makes him a rival of the Giants, but also, mentioning the Blue Jays in any way ought to trigger a mention of former Giant Brandon Belt, particularly with his joking comments about Shohei Ohtani having taken his spot as ASG DH. Too, one of the players in that Blue Jays-Diamondbacks trade was catcher Gabriel Moreno, whose defensive numbers led the NL until Patrick Bailey debuted.

OF: Nick Castellanos (PHI)

His hometown of Hialeah, Florida is also the birthplace of former Giants slugging catcher. Bobby Estalella, pictured here, emitting immense waves of “Florida Dude.”

Bobby Estalella #29

OF: Juan Soto (SD)

There are two paths to take with Giants-Soto connections. A recent one: he was late getting onto the field when the Giants hosted the Padres two weeks ago for reasons:

The other is that the Giants asked the Nationals about trading for him last season but the Giants’ lowly farm system (at the time) didn’t have enough that interested Washington, and they wanted Logan Webb in any deal, too.

DH: Jorge Soler (MIA)

A career .243 hitter, but against the Giants he’s hitting .360/.447/.573. According to Baseball Reference, that’s 59% better than his career line.


RHP: Zac Gallen (AZ)

Sure, he’s probably the best starting pitcher in the National League right now, and he already pitched into the 8th inning against the Giants once this season, but for his career, in 11 starts, he has a 3.84 ERA against them. That’s a full run worse than his results against the Rockies (2.45, 13 GS) and Dodgers (2.88; 10 starts).

RHP: Spencer Strider (ATL)

It’s at this point that I regretted going through the whole roster. But anyway, he went to Clemson, same as Steven Duggar and Dominic Leone.

RHP: Bryce Elder (ATL)

He has never faced the Giants! He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2020 drafted, several spots after current relief prospect Ryan Murphy (no relation).

LHP: Justin Steele (CHC)

An All-Star this season for sure, but he also hasn’t faced the Giants, who, in two previous matchups, combined for 15 hits in 8.2 IP and a 4.15 ERA.

RHP: Mitch Keller (PIT)

Took an All-Star spot (with 2.1 bWAR) from a far more deserving Logan Webb (2.8 bWAR).

RHP: Josiah Gray (WSH)

Part of an Andrew Friedman creative money management trade that sent Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Kyle Farmer, and current Giant Alex Wood to the Reds in exchange for him. The Dodgers would later use Gray to get Trea Turner and Max Scherzer, who wound up closing out game 5 of the NLDS against the Giants.

LHP: Clayton Kershaw (LAD)

He’s made the most starts (55) and pitched the most innings against (383) the Giants than any other team in his career. He’s pitched a combined 223 innings against the Tigers, Royals, A’s, Twins, Yankees, and Angels (33 starts) and has a stellar 1.65 combined ERA; but, against the Giants, in 160 more innings and 22 more starts, he has a 2.02 ERA.

Also, he effectively picked a fight with the city of San Francisco by going after the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

RHP: Marcus Stroman (CHC)

As Andrew Baggarly noted in The Athletic (subscription required), he likes the Giants and they could perhaps trade for him at this year’s deadline.

“I loved everything about the organization, top down,” Stroman said. “Talking to the GM, talking to Gabe, talking to Farhan, all those guys were pretty incredible. So, yeah, nothing but love for the organization.”

Hot Stove Talk in the All-Star Game? Yeah, that’s a must.


RHP: Alexis Díaz (CIN)

From Humacao, Puerto Rico, same town as our guy Isan Diaz.

LHP: Josh Hader (SD)


lmao even

RHP: Devin Williams (MIL)

In 7 career games against the Giants (7 IP), he has a 6.43 ERA, his highest mark against any other team in the NL.

RHP: Camilo Doval (SF)


RHP: David Bednar (PIT)

A key figure in the three-team trade that netted the Padres Joe Musgrove, hometown San Diegan who pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history. Musgrove got to Pittsburgh by way of Houston, who included him in their trade for Gerrit Cole. Houston traded for Musgrove and several other players from the Toronto Blue Jays in July 2012. To get Musgrove and those several other players, the Astros traded away J.A. Happ, who was the opposing pitcher in Matt Cain’s perfect game.

American League

Elected starters

C: Jonah Heim (TEX)
2B: Marcus Semien (TEX)
3B: Josh Jung (TEX)
SS: Corey Seager (TEX)
[Reserve] OF: Adolis García (TEX)
RHP: Nathan Eovaldi (TEX)

Oh, you want to talk about or think about a Ranger from this year’s team? Who’s the manager of the 2023 Texas Rangers? That’s right. Bruce Bochy, three-time world champion. How did he win those championships? That’s right. THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS.

1B: Yandy Díaz (TB)

It took a three-team trade between Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Seattle to get him from Cleveland to Tampa Bay, and in that mix there was Jake Bauers going to Cleveland. Tampa Bay got Bauers in a trade with San Diego in December 2014, and in that trade was also RHP Burch Smith, who pitched 8.2 innings for the Giants in 2019.

OF: Mike Trout (LAA)*

Mike Trout plays with Shohei Ohtani, who was a once and future free agent target of the San Francisco Giants.

OF: Randy Arozarena (TB)

He almost singlehandedly beat the Dodgers in the 2020 World Series. That doesn’t make him an honorary Giant or anything, it’s just worth pointing out.

OF: Aaron Judge (NYY)*

There was this whole to-do about Judge and the Giants in the offseason. While Judge played the Giants (and all of us) perfectly to get the deal he wanted from the Yankees, the Yankees have about the same record as the Giants right now, but their mark puts them 8 games out of the division.

RHP & DH: Shohei Ohtani (LAA)

Not only did the Giants make a pitch for him when he fielded offers from teams before landing on the Angels, the Giants are considered to be one of the top teams to land him when he hits free agency this offseason. Now, Giants fans know that the team doesn’t have a chance, that Shohei Ohtani would rather put on a honey suit and be devoured by a grizzly bear than play 81 games at Oracle Park, but the rest of the country doesn’t know that.


C: Salvador Perez (KC)

Final out of the 2014 World Series against? The San Francisco Giants.

C: Adley Rutschman (BAL)

Went to the same college (Oregon State) as Michael Conforto and in 2018, broke Conforto’s single season RBI record (76, set in 2012) with 83.

IF: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR)

His father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., won the Home Run Derby in 2007, which was played in San Francisco!

IF: Whit Merrifield (TOR)

Bear with me. This will be worth it. Drafted in the 9th round of the 2010 draft by the Kansas City Royals out of University of South Carolina, same college as Matt Campbell, whom the Royals also drafted, but in the 1st round of the 2006 draft in a pick they received from the Giants when they signed Michael Tucker. The Giants preferred to spend the money on a major leaguer instead of a draft pick.

IF: Bo Bichette (TOR)

Drafted in the same round and same draft (round 2, 2016) as Pete Alonso, Jake Fraley, Nolan Jones, Brandon Marsh, Akil Badoo, Mitch White, and Bryan Reynolds. His father, Dante Bichette, was drafted in the same draft and round (round 1, 1984) as Jay Bell, Mark McGwire, Norm Charlton, and Terry Mulholland, who very much did not make it as an All-Star with the Giants and, unlike Reynolds, actually got to play for the team that drafted them.

IF: José Ramírez (CLE)

He’s just really good and I wish the Giants had him.

IF: Wander Franco (TB)

He’s just really good and I wish the Giants had him.

OF: Luis Robert Jr. (CWS)

He hit the first home run Sean Manaea allowed this season!

OF: Yordan Alvarez (HOU)
OF: Kyle Tucker (HOU)
LHP: Framber Valdez (HOU)

Oh, you want to talk about or think about an Astro? Who’s the manager of the 2023 Houston Astros? That’s right. Dusty Baker, also the AL All-Star’s manager, and current world champion. Where did he get his start as a manager? THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS.

OF: Austin Hays (BAL)
RHP: Félix Bautista (BAL)
RHP: Yennier Cano (BAL)

Oh, you want to talk about or think about an Oriole other than breakout star Adley Rutschman? Who’s the manager of the 2023 Baltimore Orioles? That’s right. Brandon Hyde. Where is he from? Santa Rosa, California. Does the Bay claim Brandon Hyde?

“You don’t realize, I think when you grow up here … just how beautiful along the North Bay is, the wine country,” Hyde said. “When you live here every day, it’s kind of one of those things, you don’t notice it after a while. But then you come back and you’re like, ‘Wow.’”


This is the place where Hyde fell in love with baseball. This is where his path to 600 games — and counting — as a manager began. And, for the first time, Hyde is managing a team at Oracle Park against the ballclub he grew up watching and rooting for.

Yeah, I’m thinking it does.

OF: Julio Rodríguez (SEA)

Really made Camilo Doval look bad just the other day.

DH: Brent Rooker (OAK)

Traded with Taylor Rogers to the Padres last season.


RHP: Gerrit Cole (NYY)

Brother-in-law of San Francisco Giant and three-time All-Star Brandon Crawford.

RHP: Luis Castillo (SEA)

Signed by the Giants as an amateur free agent in 2011. Traded to the Marlins in the ill-fated Casey McGehee trade. A painful memory.

RHP: Sonny Gray (MIN)

Okay, this one’s a stretch. He went to the same college (Vanderbilt) as current Giants first base coach Antoan Richardson. But it’s true. Several years apart, but they’re connected!

RHP: Kevin Gausman (TOR)

Oh wow. Where do we begin?

LHP: Shane McClanahan (TB)

Drafted 29 picks after Joey Bart in the 2018 draft. I’m not saying that the Giants should’ve taken McClanahan over Bart. Just pointing out that if the Giants trade Bart to the Rays, let’s say, then the Rays would have another pick from the first round of that draft (they had 3).

RHP: Michael Lorenzen (DET)

The San Francisco Giants were “really interested” in him during this past offseason.

RHP: George Kirby (SEA)

Went to the same college (Elon) as current Giants reliever John Brebbia.


RHP: Kenley Jansen (BOS)

Sure, you can say he’s another guy the Giants had interest in this past offseason, but don’t ignore his history with the Giants, not just as the Dodgers closer, but that season with the Braves, too. He’s had a few memorable late-game moments against the Giants in his career.

RHP: Emmanuel Clase (CLE)

He was suspended for PED use in his age-22 season, same season as Logan Webb!

So, there you have it. I have connected every player with zero exceptions to the Giants. Maybe this Tuesday’s game will be an exhibition of players who will wear orange and black and City Connects in the future.