Giants outfielders serve as bat boys -- not by choice

Duggar, Slater share duties, don 'L' on back of uniform

March 24th, 2022

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Steven Duggar and Austin Slater saw plenty of action at Scottsdale Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, though they found themselves stationed in the dugout, not the outfield.

As punishment for placing last in the club’s fantasy football league, Duggar and Slater were forced to serve as bat boys in San Francisco's 5-3 loss to Arizona. The two outfielders wore cream Giants uniforms with a taped “L” on the back as they retrieved foul balls and handed fresh balls to umpires in between innings.

“They didn’t have to do a whole lot of work the first two innings, which was kinda disappointing,” Brandon Crawford said. “I guess they picked a good game to bat boy. But they wore it. They manned up and put the unis on and went out there and did it. I was proud of them for that.”

Crawford serves as the Giants’ fantasy football commissioner and said he originally conceived of the rule a couple of years ago, though it hadn’t been enforced until now, as former veteran starter Jeff Samardzija refused to comply when he placed last in the league.

“I think that’s probably going to be the punishment again next year,” Crawford said. “You don’t want to get last place.”

Head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner and team surgeon Ken Akizuki won the league championship this year, finishing a mere three points ahead of runner-up Logan Webb.

“I’ve heard it about 40 times already,” Webb said. “I think that was the first text Groesch sent me when the lockout ended, because during the championship we weren’t allowed to talk to them. I knew it was coming at some point.”

Quick hits

• Webb gave up one run on two hits over three innings in his second Cactus League start Wednesday. The 25-year-old right-hander issued two walks, but he also struck out five, giving him 10 strikeouts over five innings so far this spring. Webb said he was particularly happy with his slider, which hadn’t felt as sharp in his spring debut last week.

“It was way better today,” Webb said. "I was actually really excited about how that was moving.”

• Crawford made his spring debut against the D-backs, logging four innings at shortstop and going 0-for-2 in two trips to the plate. Crawford, 35, struck out in the first inning against Arizona right-hander Merrill Kelly and lined out to center field in the fourth.

“I think timing at the plate is always the biggest thing for a hitter,” Crawford said. “Hopefully, I’ll ramp up some more at-bats here in the next week or so. Hopefully the timing is there by Opening Day.”