Legal trobles loom for high_profil player amidst off_filed controversy

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Take a look at the big board of available free agents and it may not feel like it, but baseball season is upon us.

The San Francisco Giants’ pitchers and catchers on Tuesday reported for the first day of spring training, spending their first day back at the team facilities undergoing physical exams and settling into their lockers. On Wednesday, they’ll hold their first workout, with position players set to join them next week — without Brandon Crawford for the first time since 2009.

With a change of the guard on the infield and the dugout bench, this camp promises to provide plenty of intrigue. New manager Bob Melvin will be attempting to guide the team back to the postseason for the first time in three years — and vanquish the mighty Dodgers, defending National League champion Diamondbacks and his former Padres in the process.

Before they open the season March 28 at Petco Park, the answers to these questions will hopefully be resolved:

How will BoMel run the show?

Promptly at 9:30 Wednesday morning, Melvin will appear in the first base dugout of Scottsdale Stadium, take a seat on the metal bench and meet reporters for the ritualistic manager’s media session that will repeat hundreds of times over the course of the season. He is never tardy, or so that is the reputation he has developed over 20 years and four prior managerial stops.

Throughout his extensive career in the dugout, Melvin, 61, has developed a certain way of doing things. It could be described as a blend of Roger Craig — the “Humm Baby,” whose old-school ways rubbed off on Melvin as his manager on the late-’80s Giants — and Billy Beane, the forward-thinking A’s executive who worked in tandem with Melvin and Farhan Zaidi in Oakland.

That blend of thinking is evident in the makeup of Melvin’s staff. In each department, holdovers from the previous analytically inclined staff are balanced with more traditional thinkers brought in by Melvin. Pat Burrell and Justin Viele will work with the hitters, and Bryan Price and J.P. Martinez with the pitchers. Even the base coaches are at equilibrium, with Matt Williams in the third-base box and Mark Hallberg at first.

Assistant coach Alyssa Nakken, by the way, gave birth to a baby boy last month. It has not been revealed how that will impact her role with the team.

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