SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Farhan Zaidi understands the intrigue that stems from his unique baseball path: from the small-budget Oakland Athletics to the big-spending Los Angeles Dodgers and back to the Bay Area to join the rival Giants.San Francisco’s new front-office whiz plans to incorporate plenty from the franchise’s rich tradition by leaning on some of the entrenched baseball minds behind its success this decade Andrew McCutchen Jersey , even if there are varying ideas about how to get the Giants back into playoff contention.“It’s a convenient narrative to see this as kind of a clash of schools of thought. I just don’t see it that way at all,” the MIT-educated Zaidi said of mixing his analytics expertise with the old-school practices of veteran executive Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy. “Obviously we didn’t get to these points in our career the same way or in a similar way, but I think that’s part of the beauty of the game, how we all wind up together and then pulling toward a common goal.”Following four years as general manager of the Dodgers, Zaidi received a five-year contract to become Giants president of baseball operations Tuesday. He was formally introduced Wednesday at AT&T Park, then headed back to Southern California and the GM meetings in Carlsbad. He’ll join up with San Francisco’s front office on site — a trip Zaidi figures will bring some “normalcy” back to his life after a whirlwind few days switching organizations.Giants CEO Larry Baer and Zaidi first met Friday for a planned two-hour session that carried on for 6 1/2 hours. Zaidi on Wednesday thanked the Dodgers for allowing him to pursue an opportunity with their NL West rival, saying “I’m incredibly gracious.”Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, said it would be fun competing against Zaidi.At the GM meetings, Friedman said the Dodgers would miss Zaidi’s “creativity, work ethic, ability to connect with people. He’s extremely talented and somebody who’s obviously made a huge impact for us the last four years.”Friedman said he and Zaidi had conversations about the Giants’ job during the last week. “I kept telling him, obviously I’m biased but I’m trying to do everything I could to support him and be a sounding board and set my bias to the side.”The Dodgers didn’t try to lure Zaidi back, Friedman said. “No, I mean that was the point. If this was something he wanted to pursue we were going to support him.”The next step for Zaidi is hiring a general manager and a farm director, something he hopes to do soon if the right candidate emerges.It’ll be a new direction for a franchise that won World Series championships in 2010 http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-tony-watson-jersey , ’12 and ’14.Zaidi’s Dodgers reached the World Series the past two years without winning.“The response was just total heartbreak, I guess. I don’t know how else you say it,” he said.Zaidi will spend the coming months learning more about a franchise he’s watched closely for decades. He has already exchanged text messages with some core players, and he plans to visit a few this offseason. Zaidi’s first baseball game came at Candlestick Park in 1987, so this feels like coming “full circle.”Zaidi earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from MIT in 1998 and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2011. He spent 10 years with the A’s before joining Los Angeles.“It was quite compelling the way Farhan was able to put together winning franchises throughout,” Baer said, noting he hopes Zaidi will lead the club decades into the future.San Francisco went 73-89 during an injury-plagued 2018 with a major league-worst 5-21 record in September, missing the playoffs for a second straight year and third time in four seasons.Zaidi has no plans of tackling a turnaround on his own. Sabean will stay directly involved, and Bochy is allowed the last word when it comes to on-field moves, including the lineup and rotation.“Anything that is under the privy of the manager, the manager has final say — period. That is not even a question for me,” Zaidi said.Zaidi and Bochy spoke briefly already and will meet in person at some point. Bochy is scheduled to attend late Hall of Famer Willie McCovey’s celebration of life Thursday at the ballpark after Zaidi is already back in the San Diego area.To Bochy and Sabean, Zaidi expressed his interest in learning from both longtime, accomplished baseball men while bringing a fresh look, saying “I see this as a collaborative process” with “ideas flowing both ways.”A message he kept coming back to Wednesday: “Our goal is to play meaningful baseball as deep into the season and as soon as we can.”To do so, he will strive to make “one good baseball move after another” in building a winning roster.“I think the theme that we had from a player-acquisition standpoint in particular was no move is too small to not be worth a certain level of effort and detail — waiver claims Gregor Blanco Jersey , minor league free agents, second or third players in trades,” he said. “There’s a lot of value to be had in identifying talent in those regards.”Oh, and don’t rule out an A’s-Giants trade with his former Oakland boss, Billy Beane.“I think one of those could happen,” Zaidi said, grinning. BOSTON — What a perfect time for the Boston Red Sox to have a day off.Their weekend in St. Petersburg, not only disaster in terms of suffering their first series sweep of the season, was made worse by the New York Yankees sweeping four games in Baltimore to close the gap in the American League East.Three games on Players’ Weekend, three losses by a combined count of 24-5.Article continues below ...“Sometimes you go through tough times,” Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez said after Sunday’s 9-1 blowout at the hands of the upstart Rays. “Off-day tomorrow and start all over again.“This happens in a long season. We know it’s not going to be easy all the way through. At some point, you’re going to have tough times. It was a very tough week for us. Turn the page and keep going. We’re in first place for a reason.”Now losers of five of the last seven games, the Red Sox are home for a quick pair against the lowly Miami Marlins before heading back out on the road. Boston left-hander Brian Johnson faces the recently suspended Jose Urena in the opener Tuesday night.The Red Sox swept two games from the Marlins in Miami as part of a nine-game winning streak and 17-2 start to open the season. Johnson won one of those games and Urena pitched a strong game in a no-decision in the other.Johnson is 4-3 with a 4.12 ERA overall but 4-1 with a 3.63 ERA in 10 starts (the team is 8-2 in those 10 starts). He gave up one run in six innings in the early appearance at Miami.Urena, suspended for six games after hitting Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr., pitched a complete-game two-hitter against the Washington Nationals before serving his suspension. He comes off the suspension to pitch and brings a 4-12 record and 4.50 ERA into the game.After the right-hander dropped his appeal, manager Don Mattingly http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-pablo-sandoval-jersey , who criticized Urena for throwing at Acuna on the first pitch of a game after the Atlanta rookie had hit four homers in three games against Miami, said, “It makes sense from our standpoint. Obviously, Jose had to make his decision. I think he made a good decision, getting this thing on the back side of him, and working toward the rest of the year.“He wasn’t going to participate in the series coming up, so there was no reason to prolong this.”The Marlins come into this game 53-72, but have split their last 10 games.Mattingly returns to the park where he did so many good things during his playing career. He hit .313 with four homers and 30 RBIs in 65 games (58 starts) at Fenway, .292 with 11 homers and 79 RBIs overall against the Red Sox.Obviously, his bat can’t help in this series — as the Red Sox look to shake off their miserable weekend and get back on track.The Sox were swept for the first time in almost exactly a year — when they were outscored 25-4 in the first Players’ Weekend, that one at Fenway.“Just a bad weekend,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “That’s it. They’re playing great baseball. They play great here. They’ve done this to some good teams. It was just a bad weekend in (St. Petersburg). Day off tomorrow and we’ll get them Tuesday.”J.D. Martinez, the subject of triple crown talk through much of the season, has overtaken teammate Mookie Betts for the American League batting lead (.337 to .335). He is second to Khris Young in home runs (39/38) and leads in RBIs (110).