It’s still just early January, but the plans for what Shawn Estes will be doing during the 2019 Major League Baseball season are already in the works.
Estes again plans to be one of the analysts for the pre- and postgame shows for San Francisco Giants broadcasts on NBC Sports Bay Area. And Estes has also been approached by San Francisco Giants Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer about filling in for Mike Krukow at times during the season as a color analyst on Giants broadcasts.
The 1991 Douglas High graduate will receive his first chance to tune up for the upcoming season, so to speak, when he will be the featured speaker at the 35th annual Bobby Dolan Dinner on Jan. 17 at the Reno Ballroom.
Estes did 80 games last year as an analyst on the Giants pre- and postgame shows. He said he estimated those games this season would be split between being an analyst on the pre- and postgame shows and in the broadcast booth. He estimates he’ll do 60 games in the studio and 20 games in the broadcast booth, but added the schedule has yet to be set.
Jeremy Affeldt won’t return to the broadcast booth to fill in when Krukow is off, so it will be Estes and Javier Lopez who will fill in for Krukow.
And Estes understands it will be a daunting task filling in for the popular Krukow.
“Those are some big shoes to fill,” Estes said, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity. It’s always tough following someone who’s a living legend. I’m just going to be myself and try to get better.”
It will be Estes’ first broadcast assignment but he can seek the advice of veteran Giant announcers in Hall of Famer John Miller, Dave Flemming and Duane Kuiper. Estes could work with all three at some point during the season.
“At this point all I can do is pick their brains as much as I can and prepare myself and just go out and be myself,” Estes said.
Estes says he expects to work in the broadcast booth during spring training to prepare for the season, which works out well for Estes, who lives in Arizona.
Estes admits he doesn’t know yet what to expect from the 2019 Giants because they have hired a new general manager, Farhan Zaidi. Estes said he does know while Zaidi uses analytics, he also depends on scouts as well.
“This will be an interesting year to seek what kind of Giants product is going to be on the field,” Estes said.
Estes noted the Giants do have a lot of money locked up in contracts with several players.
“They don’t have the flexibility to make those big moves,” he said.
“There hasn’t been a lot of action but there hasn’t been a lot of action in the Major Leagues as well,” said Estes about the off season so far.
The biggest question for the Giants obviously has been Madison Bumgarner’s future. Rumors continue that Bumgarner could be traded. Estes said Bumgarner is obviously a pitcher any team wants, “especially in the playoffs he’s the guy you want to have on the mound.”
“That’s probably the biggest decision Farhan has to make,” Estes added. “I don’t know if he’ll be a Giant or how long he’ll be a Giant.”
Estes stressed how appreciative he was to work as a Giants analyst.
“It’s a pretty good gig,” he said. “We have a good time on our show.”
About the Dolan Dinner, a fundraiser for the University of Nevada baseball team, Estes said, “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait. It’s coming back home for me. I obviously have some great memories of high school baseball here.”
Estes, a 1991 Douglas High graduate, also said he’s looking forward to seeing family and friends who will be at the event. Tickets for the dinner are $200 per person. VIP tickets are available for $300, and include an exclusive meet-and-greet and reception with Estes. Tables for 10 are also available for purchase.
The VIP reception will begin at 4:30 p.m., cocktails will be served at 5:30 and dinner will be ready at 6:30 p.m. RSVP to the event by Friday by calling 775-682-6901 or by visiting NevadaWolfPack.com/DolanDinner.
Estes was named the Nevada State Baseball Player of the Year in 1991. He was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 1991 MLB draft with the 11th overall pick.
Estes had his best season in the majors in 1997, going 19-5 with a 3.18 ERA for the Giants and was selected to the National League All-Star team. In 2000, he became the first Giants pitcher since 1949 to hit a grand slam.