How new Giants second baseman Scooter Gennett got his nickname

Childhood attempt to avoid long arm of the law sticks

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 5: San Francisco Giants’ Scooter Gennett (14) bunts against the Washington Nationals in the second inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 5: San Francisco Giants’ Scooter Gennett (14) prepares to bat against the Washington Nationals in the second inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 5: San Francisco Giants’ Scooter Gennett (14) hits a single against the Washington Nationals in the fourth inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 5: San Francisco Giants’ Scooter Gennett (14) throws to first for an out on a hit Washington Nationals starting pitcher Erick Fedde (23) in the fourth inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 5: San Francisco Giants’ Scooter Gennett (14) at-bat against the Washington Nationals in the second inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

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SAN FRANCISCO — Until he was four or five years old, Scooter Gennett answered to his given name, Ryan.

The Giants’ new second baseman gave himself his nickname one day in a child’s misguided attempt the avoid the long arm of the law.

Gennett had gotten into the habit of unlocking his seatbelt in the backseat each time his mother started driving. He was trying to annoy his mom, and it worked.

“I did that like three or four times she would have to stop, get out of the car, put it back on, tell me not to do it,” Gennett said. “And she got fed up and went to the police station. I just remember a big, tall police officer with a badge and I remember being scared.

“And he asked me what my name was and I made up Scooter. My mom never heard it before. And he was like, `What’s your real name?’ ”

The interrogation didn’t rattle Gennett, who stuck with his guns and told the officer his name was Scooter Gennett.

To make the transition complete, Gennett refused to answer to Ryan for the next year, and from then on he was Scooter.

Gennett, who came to the Giants last week in a trade with Cincinnati for a player to be named later or cash considerations, is thrilled to be here. He was in the starting lineup for the fourth straight game on Monday night against the Washington Nationals, two nights after hitting the first home run by a Giants’ second baseman since May 28 at Colorado.

Gennett recalled his first home run ever at Oracle Park last year because it involved an unlikely exchange with a homeless man.

He was initially approached on the street before a game by the man who recognized him, and explained to Gennett that he watches Giants games through the right-field fence and collects home run balls.

“I’ll hit you one,” Gennett promised him.

Gennett forgot about the conversation, but after homering a couple days later he was walking to the team bus when he was greeted again by the man in a trench coat holding a baseball.

It didn’t click immediately, but after boarding the bus Gennett found a replay of his home run on his cell phone and saw the same man on the video.

“So I got off the bus and he said, `I got your ball. You actually hit me a home run,’ “ Gennett said. “What are the chances of that? It was a pretty special moment.”

Gennett signed the ball for the man and won over his first Giants fan.

— Johnny Cueto made his first rehab start on Sunday night with the Giants’ rookie league team in Arizona, and it went well. The 33-year-old right-hander, coming off Tommy John surgery last September, pitched two hitless innings, striking out five and throwing 19 strikes on 21 pitches.

“He was really excited about where he was,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who did not immediately know when or where Cueto might next pitch. “He’s fine. He’s great.”

— Bochy confirmed that Conner Menez will start Tuesday night against the Nationals. The 24-year-old left-hander from Hollister made his major league debut on July 21, allowing two runs and striking out six in five innings as a starter in the Giants’ 3-2 win over the New York Mets in 12 innings.

Menez was 2-0 for Sacramento in two starts after being sent back down and has compiled 136 strikeouts in 104 innings at Double-A and Triple-A this summer. He’s hoping to stick with the Giants this time.

“Pretty excited,” Menez said. “Try to get a solid start in and see where that goes.”

— The Giants claimed right-handed reliever Ryan Dull off waivers from the A’s and assigned him to Triple-A Sacramento.

“I like Ryan. It’s a big pickup for us, gives us even more depth,” Bochy said. “With our bullpen changing a little bit, it gives us another option.”

— Johnny Cueto made his first rehab start on Sunday night with the Giants’ rookie league team in Arizona, and it went well. The 33-year-old right-hander, coming off Tommy John surgery last September, pitched two hitless innings, striking out five and throwing 19 strikes on 21 pitches.

“He was really excited about where he was,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who did not immediately know when or where Cueto might next pitch. “He’s fine. He’s great.”

— Bochy confirmed that Conner Menez will start Tuesday night against the Nationals. The 24-year-old left-hander from Hollister made his major league debut on July 21, allowing two runs and striking out six in five innings as a starter in the Giants’ 3-2 win over the New York Mets in 12 innings.

Menez was 2-0 for Sacramento in two starts after being sent back down and has compiled 136 strikeouts in 104 innings at Double-A and Triple-A this summer. He’s hoping to stick with the Giants this time.

“Pretty excited,” Menez said. “Try to get a solid start in and see where that goes.”

— The Giants claimed right-handed reliever Ryan Dull off waivers from the A’s and assigned him to Triple-A Sacramento.

“I like Ryan. It’s a big pickup for us, gives us even more depth,” Bochy said. “With our bullpen changing a little bit, it gives us another option.”

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