Former SF Giants fan favorite Mauricio Dubón takes shots at Gabe Kapler

SAN FRANCISCO — Mauricio Dubón cannot wait to get heckled. He also couldn’t help but rip into his former Giants manager.

Dubón, who spent parts of four seasons with the Giants, made his return to Oracle Park for the first time since being traded to the Astros in 2022. And when Dubón, who grew up a Giants fan, jogs out to left field, he hopes to be greeted by jeers — the same jeers he once rained down on opposing outfielders.

“I used to come here and (heckle) all the time when I was a kid,” Dubón recalled with a smile.

Dubón, born and raised in Honduras, became a Giants fan upon moving to Sacramento when he was in high school. From 2019 to 2022, Dubón lived out his childhood dream, playing 177 games with the orange and black and becoming a fan favorite. On May 14, 2022, Dubón was traded to the Astros.

Last year, in his first game against his former team, Dubón collected three hits and two RBIs, telling reporters afterwards that he was “not treated the right way over there.” Former Giants manager Gabe Kapler responded to Dubón’s comments the following day, retorting that the club gave Dubón “a lot of good opportunities.”

When asked about those comments on Monday, Dubón said that his issues solely lied with Kapler.

“I tell people all the time: the person I didn’t like left already,” Dubón said. “For me, that was the only problem I had. I like the guys. I know last year, I didn’t phrase it well saying I wasn’t treated right, but I just didn’t like one guy. That’s it. I’m cool with all the guys over there.”

The change of scenery ended up working out for Dubón. Under former Giants manager Dusty Baker, Dubón won a World Series in 2022, then a Gold Glove in 2023. Dubón is currently enjoying the best offensive season of his career, taking a .297 batting average and 107 OPS+ into the Astros’ series opener against the Giants Monday night.

“You always want to do that with your childhood team and everything,” Dubón said. “Thank God it happened with the Astros. The Astros gave me a chance. Dusty gave me a chance. A Sacramento guy, San Francisco guy gave me a chance to show what I can do. … I’m grateful for the Astros for giving me a chance to go out there and show what I can do.”

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