Yes, the blog is back.
Today was the first official day of spring training. Everyone is here. We had a great team meeting first thing in the morning. Bochy talked and Hunter talked. It If we weren’t already pumped to go after another World Series title, we are now. I love spring training personally. It’s good to see the green grass again and get back on the field and feel it beneath your feet. As much as we all work out in the off-season, nothing gets you into baseball shape like playing baseball.
One of the things we do in the first few days here is sign baseballs, jerseys and photos that the community relations department uses through the season to try to fill all the requests for charitable donations. They set up a bunch of tables in a hallway near the clubhouse and we sit there before or after practice and just sign. I’m in the midst of signing 27 dozen baseballs. Hunter has to sign 43 dozen. The bigger the star, the more baseballs you’re asked sign. Travis Ishikawa said he used to sign one dozen balls. This year he signed 20-something dozen.
We’re also asked to make a few appearances during spring training.
“There’s a barbecue here at the park,’’ Bobby from community relations is telling me as I sign another box of baseballs, “or an event at the local zoo, but you have to drive out there so it’ll be more consuming.’’
“And a lot cooler!’’ I say. “I’ll do that one.’’
You know what my favorite zoo is? The one in Omaha, Nebraska. They have all these different sections so when you go to see the water animals, it’s like a swamp area with alligators and beavers. It’s low lighting so you feel like you’re in the swamp at nighttime. They have all these little bridges and the animals swimming underneath you. It’s awesome.
Another thing about spring training is you’re back with all your teammates. We saw a lot of guys at FanFest but now we’re really together. And there are more guys. Brandon Hicks! The third Brandon. I was happy to see him back and happy to be able to use our Brandon handshake. It’s a pretty easy handshake. Kind of feminine actually. We tried to make it as awkward as possible.
For whatever reason, spring training also means — for me — watching a lot of Shark Tank. It’s kind of Shark Tank season non-stop on X-box video. I like the feel-good stories about people who bring stuff in and make a company out of it. I love the Sharks’ brutal honesty. It’s hilarious sometimes. Haylee hates that I watch it all the time. But she’s just as bad with HGTV. Every time I come home, HGTV is on. She used a lot of the info when we built our house. But we’re done building our house, so I’m not sure why she still needs to watch it.
I did take a break to watch the Oscars, or at least about half of it. Pretty boring. It took them like an hour and a half to do six awards, and they’re mostly awards nobody cares about. I got one pick correct, Patricia Arquette. Me and the academy do not agree on a lot of things. I didn’t see a lot of the nominated movies, actually. It turns out that when you have a baby you don’t go out as much.
I did get out to two movies when I was in San Francisco for FanFest. The reviews:
The Kingsmen: It’s about this secret, kind of James Bond organization. This kid’s dad was a part of it, so they kind of recruited the kid to be a part of it as well. He goes through all these tests and ends up being a spy. It was a less cheesy version of a spy movie in that they didn’t follow the same story lines that most spy movies follow. A more adult version. The acting was great. Samuel L. Jackson had a lisp, though I’m not sure why he found that necessary for the movie. Otherwise there were a bunch of English people.
Jupiter Ascending: Honestly to this day I still have no idea what I watched. It’s about this girl played by Mila Kunis who is a reincarnated Queen of the Universe. Her kids weren’t dead so they could take control of the universe, I guess. Channing Tatum is protecting her so they can get her back to power, I think. Honestly, it was a weird movie. There’s a lot of detail in it. It was very confusing. They colonize planets. It was a forgettable movie. It really was. Pretty cool special effects, that’s about it. I think it would have been kind of a cool movie if you knew what was going on.
Finally, just want to say how happy we all are that Bochy is fine and back on the field. He’s the leader. He’s the guy who gets the best out of his ballplayers. He’s the one who sets the tone. That’s why, I think, when new guys like Casey McGehee and Nori Aoki show up, they blend it right away. The rookies, too. They figure out real quick we have a pretty special bond in this clubhouse. Everyone fits in, which is why we’ve been so successful.
OK, Hunter is giving me a hard time about getting back to signing baseballs. He’s been flying through his. So I’m diving back in then heading home. Shark Tank is cued up and waiting.
When the @SFGiants won the World Series in 2010, a massive Trophy Tour was planned to celebrate the 1st World Series championship in over 50 years. As part of that tour, a small contingent of front office employees took the trophy to the original home of the Giants, New York City. Fast forward to the 3rd Trophy in the last 5 years, the Giants continued to honor their original roots with a weekend of events that included Hall of Famer Willie Mays and current Giants 2B and NY Native, Joe Panik
Last night was Social Media Night at AT&T Park (aka #SFGSocial Night). Let’s take a social media review and look back at all the festivities…
It all started with a fan contest to create the special event giveaway…and that idea went to #SFGiants fan @JeremySasson who created the meme #BusterHugs. The final product was a Tshirt available to all special event attendees https://twitter.com/SFGiants/status/466748591587864579
The next step was a #BusterHugs Contest held on Instagram. @Zollner_T was our winner from this adorable moment
To kick off #SFSGSocial Night, Pablo Sandoval agreed to chat with fans via Facebook and Twitter…We had to wait for the conclusion of the USA vs BEL soccer match. Unfortunately, the game ended with the US on the losing side, but Panda was still in a good mood
We learned a lot from @KFP48, but the highlight was when Angie Lopez asked Panda to hit a HR for her son’s Birthday…
Panda went on to hit career HR #100. You’re welcome Angie!
As fans entered the ballpark, #SFGSocial fans were excited to get their #BusterHugs shirts
Our friends at Social Print Studio set up in the @CafeSFG to print INSTAGRAM pix for fans…Check this out:
Then we held a SNAPCHAT Contest and 9 lucky fans claimed their prize in the @CafeSFG. They had no idea what they won…BUt all 9 were SHOCKED when they found out they were then chosen to take the field with the #SFGiants and each take a selfie right before the game
The Final Product:
Throughout the game, Social Media was the theme, including these awesome Instagram inspired headshots. These instagrams are courtesy of the #SFGiants amazing photography staff
And to top it off, the #SFGiants beat the #STLCards 5-0, and everyone went home happy! Thank you to AT&T who was a proud sponsor of Social Media Night and to the most engaged fans in all of SPORTS! #ThankYou
On Friday, the Giants celebrated former Giant and beloved broadcaster, Duane Kuiper’s 1st career HR with a bobblehead giveaway. As part of the day, Kuip was gracious enough to spend some time answering questions for fans on a Twitter Chat. As always, Kuip delivered. Here’s a sample of his chat:
For more, search #AskKuip on Twitter
Back in February, the Giants hosted a fan Twitter Q&A with fans as part of Media Day. A handful of Giants took part, including First Baseman Brandon Belt. When @Gigantes_SF put Belt on the spot and asked him how many HRs he would hit, Brandon didn’t flinch:
Through 4 games, Belt leads the National League with 3 Home Runs. He is technically on pace for 121 Home runs. One thing Belt doesn’t lack this season is confidence. Stay Hot Brandon Belt
Early Sunday morning, Scottsdale Stadium turned into a photo studio. Each spring, media outlets ranging from MLB, USA Today, CSNBayArea, and Baseball Digest just to name a few, set up shop to capture head shots, video and more for each member of the Giants. Players begin lining up at 7am and go from station to station (over 10) to have their photo taken which will be seen on website profiles, scoreboard and television headshots and even baseball cards. Here are some of the highlights from today’s #SFGPhotoDay:
To help keep Giants fans around the world connected to the team, SFGProductions presented #SFGLive, an exclusive LiveStream broadcast from the Giants Spring Training workout. Fans from around the world joined in to get exclusive behind the scenes video of the Giants BP and workout.
It was Day 2 of the #SFGiants Full Squad workouts here in Scottsdale, AZ. Not much to report, but some of the highlights include
The arrival of Brandon Belt
Live pitching from Matt Cain and Javier Lopez
Green Screen fun with Brandon Belt
Sit down interview with Hunter Pence
Some great Live BP sessions
Take a look at the rest of the day
And don’t forget…tomorrow, you can watch the Giants practice LIVE on sfgiants.com/LIVE beginning at 10am PT