Results tagged ‘ Sergio Romo ’
- Jeremy Affeldt will be starting a video blog called The Set-Up on the Giants’ website. He’s one of the funniest guys in baseball. Check out his video on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area from earlier this week. You’ll get a taste for what his vlog will be like when it starts sometime next month.
- Affeldt is a big believer in chemistry on a team. He says chemistry was the key to Colorado reaching the World Series when he played there in 2007 “This team is as close to Colorado as I’ve been on. We have a lot of fun together. Lots of inside jokes.” He said it helps the team’s chemistry when the main star of the team, Tim Lincecum, is a good guy. “It’s like Matt Holliday in Colorado. He was a good family man. Really humble. You always see Lincecum signing autographs. He has so much fun when he plays. Timmy brings that dynamic. He reminds you that the game is supposed to be fun.”
- Thomas Neal, the 22-year-old minor-leaguer, is here in his first major-league camp. But he is very familiar to manager Bruce Bochy. Neal played with Bochy’s son on a traveling team in Poway, in Southern California. The two young men are still good friends, and Neal has spent many an afternoon and evening at the Bochy home. ”(Bochy’s wife) and my mom are pretty good friends,” Neal says.
- Neal has another major-league connection: He went to his high school prom with Tony Gwynn’s daughter.
- On a day-to-day basis, no one – other than perhaps Pablo Sandoval – is happier in the clubhouse than reliever Sergio Romo. He couldn’t wait to get to camp and back on the field. “I have such an appreciation of where I’m at,” he said. “I do enjoy what I do.” He said he feels invincible when he stares in at a batter. When I’m out on the mound, it’s the only place I’m not 5 feet 10.”
It sure looks weird to see the clubhouse in the off-season. Even filled as it was last night with fans in folding chairs, it was like walking into an abandoned building. There’s a kind of ghostly loneliness about it without players slapping domino tiles on table tops and answering fan mail in front of their lockers and yanking down the bills of their caps as they rush out to take early BP. Is April really still three-and-a-half months away?
The next best thing to the actual baseball season, though, is talking about it.
Up on a temporary stage, erected on the far right of the room near the starting pitchers’ lockers, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was sitting next to general manager Brian Sabean and taking questions from moderator Greg Papa.
“He’s the best all-around player that I’ve ever seen because he can play everywhere,” Bochy was saying. “He has a very similar body type to Tony Gwynn.”
He was talking about Pablo Sandoval, who embarked on a rigorous conditioning and weight-loss program during the off-season, a one-man camp the Giants dubbed “Operation Panda.”
“Obviously,” Sabean cracked, nodding at Bochy and himself, “we haven’t been in the same camp.”
Packed into the room, in rows of chairs bordered by four walls of lockers, were season-ticket holders who had been invited to talk baseball with Bochy, Sabean, managing general partner Bill Neukom and relief pitcher Sergio Romo.
Asked by Papa if two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum’s stuff matches up with the all-time greats, Bochy didn’t hesitate.
“Sure it does. He’s by far the best pitcher I’ve ever seen. When you have four pitches, especially the best or close to the best changeup in baseball right now, he’s up there among the greats. He’s a thinker out there and knows what the opposing team is doing and that’s why he’s won two Cy Young Awards.”
“What’s interesting about him,” Sabean said, “is in college he would throw 140 pitches on a Friday night and then be the closer for his team on Sunday. He’s proved to have a rubber arm and has an inner strength that other people don’t have. He’s fearless and he thinks that on any given day that he’s better than anyone else.”
Perhaps the highlight of the evening was Sergio Romo. He’s a player that fans don’t know very well yet, and last night they got a glimpse of his sense of humor and his boyish excitement for the game – starting with the fact he was texting his mother as he climbed onto the stage to tell he was going to be on television.
“You’re from Brawley, California, near Los Angeles,” Papa said, “so who was your favorite team growing up?”
“No comment,” Romo said, smiling. “Let’s just say I started hating the Dodgers the second I put on a Giants uniform.”
After struggling with injuries last season, he said he’s “very excited for the season to start . . . I miss my number 54 on my back.”
When Papa opened the discussion to questions, one of the first was an update on the Giants’ up and coming players.
“Peguero is a young outfielder that we just placed on our 40-man roster,” Sabean said. “He’s a lot like Sandoval in that he has a lot of energy. Thomas Neal came into his own last year and developed an all-around game. Brandon Crawford is going to be our shortstop of the future. We have a flow of talent that people will be proud of.”
As for the readiness of pitcher Madison Bumgarner and catcher Buster Posey, Bochy said, “I really think that they can start for us next year. Posey is gonna be a front line catcher and he’s on the fast track. Bumgarner did a heck of a job last year when Timmy went down. Here are two tremendous kids that stood out and both held their own. I’m curious to see how Buster looks this spring.”
One fan wanted to know about keeping Lincecum and fellow pitcher Matt Cain as Giants for the long haul.
“Cain has two more years before free agency,” Sabean said, “and Lincecum has four more and is going through arbitration right now. We are in a good situation because they both want to be Giants for a long time.”
Sabean also addressed the decision not to resign veteran pitcher Brad Penny.
“We had a short window and in our estimation we thought we had home court in our situation. We couldn’t bring ourselves to overpay when we have Madison Bumgarner in the wings.”
Still want more? Tune in to a full broadcast of the event on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on January 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Some shots from the taping:
I did a double take when I saw pitcher Sergio Romo with his teammates at the Giants fan event at the Britannia Arms restaurant in downtown San Jose last night.
Romo’s round baby face was lean and angular. Last season he almost could have passed for a guy who played on the company softball team. Now he looks ready for the San Francisco marathon.
I told him he looked great and asked how much weight he lost.
“Last time I checked, about 12 pounds,” he said. “People here (with the Giants) are taking me seriously, so I’ve got to take it seriously, too.”
He played fall ball in Mexicali, Mexico, then attended the Giants’ three-week conditioning camp in Scottsdale. He continued training at home in Yuma, forgoing a vacation.
“(The trainers) took the time to teach me what I should be doing, and I saw what a difference it made,” Romo said.
Here is the first thing I heard when the team arrived at the Brit Arms into a crowd of fans:
“That little kid? He looks like the kid that rides the bus to the mall in Santa Cruz!”
The incredulous woman’s companion had just pointed out the 2008 Cy Young Award winner.
Rookie RH pitcher Joe Martinez — signing autographs at a table between Steve Holm and Kevin Frandsen — went straight from the instructional league in November to Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J.
Since he was signed by the Giants out of Boston College in 2005, Martinez has earned a few bucks every off-season by working at a substitute teacher.
“He teaches whatever class they need him to teach – gym, Spanish,” said his girlfriend, Lindsay Harrington. The two met while students at BC. Harrington works at a public relations firm in Boston.
Alex Hinshaw’s fiancé, Courtney, is much more comfortable going into this season than she was last year when Hinshaw was a rookie.
“I was a little intimidated and a little worried about what we were going to find when Alex was called up to San Francisco. But there are so many good guys here. I can’t imagine there’s any other team like this. We feel really lucky.
“Brian Wilson and Barry Zito have been amazing,” she said. “And Jack Taschner. I commend them on how they’ve helped him grow. They gave him a taste of the nightlife and a taste of responsibility. A little bit of everything.”
She and Hinshaw met at San Diego State. Courtney was a basketball player and would have liked to become a high school coach.
“But this has always been his dream,” she said. “So I’m putting that first. He’s had such a tough time getting here, so I want to help him see this through. I get so much joy from seeing him so happy.”
The two plan to get married in November in Oregon, where Courtney’s parents live.
Look for another post later today from the players’ meetings with new managing general partner Bill Neukom, media interviews and lunch with the Giants office staff.
Lincecum at Britannia Arms: