2012 Media Day highlights
The San Francisco Giants opened their clubhouse doors to the media today to allow an inside look at your 2012 Gigantes and I’ve got all the highlights for you here in one post!
New marketing campaign
The new slogan for this year’s team is “Let’s Get Back Together.” (I don’t like it. Sounds kind of…desperate.)
Anyway, for the past two days, a select number of fans (totaling about 500) have been camped out at AT&T Park, taking part of some new commercial ads being filmed.
SFGLive interviewed several Giants players and coaches. Among the notable quotes:
“We’ve had our time off and now it’s time to get busy and hopefully make another run at a title.” — Bruce Bochy
“I gotta tell you a little secret. I’m very superstitious and I wore No. 15 under my jacket.” — Bochy, admitting that the Giants hit a tough skid as soon as he gave up his jersey number to Carlos Beltran in his brief stint with the club last year.
“I won’t be able to tell you what the plan is until we get deeper into spring training…I’m very excited about how he did in the Dominican.” — Bochy, on Brandon Belt‘s role for 2012.
“He’s throwing from 120 feet now.” — Bochy, on Freddy Sanchez‘s progress.
“He had somewhat of a breakout season last year. This is his time. We expect him to build on his performance from last year. He’s the starter (in right field) going in.” — Bochy, on Nate Schierholtz.
“I feel good, ready to go.” — Brandon Crawford, on how ready he is for spring training.
“Royce Clayton. He was my favorite player as a kid.” — Crawford, on who he admired growing up.
“I want to be the first guy Bochy thinks of (when he goes to the ‘pen).” — Dan Runzler, on his goals for 2012.
“I think he uses L.A. Looks gel in his hair.” — Runzler, on Crawford’s hair style.
“I got to Arizona early, I think the end of December, to get a head start. I’ve been doing a lot of work on the field. It was a good opportunity to go down and get some baseball work in…I came here (AT&T Park) last month to run the stairs, too.” — Schierholtz, on his 2011 off-season.
“It’s important to let the body rest, especially your baseball muscles like your shoulder and arm. But I did bring a couple of gloves on my honeymoon in Tahiti for the wife and me. We played catch on the beach.” — Schierholtz, on resting during the off-season.
“I’m looking forward to being back here (at AT&T Park). It’s a packed house and the fans are always into it. This is a first-class organization all the way around.” — Clay Hensley, on being drafted as a Giant and now coming full circle.
“I sent him a text message as soon as they won and he responded back right away.” — Hensley, on Bochy, his former manager in San Diego, after the Giants won the World Series in 2010.
“It might take me seven months, but if growing a beard is what it takes to win ball games here, I’m all in.” — Hensley, on being part of the Giants’ bearded bullpen culture.
“I mostly worked out by hitting on the tee, took some BP in Southern Cal, I worked on getting bigger, stronger, faster, and obviously my hitting. My defense was solid last year and I think I took care of the pitching staff pretty well, but I need to improve my hitting if I want to stay on the team.” — Chris Stewart, on his 2011 off-season activity.
“He’s got some abnormal mechanics, but they work for him and he’s learned how to maximize and hone his craft. We disagreed at times, but he’s a great competitor and he knows what he’s doing.” — Stewart, on catching Tim Lincecum.
“It’s tucked away in a sock at home.” — Brett Pill, on his first home run ball.
“I just want to go out there and play the best I can and help this team win. I want to be a table-setter and make the other guys look good.” — Justin Christian, on his goals for 2012.
“I look at 2011 as a success overall…I know I have a lot to improve on. I’m just excited to get to spring training and compete for a job…I want my control to get back to where it was in Richmond.” — Eric Surkamp, on his 2012 goals.
“It feels like being a vampire.” — Brian Wilson, on what it feels like when he hears the first few chords of his entrance song (“Jump Around” by House of Pain).
“I worked out to make sure I’m as healthy as I can be coming into spring training. That might sound boring, but I have a job that allows me four months to get ready.” — Wilson, on his 2011 off-season activity.
“The clubhouse is still loose…We won’t be filmed this year, but you know there will be a lot of tomfoolery going on in there.” — Wilson, on the Giants’ clubhouse this year.
“He’s tan…and has huge feet.” — Wilson, upon seeing his garden gnome.
Matt Cain update
According to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Matt Cain is reluctant to talk about his contract situation. Cain insists he is happy with the offense, Schulman reports, and that it won’t be a factor in his contract talks.
San Jose Mercury beat writer Andrew Baggarly tweeted that Cain loves San Francisco, but is excited about the possibility of free agency (in 2013). Baggs says that Cain would prefer any talks of a contract extension to be wrapped up before Opening Day.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted that Giants GM Brian Sabean told him, “the budget won’t be a factor” when deciding whether the Giants can keep both Cain and Lincecum. Also, if help is needed in July, the Giants could indeed increase their $130 million dollar payroll.
Cain also acknowledged that his fate may be tied to Lincecum’s in that he places value on being part of a strong rotation and not having to be the only ace. You know, a rotation like the Yankees have.
The weighting game
Wilson has lost 15 pounds and hopes it might aid in his flexibility, tweeted Schulman. You might remember that the Giants closer struggled with back spasms a lot last year. But the beard is not coming off. “It’s part of me,” Wilson told Schulman.
Lincecum has also lost some weight during the off-season. About 20 pounds. Specifically, he says he’s cutting out the In ‘N Out diet he was on last year when he deliberately put on weight to help him with his durability. He says he really didn’t like it (it was hard on his knees and ankles, reports CSN’s Amy Gutierrez), so now he’s back down to about 175 pounds. When asked how he dropped the poundage, Timmy said, “frog-form swimming in his Swim-X.” He also mentioned that he might be due for a haircut.
Whether Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval‘s weight gain this off-season is fat or muscle apparently is up for debate.
The Kung Fu Panda told one reporter that he gained 10 pounds, but Bochy says Pablo gained more like 25 pounds and “knows he’s got a few pounds to lose.”
Sandoval, however, claims the extra weight is all muscle. When he stepped before the cameras for his SFGLive segment, he looked pretty fit to me.
Pablo told Sire that he has been doing yoga, Pilates and swimming lately.
One of my Twitter followers (who is part of the casting call for the Giants’ new TV commercials) reported that she saw Buster Posey running sprints from the dugout to left field wall at full speed for over 20 minutes and that “he looks great.”
Bochy said he may try to bat new Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera in the leadoff spot this spring, just to see how it looks. He may also tinker with him batting third and moving Sandoval to the fifth spot in the order. Don’t get too freaked out, folks. That’s what spring training is for.
Meanwhile, first base is up for grabs, according to Baggarly. He said that Bochy told him Belt “knows what he has to do” if he wants to claim the job.
All in all, a pretty informative day and a great way to get Giants fans—and us bloggers—fired up for the 2012 season.
FanFest is tomorrow. See you all out there?