Scottsdale, Ariz. – The Giants lost to the Cubs today 3-2 at Scottsdale Stadium. Giants’ starter Tim Lincecum looked impressive, throwing 3.0-shutout innings with no hits or walks allowed. Madison Bumgarner tossed 2.0 innings with 4 punchouts, but allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits to suffer the loss.
Earlier this morning the Giants held their annual media and photo day at 7 a.m. at Scottsdale Stadium. The Giants photography department, Associated Press, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Getty Images, MLB.com, Topps and Sports Illustrated for Kids were just a few of the companies that were in attendance to shoot photos and conduct brief interviews with all the players and coaches.
All 62 players in camp participated in the mandatory shoot, along with all the Major League coaches, training staff and a few minor league coaches that are helping out the first few weeks of spring.
Everyone was instructed to wear their white uniform pants and to bring their glove, spring jersey and hat. The coaches went first starting at 7:30, followed by players with the least amount of Major League service time (Gary Brown, Tommy Joseph, Juan Perez, etc.) to the players with the most (DeRosa, Rowand, Tejada, Zito, etc.).
12 different stations were set up inside and outside of the visitors clubhouse and Giants staffers barked instructions and ensured a smooth delivery of players and coaches to their appointments. It took roughly 25 minutes for each player to go through every station and after two hours photo day was done.
Check out some pics from the day.
Spring Training is a busy time for players. Besides focusing on the field and preparing for the grind of a 162-game schedule, players have several other obligations such as daily media requests and signing lots and lots of autographs.
Every spring, front office staff members from the Giants’ Community Relations department fly down to Scottsdale and set up in a room in the home clubhouse where players come by and sign memorabilia, ranging from baseballs, bats, jersey’s and pictures. They receive a list of how much to send down from other departments within the Giants’ organization, as each department receives an allotment of autographed items to use for sponsors, community events, guest services, consumer marketing, baseball operations, etc.
Hundreds of boxes of official Major League baseballs and bats, and a few boxes of jerseys and photos for each player on the roster are sent to Scottsdale Stadium and each player spends nearly one to two hours a day either before practice or after, signing and signing and signing. A representative from MLB is always in attendance to authentic each signed item.
How much does a player have to sign? Well, this year, Tim Lincecum has 25 dozen baseballs, 10 bats, 39 jerseys and 53 photos. He usually spreads it out over a couple of days so he’s not spending a ton of time signing. Buster Posey wins the award for having to sign the most stuff this spring, as he has 31 dozen baseballs, 82 bats, 47 jerseys and 62 photos, by far the most of any Giant.
Most of the players will get everything signed by the end of this week before the games start next Friday.
Today was the first official workout day for Giants pitchers and catchers here at Scottsdale Stadium. In past springs, manager Bruce Bochy would begin his workouts around 9:00am with players reporting to the stadium anywhere between 7:00-8:30. However, this season the workouts are starting an hour later at 10:00am to let the field dry out from the frost that covers the grass each morning. This is a big deal because it gives everyone (players, coaches, front office staff and media) an extra hour of sleep each night.
Players and coaches started trickling in today around 8:00am and the first thing that most of them do is head straight to the kitchen where a breakfast spread awaits them. After eating they’ll get dressed in their Giants gear and hang around the clubhouse, reading the newspaper, playing with their ipads or getting a card game going. Most of them too will try and get a quick workout in before practice at 10:00am.
The clubhouse is also open to media starting at 8:30 so today several writers, columnists, and TV reporters were roaming around the clubhouse knocking out interviews. One thing about being the World Champions is that the media coverage grows and today is the perfect example as national writers from ESPN, USA Today, The Sporting News and cbssportsline.com were all in attendance. Baseball Tonight’s Spring Training Bus Tour parked in the centerfield lot early this morning as their first stop was Giants’ camp. Tim Kurkjian and John Kruk were on hand, interviewing players such as Cody Ross and Brian Wilson.
After 10:00 hit, Bochy held a brief meeting with the team and then the players hit the field to warm up and loosen their arms. There are three fields at Scottsdale Stadium where the players rotate every 12 minutes or so working on throwing from the bullpen, fundamentals, bunting and PFP’s (pitcher’s fielding practice). The catching crew helps with the bullpens, get their defensive work in and then hit in the batting cage. Following the stations, 30 minutes of conditioning work is done led by Giants trainers and then by 12:30 the day’s complete. Bochy will meet with all the media to discuss the day’s events and players will shower, eat lunch and then go work on their golf game. Once the position players report on Friday the workouts will last a bit longer.
Excited for 2011? We sure are! In honor of the upcoming season, we want to give you a sneak peak at our awesome crew starting ground work on the field for the 2011 Season! We spoke with Head Groundskeeper Greg Elliott about preparing the field, here’s what he had to say:
SFGS: How long does field preparation take leading up to Opening Day?
GE: On average it takes about a month to prepare the field. This varies each year depending on what state the field is in. But the grounds crew is continually adjusting and modifying the field each year all year long to keep a consistent playing surface.
SFGS: On average, what are the steps you take in preparing the field? What comes first, middle, last?
GE: On average…
1. Install the game mound
2. Surveyor surveys the field/Infield is mixed
3. Lay sod/grow the current sod
4. Play Ball J
SFGS: When will the field be officially ready?
GE: April 8th, Opening Day is the benchmark
SFGS: Any new features we should look out for?
GE: Yes! Make sure to check out the Giants newly installed warning track. It’s specifically designed for the Giants.
SFGS: Any lawn care hints or tips to give the Giants Fan gardener enthusiasts out there?
GE: Use sustainable products. Build your soil & the plant will respond.
As you can see, a lot of preparation is put in to making the field great. Speaking of, what are you doing to prepare for 2011 Giants baseball?
We want to let you in on a great tradition that the Giants do for their employees. Around this time every year, the Giants front office puts on an event called the Giants Children’s/Toddlers Reception. The reception started 5 years ago because employees wanted a chance to meet all of the babies that were born that year in the Giants front office. Throughout the years, the party has evolved into somewhat of a social reunion, allowing fellow coworkers (with and without children) to not only gather and spend quality time together, but to watch each other’s kids grow up. Some employees have witness infants turn into 5 and 6 year olds, which is a pretty cool thing. On average, the 2-hour reception is attended by 60 adults and 30-35 kids. Needless to say, the clubhouse at times can feel like a daycare center.
One of the great aspects of the party is that it has no budget and is totally put on by donations made by the employees. The party is located in the Giants Clubhouse (which is donated by Clubhouse Manager Mike Murphy), and is dressed with holiday décor (borrowed from the ballpark). The children are given lockers (same lockers the players use during the season) with personalized name plates and small gift bags. The small committee of Giants staff that “run the show” make sure to know exactly what foods, games, and other donations employees are offering so that there isn’t too much or too little of everything. Some of the yummy “potluck style” snacks are animal crackers, fruit, juice boxes, crackers, chicken wings, veggie platters, M&M‘s, rice crispy treats, snowmen cookies, Capri Suns, lumpia, raisin boxes, small milks, and reindeer cookies. Murph also donates the player’s hot dog machine from the clubhouse kitchen, a favorite among both kids and adults. The event offers activities such as a crafts table, balloon sculptures, bounce house, Lou Seal appearance, ring toss, bean bag toss, and even a Wii. There are also things for the kids to do as well….jk=)
Does your work do something similar? How about a company BBQ? Tell us your stories!
Pretty quiet day so far on the Giants front as far as trades/rumors go. We’ll see if anything picks up over the next couple of days.
Earlier today, Pat Gillick was elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee, so congratulations to him.
Several members of the Giants organization, including Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean, the baseball operations department, pr staff and top scouts, attended an awards luncheon today as Baseball America announced San Francisco as the Organization of the Year. It was nearly a two hour lunch with several awards being handed out, such as Scout of the Year, the best field and turf members at each minor league classification, Women of the Year, and finally the top minor league teams at each level.
Following the lunch manager Bruce Bochy did a one-hour media tour, speaking with local and national writers, XM Radio, cbssportsline.com, ESPN, MLB.com and then finally finishing with MLB Network.
Tonight, the Giants will host an organizational dinner in a ballroom at the Dolphin and Swan hotel with all their affiliates in attendance, including staff members from Fresno, Richmond, San Jose, Augusta and Salem-Keizer. It should be a fun night.
If you follow baseball closely, then you’ve probably heard of the annual baseball winter meetings. But, if you’ve never attended, do you actually know what’s going on?
The 109th annual Baseball Winter Meetings will be in Florida for the second time in five years. The annual gathering of baseball executives, player agents, managers, and occasionally players, will take place at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort near Orlando starting next Monday, Dec. 6 through Thursday, Dec. 9. More than 200 Major League and Minor League Baseball clubs, leagues and organizations attend these meetings.
The meetings are four days to plan for the 2011 season and to honor the achievements of the past year, but the biggest attention around these meetings centers on trades and signings by the MLB general managers. For Major and Minor League Baseball, league meetings for clubs and executives occur throughout the day behind closed doors. There are also other organizations that are affiliated with MLB and MiLB that hold meetings, including the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) which holds its annual meeting to determine which applicants may or may not gain inclusion into the Association.
The organized events surrounding the industry include the baseball Trade Show, Awards Luncheon banquet and the main social event, the Gala. The trade show attracts nearly 300 exhibitors and includes a lot of different items pertaining to baseball. Companies such as Rawlings or New Era show off what’s new or what’s hot and try to get baseball teams to upgrade and make purchases.
The events are covered by the media who usually hang in the hotel lobby waiting to report on the signings and trades that go down. MLB Network, ESPN Radio and Sirus XM Radio are also there reporting any breaking news.
Officially, the Baseball Winter Meetings are not open to the general public. To gain access to the media workroom where press conferences and announcements take place, you’ll need a credential from MLB. You’ll also need a separate credential from Minor League Baseball to gain access to the Trade Show, or you have to register to attend the Job Fair.
Stay tuned as next week I’ll write another blog post with updates/photos from Orlando. And for all Giants developments, make sure to follow us on Twitter @SFGIANTS.
Dave Aardsma, Matt Cain, Kevin Correia, Jesse Foppert, Brad Hennessey, Travis Ishikawa, Fred Lewis, Noah Lowry, Pat Misch, Dan Ortmeier, Billy Sadler and Nate Schierholtz have all seen time at the Major League level for the Giants, but they also have another thing in common. They all took part in the Giants’ Winter Development Program in 2003, the first year that the Giants started a program that brings 25 of their best prospects that are fairly new to the organization (as selected by the Baseball Operations department) to San Francisco for a week.
Ever since then the Giants have held the Winter Development Program at AT&T Park. This year’s program started on Monday with prospects such as Gary Brown (24th overall pick in 2010), Jarret Parker (2nd round selection, 74th overall) and Carter Jurica (3rd round, 105th overall) getting a taste of what it’s like working out on a Major League baseball field.
The program starts every morning from around 8:30-9:00 a.m. with strength and conditioning drills, as conducted by organizational trainers and strength and conditioning coaches. This lasts until noon everyday and then the players receive a one hour break for lunch and showers. Then it’s time to hit the classroom from 1:00-2:30/3:00 p.m. each afternoon. The classes change somewhat on an annual basis, but there is always a central core. The owner (Bill Neukom) speaks and former and current Giants players get together as a panel and talk about how to be a good teammate as well as a good citizen, how to navigate the minors, attitudes, philosophies and work ethic. There is also a media afternoon with sports writers and broadcasters coming in and talking about their roles in the media. Giants public relations staff also informs the group on the organizational approach/perspective on the role of the media. Strength and conditioning coaches always do a segment on Supplementation and the players are informed about drug testing policies and procedures. Following the classes, the players are taken back to their hotels where they all have free nights to explore the City by the Bay.
Can you believe it is already mid-November? That’s what happens when the Giants season ends on November 1st and holds a parade a few days later. We wouldn’t trade it for the world, but there is work to be done on the 2011 season, and your SF Giants are already full steam ahead. Working in baseball, one of the top questions we get asked, “What do you do in the offseason?”. There really is no OFFSEASON in baseball, as every department spends countless hours preparing for the upcoming season. Whether it’s the baseball ops department retooling their roster, promotions department planning their events and giveaways or the production team putting together a 2010 season documentary (More on that in coming weeks). This blog will keep you updated throughout the winter months, give you some behind the scenes access and even a sneak peak of some of the plans coming to the spring of 2011.
To bring you this exclusive insight, are three members of the Giants Front office organization
Matt Chisholm – Senior Media Relations Coordinator
Rachel Fingerote – Producer, SFG Productions
Bryan Srabian – Head of Social Media
Stay tuned for info on the Giants Winter workouts….And as we write this, another honor for the Giants family. Congrats to Buster Posey on becoming the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year! Opening Day is going to have a very busy pregame!