What was it like, being in the clubhouse after the team you rooted for your whole life (am I outing myself here?) wins their division? Surreal doesn’t really do it justice. Giddily conflicted is probably more apt. Covering these games in the press box hasn’t made me care less about the outcomes, but it’s definitely distanced me in terms of my own perceived impact on the game’s outcome. So much goes into these games and the way the teams are run and constructed, more than I ever imagined before I started having regular contact with Bruce Bochy and the players. Nothing is as easy as it seemed to
Also, I had no idea what it would be like to cover a clubhouse celebration. Brandon Belt mentioned how the younger guys asked the veterans would it would be like and how much they should celebrate. That kind of mentoring doesn’t exist for similarly inexperienced media people like me. Two years ago, I was two rows of people away from Market Street, cheering and filming as the parade went by. Now I’m supposed to watch the Giants celebrate from inches away but remain detached.
So I went down there with a video camera and shot as much stuff as I could in an attempt to capture the atmosphere without infringing on the players and their friends/family as they celebrated one of the only moments during a baseball season where it’s acceptable to let loose.
I also was informed today that shooting non-interview videos in the clubhouse during the celebration is against MLB protocol, so I complied and took those videos and posts down. So if you’re wondering where those videos went, there’s your answer.
Interviews are allowed, however, and along with talking to Sergio Romo and Belt there were two other times where I got to ask individual players a few questions. First, here’s my short interview (1:36) with Jeremy Affeldt where I asked him about getting up for big games (Affeldt struck out the side in the 7th during Saturday’s NL West-clinching win) and whether the bullpen is peaking.
This next one features Ryan Vogelsong (1:23), which means that (besides Javier Lopez) I was able to interview the four guys in the clubhouse that I got to talk with the most this season. Romo, Belt, Affeldt and Vogelsong are all great, distinctive interview subjects. Tim Lincecum is good too, but it’s tough to get a chance to talk with him at AT&T Park (I’ve heard he’s fantastic with the beat writers on the road, though).
Anyway, I asked Vogelsong how happy he must be to be able to experience a division-clinching celebration after the Giants fell short last year, what it’s like to surpass the expectations most people had for the Giants, and whether he felt good about winning Saturday’s game after he led the Giants to a victory on Friday. After that game Vogelsong told reporters that he was going to sleep well for the first time in a month.
One thing Vogelsong said in this video: “Hopefully this isn’t the last time we’re popping champagne.” Can’t say I disagree.