Friday’s San Francisco Giants Media Day went better than I ever could have expected. Over a 2-hour span I was able to ask as many questions and get almost as much video as I did during the entire 2011 season.
I’ve always had hopes that this blog could succeed and lead to bigger and better opportunities. But to be honest it’s almost overwhelming, how much access I’ve received from local professional teams (particularly the Giants and Warriors).
It’s to the Giants’ credit that a franchise as successful and popular as theirs remains focused on connecting with fans and alternative media sources in ways that were never imaginable five years ago. I’m really, really lucky that they’ve invited me into the bubble so frequently (without making any demands or requests in regards to how I cover the team).
So I have to say a huge “thank you” to the Giants and their PR staff for their hospitality. Through the access they’ve provided I try to give the fans a look at the team from a different point of view, and I hope to continue doing so.
As a final Media Day sendoff, I’ve put together a chronological video journal of my day, starting with my first interview — with Eric Surkamp.
Surkamp was in the common area, and sitting about 20 feet away was Nate Schierholtz. So after pressing “stop” on my conversation with Surkamp I ambled over to Nate’s table and talked to him for a few minutes about married life, playing center field and his new approach heading into the 2012 season.
Then I headed over to Buster Posey’s luxury suite, where he talked about (what else?) his ankle and rehab with a few people, including Ann Killion, Antonio Gonzalez (AP) and Scott Willis (Crazy Crabbers).
I couldn’t believe Matt Cain was sitting alone in his luxury suite, pounding away on his phone’s keyboard. After he was done texting, we talked about how few HRs he allows, country music and other topics, including his contract status.
I really felt like I was on a lucky streak, because a minute later I peeked into Pablo Sandoval’s suite and nobody was in there either! Everyone was obsessed with his weight after Media Day, but Sandoval looked the same as he did in September … at least to me.
What’s Brian Wilson up to? Talking about rehab … on Alcatraz?!?!
A minute or so later, a more serious Wilson talked about how Spring Training is different now than when he was coming up through the system…
Wilson was entertaining as always, but the star of Media Day was undoubtedly Tim Lincecum. Here he is talking about the Giants/Dodgers rivalry, a conversation that was started by my question about his duels with Clayton Kershaw.
Seconds later, the subject turned to Buster Posey. Lincecum seems to respect Posey as much as any other player on the team … maybe even the league.
And here’s the Lincecum video that caused the biggest stir, with over 130,000 views (and counting) in just five days. This conversation (mostly about diet, with a fantastic quote about McDonald’s) was picked up by Yahoo, NESN, the Washington Post and others. After an article on the subjects Lincecum touched on finally showed up in the SF Chronicle on Tuesday, I got this text message from my dad: “You scooped Gwen Knapp. See today’s green.” That message symbolized perhaps my proudest moment since starting BASG … yes, I’m a little competitive.
Armed with Lincecum’s comments about Wilson probably not eating Taco Bell, I went to Wilson’s suite (where, surprisingly, he was alone) and asked him about Chalupas, his off-season and, of course, his beard.
Last but certainly not least, here is the summit between four bloggers and the brass: Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean. I couldn’t believe it when I found out the night before we were going to be able to chat with the Giants’ GM, and Bochy was a late addition to the session.
Hopefully we broke down a metaphorical door or two by proving bloggers can ask pertinent questions in a civil manner. I know that my opinion of both men (Sabean in particular) was enhanced greatly after taking part — for an “old school” guy, Sabean treated us basement-dwellers with respect and answered our questions both thoughtfully and rather candidly. It was a great experience, and the perfect capper to an amazing day.