April 2007



During batting practice Sunday, one person taking his hacks didn’t seem to fit in — he was wearing jeans and a Giants home jersey instead of the new BP jersey. Then I saw the name on the back: Cheechoo. As in Jonathan Cheechoo of the San Jose Sharks, and last season’s top goal scorer in the NHL.

While Cheech was the only Shark to participate in batting practice, he was later joined by several of his teammates, each wearing a personalized jersey except for Ryane Clowe, whose jersey was blank. Marc-Edouard Vlasic took some ribbing because his jersey had "Edouard" on the back instead of Vlasic. Personally, I think they should have gone with his nickname, Pickles.

Here’s the entire group, minus reigning NHL MVP Joe Thornton, who didn’t make it down to the field but watched the game with his teammates from a luxury suite.

(L to R) Joe Pavelski, Mark Smith, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Ryane Clowe, Mark Bell, Scott Hannan, Patrick Rissmiller, Jonathan Cheechoo and Matt Carle. Good luck vs. Nashville!

Friday night lights (and tin cup)

The Giants got swept at AT&T Park this past weekend, continuing an unsettling trend where the Blue Crew has won eight straight in San Francisco. But on a chilly Friday night, fans could at least try to forget some of the pain of losing with another nifty fireworks show. There’s only one other fireworks night currently scheduled for this season, on May 25, so get tickets now if you want to catch it along with a contest against the Colorado Rockies.

The weather cleared up in time for Saturday’s game, which coincided with Kids Opening Day. The pregame concert by The Sippy Cups seemed to go over well with their target audience — which is The Wiggles-age crowd — but the non-kids had a mixed reaction to them, especially after their offbeat rendition of the national anthem.

Here’s my first attempt at a Canon Powershot video clip, an idea I totally hijacked from MLB.com’s Mark Newman, who did it during last year’s playoffs. Yes, it’s The Sippy Cups. But check out the folks getting their groove on to them.

Open season

Promo_poster_zitoTonight is Game 2 of the 2007 season for the Giants, and the club knows that not everyone could get a ticket (or the day off) for Opening Day, so they try to make the first night game special as well with Opening Night. In fact, the whole homestand is designated as Opening Week, with special events and giveaways for each game.

Tonight there will be fireworks, then a cool Barry Zito poster giveaway on Thursday night, the first poster in a series of six this year. There’s even a special ticket package, the Poster Pack, just for those games.

On Friday night, when the Dodgers come to town for the first time this season and the first Orange Friday of the year, the first 40,000 fans will get orange foam fingers. Saturday is Kids Opening Day, with a pregame concert by the Sippy Cups and the first 6,000 kids getting a really neat Beary Limited Edition Bear from Build-a-Bear, complete with a Giants cap, orange ribbon and Giants logo on the foot.

The homestand wraps up Sunday with Barry Zito’s second start and the ever-popular magnet schedule giveaway.

An All-Star opening

Except for the final score, Tuesday’s Opening Day, the 50th in San Francisco, was a grand celebration, and even folks who left disappointed by the game’s outcome will never forget the pageantry.

For those with a deep appreciation of baseball history and especially the rich history of the Giants, the pregame ceremonies were a special treat, with 27 of the 44 players who have represented the San Francisco Giants in the All-Star Game in attendance. I think the players enjoyed it as much as the fans, as evidenced by Will Clark’s enthusiastic fist pump at the grand ovation he received, Juan Marichal’s two-armed wave to the crowd and Mike Krukow’s great big grin as each was introduced.

As most already know, AT&T Park will host the 2007 All-Star Game and its related festivities. While more people than can possibly be accommodated obviously want tickets to the Midsummer Classic itself on July 10, tickets are already on sale right now for two other All-Star events: the DHL All-Star FanFest at Moscone Center and All-Star Sunday, which includes the Futures Game and the Legends and Celebrity softball game. The Futures Game is particularly cool, since it features some of the top prospects in the game, many of whom you’ll see in the Majors very soon.