Tiffany-blue boxes, orange carpet, gold jerseys and caps. Yes, it was the Giants bi-annual ring ceremony, but it was my first. To be honest, after one, then two, you don’t think you’ll have a third chance to cover one, but I guess it’s a charm, and hopefully not the last.
Only covering about a dozen games a year, this one was special. I asked the grounds crew if I could photograph the special bases, asked Amy G if I could look at the special gold ball being used tonight, and when I went in the office to hang out for 20 minutes outside of Bochy’s office with the rest of the press, to my right in Mike Murphy’s office sat orange royalty: Mays, Marichal, Cepeda, and Perry, and I had just seen McCovey exit. This was Giants nirvana.
The ring ceremony was not quite as long and ostentatious as 2013, but it had it’s moments, including skydivers. The collective worry about the post-ceremony performance letdown was palpable after the last of the streamers drifted into the stands, but Chris Heston, who didn’t let the home opener rattle him, established command early, going 7 2/3 innings and 112 pitches. Bochy had to take him out when he allowed a two-out single in the top of the 8th (and he almost caught it). He left to thunderous applause from the AT&T crowd, and Romo followed with a punchout to the delight of all.
On the other side of the ball, the offense came out of it’s torpor. No, four runs on 12 hits ain’t blazing, but that’s about the equivalent of 10 runs for normal teams. Posey had two broken-bat singles, Belt trolled the internet by avoiding #Belt069 with a single that beat the shift, and Crawford, who was 1 for his last 29, launched a mammoth homerun over triples alley, which is usually where would-be homeruns go to die. It was just the Giants’ night…finally.
Post-game, Bochy was impressed with Heston, especially considering that he’s pitched twice against the D’backs, and the Giants’ home opener and ring ceremony. Heston himself was very humble in the clubhouse, and just executed what Posey put down. His only regret was not snagging that line drive with two outs in the eighth, which forced his departure.
The eight-game losing streak is over, and as Bochy put it, “It’s nice to see teeth in the clubhouse again.”