Giants receive World Series Championship rings

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Giants receive World Series Championship rings

April 9, 2011
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Bruce Bochy pulled a prank on a few of his players late in spring training, bringing them into his Scottsdale Stadium office and showing them an inexpensive ring from the Dominican Summer League.He insisted it was a preview of their World Series jewelry to come.Ha! Pat Burrell, one guy on the Giants who already owned a World Series ring, bit hard at the joke. On Saturday night, Burrell got to show off the real thing on the main center-field scoreboard at AT&T Park.San Francisco's players, front office members and other staff received their 2010 championship bling by Tiffany & Co. in a pregame ceremony before hosting the St. Louis Cardinals - and oh, what an upgrade, coming from those signature blue Tiffany boxes.They were a surprise to most everybody. Managing partner Bill Neukom asked Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean for their input, but that was about it. For a second straight day the club celebrated the city's first championship since moving West in 1958.The very first ring went to longtime equipment manager Mike Murphy, who has been with the club since starting as a bat boy in '58. Sabean was next, followed by Bochy.
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"This is one you'll want to wear," Bochy said. "I'll wear it all the time. I don't wear jewelry so to speak, but I'll wear this with a lot of pride."Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry and Orlando Cepeda received their World Series rings at the end to a rousing ovation. Juan Marichal and Monte Irvin weren't on hand and will get their rings later.The rings are primarily white gold with a total of 77 diamonds weighing just under one carat. The top features the team's "SF" logo set with round diamonds encircled by a bezel of yellow gold flanked by two round diamonds. One side of the ring says 2010 with a yellow gold tower of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The other side features the recipient's name in a ribbon over the World Series trophy.Within the top of the trophy is one mandarin orange spessartite garnet stone representing San Francisco's title with five diamonds below the trophy's base for the five Giants titles won in New York.Bochy said the ring ceremony was talked about among the players and that they were anxious for the "emotional" moment."It's going to be my best day in professional ball," said Bochy, San Francisco's fifth-year skipper. "It's going to be one of the greatest days in a lot of these players' careers to get a ring. It's going to have very special meaning."The 55-year-old Bochy had lost 10 of his previous 11 postseason games while managing the San Diego Padres before the remarkable 2010 run by club he referred to as "characters, castoffs and misfits."Bochy was swept in the 1998 World Series while with San Diego and eliminated in the minimum three games in the 2005 division series by St. Louis, then lost in four games to the Cardinals in the first round the very next year. That '98 team was Bochy's lone pennant in 12 seasons as Padres skipper.Another special part of the night was Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson's presentation of the Giants' previous five championship souvenir gifts, including three rings. It was the champion New York Giants in 1922 who presented the first World Series ring to players, a tradition that became a staple in 1928, according to Idelson.The Hall has a display at Cooperstown of every ring.Other offerings in the past were medals, watch fobs or fancy pins or pendants."There was nothing I could find on why the Giants did it first or whose idea it was," Idelson said.Juan Uribe, now with the rival Dodgers, will receive his ring privately Monday when Los Angeles comes to town for a three-game series.Tom O'Rourke, Tiffany's vice president of business sales, said some of the rings are still being produced. The Giants received seven or eight different samples during the process. Tiffany last did a baseball championship ring for the winning Toronto Blue Jays teams in 1992 and '93 but has made rings for other sports franchises.

'The Kid' Arroyo continues wildly impressive first week with Giants

'The Kid' Arroyo continues wildly impressive first week with Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — In a quiet moment in the dugout Friday, manager Bruce Bochy tried to figure out a nickname for his new budding star. During a week where Christian Arroyo has made the game look so easy, this has turned out to be the most difficult part. 

Bochy briefly settled on “Yo” before that was scuttled because the team’s video coordinator is Yo Miyamoto. Joe Panik said some players have tried C.A. or YoYo, but admitted that neither is all that good. The team’s Twitter account spent a few days trying to make Boss Baby a thing, but Arroyo wasn’t thrilled with that one and the experiment appears to be over. In a back room of the clubhouse, there’s a printout showing Arroyo and Buzz from “Home Alone,” but that comparison is much better made with Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman. 

Perhaps the answer is as simple as the path Arroyo’s bat takes to a fastball. As he watched Arroyo field grounders during batting practice, Dick Tidrow was asked about the 21-year-old. Tidrow, the team’s senior VP of player personnel, has seen and worked with Arroyo since he was drafted. 

“We always just called him The Kid,” Tidrow said. “He would turn around when I called him Kid.”

The Kid is growing up quickly. Arroyo’s second homer of the week was the game-winner Friday, an eighth-inning blast that put a lead in Mark Melancon’s hands. The new closer made sure the new third baseman’s homer didn’t go to waste, clinching a 4-3 win that got the Giants out of the National League West’s cellar. 

The homer might have surprised Arroyo as much as anyone. He came here with a reputation as a mature and talented hitter, but power is not his calling card. 

“I’m not trying to hit a homer there,” he said. “Get the head out, see a pitch over the plate, barrel something, just keep the line moving. I got a good pitch, elevated it, and fortunately it went out.”

Arroyo already speaks like a hitting coach, but he is not afraid to admit that there are things he doesn’t know. It’s easy to get film on opposing starters, but there’s little a rookie can do to prepare for late-inning pitching changes. Arroyo consulted Buster Posey and Conor Gillaspie before facing Ryan Buchter, who has been in the division for two years. Gillaspie told him Buchter’s fastball has some late life and gets on a hitter. 

“I wanted to see it and the first pitch was a little low so I got a good read on them,” Arroyo said. 

The second one was right at the belt and Arroyo pulled it down the line for his second big league homer. He had just three last year in Double-A, but the Giants felt the 36 doubles showed that power was on the way. 

“He’s got pop,” Bochy said. “He’s not a guy trying to hit homers. He tries to put a good swing on it. But he drives balls and you saw it tonight. We see him more as a gap guy, but he’ll get more power as he gets older. We’re not asking him to hit homers, trust me, but it’s good to see him letting it go.”

The homer secured a win on a night when a lot went right. Jeff Samardzija was sharp, paying for one pitch to Ryan Schimpf that left the park but otherwise pitching seven strong. Panik and Brandon Belt ignited the offense early and Michael Morse came through with a game-tying sacrifice fly in the fifth. Derek Law and Mark Melancon closed it out, with Melancon getting help from Panik, who made a spectacular tumbling catch on a flare to shallow right-center. It was a big first out given that Melancon was pitching for the third straight day. 

“It was going to be in no man’s land,” Panik said. “You give it everything you’ve got. Fortunately the ball stayed in the glove.”

When it was over, the youngest Giant was in for another round of interviews to cap a hectic week. On Monday he made his debut and on Tuesday he picked up his first hit. Wednesday brought the first homer and Thursday was the first multi-hit game. What will the weekend include? Maybe a real nickname? 

For now, the Giants are fine with leaning on The Kid, because many of them didn’t even know how young the star of the week was until he was a couple of days into his big league career.

“I was thinking he was 23 or 24,” Samardzija said. “This has been really impressive.”

Vanderdoes out to 'prove people wrong,' show Raiders his very best

Vanderdoes out to 'prove people wrong,' show Raiders his very best

ALAMEDA – Eddie Vanderdoes knows his UCLA game tape is inconsistent. The powerful defensive tackle admits he wasn’t always at his best, especially after tearing his ACL in 2015. Before that, he was difficult to stop. Afterward, he wasn’t the same player. He doesn’t blame the knee.

He struggled with ankle injuries and weight issues in 2016, a lackluster campaign by his own standard. Since that season ended, Vanderdoes has returned to 100 percent. His ankles are fine. His knee is great. And he lost 40 pounds heading into the NFL scouting combine, preparing for a return to his old self.

The Raiders see great potential in the former Bruin and made him their third-round pick on Friday evening. The Auburn native was excited by the prospect, and believes the Raiders will get his absolute best. His voice was passionate, his determination clear even on a conference call with local press.

“I am going to be the player I was earlier in my career,” Vanderdoes said. “I had a bad season. That wasn’t me. That’s not the person that I am. That’s not the character that I hold. I’m definitely going to bring that to the Raiders’ defensive line. I’m going to bring that energy and I’m really happy to be an Oakland Raider.”

The Raiders will be thrilled if that’s true. They liked what he showed at the Senior Bowl and the NFL scouting combine, where he showed traits that should translate to NFL production.

“I am definitely back 100 percent, very confident with the combine, the Senior Bowl,” Vanderdoes said. “I got my explosiveness back. I got my speed back, my athleticism back. I am definitely at the top of shape right now, so I’m ready to get back to work and show them the player that they saw on the film and the player that they wanted to draft and I’m also looking to turn even more heads and do things that some people might expect that I couldn’t do.”

That includes rushing the passer, being a consistent three-down tackle in the Raiders scheme. He might be a rotational player first, filling the void created when Stacy McGee left in free agency.

“He’s a good, active defensive lineman that we think his best football is in front of him,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He had an ACL (injury) a couple of years ago. His weight has been up and down. We expect him to come in here and be a real professional and work hard with (head strength and conditioning coach) Joe Gomes and the strength staff and get himself ready to roll. He needs to come in here and add depth to our defensive line and give us a little interior push.”

Vanderdoes believes he can do more than that if he does things right. If his weight stays down, strength stays up and he learns the system well, he wants to compete for a significant role as a rookie.

“I’m coming in expecting to contribute and play right away,” Vanderdoes said. “That’s the mindset that I’ve always had. I’ve came with that mindset that I need to be the guy to step in and do what I do and dominate. I definitely think people slept on me a little bit this past offseason.

“I love the fact that (the NFL) slept on me, I think that’s what motivated me every morning waking up, knowing that I get to prove people wrong. I think I’ve done a good job so far of that, and I’m going to keep doing as well being an Oakland Raider because I know I’m at the bottom again. I have to work my way back up.”