Amy: Thanks a lot for logging on to CSNBayArea.com for an Amy G. Giants Xclusive. I have - yes, it is him - Benito Santiago. He looks exactly the same! Maybe it's maybe a little more salt and pepper in the hair, but that's it. Time has been kind to you Benito.
Benito: Thank you. Thank you.
A: Tell us a little bit about what you're doing currently since retiring from the game.
B: Well I'm enjoying life, you know, and after that I do financial stuff now for the players so when they retire, you know, we wanna make sure they have some money and they continue the good life, and that's what I'm doing right now.
A: Continuing the good life. I love that. That's a good goal. Alright, talk a little bit Benito about your time with the Giants. Of course everyone knows you from that 2002 year. You went to the World Series, you were the NLCS MVP. You had such an important role. What does that year mean to you and your career?
B: You know what, I have played 18 years and never was anything like that when I was over here, especially in that year 2002. I worked from 2002-2003 but every year here was special, you know? I love it. I love these people here in San Francisco, greeting me like...No one has contrition. And you know, being a part of it in 2002, I was - I was proud of that because we reached the goal, you know? Our goal was to win the World Series but it didn't happen, but it was a lot of fun that year and that was my only year going to the World Series. So it's not easy to get there. You know, in 18 years it was my first one. I wanted a ring so bad but you know, everything was good and even though we lost San Francisco people were happy for us and it was all good in 2002.
A: You brought so much joy to the city of San Francisco and people are going to get to see this team again on Sunday. That's actually why you've been around. A big reunion of that 2002 team. Dusty Baker of course is in town. Who are you - I'm sure you're excited to see all of them, but are there some that stick out that you're really excited to see? Some of your former teammates?
B: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, it's gonna be nice. It's going to be fun, you know, especially when you go to the World Series with this group. I can't wait. I can't wait for Saturday to come and I can spend time with them and then come over here on Sunday and be a part of the show.
A: Yeah. What I've heard so far: Kirk Reuter; Rich Aurilia; of course Dusty's here; J.T. Snow.
B: I think most of the guys are gonna be here. The ones that they're not going to be, you know that, because they're in baseball business, a couple of guys are coaching in Minor Leagues and some others, they gotta do some things, personal stuff. But I'm talking about maybe three to four guys, you know, but the rest of the group is gonna be in.
A: Ok, and another good friend of yours is current San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who in his final year of playing was your rookie year, which you were the Rookie of the Year in 1987. He had a lot of nice things to say about you.
B: Well, you know, I love- I love Bruce. And Bruce is, no- He's not a friend. Bruce is a part of my family and what a guy. What a guy to be around. I was lucky. I was lucky to be around guys like that, and they motivate me, they teach me the right way to play the game and there's not anything bad to say about Bruce. Bruce is, is my brother. He's my brother.
A: Aww. Even though you were the starting catcher that year do you feel like he was a mentor to you?
B: Yes, yes, yes. I say I'm lucky, you know, because I was one of the youngest guys on the team and I played with guys I used to see on TV when I was a kid, you know, and they were there at that point, and they controlled me, kept me as Benito, you know, and they gave me the best advice I could get from anyone, and it was so good overall.
A: Ok last one: How much are you enjoying watching the Giants this year, and who stands out in your eyes?
B: You know what, they have a good club. They have a good club and especially coming from the managers, you know, the managers have to do a lot with that and that's Bruce, but you know I see some exciting new guys over here that they promise to be an All-Star or they already are. But you know, they're doing good. They're doing good, and you know, I see they got- I love the catcher.
A: I know. Me too!
B: That's one of my- That's my favorite position.
A: Great catchers. Posey and Sanchez.
B: It's so good. It's so good. Well, you can tell when he was hurt last year how everything went, you know, and it's an important guy to be here, you know.
A: Pivotal piece.
B: Yes, yes, and I like him. He's a good kid. I go and talk to him, you know, he listens to me very well and he wants to learn. He gets answers to some questions. He wants to get better, you know, like that, and I love it. I love him. I like guys that throw guys out, and he's one.
A: One of the good ones. Yeah, we like that too. Fans really like it when the catcher throws the guy out. When the catcher's on the San Francisco Giants, of course.
B: Yeah, yeah.
A: Benito Santiago, an Amy G. Giants Xclusive. You'll see more of him on Sunday for the broadcast of the 2002 reunion. Thank you for your time and thank you for logging on to CSNBayArea.com.