AT&T PARK — As opening weekend continues for the Giants, so do the on-field ceremonies.
Those who couldn’t make it to the home opener got as special a day Saturday, with Buster Posey receiving his MVP award and fans being rewarded with a Posey bobblehead.
Unlike Friday, though, the Cardinals spoiled the party with timely hitting and runners in scoring position. Former Giant Carlos Beltran came back to haunt his former team with two hits and three RBIs as the Cardinals doubled up the Giants, 6-3.
The Giants got solo home runs from Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval, but San Francisco was just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-21 on the season.
Manager Bruce Bochy isn’t concerned given that there are 157 games left.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy
“If you look around the league there are some hitters that have gotten off to somewhat of a slow start so it’s just a small sample size right now. This is a good offensive club and we’ll start clicking here.”
Ryan Vogelsong lasted only 5-1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and five earned runs, walking two and striking out six in his first start of the season.
Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong
“That’s part of the game you know, you’ve got to keep grinding. It happens. It stinks when it does happen but that’s baseball. You’ve got to keep trying to make pitches and I wish I had made a few better ones.”
The day itself was memorable, especially the pregame ceremony. On the infield, four Giant MVP winners awaited to welcome Posey to this special club.
They included left fielder Kevin Mitchell (1989), second baseman Jeff Kent (2000), first baseman Willie McCovey (1969), and center fielder Willie Mays (1954 and 1965).
Noticeably absent was Barry Bonds who won the award five times (1993, 2001-2004). Given his involvement in the BALCO scandal, the Giants organization has distanced themselves from Bonds after his retirement.
After formal introductions by Giants broadcaster Dave Flemming, Jeff Kent took the mic and told the crowd that Posey is a special player and the franchise is in good hands with a player of his stature.
Posey then spoke briefly, thanking his family, the Giants, and his teammates for the accolades and support.
After the loss, Posey spoke about his special day:
Giants catcher Buster Posey
“It was good, I mean it was definitely a different pregame for me than normal but it was nice to be able to celebrate that with the fans and have my family here and get to share that with them.”
Posey went on to say being in the presence of those former MVP’s was quite an experience:
“Really special…as a fan of the game, obviously I didn’t get to watch Mays and McCovey. I watched Jeff Kent a lot growing up and always admired his fire and intensity the way he played the game.”
The series finale is Sunday afternoon. And the highlight of the day will be the World Series ring ceremony. The players will wear special uniforms with the SF logo embroidered in gold. As they did in 2011, the Giants will wear gold stitched SF caps. The first 40,000 fans will also receive replica rings.