Last night, the Giants hosted a "town hall" meeting attended by a limited numbers of invited STHs. It will air as a TV show on Comcast on, I believe February 11. I was lucky enough to be chosen for an invite, so Mrs. Goofus and I attended.
It was clearly intended as a rah rah event with the goal of "fall in love with the Giants again", not unlike Fan Fest. There no hard-hitting questions, but it was fun hearing the players and coaches talk about last season and the upcoming season. The thing that really jumped out was how much they all really like and respect one another.
Flemming, Kruk and Kuip hosted the event that included Sabean, the coaching staff and all the primary players except Huff, Rowand, Zito, Ishikawa, Derosa, Ramirez, J. Sanchez, Casilla and Tejada.
We had pretty good seats and sat next to Panda's brother. We chatted with him a little and I talked about hard he's been working in the off season and how good he looks. We also sat behin Tito Fuentes and Bill Neukom.
The program started with all the players and coaches coming out and being introduced one at a time, then going out to seats in the audience. They were then brought on stage in groups of four and asked questions by the broadcast team. They were all very engaging and none of them looked like they weren't happy to be there.
There's absolutely no question Panda has lost significant weight. it was pretty remarkable.
Here's are some of the more memorable quotes from the evening...
A big deal was made about Gardner telling Affeldt to keep warming up in the bullpen while the Sanchez/Utley fracas was going on. He was asked what was going on in his mind while he was warming up and replied, "I was about to cry because the Philadelphia fans were saying some things that hurt my feelings."
Darren Ford on his huge stolen base: "Ball in the dirt...I went back and watched the tape of that play and don't thnk I would do that again. It didn't get very far from the catcher."
Kruk reminded Torres of all the dues he paid before getting here and asked him what it means now to be part of the team. Torres started to answer and then basically broke down and couldn't even get a word out. It was sweet as hell and totally genuine.
Posey: "The depth of the bullpen wasn't talked about as much as it should be." When asked if there are any pitchers he doesn't like to go talk to, even when the manager tells him to, "Wilson. Sometimes I see this look on his face and think, 'Nah, I'll just stay back here'."
Madbum on not looking nervous starting a WS game. "I must be a good actor" He then said "I just done what he said" (pointing to Posey). Kuip shot back, "Did he tell you to walk the first batter on four pitches?" They then teased him about his winning batting practice but not hitting in games and he said "Yeah, but that's 65 and straight"
Kuip was talking about Cain's no earned runs in the post-season, but noted one ball hit the top of the fence and said "we all thought it was out." Cain replied "So did I."
Kruk asked Roberto Kelly who the fastest guy on the team was. "Besides me, Andres Torres." Later, they asked Emmanuel Burriss if he could beat Darren Ford in a footrace and he said "Yeah". When asked if he could beat Torres, he said "Nobody can beat Torres".
Bochy: "We wanna do this again. I didn't come here to win one World Series. People may call us misfits, but we've got a talented team and want to show people how good we are."
Ross on Halladay: "I'd tried everything against him...going the other way, taking pitches, trying to walk...and nothing worked. I'd never tried going up there and just trying to hit a home run off him."
Burrell got choked up talking about experience of last season. Someone yelled out "The Machine!" and he smiled and nodded knowingly. He was asked if the thong was his idea. "No way, I saw him in it and was disgusted...he's got that pastey white skin. But he nailed it...he owned it and walked around like he thought he looked good."
Wilson was talking about how all the stuff from last season the beards, the thong, Tim's hair, were all just fun and spontaneous and not some marketing thing. "We didn't think 'Let's have people dress up weird." and everyone looked at Burrell, who kind of smiled and laughed.
I had the chance to talk with Neukom after the program since we were standing there together waiting for wives to come out of the ladies' room. He was pretty cool. I jokingly asked him if they're going to do it all over again, could they at least win the series at home? He laughed and said "We would have loved to have done that for the fans, but there's a really special feeling of leaving another team's ball park and knowing you just ended their season" I loved that.
So there you have it. I'll try to upload some pics I took later. Did anyone else go?