San Francisco Giants fans prep for World Series

San Francisco Giants fans prep for World Series

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) San Francisco Giants fans walked in a daze Tuesday morning near the team's soggy waterfront ballpark, still not quite believing that just hours earlier their rain-soaked squad had clinched the National League pennant.

As dozens flocked to the team's merchandise store, snatching up sundry items and celebrating the Giants' unlikely comeback victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, the reality began to set in.

Jack McKenna, a lifelong Giants fan, and his newlywed wife, a Tigers fan, were in town from Florida on their honeymoon, and planned to buy tickets.

When they planned to spend their honeymoon in San Francisco, neither thought it include a World Series game.

``The timing was just great,'' Jack McKenna said, clutching his newly purchased gear.

His wife, Sharon, still wasn't sure if she'd loudly root for Detroit if the couple managed to score seats to one of the first two games.

``That's not a good way to start a marriage,'' she said with a chuckle.

The cheapest tickets on to Wednesday's first game of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers were already $382 for the nosebleeds; thousands of dollars were being asked for premium field-level perches.

Ticket sales were brisk for the Fall Classic, yet reaction on the street was still one of Giants' fans coming to grips with the dramatic come-from-behind win.

``Being underdogs in the last two series against Cincinnati and then coming back against them ... and then having our backs against the wall (against St. Louis) and coming back and winning it. Nobody figured it, it was great,'' said Don Brenes, 61, of San Francisco.

Some fans admitted they were not making plans for the World Series, and had doubted their team would pull off wins in a record-tying six elimination games against the Reds and Cardinals needed to make it.

That has led to a scramble throughout the Bay Area to reschedule plans for Wednesday night. Bars are preparing for crowds and parties are being planned for at least four more games in the Giants season.

``Numerous times I thought it was over. It looked so bleak,'' said Kay Cockerill, standing in line at the ballpark store with shirts and socks. ``But the momentum can change, and it just flips around and the confidence just multiplies.''

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Caps recall goalie Pheonix Copley after Braden Holtby 'tweaked something' in Dallas game


Caps recall goalie Pheonix Copley after Braden Holtby 'tweaked something' in Dallas game

You thought the Caps had a goalie rotation before, but now they have added a third netminder in the mix.

Pheonix Copley has been recalled from the Hershey Bears and will backup Philipp Grubauer for Washington's game in Detroit, the team announced Thursday.

The move comes in response to an injury concern for Braden Holtby.


Dallas Stars forward Remi Elie collided with Holtby midway through the third period on Tuesday as Holtby was extending to make a save. Holtby reacted awkwardly to the collision and could be seen skating and flexing his leg during the next stoppage.

With only nine games remaining in the regular season, Holtby's injury is a major concern. Given his recent struggles, the final few weeks of the season offered a chance for Holtby to get his game back to form. Just where his game will be when he is 100-percent healthy again is certainly a storyline to watch.


The good news for Washington, however, is that Grubauer is perhaps more ready this season to lead the team than he ever has been and confidence in him around the team should be high.

Since Thanksgiving, Grubauer has played in 22 games with a 17-11-4 record, a .939 save percentage, 1.85 GAA and two shutouts. No goalie who has played in 20 games or more has registered a better save percentage or GAA. He will certainly be looked upon to carry the load until Holtby returns. Whether this means he now has the inside track on starting in the playoffs, however, remains to be seen. That will depend largely on just when Holtby is ready to return and how Grubauer plays down the stretch.

Copley, 26, has gone 14-16-6 with two shutouts, a .898 save percentage and 2.86 GAA in 38 games in Hershey this season. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Washington in 2014. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues in the package that netted the Caps T.J. Oshie, but was reacquired by Washington in Feb. 2017 in a trade deadline deal that included Kevin Shattenkirk.

At the time, it was believed Copley would be the team's backup for the 2017-18 season with Grubauer likely headed to Vegas in the expansion draft. Vegas, however, took Nate Schmidt instead which led to Copley spending the season in Hershey. The Caps now will be happy for the extra goalie depth for as long as Holtby's health remains a concern.

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Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Washington Wizards

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


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