Giants

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski, family ready for emotional series at Fenway

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski, family ready for emotional series at Fenway

As he prepared to board a flight back to Boston, Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski said he wasn't sure how many family members and friends would be in the seats at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. All he knew was that it would be measured by the dozens. 

"I'm not leaving tickets for them," he said, smiling. 

The Giants' star rookie won't have to. In Boston, his last name opens doors, and Red Sox fans have been waiting for this day just as Yastrzemski has. There were so many media requests for Yastrzemski that the Giants will hold a press conference at Fenway Park on Tuesday, when his famous grandfather is expected to be at the park. 

Carl Yastrzemski, Mike's Hall of Fame grandfather, told The Boston Globe that he plans to visit with Mike on Tuesday but won't stay for the game. He'll be in a suite for Wednesday's game, soaking in an amazing moment for a family that's baseball royalty in New England.  

"It will be the first time since 1983 that the name 'Yastrzemski' will be announced," Carl Yastrzemski told The Boston Globe. "It's definitely going to be emotional. To see him come into Fenway Park where I played for 23 years, to have his name announced, that will be a great thrill for me."

Carl played all 23 seasons of his Hall of Fame career in Boston, totaling 3,419 hits and 452 homers while making 18 All-Star appearances. He was the 1967 American League MVP and won seven Gold Glove Awards. In 1989, he was elected to the Hall of Fame. 

His grandson had to wait until he was 28 to break through, but Mike has been a revelation as a rookie. He has a .833 OPS and needs just one homer to reach 20, and he should get plenty of chances this week. Manager Bruce Bochy said Mike will start all three games at Fenway Park, where his grandfather played nearly 3,000 games. 

"It's going to be pretty emotional," Mike said on Sunday. "I'll try and contain those things and try and make it feel like it's just a regular game."

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Mike said he hasn't been to Fenway Park since taking part in a workout there when he was in college. While his grandfather has seen him play in spring training games, he has not yet watched him in person in the big leagues. Carl told The Boston Globe that he's been losing a lot of sleep while staying up late to watch Mike's games on the West Coast. They talk every couple of weeks, but it's not necessarily about giving hitting advice. 

"I don't like to talk to him about hitting or anything else, because you see a game on TV and you can't tell too much," Carl said. "On TV, you don't look for little things, you just want to enjoy the game, but it's hard to enjoy it because you're so keyed up watching him. You want him to do well."

Giants' Mike Krukow has no sympathy for Aubrey Huff, says he 'blew it'

Giants' Mike Krukow has no sympathy for Aubrey Huff, says he 'blew it'

You can add Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow to the list of people who have no sympathy for Aubrey Huff after the former first baseman was informed that he would not be welcome at Oracle Park for the celebration of San Francisco's 2010 World Series championship team this coming August.

"I think that Aubrey Huff blew it, and I think him not being included is something he needs to take to heart," Krukow said Tuesday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "I don't think it's going to affect the invitation in 20 years should he compose himself a little more responsibly on social media. He had a chance to represent the Giants away from the community, even though he's not under contract, I think it's a contract you sign for life ... I just think he's been irresponsible and he's paying a price for it.

"The one thing that never really gets discussed: In every contract you ever sign with a professional team, is they have a clause in there where they talk about how you as a player have to comport yourself in an appropriate manner. Those are words that when you sign your contract, they’ll stop the discussion and point to it and say ‘Do you understand this?’ The whole idea is to create a positive image in the community on behalf of the Giants."

The Giants are in Scottsdale, Ariz. for spring training, and several players were asked about the team's ruling on Huff. Buster Posey deferred "to the people that make the decisions," while Pablo Sandoval insisted that he "won't be sad" that Huff won't be at the World Series reunion. Krukow feels similarly.

"Me personally? No," he responded when asked if he'll miss Huff on Aug. 16.

[RELATED: How Panda caught Kapler's attention during first live BP]

As San Francisco and Krukow have made clear, there's a give and take to that whole "Forever Giant" thing.

How Pablo Sandoval impressed Gabe Kapler in Giants live batting practice

How Pablo Sandoval impressed Gabe Kapler in Giants live batting practice

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The first session of live batting practice drew a crowd, but for the Giants hitters involved, there wasn't all that much buzz. 

With Farhan Zaidi, Scott Harris, Gabe Kapler and half the coaching staff watching from behind the backstop, and the analytics staff set up to track pitch characteristics and swings, Brandon Belt stepped up to the plate and took a couple of walks. Buster Posey did the same, tracking pitches into the catcher's glove and then retreating to the dugout to tell hitting coach Donnie Ecker what he was seeing. 

And then Pablo Sandoval dug into the batter's box.

Sandoval swung at the first five pitches he saw from prospect Luis Madero, fouling a couple off and lining a couple into the grass. He was just as aggressive in his second session. When Kapler sat down with reporters a few minutes later, he was still laughing over Sandoval's mentality.

"I've never seen an approach to live BP like Pablo just took," Kapler said. 

The manager loved seeing it for a couple of reasons. First of all, Sandoval figures to be Kapler's top pinch-hit option for most of the year, in part because of that aggression. Kapler said earlier this week that he always feared seeing Sandoval step in when he was managing the Phillies, in large part because he knew Sandoval would be ready to do damage from the first pitch, unlike many hitters who like to first look at a couple offerings in the late innings. 

"It kind of demonstrates why he's so dangerous at the plate, because he's just prepared to drive every pitch," Kapler said. "Generally you calibrate one of two ways: By taking and seeing pitches, and the second way is by swinging at pitches -- and he just took aggressive hacks on everything that was thrown up there."

The second reason Kapler liked what he saw was health-related. Sandoval is well ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, but he's still likely to miss the first month of the season as he works his throwing arm back into shape. The Giants have, though, discussed the fact that at some point they may have a tough decision to make. 

With a 26th roster spot, they could, in theory, carry Sandoval as he continues to rehab, using him only as a pinch-hitter. On Tuesday, as Sandoval hungrily went after two-seamers and changeups from Madero, he looked the part of someone who could be ready for a hitting-focused role on Opening Day. Kapler noted that Sandoval was "right on" every pitch.

[RELATED: The Giants will use in-game interpreter]

"He's been thinking about his swing for a long time and working on his swing for a while now," Kapler said. "It's going to be like a bit of a tricky puzzle, because we're going to want to get him reps at his pace earlier in camp, and at the same time we know that he's not going to be ready at the same pace as some of our other players. 

"We want to be respectful of the pace that he wants to work at, so we're going to have to weigh those two factors."