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Will Smith thanks Giants fans, Bruce Bochy after signing with Braves

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Will Smith thanks Giants fans, Bruce Bochy after signing with Braves

Will Smith spent the last three-and-a-half years with the Giants. He missed one of those seasons to Tommy John surgery, but certainly will never forget his time in San Francisco. 

Smith, 30, signed a three-year, $39 million contract on Thursday to go home and join the Braves. The veteran reliever expressed his gratitude to Giants fans with a message sent to NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez later that night. 

Smith went out of his way to thank the Giants, their fans, the training staff and former manager Bruce Bochy. 

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Talked to @white_willy13 about his time with the @sfgiants. He will be missed and I want to personally wish him all the best with the @braves. Here’s what he wanted to say to the fans, the team and the Giants organization: I’d like to thank the Giants for giving me the opportunity that they did back in 2016.. it was my first taste of the playoffs I’ve had in my career and it is something I’ll never forget. The Giants are a first class organization hands down and welcomed me and my family with the utmost respect. Without their training staff, coming back from TJ surgery would not have been possible and for that I am forever thankful. Furthermore, I can never express the gratitude I have for Boch. Playing for him was an absolute honor. To my teammates... thank you for having my back on and off the field. Thank you for thinking as highly of me as I do of you and honoring me with the Willie Mac award. Something I will forever have and take with me from my time with you guys. Thank you for all the good times. And to the fans thank you for the constant support and loyalty. I’ll never forget my time wearing the orange and black. #BeatLA

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San Francisco acquired Smith from the Brewers on Aug. 1, 2016, right before the MLB trade deadline. When healthy, he was Mr. Reliable for the Giants. 

[RELATED: How Smith signing with Braves affects the Giants' bullpen]

Smith made his first All-Star Game appearance this past season with San Francisco. He finished the year with a perfect 6-0 record, 2.76 ERA and had 34 saves. 

Over his two-and-a-half seasons on the Giants, Smith went 9-4 with a 2.70 ERA and saved 48 games.

Giants' Gabe Kapler shares his side of Dodgers assault controversy

Giants' Gabe Kapler shares his side of Dodgers assault controversy

Gabe Kapler knew the questions were coming Wednesday when he was announced as Giants manager.

During his time as director of player development for the Dodgers, Kapler has been accused of mishandling assault allegations in 2015 against Dodgers minor league players. Kapler, who worked under Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi in LA, knew he was not the popular choice to succeed legendary skipper Bruce Bochy. The assault reporting controversy was something that doesn't sit well with a lot of people, and Kapler and Zaidi both answered numerous questions about the incidents during the 58-minute introductory press conference Wednesday.

Kapler was apologetic, owning up to mistakes he made. He noted any actions he made came from a good place and had the victims' best interest at heart. 

After the press conference, Kapler sat down in an exclusive one-on-one interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez where he discussed the assault reporting controversy, the mistakes he made and explained why there was no cover-up.

"One misconception that needs to be cleared up is that the information was shared immediately up the chain," Kapler told Amy G. "Also the information was shared within player development with the Los Angeles Dodgers. I think that's the most important thing. Usually, when a cover-up happens there's not a lot of communication about it. There's been plenty of emails, and phone conversations and in-person conversations to talk through some of those things."

Kapler then went on to discuss his involvement in the situation and the regrets he has in how it was handled, pointing to his own naivete when dealing with assault allegations.

"The thing I probably want to convey most is the biggest mistake that I made was naively believing that I could handle some of these situations by myself," Kapler told Amy G. "What I should have done is I should have reached out to experts in the field that might have been able to advise on how to handle these situations better. I feel a lot of remorse that -- I'm sorry that I wasn't better equipped to support the victims in these cases. Even though I acted with the best of intentions to try to support and help, I didn't execute on that well.

"I'm really disappointed in myself about that," Kapler continued. "But I also see this as an opportunity. A moment that can lead to a movement and better outcomes and I see this as a real opportunity to do things different the next time around and to figure out ways not just to protect victims of physical assault, not just to protect victims of sexual assault, but to support victims. To use this platform and educate players about how to be better when these situations come up. I take that responsibility very seriously, I know I have a lot to learn about it. I'll always do the best job that I can in getting the most information and counsel and help from the experts in the field."

Earlier this year, Kapler wrote a blog post explaining the incident but took a lot of criticism for not apologizing in the post. He apologized during his introductory press conference and was very candid about the missteps he and the Dodgers took.

"We've had a lot of opportunity to reflect on the situation," Kapler said. "And really challenge ourselves. We didn't do everything that we could possibly do to execute in a way we would have felt most proud of. Thinking back to that time, again, the way I would have been better would have been to give the information to experts in the field who could have actually taken over the process. I naively and in some cases arrogantly felt that I could help by mediating and being a facilitator and I was just in over my skis.

"I didn't have the ability to do that. I didn't have the knowledge to help and I didn't ask for it. That's the thing I regret the most."

Both Dodgers minor leaguers who were involved in the incidents were released by the club, but the incidents were not reported to the authorities because that's what the victims asked for, Kapler told Amy G.

[RELATED: How Kapler plans to handle veteran core of Giants' lineup]

His first day as Giants manager was unlike most first days managers encounter. Kapler knows he has a lot of work to do to earn the trust of the fan base. He also knows that doesn't happen overnight, but believes eventually, through day-in-day-out example, Giants fans will see the real Gabe Kapler. Someone who cares deeply about righting wrongs and putting people before players and the game.

"Who I am is someone who really cares about the well-being of others," Kapler said. "Who I am is someone who cares deeply about social issues in a community like San Francisco and a champion and an advocate for these issues. I can't build that trust in a one-on-one conversation, you have to build through action over time.

"I think I take action steps for the good of society and people every single day. That will get recognized ultimately."

Giants broadcasters thank Bruce Bochy for all great times they shared

Giants broadcasters thank Bruce Bochy for all great times they shared

Bruce Bochy has seen countless players come through his office door over his 13 seasons as Giants manager. But in terms of broadcasters, that number is exponentially smaller.

When Bochy began as San Francisco's manager in 2007, the Giants' television and radio broadcasters were the same as they are now. That is to say Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper, Jon Miller and Dave Flemming have spent more time with Boch over the years than all but a select few, and as you might expect, they've got some great stories between them. 

As Bochy heads off into the sunset, now down to his last series before retirement, that foursome wanted to thank him for all of the great times they've shared.

"Alright, Mr. Bochy, here's to you for all those times where I hit the wrong button on "The Bruce Bochy Show" and had to come back to your office and re-record," Flemming said with a smirk. "Not a lot of managers would have done that.

"For those times that you let me bring my golf clubs on the road when nobody else was allowed to. I appreciate that, too."

"Here's to no more rain delays, no more games in Denver, and here's to cocktails at 5 o'clock every day," Kuiper grinned.

"You were a great manager. You were a great teacher. And you celebrated as good as anybody I ever, ever was around," Krukow chuckled.

"Thanks for all of the help, and thanks for all of the knowledge, allowing me to pick your brain," Miller said, "because I've learned so much about the game from you. We're going to miss you."

[RELATED: Posey shares what's made Bochy successful with Giants]

Bochy has stories of his own, though, some of which he told to NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez in an interview that will air in an hourlong "Toast to Boch" special on NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday night. 

"We'd have a bad game or be in a bad streak and I'd be in the front seat," Bochy described to Amy G. "[Kuiper] would flop his wrist over with that ring looking at me and he goes, 'Don't forget this.'"

"The funny thing is they all have their own little way if they don't totally agree with me on the lineup," Bochy continued. "Like [Alex] Dickerson, when he was really hot, and one day I sat him. [Kuiper] would come into my office. 'Is Dickerson hurt?'

"'No.'"

"And he'd walk out kind of mad at me," Bochy recalled with a laugh. "I told Kuip he's got an attitude."

"Toast to Boch" airs Saturday, Sept. 28 on NBC Sports Bay Area at 5 p.m., following the conclusion of "Giants Postgame Live."