SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- If you sent a congratulatory text to Bruce Bochy and you haven't heard back yet, don't worry. There's quite the backlog.
A day after he announced that this will be his final season, Bochy said he couldn't believe how many people reached out in the following hours.
"By the time I got back to my office, the phone had blown up completely," he said. "I didn't see that coming. I've heard from everybody."
Bochy got a break from the texting Tuesday morning, when the Giants took the field for the first round of live batting practice sessions. It started with Madison Bumgarner against Joey Bart, because the other members of Bart's hitting group wanted him to go first.
"They wanted to make sure Bum wouldn't throw one way up and in on the first pitch," Bochy said, smiling. "So they put the kid up there."
Bumgarner did not throw at Bart. That's one observation from the day, here are a few more ...
Jeff Samardzija said he has eight hurdles to hit this spring: Bullpen session, "heavy" bullpen session, live BP session, and then five Cactus League starts. He got through his live BP on Tuesday and said it felt good. Samardzija threw all his pitches while facing players on a back field.
"No pain, no restrictions," he said. "I just need more work."
He'll get it. Samardzija, coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, will be in the rotation when the Giants kick off spring action this weekend. The Giants are encouraged by how he feels, and anticipate Samardzija being ready to start the season.
"I thought he threw really well," Bochy said. "He had a nice day out there."
We've gotten used to some trash talk during the first day of live BP, but there was none of that today. We didn't see a Bumgarner vs. Buster Posey matchup as we've gotten in the past. There was an interesting feel to the sessions, though.
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The Giants set up a TrackMan machine behind the pitcher and a Rapsoda device about 40 feet in front of the mound. They're tracking spin rate, release point, etc. on just about every pitch now, even if it's just live BP.
For years, we would see Dave Righetti and Mark Gardner standing behind the pitcher. On Tuesday it was Yo Miyamoto, the club's manager of video systems. He had a laptop in his hand and could give the data right to the pitcher. The Giants were already using TrackMan and Rapsodo last season, but they've certainly appeared to swim even further into the deep end when it comes to all this stuff.
Guys will move all over during camp, so not too much can be deciphered by early fielding work. But it was interesting to see Aramis Garcia get a lot of work in at first yesterday, and Stephen Vogt spend a chunk of the early workouts taking fly balls in left. Bochy has said the team may carry three catchers, so at least one of the backups will need to be able to move around the field.
Don Newcombe, the legendary Dodgers pitcher, passed away at the age of 92. I'll never forget the way Newcombe would come to visit Bochy during every Dodgers series. He was always in a suit, no matter how hot it was at Dodger Stadium, and he would walk over when Bochy was talking to the media and wait patiently with his wife, Karen. Often times they would stand there for 10-15 minutes and wait for Bochy to finish his required work before they could have a quick chat.
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"Every time we went to L.A. they made sure they came over and said hello," Bochy said. "We talked about baseball and different things. I don't know if we ever missed a series, that's just how nice this man was, to come over and say hello to me. I just respect him so much for what he did in baseball -- this guy won a Cy Young and an MVP in a year, and served in the military.
"He was just a real nice gentleman that was I'm sure inspiring for all the players there in L.A."