Returning home

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So great to be back in the Bay Area. I don’t even mind the rain. Jamie, Jayda and I (and my niece Jennifer from New York, who’s helping out with Jayda while Jamie recovers from wrist surgery) are back in the same great Lafayette house we rented last year. Saturday night one of our neighbors is having us over for a “welcome back” barbecue.
I have to tell you that it was very emotional for me Thursday night when I stepped into the Giants clubhouse and then onto the field. I had said my goodbyes to this place last year. I thought I wasn’t going to be back. When I walked in and headed to my locker, I thought, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m here.’ ” 
I really love this place and this team. It’s like family to me. I feel like the dad to all these young guys. So returning here has been like getting my family back.
Today we got to meet a lot of fans at the “Play Ball” luncheon at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. It’s a fundraiser for “Junior Giants” and the Giants Community Fund, and they were saying they raised about $300,000, which is amazing. There were almost 1400 people there. Some of the fans didn’t know the new guys, so I heard that Jeremy Affeldt was pushing people toward Mark DeRosa because no one was asking for his autograph. Another of the new guys, Aubrey Huff, made a colorful first impression with his purple plaid pants. (I’ve included a photo here.) I noticed that Brian Wilson is so dedicated to his nutrition regimen that he actually brought his own lunch today in a vacuum-sealed bag.
A few of the Junior Giants player got to ask questions of the big-league players. One kid wanted to know who Affeldt would be if he could become one of his teammates for a day. “Brian Wilson because five minutes inside that dome would be awesome!”
And someone else asked Sandoval who would be the toughest opponent in a wrestling match, and he gave the answer I think most of us would: “Juan Uribe!”
I can’t wait for the season to start on Monday. I’ve been telling Jamie that there’s something really special about this team. Everything we’ve been working for the last three years, this is the year it’s all going to come together. I really feel that.
See you this weekend and then for Opening Day on Friday!
PlayBall Lunch: Aubrey Huff and a Junior Giant
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10 Comments

Welcome back home, sir. Have a great year.

— Jeff in Canada

welcome home bengie!! see you this weekend!

welcome home Bengie!!!! We are just as excited to see you back home!!! Thank you for all the guidance you give to the young players and especially our fabulous pitchers, I believe you are a huge part of their success. Have a great season and GO GIANTS!!!!!

Bengie,

You always look so GQ when not in uniform! Its interesting, because on the field I think of you as a steadying force for our pitching and a clutch hitter- the consummate professional veteran player. Yet in shots like these, we see another side that probably better reflects your age and personality.

Thanks for the update about the lucheon. Details like Wilson’s lunch and Huff’s pants give me something to chat about with my husband during games, and another perspective on those weirdos you call teammates. 🙂

Congrats on the sweep, let’s keep it going! ~Courtney

Bengie,

Hope you read these, because I need to tell you congrats on your night against the Pirates! Great job with all the RBI’s.

Sure has been fun to watch so far this year!

So, so glad to have you back! It made me smile to see all the familiar faces (and even the new ones) back in Giants uniforms, but it was especially great to see you back out there…after all, we thought we’d said goodbye to you last year too! And I’m thrilled that you’re back to writing “Behind the Mask”. Love it! ~ Stacey

Thanks for posting the pics! Wish I could have been there. I’m glad you are back again this year and I am lovin’ this season, you guys are awesome!

hey Bengie! Sounds like fun you had at the JR Giants lunch. I wish i could’ve gone! You’ve been doing well so far this season keep it up!😉 -Nikki

Bengie- What does it say on the front of your gear? I know your brother wears Yadi, which makes sense, but last night (against SD) I noticed that yours appears to say “Benga”? Am I seeing that correctly, and if so, why?

You’re still doing great out there, keep it up! ~ Courtney

Once again, Bengie, it’s GREAT to have you back in the Black and Orange.🙂 Looks like a very good year ahead. See ya at “The Yard”!

P. S. Love those pants on Aubrey Huff! :-p

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