SAN FRANCISCO - Buster Posey didn't really have a role in Friday's flag-raising ceremonies: While they were happening, he was warming up starting pitcher Barry Zito. Today, though, the pre-game festivities will be all about Posey, who will be presented with his 2012 N.L. Most Valuable Player award in a ceremony scheduled to include past Giants MVP winners.
"Special day for Buster," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's a special player. ... I've been fortunate to have been doing this for a while and managed some great players. But he's as good as I've had, and I think we're all going to enjoy watching this ceremony."
Meanwhile, fans are filing into the park carrying their Buster Posey bobblehead dolls. Posey (pictured) is the seventh Giant to win the MVP Award. The Giants have announced past recipients Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Jeff Kent and Kevin Mitchell will take part in the ceremony. Posey was surprised to learn of that yesterday.
"That's really cool," he said.
Posey is catching Ryan Vogelsong today. He has started four of the Giants' five games at catcher and the other at first base when Brandon Belt was too sick to play. Posey caught in 114 games last year coming off his ankle injury, and Bochy said today the plan is still to keep Posey around that number this year, though that could change.
"We'll see how it goes and how he feels," Bochy said. "It worked well last year, and if it's not broke, don't fix it. I think he's better off getting his days because I know the wear and tear of catching behind the plate, not just in one year, but long term. So we'd like to keep it along that line. But this being the second year off his injury, I could see him catching a little bit more."
The Giants play their first day game after a night game Wednesday against the Rockies. Bochy said he doesn't plan to have Posey catch both games, though which game he has off is still to be determined.
The lineups for today's game at what is currently an overcast AT&T Park, though it appears the drizzling rain from earlier this morning has subsided:
Belt has his appetite back after a bout with a stomach virus and is trying to put back on the 10 or so pounds he lost.
Bochy, who sometimes inserted Joaquin Arias as a late-inning defensive replacement for Pablo Sandoval last season, left Sandoval in a 1-0 game yesterday because he likes the way Sandoval is moving at third base. Sandoval made a couple of diving plays and started two double plays.
The Giants play four games in Chicago from April 11-14, and all are day games. Bochy said there will be a curfew in place, but the Giants will stop short of bed checks.
"I'll have the bellman getting autographs and he'll put what time he checks them in," Bochy cracked.