SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt said he spent most of the Giants' ring ceremony in 2011 watching from the dugout or waiting around the clubhouse. Belt was a rookie then and didn't want to impose when he hadn't been around for the 2010 World Series run. This time he'll be a full-fledged participant when the Giants receive their 2012 World Series rings before today's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"It was hard to sleep last night," Belt said. "I thought about it a lot."
About an hour before the ceremony, four large blue boxes were carried out to the third-base line and placed on a white table. They apparently contain the Giants' rings, which Belt and manager Bruce Bochy both said they hadn't seen yet. (We have seen the replica rings being given away to fans at the park today -- they're pretty hefty).
Belt said catcher Buster Posey had showed him a ring trying to convince him it was the World Series ring.
"I was like, that's a (Single-A) San Jose championship ring," Belt said. "I'm not falling for that."
Bochy said he knows players are excited to get their rings, many for the second time in three years. "We've got some guys that are getting a ring for the first time, so I'm excited for them, too," Bochy said.
Bochy was asked which ring -- 2012 or 2010 -- he'd wear out for a special occasion.
"I would say probably the first one still," he said. "I'd mix it up. I think it's always the first one that is the one that kind of is symbolic of what you've been trying to do your whole career."
But he probably doesn't mind having a choice.
* The Giants' lineup that will face Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright:
And the Cardinals against Matt Cain
No Matt Holliday today against Cain. Instead left-handed hitting Matt Adams starts at first base with Allen Craig, who played first the past two games, moving out to left.
* The Giants will wear these gold-themed jerseys and hats today.
* A note from yesterday -- Bochy said that had Angel Pagan been thrown out of the game for arguing a called third strike in the seventh inning, Nick Noonan would have gone to the outfield to replace him.
Bochy had already used his fourth outfielder, Andres Torres, as part of a double switch in the top of the seventh. So Noonan, the Giants' utility infielder, would have been pressed into action. Bochy said he thinks Noonan has taken a few fly balls in practice.
Bochy said he could also have moved Belt to the outfield, Buster Posey to first base and brought in one of his backup catchers (Hector Sanchez later pinch hit in the eighth). But in that case, he said, it would have been Noonan.
Bochy credited home plate umpire Angel Hernandez with showing "a lot of patience" letting Pagan vent.
"I had to remind Angel (Pagan), 'You're my last outfielder,'" Bochy said. "Angel said, 'Oh, I forgot.'"
* Aubrey Huff is supposed to be on hand for the ring ceremony, but Bochy said he hadn't seen him as of about 11:45 a.m.
"He's probably going to parachute in here," Bochy said.
Bochy said he hadn't talked with former closer Brian Wilson, who is not expected to be here. Of the 25 members of the Giants' roster, 21 were on last year's World Series team.
-- Matt Kawahara