SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy predicted there might be some "goosebumps" for his team during today's pre-game ceremonies at AT&T Park, which included the raising of the Giants' 2012 World Series championship banner.
"It's so special seeing the flag go up and, again, realize you are the world champions," Bochy said.
Turned out the manager had a good view from center field as six of his players raised the orange-and-black flag prior to the Giants' home opener against the Cardinals. Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence, Sergio Romo and Ryan Vogelsong all helped carry the banner up the center-field bleachers and to the flagpole in right-center.
The roughly 45-minute festivities began with introductions of both teams. For St. Louis, assistant hitting coach and former Giants catcher Bengie Molina received a loud round of applause from the AT&T Park crowd. Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday, who took out Marco Scutaro with a hard slide on this field in last year's NLCS, were roundly booed.
Introductions of the Giants began with Bochy walking from the center-field wall holding the World Series trophy and placing it on a podium behind second base. The Giants then took turns jogging in from center field. After the cast of "Jersey Boys" performed the national anthem, NLCS MVP Scutaro and World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval threw out simultaneous first pitches, with Scutaro throwing his sidearm.
Following a video montage of the 2012 season -- the Cardinals had returned to their dugout by this time -- the championship banner was brought in from McCovey Cove on a fire department tugboat. It was handed off the boat to several fans, who carried it onto the field and passed it off to Bochy and the half-dozen players.
Two years ago, closer Brian Wilson alone brought the flag into the bleachers. This time, as the rest of the Giants watched from the third-base line (minus starting pitcher Barry Zito and catcher Buster Posey, who were warming up in the outfield), Bochy carried the flag to the center-field wall, where he handed it to Cain. All six players held the flag as Vogelsong hooked it onto the flagpole, then took turns hoisting it.
-- Matt Kawahara
PHOTO: The 2012 world championship flag is raised in the outfield by members of the San Francisco Giants before the Giants baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, April 5, 2013, in San Francisco. AP Photo/Tony Avelar