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Romo 'stoked' for return to San Francisco

MLB.com @kengurnick

SAN FRANCISCO -- While the Giants were taking batting practice at AT&T Park on Monday, there was black and orange everywhere with one spot of Dodger Blue: Sergio Romo, hanging with his old pals.

Romo literally made the rounds, touching and talking to former teammates, having a lengthy exchange with Giants manager Bruce Bochy, renewing acquaintances with security guards and media and all the backstage workers that ballplayers come to know when they are lucky enough to spend the better part of a decade with one club.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- While the Giants were taking batting practice at AT&T Park on Monday, there was black and orange everywhere with one spot of Dodger Blue: Sergio Romo, hanging with his old pals.

Romo literally made the rounds, touching and talking to former teammates, having a lengthy exchange with Giants manager Bruce Bochy, renewing acquaintances with security guards and media and all the backstage workers that ballplayers come to know when they are lucky enough to spend the better part of a decade with one club.

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Romo now is a Dodger, the team he rooted for growing up in Brawley, after winning three World Series with the Giants. When he arrived at the park, he walked in from left field as visiting players often do, but stopped and stood momentarily on the Giants mound where he warmed up all those times.

"I walked into the stadium and didn't know if they even would allow me into that clubhouse or not," he said. "I'm so stoked. Like a little kid jumping inside, waiting to get out there. I just hope when my outing is over, I go to the first-base side and not the third-base side."

For all of the warm emotions, Romo said he knows where he now stands in the Dodgers-Giants rivalry.

"It's on, that's all I know," he said. "I respected the rivalry as a fan before I played for the Giants. Then as a Giant and now as a Dodger. I've got to go for it, even though my opponents are familiar folks. Can't call them familiar foes, because I never played against them. It's going to be hard to hide back that smile. Friends in the box, friends in this ballpark, familiar fans and familiar atmosphere. But when it comes to the professional side, it's on. Coming for you guys."

He said he's hoping the fans give him a "happy-to-see-you type of thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if I get a quick reminder that I'm wearing other colors now.

"It's going to be weird, going to be different," he said. "I'm excited about warming up because I've heard a bunch of stories about the right-field bullpen crowd. Interested to see what that might be like for me."

He said the first thing he did when he signed with the Dodgers was tell his dad. The second thing he did was check the schedule to see when he'd return to San Francisco.

"For me, it's a homecoming," he said.

Romo was asked what he thought of Giants ace Madison Bumgarner getting injured in a dirt-bike accident.

"I was a little surprised," he said. "Not that I don't know him to be adventurous or exciting or to be extreme, but during the season, to actually go hard enough to get hurt to that extreme, I was a little surprised and saddened. Although we're no longer teammates, I still care; he's still my friend. I want him to be happy and healthy."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Sergio Romo