White House visit still special to Giants
Veterans, rookies alike looking forward to presidential honor
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will make a pit stop in a familiar place Thursday before heading to Philadelphia to open a three-game series with the Phillies.
For the third time since 2010, President Barack Obama will welcome manager Bruce Bochy and the Giants to the White House to honor their World Series championship last season.
Though the club has made visits to the president's home seem like regular occurrences in recent years, Bochy says it doesn't take the experience for granted.
"These are memories that you keep," Bochy said before Tuesday's game against Pittsburgh. "We're pretty fortunate and blessed to have this happen and we know it."
Relief pitcher Javier Lopez has been a part of each of the past three Giants World Series championship teams and also was a member of the 2007 Red Sox team that won the title.
Lopez, who attended Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Va., never made a visit to the White House in his youth, but will make his fourth trip to see the commander in chief since entering the Major Leagues.
"You have that opportunity to really just enjoy that moment when you get to meet the president of the United States," Lopez said. "That's not something that every citizen gets an opportunity to do."
Rookie third baseman Matt Duffy received a late-season callup last year and stuck with the team throughout the postseason. He scored a run in both the National League Championship Series and the World Series and will make his first appearance at the White House.
"I don't really know what to expect," Duffy said. "But the guys said it's a fun day and it'll be a good experience and something I will remember forever."
Bochy said before Wednesday's game that Tim Lincecum will opt out of the celebration to get an extra day of rest. The right-hander is scheduled to start Friday night in the series opener.
Former Giant and current Miami Marlins first baseman Michael Morse will join San Francisco in attending the White House ceremony in the nation's capital Thursday. Morse is on the 15-day disabled list nursing a finger sprain.