Yesterday there was a story about how the NFL has threatened to fine 49ers quarterback Alex Smith $15,000 for wearing a San Francisco Giants hat during his postgame press conferences because it didn’t meet the league’s approved wardrobe rules.
So today Giants manager Bruce Bochy showed his support for Smith by wearing a 49ers hat during his pregame meeting with reporters.
And because Bochy is known for having the biggest head in baseball, this is my favorite part of the story from Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News:
The Giants have hundreds of their own hats lying around the clubhouse, but finding a Niners hat that would fit Bochy wasn’t that easy. The manager normally wears a size 8 1/8, but the biggest size the Giants could find was a 7 3/4. Equipment manager Mike Murphy was tasked with making the math work.
“He’s got a hat-stretcher,” Bochy said. “He took care of it.”
And as you can see by the above photo courtesy of Pavlovic, Bochy isn’t so much wearing the 49ers hat as letting it sit on his head.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.