SAN FRANCISCO -- It's easily the question I get the most every time I come to AT&T Park and I've heard about it again plenty of times in the last three days: Did you walk out to McCovey Cove and what's it like? This is the third time I've been here (2002 World Series, 2007 All-Star Game) and I've made it a point to go out there each time. And while it's not nearly as large as it might look on television, the whole thing is still pretty breathtaking as ballpark backdrops go. The plaque to the left by the way is on the stone pillars just behind right field (click to read).
Got a few e-mails and Twitter replies (cheap plug: Follow me at BNHarrington) about the Cove shot I posted on yesterday's live blog. It's reprinted again here for your viewing pleasure (right) and be sure to click on it for a bigger view. The boats were out en masse yesterday as you would expect for a World Series game and it's the kind of shot television executives must love. We had a monitor in the auxiliary press box and saw how many times FOX was going to the blimp shot over the marina with all the boats in the cove. Can you blame them for using it that much? Gorgeous. Only thing in the bigs that would be close is PNC Park in Pittsburgh and I'm not seeing the Pirates playing deep in October any time soon.
The Giants are hosting postgame parties for media and corporate types across the bridge on the other side of the Cove at Pier 48, a massive 110,000-square foot venue (the requisite California salads were available last night as well as ballpark hot dogs). There are spectacular views of the ballpark from that side as well as the plaza and statue honoring Willie McCovey (left, click reminder)
The Giants do a fabulous job here honoring their history, although some people complain it's actually too much. The ballpark is at 24 Willie Mays Plaza and the Mays statue is the landmark at the home plate gate. There are also statues of Orlando Cepeda and Juan Marichal and plaques on the cove walkway honoring great moments in team history, most of which are No. 25's key home runs. Frankly, I don't think it's too much to honor your history when you have that much of it. I'd like to see some around HSBC Arena, where you wouldn't know we've had a hockey team in Buffalo for 40 years except for a few black-and-white photos plastered on a walkway from the parking ramp. (We got funky steel fake hockey players but where' s the French Connection statue?)
Anyway, at McCovey Plaza across from the Cove is a year-by-year tribute to the Opening Day lineup of each Giants team in San Francisco, from the best ones to the terrible ones. All the players names are listed and fans have purchased bricks. It's a great touch.
Walking the Cove is pretty awesome to do on a quiet morning. Right on the edge of the marina. Knowing it will be buzzing with the chaos of a World Series game in just a few hours. Be sure to check out my video look at that below. It starts at the marina with a view of the Bay Bridge in the distance and then turns toward the center-field gate of the ballpark and walks down the Cove behind right field.
We'll be back later with more info from today's pregame press conferences, which start at 4:30 Buffalo time.