Giants go old school with pregame infield practice

Giants go old school with pregame infield practice

NEW YORK -- The last baseball-related act that occurred at Yankee Stadium before Sunday's pregame festivities honoring Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was a relatively rare sight: the Giants took infield practice.

The drills were formerly part of every team's daily routine, but became infrequent during the late 1990s. Since then, teams occasionally have revived the custom when they believe they need the extra work. The Giants did this late in 2008 -- which happened to be their last sub-.500 season until this one -- when they had an influx of rookies and near-rookies such as Pablo Sandoval, John Bowker, Travis Ishikawa and Fred Lewis.

Now, with the Giants struggling to avoid last place in the National League West and the club having played erratic defense all year, manager Bruce Bochy seized the opportunity to sharpen his players' skills -- even at this late juncture of the season.

"You never stop trying to get better," Bochy said. "Even though we aren't happy where we are, you have to keep doing your job, and your job is to get better."

Chris Haft is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.