SAN FRANCISCO — Travis Ishikawa was born in Seattle and grew up in Washington, so when he took the stage for a question-and-answer session at FanFest, Ishikawa was asked if he is a Seattle Seahawks fan. Ishikawa, knowing he now lives and plays in 49ers territory, paused for a second and turned to Javier Lopez, who was sitting to his left.
“He’s just here so he doesn’t get fined,” Lopez said.
With that nod to Marshawn Lynch, the Giants were off. Manager Bruce Bochy and 13 of his players took the stage on the third level at AT&T Park, answering questions from some of the estimated 30,000 fans who showed up for FanFest. As always, the sessions were goofy, filled with laughs, cheers, prom invites and good-natured barbs. Here are some of the highlights:
— Lopez was asked about life in the bullpen and told an entertaining story about former Giants closer Brian Wilson, who would sit with a hood hanging over his trademark beard. When the Giants were in Pittsburgh one night a few years ago, fans behind the visiting bullpen heckled Wilson mercilessly the entire game. Finally, Wilson stood up, ripped his hoodie off and challenged the fans to a fight. When a cop nearby started looking around, wondering what to do, Wilson (who years later would confront team president and CEO Larry Baer after a game) screamed: “Open the door! Let ‘em in!”
— Since Derek Jeter retired, Lopez leads all active players with four rings. Lopez has three with the Giants and won with the Boston Red Sox in 2007. He joked he’s brought the fact up when talking to general manager Brian Sabean and assistant GM Bobby Evans. “If you trade me,” Lopez said, “Bad things happen.”
— The Giants will wear new alternate black jerseys on Saturdays, starting with Metallica Day on May 2. Players and coaches wore the black tops as they walked around AT&T Park on Saturday, but Lopez admitted he wanted a different look. “I voted for orange pants,” he said.
In other jersey news, Casey McGehee will wear No. 6 and Ron Wotus will switch back to No. 10 because new left fielder Nori Aoki wanted to wear No. 23. Wotus has changed his number six times during his Giants tenure, giving his number away to players such as Dave Roberts, Aubrey Huff and Tim Hudson. Aoki offered Wotus new golf clubs or a rolex for the swap, but the bench coach gave the number away for free.
— How much time will Ishikawa, the surprise starter in left field during the postseason, get in the outfield this year? The longtime first baseman gave a hint Saturday, saying he has been listed with the outfielders during team events this week, not the infielders.
— As always, the talkative Jeremy Affeldt was a punching bag for teammates. McGehee said he hasn’t been hazed so far, but he did have to sit next to Affeldt on a team bus this week.
“It was the only open seat,” Sergio Romo said.
“I was trying to call a cab,” McGehee responded.
When Matt Cain took the stage, a fan asked if he’s leaner than he has been in the past. Cain said he’s not eating as much because he has “seen Affeldt and seen what happens when you get old.” Affeldt took the stage with Tim Hudson and Buster Posey, and when listing pitchers he liked catching when he was called up, Posey smiled and listed just about every current Giants veteran but Affeldt. He even mentioned Brandon Medders, who was last a Giant in 2010.
Affeldt took it all in stride, even taking a shot at himself. When asked which teammate he wouldn’t want to share a room with, Affeldt thought for a few seconds and then said: “Probably myself.”
There was some love shown for Affeldt, one of the more popular players in the clubhouse. One fan chose not to ask a question, but rather to offer praise to Affeldt for his work on and off the field. Posey interrupted.
“WHO IS PAYING THAT MAN?!” he yelled.
— Ryan Vogelsong played in Japan earlier in his career, but he doesn’t plan on serving as a translator for Aoki. “I don’t remember much Japanese, and the words I did know, if I said those to him, he wouldn’t appreciate it,” Vogelsong said.
— Vogelsong, Cain and Joe Panik were asked which teammate they would choose to face in a wrestling match. Panik chose Bumgarner, just to see how strong he is. Vogelsong said he knows he wouldn’t choose Tim Lincecum. “He’s too wiry,” Vogelsong said. “It would be like trying to catch a chicken.”
“I’d go with Affeldt,” Cain said, continuing the day’s theme. “Right when he steps in the ring he’s going to do something dumb and get hurt.”
“His son took him out,” Vogelsong said, referencing a strange injury Affeldt suffered early in his Giants career. “So you can take him out.”
— A fan asked Vogelsong if he remembers any good advice from a former Giant and he told a quick story about Will Clark. “Vogey!” Clark yelled at the right-hander in the clubhouse one day. “Would you stop sucking?!”
— The stage wasn’t just a home for jokes. When asked two serious questions, Bochy said that he doesn’t anticipate pitch clocks being brought to MLB stadiums and he believes managers won’t have to walk on the field to challenge calls anymore. They’ll stand on the top step, Bochy said, keeping them from making the awkward and long walk to umpires as they wait for a signal from the dugout. Bochy also said that for two or three days after the World Series, he woke up thinking about his lineup. That later led to a conversation about Brandon Crawford hitting cleanup.
“I got to hit cleanup once in my career,” Crawford said, turning to Bochy. “I don’t know what you were drinking the night before.”