Giants manager Bruce Bochy supports 49ers QB Smith
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)
Bruce Bochy made his own statement in support of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.
The Giants manager wore a red 49ers cap in the dugout before the series finale against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, a day after Smith said he'd been fined $15,000 last season by the NFL for sporting a Giants hat after games - though the fine was later dropped.
''That's why I'm wearing this hat,'' Bochy said. ''We're having fun with this. It's our way of supporting him for supporting us. We're all 49er fans here. This is in honor of Alex. I'm glad he didn't have to pay the fine. That's good news.''
Bochy had seen Smith in the Giants hat and sees the No. 1 overall draft pick from 2005 when he attends games at AT&T Park to support San Francisco's baseball team.
''I've seen him out here, and I was aware he was wearing the Giants hat,'' Bochy said. ''That's pretty neat. That's why I'm wearing this. We appreciate their support.''
While Bochy wears a large hat size - 8 1/8 - equipment manager Mike Murphy put the 7 3/4 Niners cap in the stretcher so it would fit.
Smith and the reigning NFC West champion 49ers (2-0) play Sunday at Minnesota. The Giants are closing in on their second NL West crown in three years after winning the World Series in 2010. So, there's plenty of Bay Area hype for San Francisco's teams right now.
Bochy and reigning NFL Coach of the Year Jim Harbaugh have exchanged messages, too. Bochy hopes to meet Harbaugh and get down to a practice once the season is over.
''I'm a big 49er fan,'' Bochy said. ''Since I've been here, I've always followed them. What a great club they are. Great team, tremendous defense, coach Jim Harbaugh and the quarterback. They're solid. Tremendous year last year and they're going to have another great year this year.''
Walking through the locker room at team headquarters in Santa Clara, Smith was told about Bochy's hat.
He smiled and said: ''Oh, yeah, sweet. Five's the magic number, right?''
And, after the Giants beat the Rockies 9-2 to complete a four-game sweep, the number was three - and later, once the second-place Dodgers lost at Washington, it dropped to three. Reliever Sergio Romo got into the 49ers spirit, too, leaving the ballpark in a No. 99 red uniform of linebacker Aldon Smith.
''We're 1-0 with that hat,'' Bochy quipped. ''I'm going to have to break it out again.''
AP Sports Writer Antonio Gonzalez contributed to this story.