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Collecting the inside dirt on ... new dirt

Collecting the inside dirt on ... new dirt
The Giants' brand-new infielders are playing on brand-new dirt. The Giants replaced the old stuff with special clay found only in Pennsylvania called Pittsburgh redbed that also is used by the Mets and Phillies.

Senior vice president of ballpark operations Jorge Costa said the new dirt needs less water to keep firm, so it fits into the club's green-ballpark initiative, and clumps less in games. During the first two games, though, some players noticed odd hops on the rain-dampened infield.

"It plays different," second baseman Emmanuel Burriss said. "It's a lot faster. I've seen a couple of bad hops with Edgar Renteria and Pablo Sandoval . We had a funny hop the other day, me and Edgar, turning a double play. The ball almost hit him in the face."

Other balls have stayed down when the infielders anticipated hops.

Costa acknowledged the rain might be having an effect but said the Mets and Phillies have raved about the Pennsylvania clay. He said groundskeepers demonstrated it to the front office before it was purchased and "we've gotten positive reviews from the players. Once we get to a dryer time, we'll see the benefits of it. It just plays better."

ADENHART REACTION: Manager Bruce Bochy need not imagine what the Angels are enduring in light of pitcher Nick Adenhart 's death. Bochy went through it in 2002 when Padres outfielder Mike Darr was killed in a spring training car crash. All of Bochy's players attended the service.

"That funeral was more difficult for me because I played with his dad in Venezuela and Mike was a little kid running around the clubhouse," Bochy said. "It was a tough day. Time does help, but you never forget it. Every year in spring training, we drive by where the accident was. I think about it every time."

The Giants faced Adenhart twice in spring training. Rich Aurilia , who batted against him March 16, said, "It makes you realize, as a player, anything can happen anytime whether it's your fault or not. I can't imagine what his family and the Angels are going through."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 10, 2009

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