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Wilmer Flores the Giant: New look, same endearing walkup song

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The hair was new. The walkup song will be the same.

The Giants hope the bat will remain, too.

Wilmer Flores, talking publicly for the first time since he became the recipient of Farhan Zaidi’s first multi-year deal with the Giants, unveiled a bleached-blond look at Day Two of spring training pitchers and catchers workouts.

“Definitely an honor. I actually didn’t know that,” Flores said Thursday of being the first Zaidi committed to, with two years and $6.25 million guaranteed. “… Anytime a team wants you, you feel happy about that.”

The reputation of the franchise makes him smile, too, referencing the championships and the veterans who have been around for multiple pieces of World Series jewelry. Of course, that era’s only holdovers are Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, all who have declined in recent seasons.

“They’re winners,” said the 28-year-old. “You see all the veteran guys here, they know how to play the game. They won a couple championships. You want to be around those guys.”

Flores brings a flexible, if not above-average, glove that can move around the infield and a righty swing that destroyed lefties last season (.337/.367/.615). He also brings a willingness to play “anywhere they want me,” likely seeing a good amount of time at second and spelling Brandon Crawford at first.

Flores said he had a few major league offers that he rejected, choosing the Giants over the competitors. The fact San Francisco was offering him stability — he had been a free agent two straight offseasons, his bridge year coming in Arizona — was “definitely” a big factor, Flores said.

“Nice to have a guy who can play two positions on the right side of the diamond and get big hits off lefties for us,” said Gabe Kapler, who remembered a walk-off blast Flores the Met hit off Kapler’s Phillies in 2018. “We’re really excited to have Wilmer in camp.”

The music in camp might become diversified, too. Flores, a Venezuela native, learned English through watching “Friends” as he climbed the Mets’ system, and the show’s theme became his walkup music.

He’s not abandoning “I’ll Be There for You.”

“I love that show. I have all the DVDs,” said Flores, adding he’ll pop them in before he goes to sleep at night.


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