DENVER -- Ballparks from coast to coast have made big league efforts to go "green" in recent years, taking on recycling and sustainability projects, encouraging "bike to the game" days and promoting an environmental consciousness that makes an impact throughout the season.
But as baseball celebrates Earth Day in 15 Major League parks, San Francisco is proud of its leading efforts as an environmental model.
In 2013, San Francisco won its sixth consecutive Green Glove Award for having the highest recycling rate in Major League Baseball. The Giants won in 2008 by diverting 43 percent of their waste from landfills to recycling, and they improved every year through 2012, when they peaked at a 95 percent diversion rate. In 2013, they diverted 94 percent of their waste.
The Giants were also awarded the WRAP Award (Waste Reduction Awards Program), administered by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) in 2010 for outstanding waste reduction efforts, and in 2012, they won the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California's highest environmental honor.
The Giants, in partnership with PG&E, became the first MLB ballpark to install a solar system that generates green energy for PG&E customers in San Francisco. AT&T Park boasts 590 Sharp solar panels on the Port walk along McCovey Cove, on a canopy over the Willie Mays pedestrian ramp and on the roof of the Giants Building. Since its installation in 2007, the solar system has provided enough energy to power over 5,200 homes and avoids the emission of over 360,000 pounds of greenhouse gases.
Watering the field has come under the Giants' scrutiny, as they've implemented inventive practices and weather monitoring to cut their irrigation use by 33-50 percent, helping in vital water conservation efforts.
AT&T Park is one of the most transit-friendly facilities in Major League Baseball, as more than half of the fans attending Giants games come to the park on public transportation, including bus, train and ferry.
The park also features a fully sustainable concession stand, comprehensive energy efficiency plans, a complete ban on smoking anywhere in the park -- including electronic cigarettes -- and the full recycling of their field, putting 3,000 tons of their 2011 field into the community as recycled topsoil and giving the sand to the San Jose Giants for their infield.
Quad strain sends Huff to DL; Perez recalled
DENVER -- David Huff's strong season was put on hold when the Giants placed him on the disabled list Tuesday with a left quad strain. Outfielder Juan Perez was activated and is with the team for the second meeting in a three-game set against the Rockies.
"It's kind of good news," Huff said of the MRI results he received Tuesday. "It's not a severe strain. I knew it was strained going into it. I just didn't know how bad."
Huff sustained the injury while beating out an infield single to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the third for his first big league hit.
"I thought it was going to get through," Huff said. "Then I saw Tulo dive for it and get to it, and I thought, 'Oh, wow, I might have a chance to beat this out.'"
Huff felt something tighten as he approached first, and felt it tighten further as he made his way around the bases on two successive singles and eventually scored the Giants' first run on a double-play grounder from Buster Posey.
He came in to relieve starter Ryan Vogelsong in the second and faced one hitter, inducing an inning-ending double play from Justin Morneau, and after scoring in the third, he did not return for the bottom of the inning.
"He thought it was mild enough that he still could pitch, but I checked on him when he came in," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's one of those things that it looks like it'll be seven to 10 days before he'd be back playing. We're better off giving him the 15 days and getting it cleared up."
Huff was optimistic the day after the injury and hopes to be ready when his 15-day stint on the disabled list comes to an end.
"It felt pretty good this morning when I woke up, so that's a good sign," Huff said. "Normally the next day it's pretty sore, pretty stiff, pretty painful. I wouldn't say it's better, but it's not worse. For me today, tomorrow, I'll kind of take it easy, and then start getting after it."
Huff is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA after throwing seven innings in eight games this season.
Perez kept ready with playing time at Triple-A
DENVER -- When Juan Perez was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on April 16 after making the Opening Day lineup, manager Bruce Bochy told him to be ready. He had been 0-for-8 in eight games with the Giants, including one start in center field.
"Just be ready," Perez said of his plan in Fresno. "Like Bochy was telling me, 'You never know, you might be here next week.' And here I am."
In the interim, Perez made five starts with Fresno, hitting .421 (8-for-19) with two doubles, two runs, three RBIs and a stolen base. When David Huff went on the disabled list with a strained left quad, Perez was as ready as he could be.
"I wanted to see a lot of pitches, which I did," Perez said. "I had three walks in 19 at-bats, 22 [plate appearances]. So seeing a lot of pitches was one of the main things I was really focusing on. And trying to drive runners when they were in scoring position."
The regular playing time was good for the outfielder, as it's been a struggle to break into the lineup behind Angel Pagan, Michael Morse and Hunter Pence.
"He had some good games down there," Bochy said. "But he'll still be used off the bench. I'll try to get him some starts here as soon as I can. But Morse, Pagan and Pence are going to be out there."
With the way Coors Field can tax a bullpen, and a day after starting the game with three pitchers in three innings and ultimately calling on four relievers for 6 2/3 innings Monday, Bochy might have been inclined to call up a pitcher and keep his staff at 13. Instead, he took the opportunity to return to a six man-bench and the standard 12 pitchers.
"We feel like we're OK on the pitching side right now," Bochy said. "We have two games here, then we have a day off. If we have to make a change, we can still do that. But for today's game we're better off going back to 12 pitchers and having an extra player on the bench."
Bochy admitted some concern about ensuring Pagan and Morse get occasional rest to keep them fresh and healthy.
"We've been really fortunate in the early going here with 13 pitchers that we haven't had any injuries or a situation where I had to put an infielder out in the outfield," Bochy said. "In two games here, they're long games, we just thought having the flexibility to be able to make a move out in the outfield was more important than having another pitcher. Now, with that said, if we went through our bullpen, we could make a change for tomorrow."
For his part, Perez is eager to take the groove he found in Fresno and make a difference with the Giants.
"You create momentum playing," Perez said. "You come back here, and you never know if you can be the guy to win a game -- pinch-hit, pinch-run, steal a big bag during the game, do something special, make a play in the outfield. It feels good to be back here."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.