08/17/2007 9:03 AM ET
Aurilia: Returning home to the Bay Area
It feels like I just took a little vacation -- about three years -- away from San Francisco. A lot of things have changed since I was here the first time, but there's still a sense of familiarity. It feels like home.
The players have changed, save for one or two guys, but there are still a lot of familiar faces in the organization.
San Francisco was very high on my list when I was considering my free agent options this past winter. I knew that I liked the city and I liked playing there. Secondly, I knew that they would give me the opportunity to play. I believe I can still play on an everyday basis, whether it's one position or four different positions. The Giants gave me that opportunity and it was something that I wanted to take advantage of.
Moving around on the field and playing different positions is something I treat as a challenge. It's something that I've been doing for a couple of years. So far this year, I've played all four of the infield positions. Being versatile is something that I think has made me a better player and a more valuable player.
When I was with the Giants the first time, I primarily played shortstop. Omar Vizquel is our everyday shortstop now and he's one of the best ever at the position. It's unbelievable to watch him play, even at age 40. Not only does he go out and perform on a daily basis, but he does it at the highest level, especially defensively.
I never really got a chance to see him play when he was in the American League. I've learned since he's come over to the NL that I'd rather watch him play on my side than have him in the opposing dugout.
Another reason I chose to come back here was that this team was originally put together to win this year, even though it hasn't worked out that way. At the time, that was a very attractive reason. We were built to win the first time I was here, too, which shows you something about the organizational mindset.
I love that about the Giants. They show the fans that they want to go out every season and win. It might not always work out. But they're not focused on winning next year or five years down the road. The Giants want to win now.
Rich Aurilia broke into the big leagues with the Giants in 1995 and played through 2003, the highlight a trip to the World Series in 2002. Before returning this season he spent time with San Diego, Seattle and Cincinnati.