- Jim Caple, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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Seattle Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis says CC Sabathia told him that only nerds wear World Series rings. Willis wears his Series ring from the Minnesota Twins' 1991 win anyway. "There are plenty of times when you're having a horses--- day, and it's nice to look down at the ring and know that you had some pretty good days, too."
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy understands Willis' viewpoint, and come this weekend, he'll also be able to enjoy Willis' view of an actual championship ring on his finger. Saturday night, Bochy's San Francisco Giants will become the first Giants to receive World Series champions rings since the team moved from New York 53 years ago.
"You look down, and it does remind you of what you accomplished. It spurs great memories. To me, you never let go of those memories. You savor them," Bochy said, anticipating the ring. "And now you have something on your finger that brings back those memories. I'm sure we'll have our ups and downs this year, but hopefully guys wearing them will look down at them and say, 'You know what? We did it last year, and we can do it again.'"
Nerd or not, Bochy intends to wear his ring.
"If you see me after a game, I don't wear much, but I'm going to wear this and wear it with pride," he said. "It's pretty special. I waited a long time for this. I'll definitely wear it. I'll wear it every day. It means too much to me. It's too special.
"I've been to a couple World Series before, and I didn't wear those [league championship] rings. It was a sense of accomplishment, but you knew they meant you got beat somewhere. This time, we're the world champions. We won it all. I'll definitely wear it every day."
Not everyone will. Giants infielder Mark DeRosa, who missed last year's postseason and much of the regular season after wrist surgery, says he won't wear his ring very often. He has seen other players wear theirs, but says a big ring isn't his style. He'll keep it in his house as a conversation piece.
"I will put it on display in my office," he said. "It's something people will get a chance to see, that I'll get to see, but I definitely won't be wearing it."
Willis' World Series ring is nicely understated (tight-walleted banker Carl Pohlad, after all, was paying for it), but championship rings have grown larger and more ostentatious in the years since so that they now must be like wearing a bowling ball on your hand. The New York Yankees' 2009 rings had 119 diamonds totaling 3.5 carats, or enough bling to satisfy all of Derek Jeter's girlfriends since his rookie season. The
The Marlins' ring is so over-the-top it's a wonder there isn't a platinum and sapphire depiction of Steve Bartman reaching for the foul ball in Game 6 of the NLCS. Heck, the ring's weight alone probably caused Josh Beckett's finger injury that put him on the disabled list in 2004.
"That's the problem; they're so big and gaudy, it's tough to wear," DeRosa said. "Maybe my wife will wear it."
The Giants haven't revealed their ring design, but Bochy said, "I think these will be built to wear. Not like some of the rings that look better in a trophy case. This is for daily wear."
Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
Follow Jim Caple on Twitter: @jimcaple