Greek Giant

Amy G. (the “G” is for “Gutierrez”) is a fixture in Giants nation for her interactions with fans during home games and for her post-game interviews with players. A key component of the CSN Bay Area Giants broadcast crew, Amy G. is also an author of children’s books, a busy mom and wife, and an active member of the Bay Area community.

In 2013, the Petaluma native published Smarty Marty’s Got Game. Illustrated by Adam McCauley, the title character, Marty, is based upon Amy’s mother and grandmother who passed away before the book was completed. Her new book, due out in March of 2017, is called Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game.

Amy G. has become a fixture for the Giants relationship to the fans. More than most in-game reporters, Amy G. combines her baseball smarts with a welcoming persona that inspires both fans and ballplayers alike to make viewers feel like she is interviewing one of her friends. She has witnessed many unforgettable moments in Giants recent history and has become one of the faces of the franchise.

This interview was conducted over Email in the Fall of 2016.

Together We’re Giants:  2017 will be your tenth year covering the Giants. Congratulations on an exciting and successful run! Describe some of your career highlights. What moments stand out the most for you? 

Amy G.: There are so many great moments that have happened with the Giants since I started covering them in 2008. The first true milestone reporting moment for me though was covering the Jonathan Sanchez 2009 no-hitter. It was incredibly emotional with his father in the stands and was very significant for Jonathan’s career since he was struggling that season. I went on to witness 3 World Series Championships, a Matt Cain perfect game, 2 Tim Lincecum no-no’s and so much more. It’s been anything but dull.

TWG: Which of the Giants gives the most insightful and thoughtful interviews? Why?

AG: I’m fortunate that with this particular club anyone/everyone is a good interview. Some show more personality, but in general every player makes himself available and is generous with his time.

TWG: Which of the Giants gives you the funniest interviews? Why?

AG: There are a lot of characters on the team. Usually the veteran players are able to have more fun in an interview, they’ve just had more time to feel confident in their role. But Jeremy Affeldt and Jake Peavy were a guaranteed laugh, and Brandon Belt has a great sense of humor. Hands down the funniest Giants to interview….Kruk & Kuip!

TWG: You are known for telling great stories from both fan’s and player’s perspectives. What are some of the keys to your success connecting the numbers with the stories in baseball?

AG: I think I just have a love of both baseball and human interest stories. Combining them is just bonus! It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding to know you can use the stage of Major League Baseball to help people in so many ways beyond the diamond. And it’s always fun to see people connect and aide them in making the players tangible. They’re just people after all.

TWG: Do you think times have changed in the past ten years to make things easier for female reporters in the locker rooms and on the fields of Major League baseball? Do you think the players are more respectful and accepting of women reporters now than they were when you first started out? 

AG: I don’t know if it’s a matter of players being more accepting that women are in the clubhouse as that’s just what this generation of player knows. The women before me blazed quite a trail and while there are still challenges being a female in a male-dominated world, we are making strides and it’s important to point out the Giants organization is extremely progressive which makes everyone who works with them or for them feel they can accomplish their career goals no matter their gender.

TWG: Which personality is the one person you would like to interview that you have not had the privilege of interviewing yet? Why?

AG: I’ve come across really great interview opportunities while covering the Giants. From Billy Jean King to Benjamin Bratt. I never really had to stop and say “I wish I could interview this person” because I’ve been able to have discussions with so many people I enjoy. You never know who’s going to show up to a Giants game so I just keep myself ready and feel fortunate for the unique position I have to chat up very familiar faces.

TWG: If your children could interview you in ten years what is the first question you would like them to ask you? 

AG: “Can I snuggle with you?”

TWG: Do you ever grow weary of the same tired and true sports cliches ballplayers utter during their interviews? What do you do to entice more original and evocative responses? 

AG: I usually have fun with them. There are 162 games. They will be asked the same questions and inevitably they’ll run out of original answers. It’s not easy to be interviewed. I try and take something from the game that was interesting or humorous and set them at ease. Then, if I feel a cliche coming I’ll say it first, like, “I know you’re going to tell me you have to take it one game at a time, but how hard is that to do….” Put your own spin or twist on a redundant Q&A.

TWG: What was the strangest interview you ever conducted?

AG: The honor goes to one of my favorites. Tim Lincecum whom after the Giants clinched a playoff spot after winning the final game of the regular season in 2010 I asked, “Are you ready for a champagne shower?” And he blissfully screamed, “f*^% yeah!” on LIVE tv. Then he ran down the steps turned around and called for me and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.” That was a recovery like none other.

TWG: You are a fixture in the Bay Area sports and cultural scene. Has stardom affected your personal life in any way? 

AG: I laugh at the word “stardom”, but yes, life has changed. I still consider myself a small town gal from Petaluma. But it’s hard to go places and not be recognized and it’s really hard to lose your privacy. I just visited New Orleans and was recognized in none other than a bar and then saw them trying to not so tactfully take photos. I just asked them to stop. I don’t like having my personal time documented and it’s been challenging to find a balance. All I ask, is ASK. Happy to take photos with people who remember I’m just a person out with family or friends and sneaking pictures is, well…sneaky.

TWG: Congratulations on the publication of your new book, Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game (Cameron + Company), due out in the Spring.  Can you give us a bit of a preview about the book and it’s story line? 

AG: I’m so excited to take the character of Smarty Marty to the next level. My picture book came out in 2013 and kids and parents have embraced this young lady who’s a wiz with baseball and uses the lost art of scoring to interest her little brother, Mikey, in the game. 

This next book is the first of a series. It’s a chapter book so the audience is a little older and Marty is still the town’s resident baseball genius, but comes across challenges from her male peer group and battles whether she belongs. I think there are some great lessons for any age group in Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game and I am constantly inspired by her!

TWG: Can you describe the process of writing the book? Which children’s book authors do you look to for inspiration?

AG: I wrote the book during the 2016 season. I actually wrote quite a bit in the Giants dugout early in the day while I was waiting for players to arrive. It was a good setting! The main idea was decided prior to the writing process but it was fun and very challenging to see the characters develop and decide what path I wanted them to take. 

I’ve always been a reader. As kids we had a “bed time”, but we could stay up past our bed time if we wanted to read. Judy Blume was one of my favorite authors. I love sibling storylines and think it’s relatable to so many. As a parent I’m a huge fan of Roald Dahl whom my 8 year-old daughter loves. 

TWG: Looking forward in your career do you see yourself writing more books as your children get older?

AG: I certainly hope so. It’s a wonderful way to connect with your kids and stay abreast of what they find interesting. They love feeling involved. Both of my children read along as I was completing chapters. 

TWG: How do your kids like your books? How often do you read to them in general?

AG: My children think it’s very cool that I wrote a children’s book and both my husband and I are proud we have been able to put “author” on our resume. At 11 and 8, my kids reading levels are well beyond me reading to them. They read to me though, often and I love it! They do love to look through Smarty Marty’s Got Game and talk about several references to them and our family. They are also fantastic helpers at book signings and enjoy being at book events I host.

TWG: How do you handle all these duties (mom, wife, Giants reporter, and author) so successfully?

AG: Carefully, LOL! I just always try and find some balance. It’s difficult, not gonna sugarcoat it. But I have an amazing support system of family and friends and a husband who’s all in. I couldn’t do it by myself, that’s for sure. I really enjoy having a diverse and busy life and feeling challenged every day. It makes me a better person and in turn and better mother and wife. 

TWG: When you venture among the fans during games for interviews and stories, what type of fan are you seeking out? Is there a step-by-step “How to get Amy G’s attention” guide you care to share with us? 

AG: I think I can better answer “what NOT to do”, LOL. It’s actually rare we have an in-game interview that’s NOT already set up. We don’t do much “random” when the camera goes on. What I can share is I will always do my best to be kind and respectful to the Giants fan base. Most people don’t know I wear an earpiece and I can’t hear a lot of people calling for our attention. I also am working and if I blow by someone it’s simply because I have to get to a location, stat! In general, I think my relationship with Giants fans is pretty fantastic and I’m always appreciative of their support.