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Giants vs. Cardinals: MLB Schedule Preview: Giants Host Cardinals for Home Opening Series

After starting the season with back-to-back road series against the Dodgers and Padres, the San Francisco Giants are finally heading to AT&T Park for their home opening series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. It will be one for the record books this weekend as the Giants are set to celebrate their 2010 World Series championship with a number of activities recognizing the team's successes of last year, as well as hopefully getting some more wins. 

Friday's afternoon game will commence with the raising of the World Championship Banner as Jonathan Sanchez (0-1) gets the nod for the home opener against the Cardinals' Jake Westbrook (0-1). Saturday will have the World Series ring ceremony before the game with Matt Cain (1-0) squaring off with Jaime Garcia (1-0) for the red birds, and Sunday will honor Buster Posey's Rookie of the Year Award last year with Barry Zito (0-0) taking on Kyle Lohse (0-1). All three games are completely sold out which just goes to show home appreciative Giants fans are of their team.

Reliever Jeremy Affeldt feels that the championship ring is important for closure:

"A lot of us have been asked, 'What was the offseason like, totally different?' And I would say, 'I don't know if I felt a whole lot different, because I don't have that ring, It hasn't been handed to us yet. That will probably be the seal for us as saying, 'We're world champs,' when we have that ring. There's something tangible there. Just being told you're a champ, it feels good. But I don't think you actually fully grasp it until you have that ring. It's something you can actually look at and hold."    

Here's Aaron Rowand's take of the weekend's festivities:

"It's the last time in any official capacity that you'll be brought back to last year. From then on, it's moving forward. But it's neat. It's something special that the fans and everybody will find unique."

The Giants will be looking to improve their 2-4 record against a 2-4 Cardinals team whose sputtering offense ranks them 28th in the MLB in runs scored to start the season. Hopefully the Giants can bring the lumber at the plate and the heat from the mound to give the hometown crowd something to cheer about during an already fun-filled, historic weekend for the city of San Francisco. 

For more discussion and analysis of the San Francisco Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles to get in on the action.