August 2006

From the Ground to the Bigs

Well sorry for the delay in this one, just been waiting for something
interesting to happen in the road through the minors these past few weeks.
Thanks for all of the comments I have read them all and appreciate the feedback.
(minus the lone Dodger fan).

A day after getting hit square in the jaw by a 90+ MPH fastball in Fresno.  From
laying on the ground with pain shooting through my mouth and blood being spit
out, I find myself in my own room, in a hotel in downtown San Diego.  Well
that?s because for the fourth time I am back up in ?The Show,? and hopefully
this time is for good.  This is how the game of a minor leaguer/big leaguer
works, things just happen.  I go from wondering if my jaw is broken to being in
the batters box the next night in front of 32,000 in San Diego.

So what have I walked into?  Well a team that is struggling, just barely losing
and trying to find something to turn everything around.  I am not here to be a
savior or anything of that sort.  I know I am here to bring the youthful energy
and fun that needs to be their.  I am not here to be the starter, I am here to
be whatever the Giants need and want me to be and they know they will get
everything from me.  All I know is I have the Giants jersey back on and the #19
on my back?.(another blog soon to come).

The last few weeks back in Fresno people are always asking when are you going to
go back up?  Well it was always the same answer, whenever it is my time to go
up.  I am not making decisions I was down in Fresno to play, to become/continue
to be a ball player, to get AB?s, play other positions, and most of all take
what I had learned in my previous three stints in the big leagues and continue
to progress.  That?s where I feel I will succeed compared to most, because I am
not looking towards what could be, I needed to get better, practice at that
moment, and play for the moment I was in.  The call to get back up in the big
leagues was not even a vision, I had plenty to work on and prove where I was in
Fresno.

For weeks, our manager Shane Turner and I worked on the littlest of things at
second base, whether it was a pivot on a double play, specific footwork in
feeding the shortstop to start a double play, positioning, and most of all just
talking the game and situations that had occurred or will occur during a game. 
On the other side, I worked exclusively with Jim Bowie our hitting coach on
trying to become a more patient hitter and use the field that gives me the best
chance to hit, up the middle.  It is known I am not a very patient hitter as far
as taking my walks, but I want to hit.  That gets me into trouble sometimes and
we really hammered that aspect, and it really paid off  the last few weeks. 
Boo, myself, and a couple of teammates played a game everyday off the machine in
the batting cage, to see how many line drives we could hit up the middle, off
the screen, without touching the sides or the top of the cage.  The competition
was 3 rounds of 5 pitches have to swing at everyth
ing to be able to handle every pitch and take it up the middle.  And that game
right there, has landed me where I am tonight, I know for a fact what Boo was
able to do offensively with me and what Shane did with my extra work defensively
has improved me so much and given me yet another opportunity here in the big
leagues.

So now I am back, the extra work will continue and the game hopefully will be
played to keep me in the right frame of mind at the plate.  I want nothing more
than to win here, winning is the world and winning in that Giants uniform is the
goal?..and hopefully it will be the usual dirty uni that I put on.