Fathers Day QA
I’m going right to your questions. I’ll try to cover all of them, but if I miss yours, please post it again. I promise to answer.
I was asked why I chose the song, “Can’t Be Touched,” to play over the PA when I come to bat. It was the 2000 season in Anaheim and I was struggling at the plate. So I was looking for a song to listen to that would motivate me. Roy Jones, Jr. is my favorite boxer, so before a game one day I listened to his recording of “Can’t Be Touched.” I went 3-for-4 that day and ever since then it’s been my song.
One young man asked if he could be a catcher even though he is left-handed. He said he was told all his life he couldn’t do it, so he gave it up. Coaches never should tell a kid he can’t do something that he really wants to do. He can be whatever he wants to be. There aren’t any left-handed catchers in the big leagues, but that doesn’t mean there CAN’T be. It means it’s going to be harder for a lefty. And that’s no reason not to do something you really want to do.
Several people asked about the play the other day at the plate in the ninth inning. Jack Taschner was pitching. The game was tied. There was a man on third. The batter hit a fly ball to left field. Freddie Lewis threw a bullet to the right side of home plate. With the runner bearing down, I knew I had a split-second to grab the ball and swipe. The ball hit my glove but didn’t stay in. The umpire called the runner out, then saw the ball on the ground and changed his call.
I watched the video afterward. If I get the same play today, I’d do the same thing. It’s the only play. If you wait to secure the ball in your glove, the guy’s safe anyway. The truth is, I thought the guy was safe even if the ball had stayed in my glove. We were going to catch a break. That was a tough day all around. I didn’t feel like I was at my best. I left guys on base. All I wanted to do after the game was get out of the park, hole up in my hotel room, watch some TV and recharge my batteries.
OK, another question was whether hitting or catching is easier. That’s easy. It’s a lot easier to catch a ball than hit it. A ball comes hurtling at you at 90 mph and you have a stick in your hands that you have to swing at just the right moment and at just the right angle, not only to make contact, but to make contact well enough to hit it past the fielders. It’s a lot easier to squat down and catch it.
Another question was: What is your favorite thing about being on the Giants? Everything, really. But if you want something specific, I’ve always been so impressed by the Giants’ appreciation of the team’s history. We have amazing owners here who really honor the past. So as a player you’re always reminded that you’re walking in the footsteps of some of the greatest men who ever played the game. And you know that, as a player, you won’t be forgotten. You’ll always be part of the Giants family.
There are a few more questions to answer, but I have to go. My two girls are here for Father’s Day and I want to get back to them. I’ll answer the rest of the question in my next post.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers — enjoy the day.