Answering some questions
All right, to continue answering the questions you have posted …
One person wanted to know if I might be faster if I lost a few pounds. My speed — or lack of speed — isn’t about my size. I slowed down from injuries to my hamstrings and quads between 1998 and 2001. I don’t need to lose weight. I’ve always been 215, 220. Now I might hit 225 but I’m usually around 220. My mother once told me she was watching me on TV and I looked big. I told her I was just the same as always. I said maybe I looked bigger on TV or maybe my uniform makes me look bigger. When she came here to visit and saw me in person, she was surprised that, sure enough, I was the same weight I always am.
Someone else asked which pitcher has been the most fun to catch. When I catch, I get so into the moment that my favorite pitcher is whoever I am catching. I catch each pitcher like he’s a superstar. Each has his own personality. I do remember, though, having a lot of fun with Paul Byrd, now with Cleveland. We knew each other so well, he used to call for particular pitches by moving his mouth this way or that. I don’t think anyone does that anymore.
There have been a few questions about the relationship between my brothers and me. We’ve always been competitive with each other, whether in baseball or Nintendo or Playstation. Yadier is eight years younger than I am, and I was 17 when I left home. So he was just a little kid. Jose and I shooed him away when he wanted to play with us most times. Obviously we had some positive influence on him, though, since he followed directly in our footsteps.
But of everyone in my family, if I ever became a manager, the person I’d ask to be my bench coach is my mother. It’s true. She’s the most intelligent baseball person. She never played but she learned from watching her husband and her sons.
She’ll call me and say, “Why’d you swing at that bad pitch? You know on 0-2 he likes to throw the slider!”
Or, “Why are you chasing balls up in the zone?”
She told me after one game, “Every single time there was a man on second, the first pitch they threw was a slider. Didn’t you notice?”
She gets genuinely mad at us. Sometimes I call just to say hi, and she’ll say, “I don’t care. You’re going to hear me.” And then she’ll blast me for not intentionally walking some batter in a particular situation. And I listen.
I can only imagine what she said to Yadier after he was ejected from a game the other day for arguing with the umpire. That was something she drilled into us: You should always show respect. Poor Yadier. Whatever satisfaction he got from arguing the call could not have been worth listening to our mother on the phone.
See you at the ballpark. Thanks for writing and for taking the time to let me know how much you support the Giants.