Making things clear

Just to clear the
air after today’s story in the Chronicle about me being upset with Bochy
sitting me with Zito on the mound:

I shouldn’t have
said anything publicly, and I apologized to Bochy this morning. I apologized to
Zito, too. Everything’s fine. They understand that my heart and my competitive
spirit took over, and I spoke before thinking things through. Bochy wanted to
give me a day off either today or yesterday, and he chose yesterday because he
wanted me out there with Hennessey today. I never want to sit out, as I’ve said
before. I want to help the team win, so it’s always frustrating to watch from
the bench.

As I was sitting
at my locker this morning, I got a photo on my cell phone from my younger
daughter. She’s in a catcher’s crouch with a glove on her hand and she’s
wearing the uniform from her new softball team. She’s playing organized ball
for the first time. I can’t wait to watch her. She’s got great hands and a
great swing. Another Molina on the field . . . But really all I want is for her
to have fun and build her confidence as a young woman and learn all the great
lessons from sports that I did.

Someone asked me
recently about the relationship between a catcher and an umpire. Every umpire
is different, and as a catcher you come to know most of them over the years.
Some are quick to tell you why he called a pitch a ball — it was high, outside,
etc. — when it’s apparent I thought it was a strike. Some will even ask me
where I thought the pitch was. Some don’t say anything. Some like to rest their
hand on my back, which is fine except when they flinch and push me and I have
to say, “Hey, watch out.” But of course I do it nicely. There is no advantage
in getting on the wrong side of an ump.

I also have to
take into account, as I’m calling the game, the slight differences in the
umpires’ strike zone. If an ump isn’t calling the fastball away, I don’t call
that pitch.

Another thing you
might notice when I’m behind the plate: Between batters, I often groom the
dirt, smoothing out the divots left by a batter who stands deep in the box. The
smoother the dirt, the truer the bounce. The worst thing is to be expecting the
ball to bounce a certain way and it hits a rock or a divot and flies off in a
different direction.

I’ve also been
asked if I notice when the fans leave early. I can tell you, we all notice. I
understand why people leave early – they have to get home on a weeknight, or
they think the game is over because we’re so far behind. But it’s still
deflating. We want the fans to be a part of the game, and when they start
streaming up the aisles, it takes away a little of our energy. And we feel bad
that we’re not playing in a way to make them want to stay.

Another thing we
notice, of course, are the boos. Tyler Walker has been on the receiving end
lately, and we feel horrible as his teammates when it happens. He knows it’s
the nature of the job as a pitcher to get booed. I always think that if they
knew how hard that guys works to prepare himself, maybe they wouldn’t boo. But
the fans have no way to see what goes on behind the scenes.

After today, we go
on our last road trip then it’s the last homestand. Hope to see you at the
park. Thanks for reading and continuing to leave all your kind and encouraging
messages.

22 Comments

Hi Bengie. I noticed you’ve been changing your catcher’s gear out a lot lately, and now are using Mizuno. I’m just wondering why that is.

Keep up the great work!

Bengie, your daughter is lucky to have you as a role model and support system. We should all hope that whatever she wants to become in life will be possible for her, whether it’s catcher (like you,) umpire (like me,) or any other career choice. Please keep letting her know that with hard work, dedication, and persistence, she can do anything! Including maybe someday umpiring a major league baseball game at which her dad is watching proudly, thinking back to that photo of her in her first catcher’s crouch.
Umpires and catchers are a unique “family unit” that can set the tone and pace for an entire game, so your insights into the relationships you cultivate with umpires will serve her well.
Thank you, and blessings upon you and your family.
Perry Barber,
New York Baseball Giants fan, thus SF Giants fan also

Bengie, I was glad to hear that everything is ok with you, Zito, and Bochy. Sandoval is an exciting young player, and he and Zito have been teaming up well lately, but I sure do love to watch you come out every day and play your heart out. With you behind the dish I’m comfortable – I don’t worry about pitches in the dirt or even runners going because I know that you’ll take care of it. You’re an amazing player.
I always feel bad because I can’t get out to as many games as I would like to, and let me just say that personally, I always try to stay for the whole game. That can’t always happen, and I’m sorry that it “deflates” you when fans do leave. Having to get back home from the city and up early the next morning is almost always the reason that I leave early. But I’m sure I can speak for a lot of die hard fans when I say that we’ve got your back, win or lose. Keep up the good work, man. Have a good rest of the season.
-Christine

Hi Bengie!!!You have been amazing as usual!I’m glad that eveything is ok with you and Z.I’m soooooo happy that you and the Giants swepped the D’Backs!!Eugenio had an amazing hit in today’s game in the bottom of the 9th!.I was sooo happy that I stated shaking!You guys have been playing great baseball lately!I feel really bad about what you said about the fans leaving early.I just hope that it doesn’t affect you guys really bad.I wish your daughter all of the luck in the world in softball.Hopefully she will be as talented as you in her future!!Sandoval and you ae kind of alike.Kruk and Kuip call you “Big Money” and they call Sandoval “Little Money”.He is an amazing athlete!!I hope he will as incedible as you one day!How does it feel when you guys win in the bottom of the 9th at home?I can’t imagine how happy you guys get when you win the game in the 9th!!I’m going to be really sad when you guys stop playing,but you guys really deserve a break!Take Care Bengie!!!Bye!!Keep playing great!!Bye!!Love ya!
Yourkiah~a.k.a.you biggest fan!Bye!=)

hey benjie. i understand your frustration about not playing and sitting on the bench because i get frustrated too!! i always wear my ‘bengie’ shirt to the games and you weren’t playing that day!! i was so mad–until you came in and gave us a run🙂 i am dreading the end of the season more than i’ve dreaded any other season ending. this season has been a real joy to watch because of how exciting all the rookies have made it and of course, watching you play.
i think the number one thing i love watching is when the other team thinks they have a chance to steal second (for some reason) because you ALWAYS get the ball to second so fast that they have no chance at all!

i hope that the end of baseball season doesnt mean that you’ll stop blogging. i enjoy reading your blogs a lot and i wish you would write more!

thank you for taking out your time to write for us!

Hi Bengie!
Thanks for taking the time to clear things up and to update the blog. I don’t think there was anything wrong with questioning the Zito/Sandoval pairing, but if you’re good with it, that’s the most important thing.
You have been on fire lately and it’s been so great seeing you smiling and interviewed often. I love seeing you after a game — you’re so gracious and kind.
I hope Tyler’s doing ok. He’s an awesome guy who is doing his best, and it’s irritating to me to hear fans boo him. I think sometimes fans take things to extremes and forget that you guys are human and are going to make mistakes. I don’t believe for one nanosecond that Tyler is trying to give up hits. I can’t believe anyone would think such a thing. Give the guy a break. Sheesh!
Have a great road trip and keep having fun! I’m excited to get out to the game on the 27th and will be rooting with all I’ve got!!

Always,
Sue

*Good luck to your daughter. She couldn’t have a better role model for catching (or in life, for that matter) 😉

Another Molina on the field. That’s awesome, Bengie! I wish her the best of luck. Your the best role model for her.
I am a really big Giants fan and I can understand what everyone goes though on the field and the hard work they put behind everything. I don’t think fans look closely enough to see it. It upsets me when they boo because they don’t understand. Just like when fans boo when Bochy comes to take Lincecum out of one of his game. I don’t think they take into consideration the risk of injury that is there.
Anyway, enjoy the road trip! I haven’t been able to come see a game yet, but I’m always looking forward to watching it on tv! Good luck to you and everyone on the team. I hope Emmanuel is doing better, and I hope Fred has a speedy recovery!

My best wishes and love to you all,
Katie

Bengie-

Your daughter is a lucky girl to have you as a father. It’s quite obvious that you are not only totally enamored of her but also extremely supportive. Every little girl should be so lucky.
As for the Zito/Bochy deal… I’m sure everyone involved gets that sometimes things get said. It’s human nature. You just wouldn’t be the Bengie we all love if you didn’t want to play every day and give everything you have out there on the field. It’s one of my favorite things about you. I for one was disappointed that didn’t start last Sunday since it was the only game this season that I was able to go to.

hey bengie,
everyone player should have as much emotion as you show in each game. You have made this year all the more memorable for me.

i say this because next year i will be moving to Virginia, not my choice but hey what are you gonna do. Baseball is pretty much out the door in VA except for college, as the AAA Richmond Braves are moving closer to Atlanta for next season.

I plan to still make a couple treks out to ATT park next year, as my wife works for a bay area software company (the suites at Att park are sponsored by said company) but will limit me to 5 games for the year. however i plan on starting a jrgiants team when i arrive in Richmond, I am apart of a team in Gilroy, and this is an Organization i believe in.

keep up the good work on and off the field.

and about the Zito issue, it is not uncommon for a pitcher to more comfortable with one catcher as opposed to another. I know as an x pitcher of this first hand.

I thought the whole incident was completely ordinary. It’s part of the Bengie-energy-package (the same that delivers runs when the teams needs them). Personally, your attitude is one of two reasons I even followed the Giants this season (that and Lincecum).

I enjoy the blog too.

hey Bengie,

Great game yesterday against the Padres!!!

we are so proud of Timmy, just as i am sure the entire team is for him and this milestone he has passed. all that is left is to pitch a perfect game. which i have no doubt that he will do in the near future.

just looking at the staff we have for next year is remarkable.

so this on myspace and thought it was cool



check out when you get a chance.

i know that you are extremely busy.

Hey Bengie, congrats on the series win against San Diego and of course for another homer and RBI to add to your count!
First of all don’t even trip regarding the story in the Chronicle. You were speaking from the heart, you’re a baller, and I’m sure it must be frustrating to have to sit out during a game. As I’ve said before, I think you’re a great asset to the Giants, and keep up the amazing work!
As for your daughter playing ball, I wish her nothing but the best and I’m sure she’ll have lots of fun. I am a single mom of a 9 year old girl who also plays all girls softball. This is her third year playing and believe me there’s nothing better than being out there with her watching her doing what she likes and cheering her on. As for another Molina playing ball….”You go girl!”
As a fan I do understand why people would leave early during a game. But just let me say personally, wether it’s winning or losing I’m there till the end. I’ve been able go out and see a couple of games and even when you guys are losing I never count the Giants out till the end. I’ve seen you guys come back plenty of times and that’s something I wouldn’t want to miss. But if you guys don’t win…it’s all good cause I know that sometimes losing is part of the game. Good Luck against Arizona and I will be out there on the 27th when you guys play the Dodgers so hopefully I will get to see you play and do your thing!
Hope to hear from you soon and keep up the awesome work! Renee

Dear Bengie,

Tell us that you will put all this together for a book! Please, please, please. It will be as good as David Ortiz’s great book.

As for your apology, my family and I feel you do not have to apologize to anyone for anything. But as your fans, we know that you did it because you wanted to do the right thing! We feel that Brian Sabean and the media took the low road by their comments. We look to the Giant’s organization to support the players along with the Player’s Association: We so not expect the various Giant’s representatives to make provocative remarks. —-Well, everyone has their problems!

The Giant’s Players, the Giant’s Owners and their representatives, and the Giant’s Fans have weathered some pretty significant storms these last three years. Nevertheless, we feel that Players such as YOU have done more than your share to put things back together and get things back on track.

Oh and by the way YOU are catching and hitting out of this world and we really appreciate it!

{{{{{{BENGIE}}}}}}

Congrats on another great game last night in AZ…. now you can take it to the dreaded Dodgers. Keep up the fantastic work and I’ll see you in a week!
Oh, and all I want for my birthday is the Giants to beat the Dodgers! Go get ’em!!

Always,
Sue

Hey Bengie!! You did an amazing job tonight catching Barry Zito and hitting too!! I hope Bochy doesn’t sit you again when Zito pitches next time!🙂 This is the first time I’m commenting but I really enjoy reading your blog. And I’ve been to 31 games so far this year (including on school nights – I just graduated high school and started college a couple weeks ago) and I NEVER EVER leave a game early, no matter what the score is or how late it is at night. I never even get up in the middle of the game to get food or go to the bathroom because I love watching you guys so much and I never want to miss anything! I really appreciate how you guys always play so hard every day and give so much effort even when you’re losing by a lot and even though you know you can’t make the playoffs. It makes it so fun to watch! Keep up the good work and KEEP BEATING LA!!! ♥

Awesome wheels Bengie! 😉 Great game today!! Now let’s hope that next weeks games against the Dodgers mean something!! Enjoy your much deserved day off at home and as always GO GIANTS!

–Sue

Congratulations Bengie on winning the Willie Mac award for the second year. It’s obvious that you give your heart on the field and I appreciate that. Thank you for all you have done and I look forward to seeing you when I’m out there tomorrow!

BEAT LA! 🙂

Big hugs,
Sue

Congratulations on the gift homerun against the Dodgers on Friday night. I guess the umps figured you are a nice guy or just felt sorry for the Giants, struggling against the Dodger 2nd stringers and deep into the bullpen and trying to get a run, any run. Replay shows it was NOT a homerun, so I don’t know what the umps were looking at, but I guess that’s why they left you out of the game: only so much pity per game…

September 26, 2008 is officially BENGIE MOLINA DAY! 🙂

Way to go Bengie! Awesome HR… one we’ll never forget! Good thing for the instant replay so that they could get it right.

Sue

Hi Bengie! Congrats on winning the Willie Mac award!! You totally deserved it. Thank you so much for signing for us after the game on Wednesday, even though I know you must not have been feeling that great. I really appreciate everything you do for us fans, like signing for us, taking pictures with us and taking the time to write this blog! Congratulations on the home run! I’m so glad they overturned the original call. Good job beating LA and I hope you sweep them to end this season! I’m going to your next game against the Dodgers and I’ll be cheering for you, and of course I’ll stay for the WHOLE game!🙂

Hi Bengie!!
so FINALLY i can comment on your blog haha. for some reason my laptop kept freezing everytime i tried to log in but whatever. all good now =]
so anyway first off i wanted to give a big congratulations to you on winning the Willie Mac award again! you definitely deserve it more than anyone else and i’m so glad that so many people realize all that you do for the Giants every single day. You truly are the most inspirational player I have ever watched not only to the rest of the team but also to the fans. I just started college last month here in Southern California and my cousin brought me to an Angels game and I saw so many people still wearing your jersey and that’s when it hit me just how much of an impact you leave on everyone. And it’s definitely a good impact cause they all still love you!
I also wanted to say thank you so much for the entry you posted about how you prepare for a game. I’m fairly sure I’m the one you were replying to so thanks again so much =]
So it’s really interesting how you mentioned about how the players feel when fans leave cause I had been wondering about that a couple of days before you posted that. But yeah it hurts me too to see others leaving early cause no matter what people should be there to support you guys. But at the same time so many of them are such bandwagon fans. Like for example, I know a lot of people that like to go around saying ‘oh yeah I’m such a huge Giants fan. I love how they’re winning so many games lately.’ And yet when I ask them ‘oh yeah? Who’s your fave player?’, they can’t name a single person on the team. So if I were you guys I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The TRUE fans who will love and support you no matter what always stay until the last out. And I can honestly say that I have NEVER left a game early. Even on those games where it goes into extra innings and it’s freezing out there I would never think of leaving you guys to deal with a win or loss alone.
By the way I was at the game at Dodger Stadium on the 19th and it was just the best feeling in the world [complete understatement right there] to have you guys win. Whether you guys had lost though it was still so worth putting up with the heckling I went through just to see all of you =] And I also came to the realization that being home near my Giants is where I really want to be and so, with the promise of my first season tickets from my mom I’m coming back to the Bay Area next semester!!
So as usual I’ll end this very long comment haha [sorry about that!] with good luck to you on your last two games against the Dodgers and I seriously don’t know how I ever get through six months without all of you. I’m probably going to be crying all throughout Sunday. I

Hey BENGIE – how are things going? Well today is the last
game of the regular season and I will be watching of course.
First of all, Congratulations on your second WILLIE MAC Award!! MY knowledge of the Giants team is limited -just to make it clear- In 2007 I went to my first Grizzlies games. Then in 2008 I went to more Grizzlies games. I am hoping to attend some Giants Games in 2009 ! ! ! In 2004, it took a miracle to make me love baseball. My mom had passed away and I watched the RED SOCKS win the series ! ! That
was a turning point in my life. I’ve often said that in my next life “I want to be a pro baseball player” . It really takes a SPECIAL BREED to hang. BASEBALL IS A RELIGION!!! I wish you all The Very Best – on your vacations
and I will be looking forward to a SPECTACULAR 2009 GIANTS BASEBALL SEASON.

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