No ordinary home run
There’s a lightness to the clubhouse this weekend, our last
of the season. Everyone is joking around, teasing, signing baseballs and
baseball cards for the clubbies and the staff and each other.
We’re all feeling good about beating the Dodgers Friday night
and hoping we take them again tonight and Sunday to end the season on an up
note. I think everyone on the team knows that, despite our record, we laid a
great foundation for next season. We go into the offseason excited and
energized for what might come next year.
Everyone always says if you come to ballpark every day,
you’ll see something you’ve never seen. If you came to the ballpark Friday
night, you saw something nobody has ever seen. It happened in the sixth inning
with the Dodgers leading 2-0. Pablo Sandoval was on first. I hit a pitch that
bounced off the right-field wall. I stopped at first, and Pablo advanced to
Bochy had already told Manny Burriss that if I reached
first, he’d go in as a pinch-runner for me. When I got to the dugout, I saw
Omar telling Bochy that he heard the ball hit the green metal roof above the
wall, which meant it should have been a home run. Bochy talked to the umpire,
who apparently felt confident in the call. Then Bochy saw the ball – it had
green paint on it. The crew chief called for a review under the new rule, and
he ruled it a home run,.
So now Manny’s standing at first, and I’m about to go back
out there to complete the run around the bases. But the umpire said that,
because Burriss was officially entered in the game, I couldn’t go back in. So
he ran the bases.
When he came into the dugout, I was laughing. “Nice swing,”
I heard the official scorer had to call the Elias Sports
Bureau to get a ruling on how to score it. They said I’d get credit for the
home run and the two RBI but not the run scored. So I am the only player in
baseball history who has hit a home run without scoring.
It was a crazy game, as Dodgers games often are. It was
great to come back in the 10th and hear the fans go wild.
It’s been a really nice few days for me. I found out on
Friday that I had won the Willie Mac Award for the second year in a row. It
surprised me because there were other guys who couldn’t easily have been
chosen. Randy Winn, for one. When Jim Moorehead from Media Relations told me in
the clubhouse, I got chills. It means so much to me that my teammates and
coaches respect me and think so highly of me. That’s the biggest thing, that
they appreciate my effort and my friendship inside and outside the game.
I’ll write again tomorrow and share my plans for the offseason.
Thanks for reading.