I know, I know, it’s been way too long. Those of you who are parents know, with a new baby, it’s not easy finding a minute to do anything but change diapers, give baths, pat burps from her tiny body and just look at her. Jamie and I are so happy to have little Jayda in our lives.
She was born Saturday, July 11, at 1:15 in the afternoon. Jamie went into labor on Friday afternoon. I called Dave Groeschner, the Giant’s head athletic trainer, to ask him to tell Boch I had to miss the game. (I had a new phone and didn’t have Boch’s cell phone number.) After we got Jamie settled in the hospital, we turned on the game. It was in the second inning with Jonathan Sanchez pitching and Eli Whiteside catching. All I was thinking about – at least as far as anything beyond Jamie and the delivery – was pulling for the guys to win. Then along about the seventh inning, I started to think, “Hey, he might throw a no-hitter.”
With every out, Jamie, her mother and I got more and more excited. At the final out, we were all yelling and cheering. It’s just such a rare thing, an unbelievable thing, to pitch a no-hitter. The only time I’ve ever seen one in person was on September 11, 1999, when I was with the Angels and Eric Milton of the Twins no-hit us. It was an 11 a.m. game in the Metrodome because the University of Minnesota had a football game there that night. The Angels manager at the time, Joe Maddon, sat most of the starters, so I wasn’t even in the line-up.
But I can honestly say, while I watched Jonathan Sanchez and Eli Whiteside, I never thought, “Oh, I wish I was catching.” I would want to be there to celebrate the occasion, of course, but I’m not one for coulda, woulda, shoulda. That was Eli’s game. I strongly believe that what is for you is for you. What is not for you is not for you. Maybe if I were there, Jonathan wouldn’t have pitched a no-hitter. It was meant to be that Jonathan and Eli had the no-hitter and not me.
Again, because I didn’t have everybody’s number in my new phone, I couldn’t call Jonathan. So I sent a text to Groesch and he showed it to Jonathan. Then I congratulated him and Eli in person on the following Sunday when I returned to the team.
I spent Friday and Saturday nights at the hospital with Jamie and the baby. As you can imagine, the birth was amazing, very emotional, very loving. Jayda was perfectly healthy with a thick mop of black hair. She’s beautiful – takes after Jamie. My brother Jose, who plays for the Yankees, flew in on Sunday night and spent the All-Star break with us and helped us welcome Jayda into our family.
I know for the last couple months, my numbers at the plate have not been great. Everybody thinks I’m struggling and I must be getting down on myself. But that’s not the case. I’ve been swinging the bat well and hitting the ball well. But they just haven’t been falling. Even Boch told me he’s never seen anything like it in his career, such a string. Now, the last few games, the balls are dropping again. But I feel the same at the plate as I have all season. Now the balls are just finding the holes. People can call it a slump if they want to. But I didn’t feel that way at all.
Dodgers come into town tomorrow. We can’t wait. This is the time to make up some ground in the division. We’re ready.
Thanks for all your kind words and good wishes for Jamie, Jayda and me.