I slept at the Donatello in San Francisco the last to nights while the Bay Bridge was closed. Stayed there Sunday night when we flew in from Milwaukee after that long, tough loss. Then stayed there again last night. Jamie and baby Jayda are up in Seattle visiting Jamie’s grandparents, so I didn’t mind staying in a hotel. The house doesn’t feel like home without them, or my two older daughters, there. Jayda, who turns two months old on Friday, is doing great. She has a great toothless smile and lots of black hair. Can’t wait to see her today when Jamie comes with her to the ballpark.
What a great game yesterday. Brad Penny was awesome. With a 6-0 lead, you start calling the game a little different. I try to call as many fastballs as I can to save his arm and try to get him into the 8th inning instead of six or seven.
Penny’s got that fire you love to see in a pitcher. When he got angry at Gonzales for admiring his home run a bit too long, I went out to the mound along with a couple other guys and Bochy. Penny immediately calmed down. “My bad, my bad,” he said. He wasn’t rattled. It’s just part of the game to get emotional and angry sometimes. A gesture that seems disrespectful to one guy might be perfectly acceptable to another.
Like the Brewers with Prince Fielder’s walk-off home run on Sunday. I didn’t like. I don’t think many players would be happy about it. On the other hand, Fielder hit the home run to win the game. They won and we didn’t.
To me, the whole thing comes down to one simple word: Respect. You respect the game and play it the way it’s supposed to be played. You don’t show up the pitcher by showboating when you hit a home run. Same way with a pitcher who gets a big strikeout. You don’t go pumping your fist and talking to the batter.
But this time of year emotions might be a little closer to the surface than they were in April or May. Everybody’s banged up from playing for five months (plus six weeks of spring training). You wear down. You’re tired. I’ve got bumps and bruises on every inch my body. Got another one yesterday when a ball jammed my finger. If it were a close game, I wouldn’t have come out. I’ve played in worse pain. But we had a comfortable lead, so I left the game and got treatment. It’s fine now.
This time of year, you cut back on your training. Instead of doing 20 minutes on the bike, you might do 10. Instead of doing three sets of weight training, you do two or even one. You’re trying to conserve your energy, especially with quick turnarounds like coming off this road trip. We flew in from Milwaukee Sunday night then played a day game here on Monday. My body just didn’t want to wake up. But as soon as I pass through the clubhouse doors – and even more so when I take the field – I’m fine again. I’m excited and ready to go.
How can you not be excited and ready to go with this team?
More on that tomorrow.