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game, Barry Zito was answering questions from a large group of young
ballplayers. The last question was about me and Yadier. A boy asked what he
thought about me and Yadier playing against each other and what it was like
when one of us was catching while the other was at bat.
said he and Timmy were just talking about it last night and were joking about
whether I am telling them the truth about Yadi’s weaknesses when we’re going
over the scouting report before the game – or if I’m helping Yadi to do well.
know my teammates don’t really think that, of course. They know Yadi and I have
a wall between our personal and professional lives. When he stole a base the
other night, and then when I caught him stealing yesterday, we didn’t say a
word to each other about it. Not a word. He knows that he did a good job
getting a jump on Tim when Timmy wasn’t paying attention. I don’t have to tell
him that. And I certainly am not going to say anything to him about getting
thrown out yesterday.
might see us talking and even laughing at the plate when one of us comes up to
bat, but usually it’s making fun of each other for taking foul tips and getting
beat up behind the plate.
of which . . .
asked me after yesterday’s game about the foul top that smashed me straight on
the mask. Yes, it hurts. But that’s not why I say a quick prayer every time it
happens. I know if you get hit enough like that, you can be out of the game. It
happened to Mike Matheny. He had to end his career when he suffered a head
injury after taking a series of foul balls to his mask.
So when that ball
hit me yesterday, I thought, “Please, God, let me be all right.”
hit left a little burn under my left eye but otherwise I was OK.
During our first
series in Houston, I took a foul tip straight to the front of the mask and I
got a little whiplash. The back of my head and neck were hurting and I almost
came out of the game, but they decided to keep in me in. Believe me, I wanted
to stay in the game But I do wonder why, when a batter gets hit on the helmet
by a pitch, he’s kept out of the game to make sure there’s no concussion and
that he’s OK. But they don’t take the same precautions when a catcher takes a
blow to the head.
got Matt Cain on the mound today. Here we go.