Appreciating It All

Great to have an off day today before starting a road trip against the Marlins tomorrow. I didn’t fly on the team plane last night because I wanted to go with Jamie to the pediatrician this morning for Jayda’s vaccination shot. Even though you know the shot is for something good, it’s hard to watch your baby in pain for any reason. So I wanted to be there for Jamie. 
The three of us flew out this morning to Florida to meet up with the team. I like Jamie and Jayda to be with me as much as they can, so they go on a lot of the road trips. We go from Florida to New York, where I have a lot of relatives. It will be great to introduce them to Jayda.
I was looking at my numbers the other day. Last year at around this time I was batting .304 and hadn’t had a walk. Right now I’m batting .343 overall (second highest among all NL catchers) and .439 at home (second highest among all NL players). And I already have six walks.
So what’s different? 
I’m way more relaxed this season. I’m not putting so much pressure on myself. This is probably my last year in baseball. I am not expecting any clubs to sign me in the off-season – if only the Mets and Giants were interested last year, when I was coming off five straight good years, I can’t expect I’ll have any interest after this season, no matter how well I do.
So that takes the pressure off to produce big numbers because, as I have found out, numbers don’t seem to make a difference in the marketplace. The Giants signed other guys to beef up the offense, which means the responsibility isn’t squarely on my shoulders anymore. Therefore I’m not pressing as much. 
This has translated into being more patient at the plate. I’m swinging at first pitches only 11.8% of time this season, compared to 39.4% in 2009 and 31.1% over my career. 
It’s funny because I thought I’d feel more pressure in thinking that this is probably my last year. But I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do in baseball, except be an All-Star. So I’m appreciating everything around me and having more fun. I’m just thinking about today and the guys who are around me in the clubhouse today. I am enjoying, as I always have, teaching the young guys about the game. I’m enjoying getting the most out of each pitcher’s outing. I am enjoying it all – maybe because I don’t have anything left to prove. 
The only thing that matters is winning. And that’s something that happens as a team, all of us contributing everything we can. 
I am so happy that, if this is my last season, I’m spending it in San Francisco with the Giants. I said this before and it becomes clearer to me every day: There is something special about this group this season. I feel it in the same way I felt it in 2002 with the Angels. 
Thanks for reading and thanks for being there for me and the Giants through all the ups and downs.

11 Comments

Bengie I love your blog. Your honesty, passion, humanity, and both self pride and self reflection is very refreshing. I greatly appreciate your willingness to be so open and real.

I can see that you are willing to accept that your career may end after this season. But here I join must Brucy Bochy in saying you have way to much game left for this to be the case. I love that you are showing this season that you are one veteran (old dog if you will) that can and is learning a new trick (the value of a walk).

You are likely correct that Buster Posey’s time as the Giants starting catcher will arive next year and thus we will lose you as a Giant. I wish there was a way to have two starting catchers but of course (and unfortunately) there is not. But, I think the new plate disciple you are showing this year will result in more demand for you next year and thus you will not find it hard to find a starting catcher role on another competitive team. But, enough about next year.

I too am excited about this year’s team and the big part I expect you to continue to play. Thanks Bengie! Keep up your excellent play and this outstanding blog.

Aww Bengie, what a heartfelt post. I want you to make the All-Star team, you deserve it both for your hitting and for your catching- you are a big reason why we have the best rotation in the majors! I want to encourage everyone who reads this to vote for Bengie as much as you can- I’m using all my votes and all my email addresses to try and get you in. Come on Giants fans, lets put Bengie in the All-Star game!

Hi Bengie:

So many fans appreciate you! You’ve had a great career and have been key to the Giants resurgence. I believe the pitching staff trust you and are part of the unofficial Giants Jedi Council of Wise-Ones. Your blog entry reflects your maturity as a person as well as a professional. This is a YEAR for a play-off run. But there’s lots of ball in the meantime. Enjoy it. Keep being patient! The fans are enjoying you. We can be fickle sometimes…pay no mind to that. Remember that you have the RESPECT OF TENS OF THOUSANDS!

Hey Bengie,

I can’t tell you how happy I was when I heard you were returning this season. I can’t remember when I enjoyed watching you guys play more, and I feel honored to be able to watch a player of your caliber, and character play the game. You are incredible in the squat, and you have a chemistry with your pictures that is unmatched at the Major leauge level. You are truely and inspiration to both the young and veteran players and fans. Keep doing what you do best, we will be watching. Thanks for all you bring to the American pastime..:)

Baseball knows how great a catcher Bengie is both on the defensive and offensive side. It is difficult to believe there will be less interest in Bengie. The skills are not eroding and Bengie obviously craves the game and the desire to play. Bengie has very strong hands, which is a great benefit for catching and hitting. When he knocks in 70, or 80 rbi’s this season, accumulates around 20 homeruns, catches a few more shutouts and throws out more base runners his value will be apparent. I bet he also works hard at being an outstanding team mate who is appreciated in the club house.

Mr. Molina

First let me say that I do appreciate all the you do for the Giants. On and off the field you conduct yourself in such a professional manner I know you parents especially your “Pops” would be so proud of you. I am so glad that things worked out for you to come back to the club this year. I certainly hope all those on the “pitching staff” appreciates it as well.
I cannot understand why the Giants front office could not understand your value to this team. All “US GIANTS FANS DO !” though and we want you to stay with this organization for as long as you wish. Take care Bengie and keep up the great work. I appreciate your blog and look forward to more insight into the clubhouse and your knowledge of the game. VIVA GIGANTES !!!

Dear Bengie:

What a class act. From day one with the Giants you have been an outstanding inspiration to many many kids and adults who follow the Giants. With your outstanding play so far this year, you have to be an All Star. Vote for Bengie!

I’m voting for you to go to the All-Star game.

Hi Bengie!
As a San Franciscan, born and raised, the Giants have always been a part of my life. My mom used to wrap me in a blanket and take me to Candlestick Park before I could even walk! To be honest, it is not until recently that I have focused on the team…I think having Timmy at the mound helped. But you know what makes Timmy as good as he is?? You!! What you have instilled in this kid is something he will hopefully never forget. He might have been born with this talent but it is still nurture that keeps him going. I certainly hope you stay with this franchise in some way or form….I know politics can be a pain but your honesty and respect for others is much needed and will be much appreciated! Keep up the great work! Your love for your family and team is an inspiration!

I just voted for you on the allstar ballot. You’re the best Bengie. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts like that on the team and on baseball in general.

Can’t wait to go see you and the rest of the Giants play on Tuesday.

I signed up for an MLB account just so I could comment on your blog. No idea you had one, Beng! I’ve been watching you behind the plate ever since you got here, and, it’s going to be said watching you leave. Go Bengie! Go Giants!

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