Thanks for the warm welcome

            I wrote a blog for almost three seasons in San Francisco and loved the connection it gave me with the fans. So I’m looking forward to getting to know Rangers fans through these posts and also, I hope, to giving you a glimpse into what it’s like to be a major-league player.

            First, the trade.

            To be honest, it’s a real blow to be traded. I loved the players and staff at the Giants, so to suddenly find myself off the team, it’s kind of a shock to the system. You’re leaving a group of guys, and an entire organization, that you know inside and out. And you don’t know what it’s going to be like on your new team. You have to learn new routines, get to know the coaches and training staff and, as a catcher, I have to quickly get to know my pitchers.

            Well, I have to tell you, everyone here has been unbelievable. These are very, very nice people. They have made me feel a part of the team right from the first minute. Michael Young texted me right away, before I even arrived, to welcome me and say he was excited about me joining the team.

            My first day with the team, there was a rain delay and the game didn’t start until 9:30, so I had a lot of time to meet everyone and start to get to know them. Another thing that has helped is that the Rangers have meetings every day to go over opposing hitters and opposing pitchers. This helps me a lot because I’ve been in the NL and don’t know the AL players very well.

            Maybe the biggest help of all has been Matt Treanor. I wasn’t sure if it would be awkward because I’m coming in to play the same position. You feel like you’re intruding at first so you kind of just look around and try to figure out what’s going on. But Matt came right up to me and started talking about the pitchers. He gave me the whole scoop on each guy, what to look for, what each guy’s tendencies are. I can’t tell you how impressed I’ve been with that guy.

            But I know that you can’t really know a pitcher until you actually catch him. So I’ve been learning what works for each guy, how they are when they need a big pitch, what they need when they get a little rattled. I have to say this staff is easy to catch. They’re really open-minded and get right down to work. Real pros.

Here’s one funny thing that happened. One of the clubbies picked me up at my hotel on my first day here. He knew my uniform number was 1 with the Angels and Giants. He asked if I wanted the same number with the Rangers.

“Doesn’t Elvis Andrus wear No. 1?” I asked.

“He’s a rookie!” the clubbie said.

“I don’t care,” I said. “I’m not going to come in and take a number away from somebody.”

The clubbie said he had number 11 available.

“OK! There we go!”

Number 11 happens to be the number on the first uniform my father ever gave me. (One thing you’ll get to know about me is how important my father was in my life, as he was in the lives of my two brothers, Yadier and Jose. He died suddenly almost two years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.) Anyway, I think I was five or six years old when he gave me that uniform with the number 11 on it. It became my favorite number – and the number I wore every year until I was 17. So it feels good to be wearing it again.

That’s it for now.

Thanks so much for the warm welcome all of you have given me. I know I’ve got to start hitting. I’m seeing the ball well and swinging well, so I know it will come. My wife, Jamie, and our baby, Jayda, are now settled in the house we rented just five minutes from the park. (Jayda, who turned 1 earlier this month, just started walking!) My mother and aunt have also been here from Puerto Rico to help us get settled. And my two daughters from Yuma have been here, too. So it already feels like home.

Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions. Thanks again for all the kind words and cheers. I am so excited and grateful to be here with the Rangers. This is a very, very talented team that is going to be fun to watch right through October!

26 Comments

Bengie, we miss you in San Francisco!

Hope these Texas fans and players treat you well. We’ll see you in the Series!

Bengie,

I have been so proud of you in San Francisco, and every time I watch a highlight of a Rangers game on TV, I’m STILL proud of what you’re doing. Congrats on your cycle a few games back, that was spectacular!!

We love and miss you in SF, keep up the good work, and glad you’re still blogging!!

Bengie,
You’re a phenomenal defensive catcher and it’s been great being able to get out to the park and watch you work in person. Although the Rangers aren’t my favorite team, I did grow up here and am glad to see the team making a push to contend by bringing in quality ball players like yourself.

Bengie,
It’s great to have you with the Rangers! I had a feeling Matt Treanor was a great guy! I’m a HUGE fan; watch every inning of every game and will attend about 20 games/season this year. Dog Night was a blast!
Keep up the good work, and

GO RANGERS!

Hey Bengie,
It’s been great watching you over the years as you developed into a very successful catcher. You have come a long way and it’s been a pleasure. My first time seeing you live in the majors was last year around the time your daughter was born. Prior to that it was in Edmonton just prior to your going to the Angels when you won the World series. I was very happy for you. My boyfriend and were in SF last year because I won a trip on the radio. We had such fun in SF and a great time at the game. The Rangers are lucky to have you!! Oh, and Happy Belated Birthday!
Looking forward to watching you with the Rangers now.
All the Best for you and your family,
Connie

Bengie,

We are so glad to have you on the Rangers! I know I’m kinda late in welcoming you to Arlington but we love having you here! So glad you’re here in Arlington with us to help us win games and hopefully do well in the playoffs! I understand that the transition is/was probably rough but we appreciate all that you have contributed to our team to make us the team we are now even though what was probably a hard transition for you. We love you here in Arlington and hope you can stay with us and help us win for years to come!

Bengie,

Welcome to Arlington. Obviously from the posts from the SF fans you are an exceptional guy. I remember dreading when you would come up in a key situation against us when you were in Anaheim. I share your opinion about Matt Treanor. That guy does something alomost every game to provide a spark, most people just don’t see it though. I guess since I was a catcher in school I just tend to notice. The Rangers are going to be competitive for a while, I hope you stay to be a part of it and the tradition of great catchers here.

We miss you! I’ll always be a fan of yours, i’ve known you since you came up with the Halos.😀 Thanks for the memories ?Nikki

Welcome Bengie from a season ticket holder. I got your autograph at the picnic. Thanks for signing.

Honestly I skeptical at first over the trade. Matt Treanor is my fave player this season. But boy, it’s been nice to have you. Hope to see you and Treanor in a Rangers uniform next season as well.

Take care!

Hi Bengie,
Welcome to the Texas Rangers. I’m in El Paso, Texas but the Rangers are my favorite team. I’m so glad you decided to continue this blog in Texas. When I found out you were traded to us, I went to SF’s site and read your blog there. This is my 2nd year as a baseball fan so I have lots to learn about my new favorite sport. Thanks again for taking time to write this blog and giving the fans a perspective on being traded and being a catcher. Fans get attached to players as well and it’s hard to see them leave and go to another team. I’m glad the Rangers have welcomed you. They are a great bunch of guys! Best wishes for a great rest of the Season,
Brenda

Welcome to Texas Benjie!
Just wanted to let you know how exciting it was when you got the cycle…I got goose bumps…it was the first cycle I had witnessed…even though I just heard it. I’m so mad since we moved because we do not get to watch the Rangers every night (the Astros are on) and I have to listen on the radio! Just looking forward to the playoffs…surely those will all be telecast here!!!

Welcome to Texas Bengie….the Rangers are a great bunch of guys. I have enjoyed your blog. Congratulations on Hitting for the Cycle…it was awesome!!!

Bengie, welcome to Texas! Catcher’s have alwasy been my favorite players and I hope you do well here. I’ve read through some of your posts and you are a real class act, the kind of guy any team would be lucky to have in the clubhouse and on the field. Best of luck!

Bengie,
Living in So. Cal. I have followed your career since you were with the Angels and have always been a fan and rooting for you to do well. I know a trade is tough on a player and their family but I was glad to see that you were able to land in a great situation such as Texas. I will be rooting for the Rangers for the rest of the season and for you especially. I pray that your family has started to get settled in Texas and is adjusting to the summer heat!

Love the blog, wish more players did this.

I just discovered this blog of yours from the Ranger’s website. AWESOME!!!! Feel free to stick around for a few years.

Bengie, I was in shock when I heard you had been traded. The only reason I went to the Giants games were to see you. All my paychecks were going to AT&T so I could sit in a row where I could see you up close. I had everything Giants, sweatshirts, pens, t-shirts, etc. I even have your bobble head and baseball card on my desk at work. Everyone I know, knows I’m a huge fan of yours so when you got traded people would come up to me and say “Oh I’m so sorry”. Now I have to replace everything with Texas Rangers. Since I don’t live in Texas I now have to go to Oakland A’s to be able to see you play and your team won’t be here that often.😦 I already have my ticket when you play in Oakland. For some reason you look so much happier on your new team and if that’s the case maybe the trade was a blessing. Getting your #11 back is a sign that your dad is looking after you. I love your big-heart, it really shines through your personality. Please send us pictures of Jayda walking. It will be so fun to watch her growing. Good luck to you Bengie, I hope the rest of your career will be the best because you deserve it. I can’t watch you on t.v. anymore either but I’ll be following your career and rooting for you every step of the way!.

Terri

Glad that you are well adjusted now Bengie! Angel fans still love you despite the fact that you’re in Texas lol. Best of luck with your new team!

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

Bengie, I heard about your blog on tonight’s post game show. Good job tonight. You called a great game and got Hunter out of all those jams. Well, welcome to Texas. We’re glad you’re here. I’d like to see a paragraph or two on your cycle from your point of view.

It was great watching you catch in the Rangers/Mariners game the other night! Keep up the good work!🙂

Bengie – glad to see you doing well with the Rangers – but I did miss seeing you in Atlanta this weekend. Mary and I had tickets to all 4 games and hotel reservations! We are working on a plan B to catch you in either Baltimore or Texas…maybe not this season, but where ever you land next year (and I hope it is with the Rangers again) we will find you!!!!

Congrats on hitting for the cycle! What an accomplishment that is for any ball player. I know your Dad was watching and was very proud of you – and you did it wearing the # 11 – how awesome!

Keep up the good work – we are still keeping an eye on your games from afar and hope to see you in person soon.

Donna (and Mary) in North Carolina

Bengie, Great job tonight against the Yankees. Great scoop and tag on the runner trying to score, of course the throw from Murphy helped. Tonight was a huge win, and I hope it will help you guys bond together. I’ve been watching the Rangers for a long time, and you guys really seem to have a good time. With all the trading and new guys coming in, the sooner you guys are all on the same page, the better. Good luck against the Yankees tomorrow (today) and I’m expecting big things from you!! Tear ’em up, and let em know the Rangers are for real!!

Bengie,

Welcome to Texas!!! Great game yesterday. You are a phenomenal catcher. Your quick snag to get Swisher out at the plate was huge brotha. I also enjoyed your heartfelt entry in regards to ESPN. As a ball player growing up, I was usually the slowest as well. But that didnt stop me from contributing to my team and enjoying the game. Glad to see that fire in you. Good Luck! Cuidate! –Rafael

Bengie – We know at times it was hard for you in SF the past year, and sometimes you may not have felt totally appreciated. Giants fans do appreciate all that you did for the team while you were here, and will always have a special fondness for you! If the Giants could have built a stronger offense, there wouldn’t have been so much pressure on you. But you are so lucky to have had such a great career, and get paid to play baseball for a living! I’m glad you’re with the Rangers and in a pennant race. I’m also impressed by your relationship with Buster and his wife. I think that really endeared you to a lot of Giants fans. We’ll be watching and rooting for you and the Rangers! Congrats on your cycle!

Bengie- What’s your reaction to Colin Cowherd saying Cliff Lee “hates Texas” and “mails it in” against bad teams? Lee seems like an awesome teammate to me, and the kind of guy who’d give 110% every night. Another stupid story from ESPN.

I’m glad for the Rangers’ warm welcome to you. I was just beginning to be a Giants fan so I wasn’t familiar with the boys yet when I found out that you got traded. In a way I felt sad because, like what you said, it’s kind of a blow being removed from a group you’ve been around for a long time.

Btw, when I saw you hitting against AJ Burnett I thought, I miss Molina! And I felt sad because you were facing Burnett and vice versa. I was actually thinking you were Jose Molina! Because he was traded too, so I had you and your brother mixed up. Well, I just found out that you are Jose Molina’s brother. (Well, you both have “Jose” in your names.) I’m glad I read this blog.

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