As a baseball player, there’s nothing better than reaching September 1 and knowing every game counts. You’re lucky enough not to be on a team so far back in the standings that you’re just sitting in front of your locker and scheduling the moving van and planning vacation. You’re still in the battle, moving closer every day to securing a spot in the post-season.
The thing is, right about now you’re also feeling how long the season is. Almost two months in spring training then six months of real games. You’re dragging a little. You’re beat up. So you put in a little extra time in the gym. You do a little more prep work on your opponent. And then you step onto the field, and you hear that crowd, and you know you’re the luckiest guy in the world to be on a team in first place, and a team that is so focused on a single mission:
To win the World Series.
Obviously, we have to win the division first, then the League Championship. We know every single pitch, every single inning, every single game is huge at this point. We can’t give up anything. We have to have our A game every day.
For me, the most fun I have is working with the pitchers on this team. This is an amazing staff. C.J. is incredible. That’s the only word. He’s spotting the ball so well. He can get a hitter out with any pitch he wants. He’s very focused and gets himself very prepared for every game.
I’ve been asked if it’s different for me catching a very young pitcher vs. a veteran pitcher. The answer is yes and no. The bottom line is that your job as a catcher is to help the pitcher get the hitter out with whatever pitches he has. I ask pitchers what their best two pitches are. I do my homework on each pitcher – what he likes to throw in certain situations.
But with a rookie, there are times I catch him for the first time when he enters a game – which happened with Michael Kirkman during a game in Baltimore. I had never even caught him in the bullpen. I walked to the mound and asked him for his two best pitches. He said fastball in and out and slider. OK. Great. Then I had to pray that he actually threw what I called – that a fastball away was going to be a fastball away.
Of course, he’s a terrific young pitcher and he was amazing that game.
Something else with young pitchers. They know I’m a veteran, so they’re going to trust what I call. They going to go with whatever I say. So if I’m not completely prepared, I can destroy them. I take their trust in me very seriously.
On another note, I’m asking for a favor. I just came from the doctor’s office with Jamie. She’s been undergoing tests for the past few weeks, and the doctor is saying she might have a tumor on her liver. The latest test results should be back later today or tomorrow. Please say a prayer. Thanks.
We miss you in SF Big Guy! Of course we’ll pray for Jamie! Hope everything works out, keep positive! Hope to see you in the Series!!!
Jamie and you are in our prayers. We are soooo happy that you are our catcher. And we appreciate how you share your view from behind the mask. Other than sweating the news from Jamie, what do you like to do on your off-day?
Bengie – Thank you for taking the time to share with us even with everything that is going on right now. I will be praying for you, Jamie, Jayda and the rest of your family during this difficult time. Remember Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Blessings!!!
Bengie! We miss you in San Francisco! I’ve been checking the Rangers website to see how you’re doing.
I’ll definitely be praying for Jamie. I hope everything goes well!
Hi Bengie we miss you in S. F. Hope you are doing well in Texas. I still wear my Molina t-shirt to the game.Maybe will meet each other in World Series. I’m sorry about you’re baby girl Jamie I’ll keep her and you in my prayers.
Prayers sent, Bengie.
If you read this, you should know that Giants fans will always love you. You are and always will be family. Sorry the front office traded u. You are out boy. Don’t retire. You are too valuable. Respect to you and your family. Thanks for the great years.