Back in San Francisco

10-25-10

6 p.m.

 

            We flew into the Bay Area this afternoon. Instead of driving over the Bay Bridge to the home I leased for the first half this season, I rode the Rangers team bus to a hotel in the heart of San Francisco. It was weird on the plane to be reading scouting reports of the Giants’ hitters. It’s so strange how things work out. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Giants players at the ballpark, either tomorrow at workouts or Wednesday before the game. Throughout the post-season, Jamie’s been communicating with Kristen Posey, Chelsea Cain, Blanca Kelly (the wife of first-base coach Roberto), Nate Schierholtz’s family, a bunch of others, everyone wishing us luck and Jamie wishing them luck. But we’re not going to be socializing this week, at least I won’t be. I can’t. There is just too much to be thinking about and focusing on.

            As Jamie and I were running errands yesterday in Dallas, we were talking about how lucky we are to have landed with the Rangers. I can’t imagine any other team being as welcoming as the Rangers have been, from the players to the clubbies to the front office staff. After we won the pennant Friday night, our families were invited to join us in the dugout.  Even thought Jamie’s pretty new to the Rangers’ family, every coach and half a dozen of the team owners came up and hugged her and told her she and I were 100 percent a part of this victory. She was holding Jayda in her arms, and they were just looking all around as if it were dream. Jayda was trying to grab the red, white and blue confetti falling everywhere.

            One moment that will stand out for me in the ALCS was the three-run home run.  It wasn’t so much because I was able to come through under pressure, though that’s part of it. You always want to be the guy who steps up. For whatever reason, I’ve had success in the big moments. People started calling me “Big Money” when I was with the Angels and it carried over to the Giants. I think I do well in those situations because I’m not afraid to fail. I feel calm. I put my faith in God. I go to the plate believing absolutely that I will get a hit.

            But two other things were happening when I was rounding the bases that day. First, I was just so happy and grateful that I almost cried. After struggling most of the season with an injured elbow, and getting traded, it was an emotional thing to be able to help my team win. Second, I was thinking of my father, who, as many of you know, died two years ago. I thumped my fist on my heart as I was heading to home. I was thinking, “Pai, this is both of us.” Then I pointed up to my mother and Jamie. None of this means anything without them.

            When reporters talked to me afterward, I made a comment like, “Not bad for the fat kid who everyone made fun of for being so slow.” I was joking but I have to say there was a lot of satisfaction in proving people wrong about me. When I warmed up the starting pitchers during our games in Yankee Stadium, fans near the bullpen chanted, “Ben-gie’s fat! Ben-gie’s fat!” It was kind of funny, of course. They sounded like fourth-graders in the playground. The best part was they chanted in English AND in Spanish to make sure I was absolutely clear about what they were saying. So to drive in the go-ahead runs in front of those fans put a smile on my face.

            Another memorable moment for me was Vladdy’s big hit after the Yankees again intentionally walked Josh Hamilton.  I sat in the dugout and said a little prayer: “Please let him be the man today. If I have a hit coming to me today, give it to him instead.” And then bang – two-run double. I was so happy for him. He’s such a great player and was really struggling during the series. He deserved to be the hero.

            When the game was over, the families not only got to come into the dugout, they were welcomed into the clubhouse for the champagne and beer showers. My mother went home with Jayda, and Jamie came in. She had told me earlier that if she ever got to join in the celebration, she wanted the full deal. She wanted to experience what it was like. As soon as I saw her, I poured two 20-ounce cans of beer over her head. We sprayed champagne at each other – and everyone else. We had a blast. Two hours later, she was still so drenched she could probably have filled a champagne bottle by wringing out her clothes. It was the best night.

            Now back to work. We have a workout tomorrow at AT&T Park, then Game 1 Wednesday.

            When we get back to Dallas, Yadier and Jose will be there. They’re in Puerto Rico right now but they’ll be there cheering me on for Games 3, 4 and, if we need it, 5. With me going to the World Series, now each of us Molina boys has been to two World Series each. Pretty amazing.

             I’m going to try to post on the blog every day. So keep checking in!

16 Comments

HI Bengie – that 3R HR had me off the couch screaming at the tv! You are a wonderful addition to the TR’s. I also felt Vladdy was going to make the Yankees pay if they kept walking Josh. Boy, did he ever. On the tv, as he was down 0-2, I saw the smile come off his face and a twinkle in his eye and I thought, he’s going to hit it out of the park. What he did was just a good. You guys faced a tough team and played as a unit – incredibly fun for the fans.
Two teams, both underdogs, both going to the World Series. I couldn’t be happier that it is SF we are going to face. But the respect I feel for how you play the game and the love you write about your family is priceless. I know your Dad was dancing in heaven. Go Rangers! Go Bengie!

Bengie back in San Francisco! My Molina jersey is still hanging in my closet right beside Lincecum and Sandoval and has been worn on many occasions during the playoff season to show support to our former catcher. Now the Giants and Rangers will play and the Molina jersey is going to have to retire itself for the season. (No matter the outcome of the world series the jersey will be worn again next season. Always a Giant in my heart) I hope you get the welcome you deserve on Wednesday which I’m sure you will. And either way you’ll get a ring at the end of this I just hope it’s with the Giants.

I, too, am a life-long Giants’ fan. (over 40 years and counting!)

You’ve been nothing but a class-act from the start and I couldn’t be happier for you! I, too, will always think of you as a Giant and I’ll be rooting hard for the Orange and Black… but you need to know that we Giants’ fans cherished your time here. You will always be the Willie Mac Award winner in my book! All the best to you and your family (just not a Series win this year! We’ve been waiting far too long in San Francisco!).

Cheers!

Bengie, our family has been a Rangers family all along, and we are so glad to have you on the team. You add such class and wisdom, faith and encouragement… The chemistry of the team this year is just truly amazing (even before you got there) and feels great to watch.

One of the things we have always felt was that the Phillies and Yankees fans can be such bullies (from personal experience at games) and very low class and full of insults. I love how the Rangers fans are welcoming, and how they are classy even to the rival teams. I hate hearing what they were yelling at you, and am so glad you showed ‘em with that 3RH. Loved it when you stole that base! Loved all the hard work you have put in to the season for both the Giants and the Rangers.

I am so excited to see you guys in the World Series! Thank you for blogging and allowing Rangers’ fans (and Giants’ fans) a glimpse of your team’s joy through all of this.

We’ll be watching, you bet!

— Lifelong Rangers fans

As I Giants fan, I just wanted to say that I couldn’t be happier for you, Bengie, and I wish you the best of luck in the World Series. The fact that you’ve expressed nothing but good will toward the Giants going into the Series speaks volumes about your character–I don’t know if I’d have reacted with such class had I been in your shoes. It just makes your success with the Rangers all the more deserved.

Like the previous commenter, I’ll always think of you as a Giant, even as you go out and try to make history with your new team. It’s wonderful to know that, in an age when it’s easy to become cynical, there are still players out there like you.

Thanks for bloging Bengie. I consider myself a free agent fan…. I just love the game I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the Rangers and Giants in the playoffs. I followed the Giants throughout the season the best I could from the East Coast (Richmond, VA) because our new AA team, the Flying Squirrels is affiliated with the Giants. But the Rangers have won me over too because of the way you alll play and the great personalities on the team. My son actually pitched against Josh Hamilton in the State Games when they were in high school in NC. Glad he bounced back the way he did. Thanks for your great attitude and for playing the way you do….you’re good for the game. I’m going to enjoy the Series and I’ll probably find myself pulling for whoever is behind. Best wishes!

Bengie, I’m so glad that you are a part of the Rangers team. As a fan, one of the things that I love about this team, is the way that they seem to honestly care about each other. Thank you for sharing the glimpses inside the team, that confirm the family feeling. Your writing is very insightful & fun to read. I will always remember the amazing game with your cycle; everyone was so happy. Congratulations on an awesome year & helping 2 teams to the World Series. Sending prayers for your wife.

Freakin beautiful man …. I cannot believe we are in the World Series finally .. seems like i should be more excited but i think it just doesent seem like its real yet..doesnet help that I have to work the EXACT hours of the game too .. I hate my job .. worthless..im calling in tomorrow . screw it..thanks for the blog … by the way we might be related my names Dennis Molina .. but it might be a long shot muaha =]

Freakin beautiful man …. I cannot believe we are in the World Series finally .. seems like i should be more excited but i think it just doesent seem like its real yet..doesnet help that I have to work the EXACT hours of the game too .. I hate my job .. worthless..im calling in tomorrow . screw it..thanks for the blog … by the way we might be related my names Dennis Molina .. but it might be a long shot muaha =]

[i][b]Revengie Molina?[/i][/b]

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Rock on, Bengie.

Hi Bengie.

I think it’s so great, and a testament to who you are, that Giant fans are commenting still so positively on your blog.

You are just as loved as a Ranger!

I wanted to wish you best of luck in the series, and if we’re talking about which ring you’re going to bring home, you know it’s got to be for the Texas Rangers!

Catch a good game.

Hello Bengie,
I register just to tell you that, I am so happy that you are a Texas Ranger, and I hope that you resign with us. Don’t retire! I have gone back and read your blogs and enjoyed everyone of them. I will be keeping up with your blog from now on.
I believe in you Bengie! Go Texas Rangers!

I love the blog, Bengie. Thanks for reaching out and letting the fans see the human side of this game. I was also praying for Vladdy to make some noise. I knew he was due!

Go Texas!

Bengie, it’s gonna be a long time before I can delete game 6 of the ALCS off my DVR! I’m going to game 4 and absolutely cannot wait! You guys are simply amazing…..the Rangers’ success is nothing short of inspirational. Thank you for allowing us to speak to you through your blog even if it’s not one on one. It is really great that you do this for us! You seem like a real stand up guy. Good luck tonight…..I’m about to sit down and scream at the tv for yall for 3 or so hours! GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ohh Bengie. I just discovered your blog tonight, and I haven’t stopped reading it since! It’s definitely helping ease the pain of this tough game. You are an absolutely outstanding addition to the Rangers team, and I couldn’t be more happy with the trade! It’s great to see the team finally make it to the World Series, and you’ve been amazing during this postseason. I love that you are willing to share not only your love for the game, but also your love for your family. I love it! I wish you absolutely the best of luck in the future, wherever it may take you!

Claw & Antlers!

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