Results tagged ‘ Goodbye ’

Thanks For Everything

            I’m
in a hotel room in Denver with Jamie and Jayda, still adjusting to the sudden
change in our lives. We have a 7:30 flight tonight to Dallas. The Rangers are
playing today in Anaheim, then returning to Texas tomorrow, so they told me
just to meet up with them there. We’ll stay in a hotel until the All-Star
break, then figure out living arrangements for the rest of the season. At some
point, Jamie will have to pack up our stuff in the Bay Area and have it all
shipped.

            This
is baseball. Or at least the business of baseball. As players, we know our
livelihoods are in someone else’s hands for the most part. That lack of control
over who you work with and where you live, though, is a small price for the
unbelievable opportunity to play baseball for a living – and to earn a salary
most of us never thought possible for ourselves.

Players don’t talk about
this part of the game much, the part about getting traded. Publicly, you shrug
and roll with it. But any player who tells you it doesn’t sting is lying. It’s
because you get so close to the people on your team – not just your teammates
but their families. Jamie is great friends with a lot of the wives, so it’s a
huge loss for her, too.

I feel that in this blog
for the last three seasons, I’ve always been honest with you. So I will be
honest now: News of the trade felt like a blow to the stomach. I love the guys
on the Giants. I have loved playing in front of the fans in San Francisco.

            The
way I found out is a sign of the speed-of-light information superhighway. We
were landing in Denver last night and Travis Ishikawa asked me something like,
“Do you know what happened?”

            “No,
what happened?” I asked, but he didn’t answer.

            Then
Freddy Sanchez sat down next to me, “Hey, are you OK?”

            “Yeah,
what’s going on?”

            “Are
you going to be OK? I’m sorry, man. I’m so sorry,” he said.

            I
still didn’t know what he was talking about.

            Then
Pat Burrell says, “It’s been an honor playing with you. You’re a class act.”

            I
guess everyone had seen it on the internet or had received messages about it. I
turned on my phone and there was a text from Jamie: “We’re off to Texas.”

            I
thought, “What the heck?”

            When
I reached Jamie on the phone, she told me it was all over the news: I had been
traded for a relief pitcher and a player to be named later.

            One
by one, my teammates – especially the pitchers – gave me hugs and thanked me
for the help I had given them over the years. When we were all on the bus
heading to the hotel, I stood up in the aisle and faced the team.

            “I
just want to say thanks for being such great teammates and for taking care of
me. I’m really going to miss you guys,” I said. “You have what it takes to win
this thing, and I’m going to watching as much as I can. You guys have my
number. Even if I’m not your teammate any more, I’ll always be your friend.”

            I
was about to sit down when everyone started to clap. Then they stood and
clapped some more. It was an amazing feeling.

            I
received tons of text messages all through the night, including a really nice
one from Buster Posey. He wanted to stop by my room to talk in person but his
dinner ran late. He wished me the best of luck and thanked me for what I taught
him. I texted him back to thank him for how great he was to me and that I
appreciated how humble and professional he was. I thanked him for his
friendship and for his wife being so friendly to Jamie. I told him I’d always
be rooting for him,

            In
my last blog entry, I want to make sure to thank the clubbies everyone in the
training room, the Giants staff and all the coaches. They are great people.

            This
has been such a great experience the last four seasons. Now I have to look
ahead. I talked to the Rangers general manager last night and he was very
upbeat about how I could contribute to the team. It’s exciting to be joining a
team in first place, and to be sharing a clubhouse again with my old Angels
teammate, Vladimir Guerrero. This is a new challenge for me and it’s going to
be fun to get to know all these new players and coaches and figure out how I
can help them win.

            Thanks
for reading this over the past few seasons. I hope our paths cross again.