Playing for My Dad

The best part of the road trip was that my dad, Hernan, flew from Venezuela to Atlanta. It was the first time he has seen me play in the major leagues. And I hit a home run in that series, so he was really proud and happy.

Now he’s here in San Francisco with my family and me for a month. When I talked to him on the phone in Venezuela, I told him to bring the warmest coat he has because it can get really cold in San Francisco.

And I told him he’s going to love the fans. “You’re going to feel like you’re back in Venezuela!’’ I told him.

He had a great time at the game Monday night. He said I was right about the fans. They’re crazy for the Giants. He really loved that they lifted Melky out the stands when he made that catch.

You might have seen or read about me missing the suicide squeeze sign in Philadelphia. How did I miss such an important sign? I’m going to be completely honest. I never looked. With Buster on third, all I was thinking about was driving him home. I briefly thought about bunting, but Buster’s a catcher and so he’s not the fastest guy on the team. I saw the infield playing in, and I said to myself, “All you need to do is hit the ball hard to the outfield to get him in.’’

Then suddenly I saw Buster charging down the line. I thought, “Uh oh.’’ But in this game, you have to wipe a mistake from your mind. I told myself, “You made a mental mistake. Forget about it. We’re going to win this game. You’re going to have another opportunity to do something.’’

And I did, in the 10th inning. We had runners on first and third. Bochy told me to think about bunting to the right side. I had been watching the second baseman and first baseman – Utley and Howard – earlier in the game and saw they were both a little slow. (Both were coming off injuries.)  We had a fast runner in Melky at third.

When I had a 3-1 count – a hitter’s count — I figured the Phillies would think I’d swing away. They wouldn’t be expecting a bunt, a safety squeeze.

The key to a good bunt is to trust your instincts, trust your hands and relax. As soon as the pitcher goes into his motion, you put the bat out and hope the pitch is middle-in. It was.  I followed the ball, angled the bat pretty sharply toward the right side and pushed. The ball fell just right.

Howard couldn’t get to the ball fast enough, and Melky scored the go-ahead run.

Thanks to those of you who asked about my trip to Santa Monica during the All-Star break. It was awesome. I didn’t expect it to be as great as it was because you don’t hear much about Santa Monica. Everybody talks about Hollywood, LA, Malibu. We spent time on the beach relaxing. We also went to Disneyland. It was the first time for my son. He was all over Mickey Mouse and Donald. He really loved it.

That’s all for now. See you out at the park. (If you run into a good-looking, Spanish-speaking, shivering man named Hernan, say hello and maybe loan him a scarf.)

12 Comments

Hubby & I will be there when you play the Dodgers!

I am so amazed at your sharp instinct and keen observations as shown by this bunt and observations of Utley and Howard. Several months ago, you stated that this Giants team is special and special things will happen. At the time, the broadcasters felt that this statement was too premature because Giants were struggling then. Since then, there have been many special moments including Matt Cain’s perfecto. Once again, Gregor, your keen observations led you to the right conclusion – this Giants team is special. I am looking forward to more special moments!

That’s awesome that your dad can come watch you play and spend time with your family. Too bad you aren’t playing here in Arizona during his visit, that would warm him up!

Your dad must be so proud of you! I’m glad he got to come out to SF to see you play. I just found your blog today, and I’m enjoying reading all your entries. Keep it up!

PS One of my favorite things is to wait for the end of the game to see the outfield jump. So awesome! :D

Thank you for taking the time to share your stories and thoughts. I really enjoy reading your blogs, especially when you add personal touches about your dad, your family, etc.

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This has been one of my favorite entries yet! I love how you wrote about how you think during the game and how it is to play for your dad. You also got payback against your former team the braves! Keep writing, you’re very entertaining!!

Very awesome about your dad, Gregor!

That’s so awesome about your dad! Glad he loves SF and it must be so thrilling for him to see you in action. I’m sure he’s beaming with pride. Also, I read that you and Brandon Crawford are just the third set of teammates in last 40 years to each hit 3-run homers in the same extra inning. Seems like every game this season there’s some new obscure record being broken by the Giants – and I’m loving it!

Another excellent post from one of my favorite Giants! So glad your dad is here for a visit. I hope he enjoys it and stays warm! :)

Gregor, I just read all of your blog entries, and enjoyed them so much. Keep writing! You seem like a wonderful guy, very in touch with what’s important – working hard and family. Best of luck to you for the rest of the season. A fan from Philly.

Love it!!!

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