Venezuela West

Jean Machi’s arrival this week means there are now six players in the Giants clubhouse from Venezuela – Pablo, Hector Sanchez, Marco Scutaro, Jose Mijares, Machi and me.

By the way, we pronounce Machi like this: Ma-SHEE.

Being so far from home, it’s really nice to have people who know the same food, same traditions, same music. We all know each other from winter ball, so we were really happy to see Machi finally get a chance in a major-league game at the age of 30 after 12 years in pro ball.

“You deserve this,’’ I told him when he came in from Fresno, where he was the closer for the Grizzlies. “You worked for it and nobody can take it away from you now. Enjoy it.’’

Then he went out and threw a perfect inning in his major-league debut. I think everybody in the park was happy for him because he had waited so long and had worked so hard. What they don’t know is that he’s a really nice guy. His personality is a lot like Pablo’s in that he has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. But he’s quieter than Pablo.

Pablo is kind of the leader of the Venezuelans because he’s such a great player and a great teammate.

Scutaro has become a leader, too, even though he hasn’t been with the team very long. But he’s the oldest of the Venezuelans and has the most experience. Marco tries to help everybody. He knows I’ve been struggling at the plate, so every day he says to me, “You are a great player. We believe in you. Everybody in here believes in you.’’ He tells me to relax, to trust my hands and go with the pitch and hit the ball the other way. That’s what he does. And that’s the kind of player I am when I’m locked in. I’m patient at the plate like he is. I have quality at-bats. So he talks to me a lot about getting back into a good groove.

If someone asked what all Venezuelan players had in common, I’d say two things: We’re team players and we’re passionate about baseball. And one more thing: Pride. Every single Venezuelan I’ve played with takes great pride in how he competes and what he contributes to his team.

We haven’t all gotten together away from the park yet, though we want to. I tried to do it August 13 for my baby boy’s birthday, but Pablo was celebrating his birthday the same day.

OK, I’m heading to the cage to get in some extra batting practice. I hope it doesn’t rain, though the skies look a little dark. After back-to-back extra-inning games, the last thing we need is a rain delay.

Looking forward to the day off tomorrow before the big series against the Dodgers. September baseball, in first place, playing our rival – what’s better than that?

 

11 Comments

Blanco- I’ve noticed that players from Venezuela seem to instinctively do more on-field coaching. For example, if there is a passed ball while at the plate, they instantly signal to the runner to come home or stay at third. Is this something that is emphasized more or needed more in the VZ winter leagues? Are there other things you think are taught differently depending on where you grew up?

Gregor you looked Fantastic against Colorado last night. Post season here we come!

My name is Daymon King. I am a private vision coach for batting. I am backed by two MLB stars with a copyrighted Eye Focus Training Technique. My system takes two days with dramatic results. You can look at my profile on linkedin. Let me make you a star at the plate. You can contact me at kingsvconcepts@ymail.com or my cell 248-795-3475. Thanks!

Gregor- how would you explain your role in the clubhouse? You talked about other players’ strengths off the field, but what are yours?
-Paul

http://apieceofthegame.mlblogs.com

That epitomizes the Giants’ Team Attitude! Everyone steps up and we’ll take the Dodgers this week! Together We’re Giant!

Gregor Miguel Blanco es el mejor,y esta en el mejor equipo en Venezuela Tiburones de la Guaira. <3 saludos desde Vargas – Venezuela

Cant wait for this weekends games. I know all our Giants will do their best to defend AT&T park and get the win!!! Enjoy your day off today!

Gregor es el mejor primer bate de Venezuela y con mucho trabajo podria llegar a ser uno de los mejor de las grandes ligas.

Can’t wait to see you guys womp on the Dodgers this weekend! :D

I believe in your talent Gregor, but baseball is a tough game that will challenge even the best players mentally, and that often interferes with a player’s ability to perform as they are capable. Just remember that you are the MVP of the 2011 Venezuelan Winter League and go into each at-bat prepared for the pitcher and confident that you can get a hit off him.

Also remember that although you have not established yourself as a regular yet, your on-base percentage is excellent for your career, always above average every year, despite playing part-time, so you have done well in your career so far, you just need to do it consistently to win the job, You clearly know how to hit, because when you make contact, you get a lot of hits, plus get a lot of walks, but your challenge is striking out too much. Just get your strikeouts down, and your offensive stats will look a lot better. All the best!

Señor Scutaro is right! You are a great player; just relax, do what you know and have faith. Thanks for the update. GO GIANTS!!

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