The Greatest Feeling
Last night was unbelievable. It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever had in my baseball career. The fans were so great. I loved running around the field and slapping everyone’s hand and saying thank you. And the clubhouse was crazy. But at some point in the midst of the champagne and music and hugging, I thought about last year.
I was in the minors the whole season, first for Kansas City then I was traded to Washington. I didn’t play a single game in the major leagues. And by August, I was on the DL after surgery for bone spurs in my wrist. The Nationals released me on November 2. And for two weeks I didn’t have a team. I didn’t know what was going to happen.
Then the Giants signed me in mid-November to a minor-league contract.
“Remember where we were in spring training?’’ I asked Joaquin Arias, who signed a minor-league contract with the Giants a month after I did.
“I know,’’ he said.
We were at the bottom of the roster. Neither one of us thought we’d make the team. And now we find ourselves in the playoffs. It’s crazy. Such a great feeling.
My wife and baby came into the clubhouse with the rest of the families last night. She was so happy for me, and I was happy for her, too. We’ve been through a lot together and to share that moment meant a lot for both of us.
But all through the clubhouse, even while we were celebrating, guys were saying, “Now we have to accomplish the next step.’’ We have the talent, the chemistry and the fight to do it.
That’s been the rallying cry all season for us – pelea. It’s Spanish for fight. Our manager started it, I think, early in the season. He was just having fun, but we all followed him. When someone’s up at bat, we yell, “Pelea!’’ When a pitcher is facing a big at-bat, we yell “Pelea!’’
It’s a word that describes our team really well. Fighters.