My Two Families: Home and Clubhouse
I flew my wife and son to Los Angeles for the Dodgers series, though they usually don’t join me on the road. But I wanted us to be together for Mother’s Day. Even though I didn’t even have time to have breakfast with them Sunday morning — I had to pack for get-away day and get out to the park for the day game — it was important that we got up together as a family. I reminded my son to say Happy Mother’s Day, and I gave my wife a present. I wanted to make sure she had a good Mother’s Day.
I think, of course, about my own mother on Mother’s Day. She died eight years ago at the age of 47. I know she wanted so much to see me play in the Major Leagues and she never did. But I know she’s here watching me now and she’s proud.
I was thinking about how my mother always told me to appreciate what I have and to be the best at everything I do, whether it’s playing baseball and being a good teammate or being a good husband and father. One of the toughest lessons to learn in baseball — maybe in anything, but I only know baseball — is to balance your life at the field and your life at home. It’s really easy to get so focused on baseball that you don’t make enough time for your family. Or even if you make enough time, you’re actually thinking about what happened at the park.
Or on the other side, you can be thinking so much about problems at home, that you’re not as focused as you need to be on the field. I know this from experience in my first marriage. So I really try to give 100 percent to baseball when I’m playing baseball, and 100 percent to my family when I’m with my family. If you keep that kind of balance, you’re going to be happy in both places.
What I learned from my father was to be appreciative of everything I have. I try to see what’s good in my life and not focus on what might be missing or not so good. I’m going through a slump and am working really hard to get through it. I’m realizing that, because I don’t play all the time, I’m trying too hard to make a big splash when I DO get in instead of being who I am: a kind of small guy who should hit grounders and get on base and steal. I’m not a slugger. So I’m telling myself, “Don’t forget who you are. Do the little things you did before and you’ll be fine.’’
In the meantime, I’m completely appreciative of having the opportunity to play for the Giants against this season, and I’m having a great time watching our guys win. The road trip was unbelievable. We seem to find a way to win games, and it always seems to be somebody different who comes through. Sometimes it’s been the bottom of the lineup. Sometimes the top. Sometimes the bench guys. Hector’s been so good. Watching him and everyone inspires me to be better and get out the slump. I want to be part of it!
Thanks for reading. See you at the park! And a late Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!