Cloak of Invincibility — Gregor Blanco

[The administrator didn't post this until now, though it was posted two days ago on the Spanish-language site . . . sorry]

    I have a wrap on my ankle today. It’s not a big deal. When I woke up this morning, I felt little bit like a truck had run over me. You probably feel that way sometimes, too. Just one of those days. For ballplayers, when we’re halfway through the season, different body parts start to feel a little sore and strained.
    I bring this up because I’m asked sometimes about my routine for staying in shape during the season. Like a lot of guys, I’m kind of fanatical about it. And I guess it’s working because I have never been on the DL. Not even in the minors. I once pulled my oblique muscle and had to miss five games, but I avoided the DL.
    The only time I would have had to go on the DL was last year. You might remember when I collided with Angel Pagan in the outfield and badly sprained my ankle. The doctor said I couldn’t play for two months. Lucky for me it was the last game of the season.
    Another reason I’ve never been on the DL is all of my years of playing the outfield I have never run into a wall or a fence. In most circumstances, the team needs you to stay healthy more than it needs you to catch one ball. You’re better off in the long run playing it off the wall or letting it drop. There are exceptions — like saving a perfect game or making an out in a World Series that might mean the difference between winning and losing.
    So I’ll tell you about my pre-game routine that helps me stay healthy. It’s different depending on whether I’m in the lineup or not. I’ll tell you my not-in-the-lineup routine.
    I arrive before 2:30 for a 7 p.m. game. I start by working out with Carl Kochan, our strength and conditioning coach. We work in the gym on core, legs or upper body. I stretch, then go run on the field. Then I meet with Bam-Bam and Joe Lefebvre about hitting. I might work with Flan on bunting. Or run the bases by myself, putting myself into different situations. Then I do BP with the team.
    If I do all that, I’m ready when the game starts for whatever the manager needs from me. I want to be ready 100 percent. Even during the game, I stretch some more. I think stretching is one of the most important things. (But I don’t stretch after games. Time to give my body a rest.)    
    If any part of my body is bothering me, I try to take care of it before it can become more serious. That’s why I have this wrap on my ankle today. I do whatever the trainers tell me to do. Then I do extra when I get home — I ice my muscles, I drink lots of water, take electrolytes if I need them, eat healthy food. (I’m not sure I’ll wear the wrap during the game today. I’ll check it out during BP. If I don’t like it, I’ll take it off and just play through it.)
    The bottom line is I never want to leave the game. I learned that from my parents. No matter what, try to play. They told me if I get hit, you still play even though it’s going to be a little painful.
    On a different subject, I have one thing to tell you about my home run on Saturday against the Padres — my first home run of the season. I was talking to my twin brother, Gregory, before the game.
    “You’re going to hit a home run today,’’ he said.
    “OK,” I joked, “let’s do it!’’
    When I hit the home run, I was so excited. I wasn’t thinking about what Gregory had said. I was thinking how great it was for the team. I was really pumped up, and the team was really pumped up. I was feeling like, “See? We can do this!’’
    When I was running past third base, I remembered, “Oh my god, my brother told me this!’’
    I called him after the game.
    “Tell me I’m going to hit a home run tomorrow!’’
    Thanks for reading and for all the really nice comments on the last blog. Feel free to leave your questions. I’ll answer them like Crawford does in his blog.

July 8, 2014

3:30 p.m.

18 Comments

You have the best attitude! My mom and I always root for you. No matter how you are hitting, you are an inspiration.

Just saw the score!!!! Nice win! 3 for 3 Blanco!
Congratulations!!!! I wish I was there! Your hard work and effort is inspirational! Keep it up! Good luck on the road!

Love your blog and learning the things you tell about “inside” the game of baseball. You are the ultimate teammate, always ready to do whatever is necessary. Congrats on the home run. Neat to hear that you have a twin brother. I have twin sons who are 44 now.

It’s always nice to read your post. The two Brandons,, who write mostly about their life off the field (which is nice too), your blog let’s us fans, view how a player’s day to day routine is. And that was a great home-run on Saturday, . Get some rest & enjoy your family during the All-Star’s.

Hi Gregor! Thanks for the blog, it’s always fun to read them. Your home run was a beauty and we were screaming and jumping around when you hit it. What are your plans for the All Star break and do you or the other players watch the games or avoid them to take your mind off baseball for awhile? Whatever your plans are, I hope you get some rest and have fun with your family.

I love reading your blog. Keep it up. I wear a jersey with your name and number. <3

Thanks for sharing your routine. How is the routine different for when you are in the lineup? That’s very smart to know when to risk getting hurt and when not to. And to know that it’s better to not get hurt long-term just for one play.

How do you remind yourself to stay within your abilities and not try to do more than you can? You had mentioned in a prior blog post that you need to do that, so I was curious how you do it. For example, the old saying is to keep a string tied around a finger to remind people to do something, do you do anything like that to remind you while you are batting? I know some batters go into a routine to remind them, like Joe Morgan used to flap his arm to remind himself to keep his arm in (or something like that). Keep up the good work!

Great post. It’s nice to catch a glimpse of the day to day routine. Keep up the good work and I know you will get back on track. Last night was a good game, you guys played like Giants.

Gregor, Thank you so much for blogging, So great to hear your personal experiences as I’m such a big fan of you & the GIANTS! You don’t have to go into specifics but what are the team meetings like? How does Boch approach the team after consecutive losses? and does anyone else take leadership besides Bochy during the meetings? Do the players have say in these meetings as well?

Love when you are tearing up the base paths,,, you got great wheels for a shark :) Keep up the good work… I think your brother is your lucky charm, AWESOME 1st Homerun!!!! ,, get him to more games :) Much love to you & the GIANTS! God Bless & VAMOS GIGANTES,,, VAMOS!!!!

Sorry…I could have sworn I read in your blog that you moved your family to florida..anyway, love reading your blig. I just re-read a lot of the old ones. Sorry about your mom. I had a brain tumor removed 7 years ago, so I can relate. Great win against the padres last night! hubby is taking me to the Dodgers game in a few weeks! I can’t wait!

Awesome game last night! I love your work ethic, hope your ankle is feeling better. Your pregame work out sounds hard, do you have the same routine at away games? Is your family enjoying living in Florida or are they homesick? Love reading your blog! Stay healthy!

Gregor, thank you for your blog! It is so wonderful to hear about the days in the life of a pro baseball player. There is so much people don’t know because all we see is the game. I love being a fan of the Giants, as I see the dedication. My question is what are you guys doing to help each other get through the tough time the team is experiencing? During June, fans heard about Panda’s boots and the helmets; what is the team doing now? How does the team work with guys who are extremely frustrated with what is happening on the field? For example, the other night Pence was visibly upset in Oakland for slipping and not getting to first base in time – did anyone talk to him to calm him down or do you guys leave a mad guy alone?

AWESOME JOB LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!! GO GIANTS!!!!

I love that you and some of the other guys take the time to write these blogs! It’s always interesting/entertaining to hear what you have to say about your experiences, baseball related or not.

My question is random, but I’m curious. Haha.
When I played sports, I was pretty superstitious about having to wear the same number on my jersey each year. Is that a big deal to you? There’s never guy who changes numbers year to year that I know of (unless they switch teams and have to). Have you always been #7 growing up or was it just sort of given to you when you got to the majors?

Again, thanks for writing and reading our comments!
I feel a big winning streak coming, Go Giants!! :)

You mentioned you like to eat healthy food. Do you eat mostly at home or do the Giants provide most of your meals? What is your diet like? Is it difficult to eat as healthy as you’d like when the team is out of town? Thanks for your blog. It’s really great to read about a baseball player’s life behind the scenes, and my family enjoys your writing and we’re glad you’re a Giant!

Sometimes people don’t realize how much work it is for professional athletes to stay in top condition during a season, so it was great to read about all your preparation and the care you take of yourself after the games, too. No one can possibly question your dedication and it shows on the field!

I do have a question and maybe it sounds a little silly. How easy is it for you to hear the other outfielders with that sold-out crowd at home every game? If there’s a fly ball and everyone is screaming for it to be caught, can you really hear each other all that well. Love how you wave the other fielders off — you leave no doubt that it’s your play — but can they hear you calling it?

¡ Muchísimas gracias ! My son just turned 10 and is a baseball rat…he reads everything from you and “The Brandons”. Thank you for being such an inspiration to him. He is playing in the PONY Regional World Series coming up next week in California and will continue to play tough because he wants to be just like you. Do you have any words of advice for him? California teams can be pretty intimidating for us little Arizonans!

Every time you and your teammates take the field, you are inspiring a little boy like mine. You give him something to dream for each night when I tuck him into bed and say our prayers. So thank you for being such a mentor to a boy you don’t even know. My son and I love and support you here from Arizona! Go Giants!!! <3

My wife and I traveled down to San Diego for the first two games of that series. Your homer was a much needed boost for the crowd, it was great to feel that energy again. As fans, we appreciate your reliability in staying healthy. Pretty awesome that you got to be the tip of the sword when the offense turned a corner.

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