Posted on November 1st, 2012 by TheSportsVirus
Welcome to CATCH IT!– My observations of the sports world. Basically it’s something to read and comment about in between podcasts.
Ok. I’ll admit I was dead wrong about Barry Zito (see previous blog). But, did anyone see this coming besides Barry himself? Maybe his agent Scott Boras? His family members? I guess Bruce Bochy did. At least I was correct in my choice of Ryan Theriot as the DH. It took a game for Bochy to listen to me (was he really listening to our Inside China Basin webcast on Spreecast.com?) and he picked the right guy at the right time.
Well, congratulations to Theriot, Zito, Bochy and all of the Giants for pulling off an amazing World Series run for the title. This was a great bunch of guys from my perspective. They made it a pleasure to do the interviews for our Inside China Basin podcasts and I want to thank some of them who participated.
I can’t even express enough how much I appreciated Jeremy’s time and candidness for our regular conversations each home stand. He never ducked an issue and he always gave an honest, well thought out answer. Off the field, I admire his willingness to back a great cause, Not For Sale, which is trying to end human trafficking. On the field he was such an integral part of a great bullpen. Game 4 of the World Series was his shining moment, especially when he struck out Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Delmon Young.
From day one at spring training I could tell that he would be approachable and he stayed that way throughout the season. I love the way he played all out with constant energy. Knowing that he came from a tough background in Puerto Rico made him even easier to root for.
Also a consistent person who never says no. I won’t forget him signing autographs for a long time then doing an interview. He mentioned that he didn’t forget how much an autograph meant to him as a kid.
The rest of the country got to see what we all knew in San Francisco, that this guy is a dynamic shortstop. We were spoiled for several years with one of the all-time greats in Omar Vizquel and now we are witnessing great athleticism again. He is soft spoken, but you can tell he doesn’t lack confidence even when he is slumping.
I loved his description of the catch he made in the Matt Cain perfect game. When the Melky Cabrera suspension hit, he didn’t shy away from the media and answered every question. You could sense his genuine appreciation for getting this chance with the Giants and he took full advantage.
I honestly didn’t expect a 10-minute interview with him, but there he was trying to explain his mindset during the worst struggles of his career. The best part of talking to him is that he isn’t phony. He admitted that he couldn’t claim he was “back” after one good start. You could tell he was working hard to figure it out.
I never thought he would be available for even a few minutes, but at the end of the season the timing was right. I admired the way he went about his business without any fanfare and he explained that his approach was instilled early in life. After talking to him about his hitting philosophy I could see why he was on his way to a batting title. He rarely swung at breaking balls out of the zone early in the count. You could tell that in the end he appreciated the way Bochy handled him coming back from his horrific injury.
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Artwork courtesy of: Suzie Armagost.