A win, a night out and a day off – Brandon Crawford
I’m hanging out in my hotel room on our day off in Denver, just taking it easy. Some guys went fly fishing. Some have their families here. My wife Jalynne is at this moment driving our car from Arizona back to the Bay Area to the place we’re renting in Walnut Creek. (I grew up in nearby Pleasanton.) We have a three-bedroom house that we share with Jalynne’s two sisters – her twin, Janelle, and their older sister Jamie Dantzscher, who was on the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team that won the bronze medal in Sydney in 2000. She’s coaching gymnastics in the Bay Area now, and Janelle is working as a first-grade teacher in Pleasanton. It’s great they’re there because we’re on the road so much and now Jalynne always has company.
We celebrated our first win of the season yesterday with eleven of us going out to dinner together to a restaurant called Ocean Prime. Huff organized the whole thing – and picked up the check. It was a good mixture of pitchers and position players – Manny Burriss, Cain, Lincecum, Affeldt, Nate, Pill, Bum, Romo, Belt, me. It was a lot of fun to be together off the field. Part of the reason the 2010 team did so well – I’ve been told – is that the team was tight and everyone was pulling for everyone else. That’s how it already feels.
We all talked about Zito’s nine-inning shutout – how smart he pitched, how controlled. Everyone’s so happy for him after all his struggles. He’s such a gracious, genuinely good person, so you’re always rooting for him. I heard someone say that maybe that game was a sign of what kind of team this will be – that you never know who’s going to be the hero. That seems like an echo of 2010, too.
As thrilling as it was to hear my name announced on Opening Day in Arizona, I know it will be nothing compared to Friday at AT&T. I wonder if I’ll be as nervous as I was in Arizona, given that it was my first time on an Opening Day roster. Huff told me later that for all the years he has played, he still gets nervous on Opening Day, so that was reassuring to hear.
Then I go and boot the first grounder hit to me. But you have to just forget about it and make sure you get the next one. I’m pretty even-keeled, so it’s not difficult for me to let go of mistakes. I know it’s a long season. There will be a lot of ground balls over a lot of games. That’s why inside the clubhouse – contrary to what I’m sure was happening on talk radio – nobody was panicking about losing three in Arizona. Did we hate to get swept? Of course. But there were still 159 games left to play at that point.
It felt great to get the three-run double yesterday. I’ve been feeling good at the plate since the first game, even if the results didn’t show it. You just hope the ball eventually finds a hole, and that one did.
Someone asked me recently about the communication and partnership a shortstop has to have with his second baseman. Good question. I’ll write about that next time.
See you Friday in San Francisco.