The Must-See Blog of the Summer! Four Stars! (Maybe Two!)
You might not be surprised to learn that Sunday’s game wasn’t the first time I’ve been hit in the head by a pitch. OK, the 90-something-mph pitch hit the brim of my hat Sunday, but it freaked me out for a second because I remember that day in college when a pitch hit me smack on my ear. When I watched pthe TV replay later, I threw off my helmet with both hands and fell to the ground. The next thing I knew I was waking up with the trainers around me. I was out maybe a few seconds.
I had a concussion and a cut ear that required stitches. When I left the hospital, I had to look down at my feet to watch myself walk because I thought I was going to fall over. And I played the next day with a numbing agent on my ear so it wouldn’t hurt when my helmet rubbed against it. It was very dumb to play, but I guess there were no rules about concussions.
That same year I was practicing my bunts with a pitching machine throwing 90. The balls were terrible so they moved all over the place. The ball cut in on me, glanced off the bat and hit me square in the eye. No bone or anything. Just the eyeball. I had a blood clot in my pupil and had to sleep upright for a week so the blood would drain out of my eye.
I feel lucky to have escaped Sunday’s near-hit with just a scare.
It seems good things are happening for me at the plate overall lately. It began in Philly. Bochy sat me for the series (except for one PH appearance) so I could work on some things. For a long time, the Giants hitting coaches here have suggested I move back in the batter’s box so I’d have more time to see and react to the pitch. And to hold the bat in my fingers rather than in my palms. The lighter grip loosens your whole body. But I was stubborn. I’d been successful my whole life with what I’d always done. Then Buster talked to me about it. Several players did, including one from another team. He said, “Hey I was in the same position you were. I changed where I stood in the box and held the bat with my fingers and it made all the difference in the world.’’ And he said it only took a couple days to figure it out. I thought, “OK, I have a couple days.’’
I saw results immediately.
When Bochy put me back in the lineup Friday night in Tampa, I had three hits, one short of the cycle. I saw the ball better, didn’t feel like I was rushing and I wasn’t getting in my own way anymore. I felt I was really tapping into my ability, like I did in spring training. I could just do what I feel I was born to do. What I can do. Even Sunday when I didn’t have a great game, I still saw the ball better and got on base twice. Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment period to get consistent, but I’m committed 100 percent to making it work. If I can be consistent, I can be a huge contributor to this team for years to come.
Now for the movie reviews.
“The Conjuring’’: This is a good horror film that’s supposedly based on a true story from the 1960’s or ‘70s, I can’t remember. This family moves into a house that’s demon-possessed. They hire some people who study demonology to come in and try to fix the situation. Sometimes horror films are cheesy and dumb and basically stupid. But this one was done right. It’s genuinely scary — none of those stupid creatures where their hands are turned backward. In “The Conjuring,’’ you’re thinking, “That could be real. I don’t want to sleep by myself tonight.’’ It stars the same guy who’s in all these same kind of movies.. He’s in “Insidious.’’ You know who he is. And Vera Farmiga, the one in “The Departed,’’ is really good in this.
Belt Rating: Three stars.
I had to trick Haley to go see it with me in Philadelphia. She won’t see a scary movie. I told her we were going to go see “Pacific Rim.’’ When we got to the theater and I bought “The Conjuring’’ tickets, she was so mad at me. Soooo mad. Beyond mad. But I had to lie to her or she wouldn’t go with me. She won’t say she liked it, but I think she did. She covered her eyes a lot, but so did I. You’re just waiting for something to leap out.
I think a lot of athletes like horror movies. I have a theory that as athletes we get an adrenaline rush from playing on the field and when you’re not on the field, you have to find another way to get it. Scary movies do it. Roller coasters do it. I draw the line at sky diving and bungee jumping. Never going to happen. I’m scared of heights. Out-of-my-mind scared. I can’t look out the window of a plane. I just can’t stand.
“R.I.P.D.’’: It stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, who plays kind of the same character he did in “True Grit.’’ He’s hilarious. It’s a weird kind of “Men in Black’’movie. It got terrible ratings, but I thought it was a feel-good movie.Yes, it has all this alien, sci-fi crap, but it’s got Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, both good actors in my opinion. It probably didn’t have enough artistic value for the critics, but it had a lot of entertainment value. I would recommend it. I don’t think you’d be wasting your money.
Belt rating: Two stars.
Haley didn’t see this one. She doesn’t like going to the movies in general. She doesn’t like anything. She’s never even seen “Armageddon’’! Everybody has seen Armageddon. You talk about all these movies that everybody has seen, and she hasn’t seen any of them. Her favorite movie is “Sound of Music.’’ I watched part of “Sound of Music’’ and I about killed myself.
All right, got to get out to BP. See you out here.