Welcoming the New Guy – Brandon Crawford

So glad to be back in the Bay Area, though I had a good time in Arizona, and not just because we took two of three from the D-Backs. Jalynne and the girls were waiting for me at our house in Scottsdale when we arrived from Chicago. They drove in from Los Angeles as we were flying. And the next day was an off-day.  What did we do? A whole lot of nothing, which was perfect. We went to breakfast at one of our favorite places, Butters Cafe, then hung out the rest of the day by the pool. We had dinner at another of our favorite places, Blanco, a great Mexican place on Scottsdale Road.

It’s been great to see Joe Panik do so well his first two games in the Majors. He stopped our skid — at least that’s the story he ought to tell his friends back home. And it might actually be true. That fact he did so well in his first start allowed all of us to get excited for him, which inject a nice boost of positive energy into the dugout. After he got that first hit, five guys came out and gave him high fives and big congrats.

We were even more all impressed with his double in the ninth. That was a great at-bat against a lefty, Joe Thatcher, who I personally hate facing. I don’t think there are too many left-handed batters who like facing him. Panik survived Thatcher’s sliders and cutters to drive a two-strike pitch to the opposite field. It shows you how balanced and mature a hitter he is already.

I saw that approach when I played with him during the 2011 fall league the year he was drafted. He had just made the switch from shortstop to second base, and he took to it right away. I doubt there are too many things that rattle Panik, even playing here tonight at AT&T Park for the first time as a Major Leaguer.

During batting practice today, he told me he had played one game in this park — an exhibition last year against the A’s.

“I don’t remember the 421 sign looking quite so far away,’’ he said, referring to the distance to Triples Alley.

He asked me about the wind and how a pop-up to second might play. I said the wind usually comes in from right, but sometimes it will just change its mind and start blowing the other way. So I said you just have to react to the ball and adjust to it while it’s in the air.

He asked, too, about my batting-practice routine. We usually have five rounds every day, sometimes six. That means you get five or six turns at the plate, taking five to eight or nine swings each time. Some players will go in there and hack and try to hit home runs. Hunter, for example. What I do is the same thing I’ve done since spring training. The first round, I lay down two bunts then take seven pitches and try to go middle and opposite field. The second round is situational routines: hit-and-runs, move-’em-over from second, runner on third with infielders back, runner on third with infield in and one out — that sort of thing. Then I have three rounds of five swings. That’s what I do every day.

We do BP rounds by group, with the starting batting order in the first two groups. Group 1 is Hunter, Pablo, Buster, Morse. For some reason Pagan goes in Group 2, so today it was Pagan, Blanco, Colvin, me and Panik.

Panik also asked about my routine defensively during BP. I usually take 15 to 20 grounders and throw to first, then take 15 to 20 more and throw to second as if turning a double-play. I told him if he wanted, he could take ground balls and flip them to me at second. So we did that today.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. In the next blog, I’ll answer your questions. Wow, there are a lot of them!

-Brandon C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32 Comments

I hope you enjoyed the cross stitch baby sampler I made your little girl!! I enjoyed meeting in person on Father’s day!!

That is really neat that you are willing to step in and help the new guy, it’s also really cool that he is humble enough to ask.

How does the infielders position affect your batting? What changes do you make?

Tough game tonight but you can’t win them all… That’s so awesome how you are making Panik feel welcome. He seems like a great guy. Keep up the good work.

Welcome home! And welcome to the AT&T, Joe Panik! Good luck to your career with the Giants! From a SF Giants Gamer Babe

Glad you got some great family time! Keep swinging Brandon…your bat is on fire!

Sent from my iPad

>

I love how welcoming you all are to new players! It’s why I love the Giants! Great players and good guys!!

Welcome home you guys! Really nice the way you take the new guys in and make them feel welcome! You guys have been through a bit of a rough patch but you’ve been through worse. Just keep swinging well and playing solid baseball and it will come good at the end of the season. You all are so good and talented! love you guys.

Tough game tonight. That Padres pitcher was something else. Pitches from 65 to 92 mph and all over the place? Even Kruk was impressed. Dad is still in San Diego, where I grew up, and still a big Padres fan, so we are back and forth on the phone when the Pads play the Giants. At the end, he called and said, “We don’t win many of those.” So… just like you guys usually say in the locker room interviews – it’s baseball. Tomorrow is another day. You forget about today and go out to win the next game. There will be good days and bad. Panik is off to a great start! And the compliment he got from Will Clark was high praise. He sounds like a great asset. Excited that my daughter is coming down to visit from college in Oregon tomorrow and we are going to the game on Wednesday. She’s a huge Giants fan, too, and misses watching them. They’re blacked out up there even with the MLB subscription. She was bummed about that, but listens on the radio when she can. Better luck tomorrow night and see you at the park on Wednesday!

Your daughter can’t watch Giants games via the MLB.tv subscription while in Oregon? We watch all the time when in Portland – I don’t think she should be blacked out. Interesting.

I loved hearing from you again (it’s been a while), and also becoming privy to the conversation with opur exciting new addition to the roster. Blessings on you both!

My questions are two: (1) Is it true that you all have been suffering from a virus, and (2) why don’t you and Jalynne buy a house in the Bay Area? It’s clear you’re going to be on the Giants’ roster for a very long time: why not settle in here, in your native region?

PS A couple of hours ago my hubby said, “Hey, Crawford’s stats are equal to Posey’s’!” I am NOT surprised at all!

Will you guys let Panik guest blog? It will be great to get his thoughts on the call up and his approach to the first game. Of course, it’ll be good to get to know a little bit about him too. Thanks!

Brandon: I have the picture of you when you were about 4 next to the sign asking them not to move the team in my photo album on my iPad. Always makes me smile! How does it feel to be living your dream of playing for the SF Giants? Not many of us in our life times get to do that. At what age did you realize you wanted to be a pro baseball player and play for the Giants?

Thanks again for taking the time to give us a little “inside” scoop. You are a delight to watch on the field and I am thrilled that your bat has come so alive this year. You always bring to mind Omar Visquel at short — a ballet dancer! You also have some great moves. Keep it up!

Hi Brandon: One question and one comment. 1)  You may have heard about the web site Kruk and Kuip.  People talk about everything Giant on this site.  When they compliment you on your triples, hits etc., I always mention what you said in another blog entry about Barry Bonds’ helping you that time he came to AZ.  You started getting those hits immediately afterwards, or so it seems.  2)  When a new guy comes on, in addition to helping him as a player, do you prank him or do anything resembling an initiation? Keep playing!  You’re doing great! Marilyn D. Diamond

 

Marilyn Damon Diamond  The Marina Times  415-710-7496 marilyn94123@yahoo.com

Love your updates, and Panik looks really god. What is it with the Padres? We (!) always have trouble with them. Kudos to Jalynne for driving to Arizona with two little ones. I love watching you play, just like everyone else :)

Welcome Panik! Sound like the rest of team are very encouraging teammates!! #WeAreAllBrandons :) Good luck on Wed vs Padres, my 13 yr old son Jack and I will be in stands PLB125 (gift from my boss) I’ll be wearing my custom made Crawford 35 Orange Friday shirt! I hope we can get there by BP. #GoGiants

Love hearing about your BP routines; great behind the scenes stuff!

Thanks for sharing the dugout perspective about the new guy, Panik! Now that he’s picked your brain about BP – tell him how to pinch-blog! haha We’d all love to hear from him too. Glad you got some down time at home with your girls! Bet there’s nothing that does a re-charge better than that. :-)

BC: with all the back issues the Giants have faced (Scoot, Pagan, Morse), I want to put something out there that really helped me 20 yrs ago. It can’t hurt to take a look; it costs nothing and there is absolutely no risk. Look up Dr. John Sarno. He has a couple of books, “Mind over Back Pain” being his first. Some pretty respected people vouch for him. Oddly enough, for me, I did not even have to read the book, to experience the almost instant relief. I just heard the concepts laid out and I did the mental excercise figuring “what can it hurt?” and magically, I could straighten up and move and work and so forth. I still have some back pain b/c of a bulging disc but it has NEVER come close to bothering me like it did before I knew about Sarno’s deal. It was one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’m not some New Age nutter with crystals and so forth–this works. Tell these guys to give this an honest test drive. In a nutshell, what Sarno says is that the mind uses some types of pain as a stress response and to short-circuit that, all you have to do is think about it in a certain way and the symptoms are seen for what they are, the symptoms then serve no purpose, and they go away. The ballclub simply has to get Pagan back up top. He’s such a key man. Please give this info a fair hearing in a quiet moment. I think I told you my dad was a Giants fan from 1936 on and sadly, he passed away last night. He compared you favorably to Travis Jackson. He and mom were married Oct 2, 1954, the day the Giants swept Cleveland in the World Series, and dad said that a lot of the guys had one eye on the reception and the other on the game! I love watching this team; it’s a special team. Thanks for all those slick plays. Good luck the rest of the way. thx. brian

Condolences on your father’s passing. As for the back issues, I’ve heard the team’s making some improvements to the team plane; when my husband’s employer had a rash of early retirements due to back issues, they replaced the driver’s seats (he was a bus driver till he retired in 2011) and that made a big difference. Maybe better passenger seats on the charter will help.

Brandon,
I was at the last Saturday against the Rockies and I could have sworn that you walked up to the beginning part of a Nickatina song. If so, that’s awesome. I know you get a lot of questions, but if you can, let me know if I heard that correctly. Go Giants!

Another enjoyable entry to read. Hey, how about asking Panik to guest blog soon? I’d love to hear how he likes being in SF. Thanks.

Love the insights on Panik; glad he’s really involved in making sure he plays the home field properly. And glad you had a chance to spend some time with your girls (big one and little ones); did you get to stay at home or did you have to stay at the hotel with the rest of the team? Hope Pagan feels better soon or they make up their mind to put him on the DL and bring someone up; playing with a short bench doesn’t help especially in late innings. Hoping for a win tonight!

I wanna know what you guys talk about with the opposing players when you are on base!

Do you have any tips for shaking off bad plays? I’ve found that I’m very bad at it..

Hey Brandon, what’s your favorite park to play at on the road? (Since we already know AT&T is your favorite..) :)

GO GIANTS!! My question is- If you didn’t play baseball, but you were a big fan, which team would you root for besides the Giants? (of course!) I love the blog it’s so fun to read even though I’m only 12 years old! :)

Hi Brandon! I love this blog and I am so glad you play for the Giants! Any chance that Joe Panik can pinch-blog? :)

I just found out about this blog when I was looking at the teams schedule. It’s pretty cool that the Brandons are willing and happy to engage with fans this much. I grew up and still live in the Phoenix area so I have to say that your taste in Mexican food is quite impressive. Blanco is quite good. I highly recommend checking out any of the Macayo’s restaurants around town if you haven’t already. If you feel like disrespecting your intestines a little bit, check out Filiberto’s. Absolutely fantastic food but you’ll be feeling it a few hours afterward. There is also a small hole-in-the-wall type place in North Central Phoenix called El Bravo that is great if you can find a seat. There is also a place in Mesa called Tia Rosas (probably close to where Colvin lives) that is quite good but rumor is it burnt down. It should be obvious by now that aside from Baseball, my love lies with Mexican food.

Anyway, good luck against the Reds tonight. We catch every game we can and plan on coming out to see you guys against the D-backs in September. Give Timmy a high-five for yesterdays performance. It was truly inspiring.

I must thank you for making my day during the Sunday AZ game! It was the first time that my husband and I attended a Giants game together. We are very competitive with each other. My husband always cheers for the opposite team then me. The fact that you had such a great game was killing him. He said, “Why of all players does it have to be your favorite player doing so great?!?!” I loved that I could rub that in with him. So, thank you for that!
I also went to the Friday game in AZ where I was sitting in the suite right next to the visitors dugout and I have to say that it’s great to see how you take the time to sign for all the fans.

Do players prefer one league (American or national) over the other? Is it hard as a player to switch between the two?

I love your blog! It is my favorite way to stay updated on the Giants when I’m on the road!

Spent all of last season as an Intern with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Really cool to see Panik and Duvall make a splash in the Bigs!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,739 other followers

%d bloggers like this: