It Always Comes Back Somehow to Hair Gel –Brandon Crawford
As we watch the weather here in Colorado this morning, I’m going to try to get a blog post written. I know it’s been a while. It was great to be back in the Bay Area even if just for a three-game series. Of course, when a series against the Dodgers turns out the way that one did, AND you start the week with an off day, you’re talking about a pretty great four days.
Jalynne flew up with just Braylyn — easier to fly with just one kid, and her parents took care of Jaydyn — and we went to the Oakland Zoo on the off day (Monday). We wanted to do something Braylyn would enjoy, and she loves seeing animals. The Oakland Zoo is perfect because it’s not too big. It’s just big enough that we were there for a couple of hours and then it was nap time. (For everybody.)
Somebody tweeted the next day about seeing me and Belt at the zoo. I was like, “Belt didn’t even tell me he was there! How did we miss him?’’ Then I figured it out: I had tweeted out a photo of Braylyn, Jalynne and me — with giraffes in the background.
Now we’re back on the road. I got a great surprise on the last road trip. We flew into Houston, and when I opened the door to my hotel room, there was Jalynne waiting for me. Her parents were taking care of the girls in LA. She spent two days with me in Houston before we went on to Cincinnati.
I’ve said this before, and almost every player will tell you the same thing, one of the toughest things about being a professional baseball is being away from your family. So Jalynne really brightened the whole road trip by surprising me.
It’s been great to see us turn the season around the way we have. I definitely feel good at the plate. This is probably the most consistent stretch I think I’ve had in my big league career — overall, not just offensively. I’ve had stretches where I’ve hit really well, such as April 2013 and a few other month-long stretches. So it’s hard to say if this is the best I’ve ever hit. But I do feel good at the plate.
Now it’s a matter of continuing to stay consistent throughout the whole season, just for one month at a time. The way to do it? One game at a time. It’s a cliche, but really it is as simple and as difficult as that. It’s a day to day game. You can feel great one day and then feel like you can’t hit anything the next. That’s just the way that game is.
It happened recently to me. When we were playing the Padres here, we were facing Cashner, who throws in the mid 90s with good off-speed stuff. For some reason, I just felt locked in against him. The next night we faced Kennedy, who I’ve faced a bunch of times, and for some reason I could not play off any of his stuff in the dirt, and I was just mis-hitting his fast ball. That was just one game to the next.
But unlike when I was younger, I don’t worry about how I hit the night before, or how I hit the past week. I just think about, What I can do tonight? If you’re on a good roll, you can start thinking, Oh, I don’t need to work on anything. But this game will humble you if you take that approach. You can never take anything for granted.
One of you asked if I have a preference of where I hit in the lineup. I think second is the best spot to hit. Here’s why. If you come up with a runner on base, it’s usually the lead-off guy — who’s going to have some speed. So the pitcher is worried about him, which means he might leave an off-speed pitch up, or throw more fastballs in order to give the catcher a better shot at nailing the runner if he steals. Off-speed pitches can end up in the dirt, and they’re slower getting to the plate. In the two slot, you also get pitched to more because the three-four-five hitters are hitting behind you.
I hit second a lot in the minor leagues, and I liked it. But we have a strong No. 2 in Joe Panik. At this point, I don’t really care where I hit. I just try to have a good at-bat.
Another reader asked if I had fun shooting the TV commercial with Ahmed Fareed and Dave Feldman. I really did. I’m not a big commercial person or someone who tries to get in front of the camera and do any acting. But that was probably the most fun I’ve had doing a commercial.
The ad guys had an idea of what they wanted do, but we could kind of ad lib however we wanted. Ahmed and Dave are really funny guys. In one commercial, which I don’t think has aired, they’re working on a handshake like the players have with each other. We did three or four takes, and each time they had a different handshake. I can’t remember if it was Dave or Ahmed, but he ended one handshake by tapping the other guy on the nose. I was supposed to be serious and say something like, “Oh, that’s terrible.’’ But I couldn’t get it out because I was laughing so hard.
We shot the hair gel ad last. I’m telling Ahmed that he needs more gel in his hair. We could do just one take on that one because once the gel’s in his hair, you can’t take it out and do another take. It was hard to to keep a straight face on that one, but I knew I had to.
Someone else asked if my production at the plate has earned me new respect in the clubhouse. I hope not. I hope my teammates have always had a lot of respect for me. We’re getting word we’re starting soon. This is going to be a long day! Thanks for reading!