The Reverend Abides — Brandon Crawford

Everyone knows about Hunter’s speeches in the clubhouse. But when he crashed into the bullpen fence face-first to save a run in Arizona, there’s nothing that gets your teammates more fired up than that. You see what the guy’s willing to do, and everybody’s energy is suddenly ramped to the next level.

Oh, and he went 4-for-5 with a walk and scored four runs in the 12-inning win. A big reason we’re winning is having a healthy Hunter who’s on a hot streak. He’s making plays on defense. Scoring runs. Driving in runs.

And he’s doing his clubhouse thing, too. Even after we were shut out in Colorado that first day, he’s still smiling and happy in the clubhouse. That’s pretty amazing. Personally, I’m so ticked off after we lose there’s no way I can smile. An hour or so later, I can wipe the loss away and think about the next game. But right afterward? Not a chance.

But Hunter is ALWAYS positive. No one’s ever seen anything like it. In the clubhouse before the game, he’s dancing and getting fired up and yelling something weird. I don’t know if he’s psyching himself up or trying to get other guys up. Probably both. After the game, when we win, he has started to kind of make it like a party. He got these special mugs for guys and does toasts and celebrates.

Especially through the rough times, you need someone like Hunter who reminds you how much you love the game and how good we are when we play as a team.

We were happy, of course, to gain ground on the Dodgers and the Wild Card in Arizona but what mattered most was that we played good team baseball. Good defense. Hit well. Pitched well. Do that, and the wins will come.

I was pretty pumped about nailing a runner at home for the first time this season. It’s one of my favorite things to do, especially when the third-base coach thinks you can’t. It’s funny because before the game my arm was feeling particularly weary, as everybody’s arms and legs start to feel toward the end of the season. I said to our strength coach Carl Kochan, “Just watch. This will be the day I get an opportunity to throw home from deep in the gap.” Sure enough.

When it happened, I thought, “I’m just going to throw this as hard as I can and as far as I can.’’ You’re told either to throw a long hop to the catcher or get it to him without a hop. Of course it ended up being a short hop, but Buster made a great pick on it and kept the game tied.

Another way we come together as a team and try to have fun with our fantasy football league. We booked a room in the hotel restaurant while we were in Colorado, and we set up a draft board with all the stuff from a kit you can buy online that has magnetic name plates for the 300 top NFL players.

We have 12 teams this year: Javy and me. Romo. Dave Groeschner, our trainer. Gearrin and Brad Grems, our clubhouse coordinator. Derek Law and Tony Reale, our physical therapist. Parker and Kontos. Flemming and Kuiper. Belt. Samardzija. Dr. Akizuki, our orthopedist. Blanco (who was rehabbing in Arizona and made his picks online). And Joe Panik and Matt Duffy. (Duffy Facetimed on Joe’s laptop. It was great to see him.)

Here’s my team with Javy:

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The team is a little unusual in that three of our first six picks weren’t in our starting lineup this weekend. Two guys are suspended and another is not a starter yet.We still won Week 1.

How’d your fantasy team do?

 

9 Comments

Hi Brandon,
I’ve been saying that you’re the likeliest candidate for the Willie Mac Award this year, but after reading this about Hunter I wonder if he’ll win again. Your throw to Buster was jaw-dropping spectacular, and even more so now that you admit to some fatigue. Keep on doing your best and we’ll see where the Giants end up. We’ve got your backs!!

love hearing about hunter behind-the-scenes and knowing that duffy is still in-the-mix with you all, even from long distance! you have a great group of guys there. we have faith in you all to pick up the pace and get to the post! go giants!

Thanks again for taking the time to share some of your thoughts and feelings. It means a great deal to us fans.
That throw you made to home and the beautiful play by Buster was the very thing that keeps us coming back. Beautiful! You are a shoo-in for the Gold Glove, simply the best In the League. I just can’t imagine how much fun it would be to make a play like that.
With your defense and Hunter’s ability to keep up everybody’s spirits, we are bound to bring another trophy home in this Even Year

Always a pleasure to read one of your blog posts, but say hey to Gregor for us, too, okay? We miss him.

I’m a divorced, white woman who plays the football fantasy for the overall games every week (with no help from anyone) and I’m proud to say I’m always at the top of the first 5 places with 25 players ( Tied 1st place this week)…. Anyway, your throw to Buster, I had to watch several times even after MLB showed it, it was a thing of beauty!!! I love hearing about how Hunter keeps rest of you guys motivated…so Glad that Duffy is still in with the guys ( I hope he will be able to come back to the best team) … We all have your backs til the bitter end!! Hang in There, Dina

I was at the game last Friday and was fortunate to see you make that throw from deep in the gap, impressive!

Along with your throw and Hunters slide face first into the fence, it was an exciting game to be at. I just wish I didn’t have to leave before the end of the game!

Living in Arizona I don’t get to go to a lot of Giants games, but the ones I was able to attend this season were all great and exciting games. Thanks to you and the team for some great memories at the games in Arizona!

I love Hunter’s enthusiasm!! That fence catch (part 2!) was amazing.

My fantasy team is actually pretty great, and not just because I managed to snag Antonio Brown.😉

I so enjoy your posts here – love hearing about the behind-the-scenes stuff. I don’t do Fantasy Football,. but I like hearing from people who do. You will have to let us know who ends up the winner at the end of the season! Enjoyed your throw to home – those kinds of plays get me all fired up, too! Hunter – I follow him & Lexie on IG – I can’t imagine being in the same room with the two of them – so much energy …. but I’m glad his positive energy is an uplifting thing in the clubhouse! Gotta say – the one thing you said that made me go – awwwwww – was that Duffy was part of the FF meeting. Still sad about his departure, but I know – it’s a business.🙂

That is so great that you play Fantasy Football with the guys! I do too, have been playing since 2010. It’s the most stressful thing ever invented but I still love it. I see we have some of the same players in common. Best of luck to you and Javy!!!

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