Results tagged ‘ Hunter Pence ’
So Hicks and Hunter fill in for a couple days and suddenly traffic to the blog explodes. What’s that about? Hicks received 38 or so replies to his post, more than twice as many as my last one got! Hunter’s post yesterday got more than 60 replies in the last 24 hours.
And his post started a Twitter trend — #TogetherWeAreBrandon.
I mean, I love the team unity and all that. But it kind of makes Belt and me feel like old shoes. Everybody’s getting their heads turned by the new guys. We weren’t enough?
Believe, I’m going to count every reply. Not that we’re competitive or anything. The hitting groups Hunter wrote about in his blog are not batting-practice groups. They’re part of Bam-Bam’s new hitting game. Every player gets points for moving a runner over, RBI’s, extra-base hits, etc. The groups compete against each other. The group with the most points at the end of each month wins.
There were three captains — Buster, Hunter and Pablo — who picked teams, which include the starting pitchers. Buster drafted all three Brandons, so he named it Team Brandon.
Even before that, though, we kind of had a Team Brandon thing going on. We figured since a lot of guys have special handshakes with each other, we ought to come up with a Brandon handshake because, well, we’re the Brandons. It’s hard to get a three-person handshake, but I think Belt came up with it. If you look in the dugout before the game, you’ll see it. We slap hands down and up twice, then once patty-cake style then a chest bump as we say, “Brandon!’’ in a very manly tone.
We developed this in spring training. You might not know this, but just like we work on getting our swings back and fielding ground balls, we also work on handshakes. I have a different one for almost every guy. A lot of them are pretty similar. For my handshake with Hunter — which he came up with — we fist-bump then I go to punch him and he catches my hand and I straighten my fingers as if I’m going to jab him in the neck as if we’re in The Matrix.
Even with the Brandon-Brandon-Brandon handshake, Belt and I still do our own before every game. It’s a fist-bump and then I say a particular string of words to him. I won’t share the exact words. I basically called him a big dumb stupid idiot. It started after a game in which he did really well, and I’ve been saying it to him before each game ever since.
I still want to tell you about the start of the season and other stuff, but I want to get this posted before the game. Belt and I love #TogetherWeAreBrandon. It’s another way of bringing all of us together — the players and fans, everybody. We take it as a great compliment.
But, you know, to quote Marvin Gaye, ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.
Hello, everyone. This is Hunter Pence filling in for Brandon Hicks, or Brandon Crawford, or Brandon Belt, whoever’s turn it is supposed to be.
I’m filling in because — you probably didn’t know this — Hunter is a nickname for Brandon.
My middle name is Andrew, which is Swedish for Brandon. And Pence is English for Brandon. So my actual name is Brandon Brandon Brandon.
You also probably didn’t know that “Tim Lincecum’’ is Dutch for Brandon.
Buster is a nickname for Brandon. Pablo is Spanish for Brandon. Pagan is Puerto Rican for Brandon. Madison is Southern for Brandon. “Bumgarner’’ is — I have no idea what that is. I think it’s Arabic for Brandon.
Pretty much everyone is Brandon. We’re Team Brandon.
Kruk and Kuip have got to get with the program. Brandon’s throwing the pitch to Brandon. When anybody steps into the box, Brandon’s up to bat. The double play combo is Brandon to Brandon to Brandon. (Wait, they already call that one.)
So now if you yell “Brandon,’’ you’ll get everybody’s attention. We’ll all respond because we all became Brandon when the third Brandon arrived. We’re a unit. When we take the field we’re a family of Brandons.
The original Brandons still have some privileges. They have their own really cool handshake. It’s the patty-cake chest-bump Brandon. You need to check that out. (We new Brandons don’t get to do the handshake.)
You might notice the originals all have beards. Beards are part of the ancestral tradition of Brandon-dom.
The rest of us Brandons who also have beards are doing this to honor the Brandon history. Pagan, with his beard, is clearly honoring his Brandon-ness. Posey has not yet matured enough for a beard. He’s still a Baby Brandon.
The original Brandons are all in the same hitting group, which is called, of course, Team Brandon. Buster’s in that group and Timmy. My hitting group is called Laser Swag: Morse, Arias, Perez, Vogelsong and Hudson. It’s a name we all agreed on. The other one is Pablo’s group, called La Guerilla. I think it means gangster or army in Spanish. Or maybe it means Brandon.
When I got home from AT&T after we beat the Mets last Tuesday, Jalynne and her sister Jamie were watching the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team on TV. Watching Olympic gymnastics with them is a little like watching the Super Bowl with Eli and Peyton Manning. Jalynne competed in gymnastics at UCLA and Jamie was on the U.S. Olympic team that won the bronze in Sydney eight years ago.
I’d be admiring some incredible performance and thinking the girl nailed it, and they’d say, “Oh no, she messed up right there.’’ It’s amazing to me that Jalynne and Jamie actually could do the things that these gymnasts were doing. If I trained all my life, I couldn’t do what they did every day in the gym.
But they’re nice enough to tell me they could never do what I do on the baseball field. I’d like to believe them.
I’ve been watching as much of the Olympics as I can at home, in the clubhouse and on the plane. The long-distance runners, the sprinters, the swimmers – I love seeing the very best in the world pushing themselves beyond what you think is possible. I was sitting on the plane from Colorado to St. Louis the other day, and all the guys around me were watching the Olympics, too – Cain, Javy, Buster, Pill, Zito. Gymnastics happened to be on and one of the girls on vault landed on her face, and you heard everybody all at once go “Oooohhhhhh!’’ There are not a lot of face-plants in baseball.
On another topic, it was tough to see Manny Burriss pack up and leave. When we got Marco Scutaro, Manny figured he’d be the odd man out. It’s hard saying goodbye to any teammate, but this is the first time I’ve had to say goodbye to a teammate who was one of my closest friends on the team. It reminds you how special it is to be in the major leagues and how hard you have to keep working to stay as long as you can. Fortunately Manny’s still with the organization and I’ll see him again in spring training or if he’s called back up.
Having said that, it’s good to have Scutaro and Hunter Pence join the club. They’re both real pros who go about their business in a professional way. Our clubhouse has a pretty unique group of guys, so the tone in here is not going to change. Marco and Hunter add experience and depth, which will help down the stretch and into the playoffs.
Yesterday, one of our trainers was trying out Buster Bash, a mobile-app baseball game that has just come out. It’s animated along the lines of Angry Birds. A pitcher throws the ball and you hit it by flicking your finger. As you go up each level, you go through Posey’s career path from Wiffle Ball to high school, college and the pros. I tried it and did pretty well. Maybe I’ll challenge Buster to a game.
Heading out to the ballpark now. Let’s hope we can get some more runs for Zito tonight than we did for Cain last night.
I’ll see you when I get back to the Bay Area this weekend. Thanks for reading.