Setback – Mark DeRosa

There are few things worse for a professional athlete than being on the disabled list. You’re kind of in no man’s land. You’re a part of the team but you’re not. My wrist has been such a frustrating injury. I don’t want to equate it to Tommy John surgery because it’s not on that level. But the guys I talk to who have had Tommy John surgery say they went through the same thing I’m going through now: One day you wake up and feel great. The next day you wake up and you’re in terrible pain. And you don’t know why. That’s what I’ve been battling. I can’t wait for the day when I’m not talking about this anymore.

In the meantime, when you can’t contribute on the field, you have to figure out how to still be a good teammate. I watch the game closely from the dugout. I watch how the pitcher is attacking our hitters. So when guys come back from the plate, I can help them dissect their at-bats, talk about what the pitcher was trying to do. A lot of guys – Sanchez, Huff, Rowand, Burrell, Buster – they love to talk hitting. So I can be a sounding board.

And I’ve always been pretty good at reading people, so I feel pretty comfortable about figuring out who needs to be kicked in the butt, who needs to be patted on the back, when to say something, when to bite my tongue. The guys encouraged me to do this last season. They kind of built me up and asked me to stay on top of them, to keep the bench going. So I took that seriously and contributed however I could.

But I hate not playing. To be honest with you, last year was the worst season of my career. You bust your tail your whole life to get to the big leagues and win a World Series and the one time you get there, you have completely nothing to do with it. It was a tough pill to swallow.

But I used last season as a chance to step back and see the game from an unselfish point of view. When you’re playing, you’re so wrapped up in your particular job — your four at-bats, your ground balls — you feel like if you put in four good ABs and catch everything hit to you, then you’ve done your job and that’s that. But when you’re not playing, you see the game from a much broader perspective. I realize now how hard Boch’s job is, how many different personalities he has to manage.

I’m hoping my time on the DL will get my wrist back to 100 percent. If I took away anything from last season, it’s an even deeper desire to be healthy and contributing on the field. The most important thing to me as a ball player is to help my team win. Nothing else matters.

-Mark

12 Comments

Mark – just found out about your blog from SFGiants on Twitter today. So many of us hope you will be 100% soon. You are a very talented player and your team could really use a shot in arm right now! Also, besides reading your blogs, I have seen several interview with Amy G, etc. You are so articulate with such great perspectives on everything you talk about – truly enjoyable to watch. Best of luck getting healthy and looking forward to seeing you play soon! We go to quite a few games at AT&T so hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet you someday.

I was among those who were glad that the Giants signed you, sorry it couldn’t have been a better experience for you. Hopefully the Thanks that true Giants fans have given you – THANKS! – help ease the pain of not playing.

Since you mentioned it here, I would love to hear about your stories of helping out players last season. I recall the one that was reported, of how you gave Jonathan Sanchez a tip that you had picked up from Glavine – about holding his hands before throwing – that allowed Sanchez to settle himself down before going into his throwing motion. I consider that critical to Sanchez’s great run down the stretch and I would bet is part of his good 2011 so far, he used to give up runs walking so many, but is now able to keep the scoring down.

I love personal stories like that, and I think others do as well. Hopefully you can share them with us here in this blog (and it would make blogging easier, just remember something :^).

Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Hope you have a good season going forward.

Yeah Mark, it is tough. Stay positive and focused, stay mentally ready for when it’s your time to come back

Can’t wait to see you out on the field again!

Kruk and Kuip told us how you told one of the pitchers to look fastball first pitch, and he got it and got a hit. I think it was Bumgardner. I have seen you play very little as a Giant, but you always have your head in the game. I would say you had a big contribution last year, just not the way you intended or get positive feedback from making plays.

I hope your body cooperates and you feel better soon Mark!

Hey, Mark! Glad to see you and Brandon sharing some great stuff here on this site. I just want to affirm what many Giants fans are already telling you: you earned that ring. It sucks to be riding the bench, but you were part of such a huge effort that, like you said, was on everyone’s shoulders, not just those of a few superstars. Last year’s regular season came down to the final game, and so every single victory counted. Just because the ones you were a key part of took place in the spring instead of the fall doesn’t mean they were worth any less. Thanks for your contributions to this team; we know you must be frustrated to be on the DL again, but we’re all looking forward to getting your bat and glove back in the mix! Don’t give up!

Hang in there, Mark.

Hey thanks for taking the time to keep us mere fans in the loop. I’m sure that even thought you are on the DL, you still have responsibilities for the team which take your time. These little insights help us fans understand what occurs on the other side of the rail. It was cool that you talked to Brandon Belt before he went back to Fresno (for a visit). He was probably scared and confused and maybe even depressed. Veterans stepping up and helping the younger players is what makes you a man and a professional baseball player. Good luck and nail one into the Cove when you come back.

Hope to see you back on the field soon, DeRo.

Mr. DeRosa, I really believe at times, it is as important in the dugout as it is on the field. I used to have a screensaver pic from the internet of you, Buster, Righetti and Timmy in the dugout as Renteria was teeing off. There are alot of positions on a team… Good guy is one of them.

Mark,
It broke my heart to see you injur your wrist in last night’s game vs. the Dodgers. I hope that you have a speedy recovery and are back out there soon! You are an important part of the team, both on and off the field!!!

Mark-
I felt your frustration as you threw your helmet after reinjuring your wrist vs kershaw- all Giants fans are hoping you find a cure- maybe Pablo can give you the bone they took out of his wrist.
Greg

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