Advice from a Dodger – Mark DeRosa
Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I flew home to Georgia after seeing my surgeon in Cleveland. I spent six days with my family and got to take my daughter to the last day of second grade. I had time to relax a little and think about everything that’s happened in the last year and a half.
As you might have read, I’m not having surgery. My torn tendon will simply remain torn. (It basically rolled up into my arm like a snapped rubber band.) Because the tendon is gone, it can no longer cause me pain. So that was the good news. The bad news is that my days of being an every-day player are in serious jeopardy.
The last couple of days, I’ve picked the brain of Dodgers outfielder Jay Gibbons, the only guy in the big leagues who has played with the same injury. He said I’ll have to figure out for myself how to maximize the strength and stability in the wrist.
“I had to change bat models a bunch of times,’’ he said. “I had to make adjustments with my swing. You’re definitely not going to be what you remember being.’’
I’ll rehab for the next few weeks then I’ll see where I am. I want to be sure that when I come in as a pinch-hitter, I can get to a heater, that I can go to my backhand and not have my glove do something funny.
I rejoined the team in St. Louis in time to see Aubrey hit his three home runs. It’s always cool when you get a chance to see something like that.
I know he was feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders after scuffling for the first two months. I’m sure those home runs had to feel unbelievable for him. And we need him.
It’s been fun to have an infusion of new guys from the minors. They always bring a lot of energy into the clubhouse. They’re so excited to be here, and they’re so eager to pick your brain and talk to you.
In the dugout the other day, Darren Ford was talking about stealing bases and asked what I’m thinking when I get to first after a hit. I had to laugh. Stealing has never been a part of my game, so basically I’m thinking, “Nice hit. Take your lead and hope the next guy drives the ball into the gap.’’
He’s the complete opposite. He’s reading leg kicks and slide steps and studying the catcher and calculating times. The thing that’s impressive about him is that everyone in the entire park knows he’s going. And he still steals the base. There aren’t too many people in the world who can get around the bases like that. He runs with an attitude on him. He’s coming around third with a purpose. Once he figures out what works for him offensively, he is going to be unbelievable. I told him just to keep doing what he’s doing and it will all come together.
I’ve loved watching Brandon Crawford. You could tell in spring training that he was smooth. When I was back in Georgia, I watched every inning of every Giants games, and I jumped off the couch when he hit that grand slam.
That’s one of the nice things about Crawford and the other young guys being in big-league camp. When they’re called up, we know what kind of kids they are. We know what they’re about. It’s an easier transition than just shooting up here and no one’s ever met you.
But it’s weird to walk into the clubhouse and not see Buster. I texted him and told him I’m thinking about him and to call if he needed to vent. He just needs to take his time and heal completely. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. We know as a team we can’t replace him. He’s a special talent. But we’re all competitors, so you move on. You have to. There is no other option. When Buster comes back next year, it will be a breath of fresh air. But until then, we have to find ways to win. And we are.
I like reading your comments and questions, so keep them coming.