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.




  1. Michael

    I have enjoyed reading your blog posts. Thanks for taking the time to write and best of luck to you!

  2. Steve in Montana

    Mark, I really see you coming back as much needed veteran pinch hitter and of course filling in where needed. You have been such a great presence on the Giants and I hope you never leave the team! Good luck with your rehab and I look forward to seeing you back in the dugout!

    Steve in Montana

  3. Jeremy

    I cringed when you likened your torn tendon to a snapped rubber band. Hope rehab goes well and you can get back out there . We’re all rooting for you!

  4. jackie

    i definitely know how the injury thing feels, broke my wrist about ten years ago playing softball and really needed to make sure that it was healed before i came back, to make sure i didn’t cause any permanent damage. best of luck with rehab, i know it’s hard!

  5. Stacey

    I am just seeing this blog for the first time today and am really enjoying it. I have to admit, I was skeptical of what one could possibly learn from a Dodger, but maybe it’s okay this time. I wish you a speedy recovery!

  6. Tom Conner

    Hey Mark, I can’t say how sorry I am that you’ve experienced the frustrations and setbacks that you have during your time with the Giants. I hope you still get the chance to shine and do what you are capable of doing. But I am equally thrilled to have seen (albeit from a distance, from interviews, or from this blog) what a great teammate and an all around good guy you have been. No matter what else happens, you’ll always be a key member of THE most important team in SF Giants history, and I’ll always consider you a great Giant. Keep the faith, and go Giants!

  7. Lefty

    You seem like a great guy. You should be a coach someday or maybe an announcer!

    You could be a big help to Buster. You know exactly what he’s going through, but you’re older and have more perspective. He’s been so successful his whole life that it might be hard for him to get his mind around this kind of adversity. I encourage you to keep reaching out to him in the coming months.

    I was just reading about the paralyzed UGA player who was drafted by Texas today. Classy move by the Rangers, and it really does make you count your blessings.

    Feel better!

  8. Rhonda

    Mark, I think you could definitely be a great help to Buster, when he’s ready. It’s not easy to sit, and I can only imagine how hard it is, especially watching the World Series last year. You have been so patient and have worked through so much disappointment over the last year, and this year, and you handle it with extreme class. Hopefully you can find a way to get your wrist strength back and contribute like you want to. Hang in there! You write really well, you should explore that too.

  9. Lisa Marie Grant Matute

    Hi Mark! I’m really enjoying your blog posts. Thanks for sharing your stories with all of us.
    My daughter & I went to Spring Training for the first time this year and really enjoyed meeting so many of your talented yet humble teammates. Regretfully we didn’t get to meet you but maybe next year.
    I hope you continue with the positive attitude you have, It can only help you heal more thoroughly physically as well as mentally. Keep up the great work (even if it does mean reaching out to a Dodger ~ LOL!).
    Thanks again!

  10. Michael Saltzman

    We all wish you were healthy these last two years, but what you have been off the field for the team is invaluable. You will be a great Manager someday if you decide to stay in the game. Here’s hoping you prove people wrong, find a way to stay in baseball, and help us win some games on the field.

  11. Ali W

    Mark, sorry to hear about your injury but it sounds like you have great perspective. I really enjoy reading this posts, you have a talent for writing and sharing your experiences. Keep up the good work! I hope to see you back on the field soon.

  12. Andrea

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Mark, it’s always cool to read the thoughts and insights of ballplayers. I also agree with what some other people were saying–you really would be a great coach or announcer someday!

    Wishing you, Brandon Belt and Posy a speedy recovery. We need you guys on the field! 🙂

  13. greg

    Mark, You are a real pro and you always play the game the “right” way. The Giants are lucky to have you in the clubhouse and I have no-doubts that you will be offered a position with the organization when your playing days are over. Hoping to see you at the plate and in the field soon buddy.

  14. nycfan

    I love reading great baseball writing and watching documentaries on the sport. Your writing here and your recent interviews have been fantastic: personal, real, and with such sincerity when talking to us about your successes and setbacks. Please continue! What are your favorite books and movies about baseball? Would you share some childhood baseball memories? And finally, what’s it like to reflect on those memories now with your big league perspective? Wishing you a quick recovery!

  15. ramredcat

    Dear Mark – you write very eloquently and with a lot of heart. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs and hope you continue to write. A player’s perceptive on the game, his teammates, and what it’s like to be on the DL is something all true fans appreciate and….savor. I have also enjoyed your interviews on Comcast – you will someday make a great baseball announcer/analyst. Are you interested in going into that field when you retire as a player? Or coaching? Thank you so much for taking the time, and explaining your thoughts and feelings. There are so many people who empathize with you; I just hope writing it all down helps you, too! Take care!

  16. Caryl Pearson

    Hey Mark, I don’t know if you got my “Odd Odes to the San Francisco Giants” – the mini-poems I wrote and mailed to each player and most of the coaches, so in case you didn’t, here’s the one I wrote about you:

    A talented player’s DeRosa
    we gals want to cuddle him close-a
    and share with him a giant mimosa
    ‘queremos no otra cosa’!

    I’ll let you ask Andres or one of the other spanish-speakers what the last line means, lol.


  17. Tony Butcher

    I love reading these stories from you and Brandon. It was tough to see your latest injury, but I think that’s awesome that you refuse to give in and still want to be a contributor to the team. I wish you good luck in recovering from this latest setback and hope you’re playing soon; keep posting and I’ll keep reading!

  18. Maddie McHenry

    I miss Buster too but it’s like you said, even though you miss him, as a team you still have to move on and find ways to win games.
    I hope your wrist feels better, I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to want to do something you love but can’t do because your body won’t cooperate. Hopefully you’ll be able to find a way to keep fulfilling your dream. Until then, you’ve got all of us fans rooting for you and for a speedy recovery!

  19. Ceceilia Cavezzi

    Brandon, I broke a bone on the top of my hand last year and wore a hand/wrist cast for a month.
    When I took the cast off, there was no pain….I had a small ball to squeeze for rehab and I got full use of my right hand back . Now I’m 69 year old gramma, so I was worried I might have a hard time rehabin’. You should be back to normal in no time.

  20. Howard

    Just want to wish you good luck. Since I went to Penn, I was excited when you became a Giant and looked forward to your contributions to the team. I do hope you get a chance to come back and help us get back to the World Series.

  21. obsessivegiantscompulsive

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mark, even if it involves a Dodger! :^)

    We really appreciate you taking the time to share with us fans. We also greatly appreciate that you have tried to contribute in ways that don’t show up in the scoreboard for you, but that are valuable to the team, nonetheless.

    I am sorry for your travails, but you seem like a good and honest person and it is easy to root for you. Good luck and safe travels, hope you get some key hits for the Giants down the line.

    And I hope the Giants hire you to help with the Augusta team at some point, you would be a great coach!

  22. Linda

    Mark – you are a great competitor and such a wonderful baseball talent. We still talk about you and miss you in Chicago!! Love reading your posts and updates, you have such a great baseball mind, and it’s so cool for us baseball fans to understand what you guys go through on a daily basis. Hang in there, and hope you are able to get back on the field and really enjoy playing! Good luck with your rehab!!

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