Maybe Omar will play forever
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Same time, next year for Omar Vizquel? Perhaps.
The former Giants shortstop returned to Scottsdale Stadium with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday as he approaches his 22nd Major League season. Vizquel turns 43 in April, but he didn’t rule out continuing to play beyond this year.
“I’m just letting my body tell me when,” Vizquel said as he fixed himself a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich before the Giants’ 6-2 exhibition victory. “My body’s holding on good, I’m feeling good, I feel I have the passion for it, I consider that I had a good year last year (.266 in 62 games with Texas) and that’s why I’m here, because my body’s telling me that I can still be out there and compete with the other guys.”
Lasting as long as Vizquel isn’t easy, though. He said that practically lived in the gymnasium during the offseason to prepare himself for this spring.
“There is so so much competition,” he said. “If I want to compete, I have to stay strong, flexible quick, agile.”
Also during the offseason, Omar Vizquel nearly joined a school for aspiring bullfighters in his native Venezuela.
By contrast, when it comes to managing a Major League team, which he’d like to do, Vizquel believes he can bypass an extensive apprenticeship. He’s willing to coach on the Major League level for a few years before becoming a big-league skipper. But spending years and years in the Minors before ascending, as some managers do, is not for him, as he has stated previously.
So what if Mark DeRosa began facing “real” pitchers in batting practice only Sunday? He singled on the first pitch he saw in Tuesday’s exhibition.
“Spring Training’s about working on things. I understand you have to take some pitches,” DeRosa said. “But at the same token, this is my first time I’ve seen live action in four or five months. So I at least wanted to pull the trigger on a few things.”
DeRosa left the game after four innings — “I could have played nine,” he insisted — and isn’t expected to play Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs.
First baseman Aubrey Huff rejoined the team after a case of food poisoning sidelined him Monday. Still feeling queasy, Huff didn’t play against the White Sox but likely will make Wednesday’s trip to Mesa for the Cubs game.
Using closer Brian Wilson for two innings against the White Sox wasn’t really unusual. “It gives him a chance to work on his pitches,” Bochy said.
– Chris Haft