Pence, Posey upbeat; Vogelsong’s farewell address (?)
Sunday, Oct. 4
SAN FRANCISCO — A season-ending attitude check with Hunter Pence and Buster Posey, two of the Giants’ biggest cornerstones, revealed that their optimism for 2016 already has begun to develop.
Limited to 52 games this year by various injuries, Pence still expressed genuine enthusiasm over the season’s developments.
“I think you look at the bright spots,” Pence said. “What (Matt) Duffy’s been able to do, Kelby Tomlinson, (Josh) Osich, (George) Kontos, the whole bullpen — (Sergio) Romo, (Santiago) Casilla. We have a really good look going into next year.”
Posey elaborated on the potential of Duffy, the first rookie to win the Willie Mac Award.
“It was just the simple thing of showing up every day,” Posey said. “He was ready to play. You didn’t hear him complain or make excuses. He’s just a ballplayer. The consistency that he was able to have on a daily basis as a rookie hitting third most of the year, the confidence — I could list a lot. I’ve become a big Matt Duffy fan watching him the last six months.”
For the last few weeks, Posey’s view of Duffy has been across the diamond, while the three-time All-Star catcher has played primarily first base in Brandon Belt’s absence. Many continue to believe that Posey soon will switch permanently to first. Posey politely yet firmly reiterated where he stood on the issue.
“I want to do whatever Boch (manager Bruce Bochy) and management (thinks) gives us the best chance to win,” Posey said. “But I still definitely enjoy catching. That’s where I want to be — to my wife’s dismay.”
The Giants didn’t give Ryan Vogelsong the ball. They did, however, give him the mike, which enabled him to please fans one last time.
Though Bochy used a franchise-record (for a nine-inning game) 11 pitchers in the Giants’ 7-3 loss to Colorado, Vogelsong was not among them. Yet the impending free agent was the only player who received the opportunity to address the crowd after the game before the team tossed autographed baseballs into the stands to cap Fan Appreciation Day.
As always, Vogelsong gave the crowd his best. He spent what could have been his last moments in a Giants uniform reaffirming that his true colors are orange and black.
“I will always, always be a Giant,” the popular right-hander said, drawing huge cheers.
For the second offseason in a row, Vogelsong appears unlikely to return to the Giants. This time, a split just might occur. He wants to start and the best role San Francisco conceivably could offer him is long relief if they jettison Yusmeiro Petit.
Wherever Vogelsong goes, he made it plain where his heart lies.
— Chris Haft