Results tagged ‘ Hunter Pence ’
Hunter Pence and Geoff Blum walked into the clubhouse on Friday sporting these RallyHawks, with two intentions: to show their support for the Rockets [who sport their own version of the RallyHawk, called the VonHawk], and to spark a rally of sorts on
their own scuffling team.
Now comes the hard part — getting their teammates on board. Wesley Wright, who wears his hair very short, said he’d try to grow it out a little this week and then revisit the opportunity. Blum surmised Tim Byrdak would be the toughest to convince to obtain the Rally Hawk. Logistically, it just might not be possible.
“The guy’s already follically challenged,” Blum said.
Byrdak, whose head of hair won’t be mistaken for that of, say, Tom Selleck’s during his Magnum P.I. days, didn’t sound enthused about the notion of cutting even a little off the sides.
“I’ve got two brothers that are bald,” Byrdak said. “I’m trying to hold onto my hair as long as I can.”
Lance Berkman might be a hard sell as well.
“If you look like a goon, is it worth it?” he asked. Then, acknowledging his .184 batting average, added, “At this point, I don’t need to be drawing any undue attention to myself.”
It was somewhat ironic that Aaron Boone happened to be visiting the Astros on Wednesday, the same day the Astros made another one of those serious announcements about the health of someone in uniform that had nothing to do with hamstring strains or shoulder tendinitis.
A little over six weeks ago, Boone, age 36, told the world he was having open-heart surgery. Today, 43-year-old hitting coach Sean Berry let us know he has a tumor on his kidney that is likely cancerous, and will have to be removed soon.
If there is a silver lining to Sean’s condition, it’s that this cancer is extremely treatable and should be 100 percent gone once the tumor is removed. He might even be able to do it laproscopically, which would require just a short recovery time.
“You always hear this is the one you want to get,” Berry said. “After they cut it out, I should be 100 percent fine. No chemo, no radiation.”
You can read here about Dave Clark’s inadvertent contribution that caused Berry to detect the tumor early.
Here’s hoping Sean gets through this quickly. He’s a great guy, a great coach and a great friend to many. Not to mention one of the original Killer B’s.
As usual, Puma summed it up nicely:
“It’s almost surreal,” Berkman said. “It’s just weird because a week ago, that never even enters your mind. Then we knew he wasn’t feeling well in Atlanta. He said it was kidney stones. I’ve heard of people having those before. It’s farily common and very painful. When I came in today we saw a meeting at 4:15, and the furthest thing from my mind was anything like that.
“I thought maybe they were going to chew us out or something, whatever. Then I knew immediately it was something not good. Then you get a sick feeling in your stomach. You just can hardly believe it.
“We’re encouraged by the report. Not that cancer’s ever not a big deal, but if you’re going to have cancer it sounds like this is a better situation than most. They can operate on it and it doesn’t sound like he has to have chemo, so that’s good news.”
Meanwhile, it was nice to see Booooooone. I heard he was showing off his scar to his teammates so I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask him to show it off to the media. I didn’t think he’d go for it, but boy was I wrong:
Dave Clark organized a fun session of batting practice with the coaches while the team was in Atlanta. Little did he know how important that session would be to Berry in the end.
Not only is Sean Berry the best hitting coach Hunter Pence has ever had, according to Pence himself, but he’s also a mentor. Pence took this one hard.
Hats off to Hunter Pence. It couldn’t have been easy to stand at his locker and explain in full detail his eighth-inning at-bat against Arthur Rhodes, but he did it. And he did it well. He addressed us immediately, got it over with, and I applaud him for how he handled the whole thing.
“I’m going to be a winner,” he said. “I’m going to find a way. In those times, I want to be up to bat. This time, I didn’t get them, but tomorrow’s a new day. This is where you find out what you’re made of, when times get rough.”
The Astros, collectively, are not good offensively right now. They’re either last or close to last in some pretty important categories — runs, average, hits, RBIs. This is a collective struggle. But Monday night, the focus was on Pence, who looked at a called third strike with the bases loaded, two outs, and the Astros down by a run.
Geoff Blum always provides great perspective, and he didn’t disappoint this time when talking about Pence.
“I’ve been hitting behind him for just a couple of games now,” he said. “And after watching last year and hitting behind him this year, even I get to be a part-time fan when I’m sitting on deck. I expect him to do something amazing, because I think he’s built for it. He’s worked hard to get to that point. But this game is harsh. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that time, but there’s plenty more game left. I know Hunter’s going to relish every chance he has to be in that situation.”
Cecil Cooper chose Geoff Geary after Mike Hampton yielded a base hit in the seventh inning for a couple of reasons. One was simple default — Jeff Fulchino was unavailable because he’s pitched a lot in the last couple of days, and Chris Sampson was also unavailable. Cooper didn’t expand on it when pressed on Sampson, so I’m guessing Sampson is still not recovered from that hip problem he encountered while executing an out at first base the other night. I’ll check on that tomorrow.
Anyway, back to Geary. Concerned?
“I don’t have any concern, he’s just not pitching the way he pitched a year ago,” Cooper said. “He’s struggling a little bit. All we can do is keep running him out there, and I don’t think there’s anything mechanically wrong.”
Puma tied Craig Biggio for second on the club’s all-time home run list with 291. Next up, Jeff Bagwell’s 449. It’s going to be a while.