SF Giants News

San Francisco Giants’ Michael Morse applies Barry Bonds tip to 8th-inning home run

By Mark ONeill
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Barry Bonds: the gift that keeps on giving. I wrote last spring about San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford, and his trials and tribulations hitting left-handed pitchers. Crawford posts on his blog every two weeks or so, and he went into great detail in one of his spring training pieces, relating how he had worked with Barry Bonds one afternoon in the batting cage.

Crawford focused exclusively during the session, on keeping his right shoulder closed, and actually aiming it at the shortstop, in order to facilitate putting the ball in play against left-handed pitching. The discrepancy between his stats versus right-handers, and those versus lefties, indicated clearly that if he did not want to end up in a platoon-situation at shortstop, he had better hone his batting skills against southpaws.

The results were immediately evident, especially when he hit the walk-off, splash hit in the tenth inning, of an April 13th Sunday game against the Colorado Rockies, off of lefty Rex Brothers. Having Bonds in camp, along with other past hitting stars such as Randy Winn, J.T. Snow, Rich Aurilia and Jeff Kent, is one of the keys to Giants’ hitting success.

The reason I bring up Bonds and Crawford again, is because Barry Bonds, being one of the greatest pure hitters the game has ever seen, knows more about the subject than practically any living person. What’s more, he’s more than willing to share what he knows, and when players pay attention, the Giants benefit.

Barry Bonds is all about helping hitters to improve-all they have to do is listen.

In reading Henry Schulman’s recap on Thursday night’s clincher, he shared a powerful little anecdote.

Jul 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Michael Morse (38) before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Schulman wrote that when Michael Morse bumped into the great one, in a chance encounter prior to Thursday night’s NLCS clinching game, he listened when Bonds came over to him and said, “Get your foot down. You can’t hit it if your foot’s in the air.”

Morse took the suggestion seriously enough to go to the cage early “…trying to get my foot down early.” Later, while in the batter’s box, leading off the eighth inning, he was thinking about keeping his foot down, when he launched a rocket into the left-field seats, tying the game and setting up the ninth-inning shot, heard if not around the world, certainly far enough to guarantee the Giants being invited to the World Series, beginning next Tuesday in Kansas City. 

You see, it pays to listen when great hitters speak, and the Giants’ organization has done much to make this interaction between pure hitters, and today’s players, possible.

Is there room on the plane to Kansas City for Barry Bonds? And maybe some barbecue for him once he arrives? A man’s got to eat if he’s going to be any good, and Bonds is good.

Just check with Michael Morse if you do not believe me.

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