When Michael Morse departed the San Francisco Giants, he left an indelible memory for fans of a warmth and radiance that mirrored the general bonhomie of the organization, basking in the glow of its third coup de tat in the past five years. Just watching the exuberance Morse displayed on the field and in the dugout, warmed the cockles of Giants fans’ hearts. How does San Francisco replace this vitality on its team?
Nori Aoki is not Michael Morse, nor does he want to be. His five-foot-nine frame will not remind fans of Morse’s six-foot-five frame, because there are eight inches’ difference between the two.
San Francisco Giants players are measured in terms of heart, not height.
Fortunately for all involved, Giants players are not measured in terms of height but rather, in magnitude of heart. From what he has displayed so far, Nori Aoki comes well apportioned in this area.
Jul 13, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) hits a grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Standing in front of cameras Tuesday afternoon, according to a KNBR tweet, Aoki quipped, “I heard MadBum likes to wrestle, so I think I’m going to initiate the wrestling [when we first meet in the clubhouse.”] Aoki weighs in at 180 pounds compared to Madison Bumgarner’s 235.
What’s fifty-five pounds here and there between friends?
Key word: friends. Of course, I supplied the word, not Aoki or MadBum. But doesn’t it seem as though that will be the natural progression of things? The pseudo-challenge issued by Aoki, the sort of school-yard type of approach, indicates a willingness to metaphorically go after an acknowledged leader on the Giants, both physically and through his actions on the field.
Fans have to like his style. After all, Aoki faced Bumgarner five times in the just-completed world series and failed to reach base against him. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? And MadBum has to like the prospect of the fleet-footed Aoki patrolling left field behind him. That was one area where Morse did not necessarily tower over the Giants’ new left fielder.
All things considered, and team-cohesiveness being the most key to success for the Giants’ on the diamond, it would appear that Nori Aoki comes well-equipped with an honorary degree in science to his name.
Who would have guessed that his degree would be in chemistry?
June 30, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) reacts to his home run against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports