Taking it easy
Todd Walker at voluntary workouts Wednesday at PETCO Park.
It was a day of rest for most of us after a long grind, playing all through September with every game having a lot of meaning. We were told we could take Wednesday off, with a voluntary workout for guys who wanted to get some swings or throw some pitches, and we appreciated it.
I welcomed the time with my family. It isn’t easy this time of year to get a free day, and it really can be rejuvenating. It probably was even restful for Geoff Blum. Blummer has those four little girls, and I’m sure he had a great time with them, as we all do with our kids when we get a little break.
I feel like I’ve been more durable over my career than some people seem to think, and this has been my most productive season in most respects. I’ve set personal bests for runs scored (80), average (.293), triples (13) and steals (49) — and not making an error in 129 games, I’m pretty proud of that. I was part of what I think was a great outfield with Mike Cameron and Brian Giles.
Josh Barfield, they tell me, was at the workout, which doesn’t surprise me. When you’re young like that, with all that energy, it’s good to work it off. That kid never gets tired. But neither did I when I was his age.
Speaking of Josh, I’d like to point out how much respect I developed for him — and also for Adrian Gonzalez — over the course of the season. It’s never easy to be the new guy on a team, and here you had two guys who were basically rookies, even though Adrian played some for Texas last year. And the job those two guys did was phenomenal, all year long.
Josh is very attentive. He’ll come sit with me on the bench and pick my brain, and I love that. I remember one game, when he wasn’t playing against San Francisco, and he was asking me all these questions about how to hit with two outs, how you change your approach, inside stuff like that. He absorbs everything and puts it to good use. I have no doubt he’s going to be a great player for a long time. I especially like the way he focuses and performs under pressure.
Adrian is like that, too, extremely serious about the game. He’s so smart, so advanced, it amazes me sometimes the things he does. Like that play in Arizona the other day, when he came up firing and got the out at second base to end the game -? the season, really. That was a play a 10-year veteran makes, knowing the situation, having a feel for what’s happening and reacting instantaneously. Just a great play. And he’s the same way with the bat, always studying, trying to improve.
We have a lot of veterans on this club, guys who have been around and know how to play the game right. I think that’s helped Josh and Adrian both. But you still have to go out and do it on the field, and they’ve been tremendous all season long. There’s no way we’d be here without them.