by Dale DePalatis
The 2019 Giants started the year looking like pathetic geezers who should be playing bocce ball at a retirement home rather than roaming the spacious environs of Oracle Park.
And yet, in the past 20 games, they have won 17 of 20, including a 7 game winning streak to rocket past two teams into third place in the NL West. If they keep up this pace, they could catch the Dodgers in about 800 games. What has changed?
“Well, I think I forgot to explain the rules clearly to everyone,” chagrined skipper Bruce Bochy tells this Second String stringer. “When I told the guys, it was okay to hit the ball outside the wall, a kind of light went on.”
The revelation has come as a shock to multiple Giants.
“Yeah, Donovan, Reyes and I thought the wall in the outfield was the boundary, you know, like the out-of-bounds line in soccer,” an enlightened Pablo Sandoval explains. “At home in Venezuela, my dad always told me to keep the ball inbounds, so I made sure not to kick it too hard.”
“I thought it was like sumo,” adds fourth-string infielder Atsuyoshi Kantathrowa. “In sumo, if you go outside the line, you lose. I’ve been very careful to make sure the ball stayed inside the playing area.”
“Dude, I played sand volleyball throughout my childhood. Hitting it out was the worst thing you could do,” Austin Slater says.
“My dad always told me to play within the rules, so I thought that meant keeping the ball within the walls of the park. I’ve been pulling back a little on the bat each time I hit to make sure the ball stayed within the park,” Buster Posey offers. “Now they tell me we get points for hitting it out!”
Bochy is pretty excited with the results of sharing the rules with his players.
“The boys were stoked when they learned that hitting the ball out gave us runs, sometimes even three or four,” the veteran coach says. “Since then, we’ve been winning a lot more games.”
This kind of savvy leadership has many people thinking that Bochy is a lock to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Any coach can win two or three World Series titles, but only a select few can really ruin a team by forgetting to tell them the rules,” gushes MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
The news is bound to help the pitching staff as well.
“Next thing you know, they’ll tell us we should try to pitch the ball so they can’t hit it,” jokes ace pitcher Jeff Samardzija with a chuckle.