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Two weeks in the life of Hunter Pence.

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Cowboii, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Cowboii

    Cowboii Member

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    When The Mag asked me to chronicle my every waking (and sleeping) hour for two weeks, I figured it would be a great chance to show you what life as a major leaguer is really like. During those 14 days, I spent about a third of my time at the ballpark (see pie chart below) which left me plenty of time to, among other things, buy a condo, get a Mohawk and go see Korn, my favorite band. I also hit .415 during that stretch, so maybe I'm onto something here.


    ALL IN A DAY'S WORK


    Nancy Newberry

    Minute Maid Park is about 15 minutes from my new condo. For a night game, I get to the ballpark around 1:30. On the road, there's a bus from the hotel around 3, but it's only for veterans. One time during my rookie year, in 2007, I was nursing an injury and took the bus, and I got a talking-to from Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio. So I take a cab or walk. When I get to the ballpark, I like to do a lot of tee work. I start with the tee away to get my swing feeling good, then I move it around to work all parts of the plate. I'll take probably 150 to 200 swings off the tee. After that, I'll check out video of the opposing pitcher. Sometimes you can learn a lot from it, other times not so much. For example, we faced the Cubs' Rich Harden recently, and you really can't get much from the film. You know he's just going to pound you with splitters and fastballs, and you don't need film to tell you that. After video, I might play a game of chess before BP. A lot of teams play cards, but we like to think we have a more intellectual group.

    PULLING MY WEIGHT

    I lift after the game. It's nothing major, but I want to maintain all the work I did in the off-season. I'll do back and biceps one day, chest and triceps the next, then legs. I'll do three days on, then take a day off. In some ballparks on the road, we have to share a weight room with the home team. I don't talk to players on other clubs too much, but I say hello and try to make small talk when lifting. Sometimes I feel bad because I don't recognize guys unless they have their uniform on.

    ASTRO FUEL

    The morning of a home night game, I typically go to the West Gray Cafe, a nice little breakfast place downtown. Sometimes my older brother, Howie, who lives outside Houston with his wife and two kids, comes with me. He's 29 (I'm 26), and he pitched in the Padres' and Astros' organizations; he knows more about baseball than I do. (After games, we play World of Warcraft online, and while we're playing, we break down everything that happened that night.) At breakfast, my order is always three eggs over medium, hash browns, sausage, bacon, two biscuits and three to four cups of coffee. As you can tell, I really like my eggs and coffee. I'll usually have at least four cups before I get to the park, and at least another two once I get there. After my early work on the tee and in the cage, I'll eat a turkey or chicken sandwich. They never mark it, so I'm not sure if it's turkey or chicken. I'll hit the spread when I'm getting dressed after BP. At home it varies between grilled chicken and fish, that sort of thing. On the road, I eat whatever they have, and it's nice to mix it up.

    MAN ABOUT TOWN

    I don't get recognized that often, and even when I do, people usually just shake my hand and say hello. It's not like I have paparazzi chasing me or anything. One time I was in line at Starbucks, and the guy in front of me was wearing my jersey, and he didn't even recognize me. I thought about saying something, but what am I going to say? "Hey, dude, you're wearing my jersey." There's a girl who claims to be my No. 1 fan, and she comes to games with signs supporting me. She sends me letters with pictures of her room, which has lots of photos of me on the wall. I get about 15 to 25 pieces of fan mail per week, and I save them until the off-season, when my mom helps me sort through them. I grew up in Arlington, Texas, so my folks, Howard and Gail, are only a few hours away by car. At my old apartment, they would stay with me for most homestands. That made dating tricky, because they always met girls a little quicker than I would have liked. There isn't room for them in my new place, so I'll have a lot more privacy. That aspect is nice, but now I'll probably have to do my own laundry.

    FEELIN' IT

    When I was a kid my dad would buy me only one batting glove, to save money. Sometimes it was a golf glove because those cost less. So now I like the feel of the bat in my right hand. On cold days I've tried wearing two gloves, but it just doesn't feel right. I'll stick with the one glove. It sure worked during these two weeks.
     
  2. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    no mention of that bombshell he was dating last year.
     
  3. verse

    verse Contributing Member

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    I'm still struggling to find a comparable player to Pence. I'm not implying he's Ted Williams or anything of the sort. I'm just searching for a former or current player that he reminds me of and i cannot so far. Tall, rangy, unusually strong for his size with odd, yet effective, fundamentals.

    Eric Davis comes to mind, but he never had the ability to hit for Hunter's batting avg. Plus he was faster than Hunter.

    Anybody have a good comparison?
     
  4. BrooksBall

    BrooksBall Contributing Member

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    Pence is pretty unique. The most similar player I can think of playing right now is Corey Hart. Both are tall, lanky RFers with surprising power. Pence just seems to do everything a little bit better and seems to be making more improvement.
     
  5. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    He's like a cross between Dale Murphy and Casey Candaele.
     
  6. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    Have you sat behind this guy in right field? he twitches and moves his arms and adjusts his belt after every single pitch. It'll drive you nuts and it's no wonder considering the amount of coffee he's guzzling.
     
  7. BrooksBall

    BrooksBall Contributing Member

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    A stark contrast to Carlos out in left. :D
     
  8. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    true, you could get carlos a lawn chair.
     
  9. Mac#5

    Mac#5 Member

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    Useless with out pics ;)
     
  10. BMoney

    BMoney Contributing Member

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    How about Von Hayes?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. BrooksBall

    BrooksBall Contributing Member

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    The only thing I remember about Von Hayes is his baseball card. :D

    So I looked up his numbers. It seems like Hunter is signficantly better at slugging and hitting for average while Hayes was the more patient hitter, although Hunter has made huge strides in that area this season.

    They were both tall with speed but Hayes seemed to better translate his speed into stolen bases, at least earlier in his career.

    It seems like a pretty reasonable comparison but I think Corey Hart is a more similar type of hitter based on only seeing Hayes' numbers. Was there something particular about him that reminded you of Pence?
     
  12. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    I started reading this from the bottom and eric davis is the first player I thought of. even strawberry when young, even though I don't remember how strong his arm was.
     
  13. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    On the road, rookies have to walk or take a cab from the hotel to the stadium when there is a probably empty bus going that way?

    Are you kidding me? WTF is that?
     
  14. Depressio

    Depressio Contributing Member

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    I'll never forget that Pence loves WoW.

    Upon the release of Wrath of the Lich King, I actually decided to go to a midnight release at the GameStop on Shepard @ Westheimer. So I get there, and there's this lengthy line (of course), full of people chit-chatting about the game. My girlfriend came along, so I mostly talked with her and followed the Rockets game that was going on on my Blackberry.

    Then, some guy started walking along the line, handing out cupcakes to whoever wanted one. He was very proud of them. I didn't really want one, nor did I want to be harrassed about his cupcakes, so I just struck a conversation with my girlfriend and basically ignored him. He stopped at the girl behind us and noted that his cupcakes said things like "WTF" and "PWN" on them. They laughed. Then, the girl wanted a picture with the guy with cupcakes. I thought that was pretty weird -- I mean, they're just cupcakes. He looked like one of those cool Internet dudes (jocks who play games), too, but nothing special.

    So anyway, the guy goes back to his spot at the front of the line. The doors open, and people are orderly directed inside to buy their copy of the game. The cupcake guy came out early on, and was signing some folks' game boxes. He had a Blizzard shirt on, so I figured maybe he was from Blizzard? That also seemed a little bit odd to me, but who knows how far that company will go?

    He finally gets done signing some things, and with his scantily clad female companion, begins to head towards his car. That's when it hit me: IT WAS HUNTER PENCE. I was flabbergasted and pissed off at myself for not taking one of Hunter Pence's videogame-based cupcakes. Then I hear folks yell: "See ya later, Hunter!" Argh.

    Anyway, that's my Pence story about WoW. Boring, I know... opportunities missed that will haunt me. :(
     
  15. Depressio

    Depressio Contributing Member

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    Hmm, I also drive by the West Grey Cafe every day on the way to work.

    Maybe I should stop in for breakfast some time...?
     
  16. Harrisment

    Harrisment Member

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    Link?

    Edit: Never mind, I didn't realize it was an insider article.
     
    #16 Harrisment, Jun 24, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  17. angrykitty

    angrykitty Member

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    That is pretty cool to get "a day in the life" perspective. Thanks.
     
  18. theimpossibles1

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    Day 26, drop easy fly ball to ruin Roy's no hitter.
     
  19. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    To be accurate, since he never saw it, he never dropped it. Had he dropped it, Roy would have still had the no-hitter since it would have been an error.
     
  20. theimpossibles1

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    I think you know what I meant.
     

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