Players who bounce around from team-to-team have a tough enough time getting adjusted to a new situation and being able to click with their new teammates, let alone becoming a clubhouse leader. From the sound of it, that has not been an issue for Hunter Pence.
The Giants outfielder has played for three teams over the past two seasons, having been shipped from Houston to Philadelphia last season and Philadelphia to San Francisco earlier this year. Despite the fact that he is still a relatively new face with the Giants, manager Bruce Bochy said it was Pence’s speech that got the team fired up when they were in an 0-2 hole against the Reds prior to Game 3.
“Hunter (Pence) got up and he just spoke from the heart,” Bochy told KNBR in San Francisco. “Passionate speech and I’m not sure we knew what he said but how he said it, the gist of it was ‘hey we’re not done, we’re not ready to go home.’ That seemed to really fire up the guys. Tremendous job by him and you love when a player steps up. Sure they hear it from me but to have a teammate step up the way he did and the emotion he did when he was speaking it just charged the whole club up.
“They played like it and these guys were determined not to go home. We want to keep playing.”
Considering this is the same Pence who seemed legitimately surprised when the Phillies traded him at the deadline, you have to admire his leadership qualities. Speaking to a locker room full of grumpy players who have put themselves on the brink of elimination isn’t easy for a veteran. It’s even more challenging for someone who has been with the team for just over two months.
Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for transcribing the quotes
Photo credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE