McGehee says all the right things
Spoke with Casey McGehee on a conference call and asked him about replacing Pablo Sandoval as the Giants’ third baseman.
“Obviously, Pablo was a tremendous guy. It’s no secret how people in San Francisco feel about him. Great player. I think if there’s any pressure that comes, it’s myself expecting to do my job every night. Pablo and I are different players. I’m not going to do the same things Pablo does. There are some things he does better than I do. There are some things I may do better than he does. I’d be foolish to think I’ll step into Pablo’s shoes and completely replace him. He’s one of the guys, with what he’s done, who won’t be forgotten or completely replaced in San Francisco with the amount of success he’s had, especially in the postseason. My job is to go in and find my niche within the team and pave my own way, not try to pick up where Pablo left off.”
McGehee, 32, is from Santa Cruz County and grew up following the Giants and A’s, recalling the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and saying he idolized Will Clark and Matt Williams.
McGehee, acquired from the Marlins for pitching prospects Kendry Flores and Luis Casillo, is arbitration eligible for the last time and can be a free agent after the 2015 season.
He hit .287 with 76 RBIs but hit just four homers — one off Tim Lincecum in Miami on July 20 – in 160 games. On the conference call, manager Bruce Bochy said he could hit the newcomer fourth, fifth or sixth. He did have 29 doubles and a .355 on-base percentage and said he’d rather play in a park like the Giants’ than a hitters’ park.
“Home runs are fine and good, but I’ll take them when they come,” McGehee said. “My approach is using the middle of the field, keep the line moving, have good quality at-bats and not give away any at-bats, whether it’s a little dribbler to right field for a single or moving runners over, whatever the case might be. Just trying to take what the situation gives me.”
“Miami, obviously it’s a huge ballpark, not really meant to hit the ball out of the ballpark. AT&T definitely has a reputation for being more pitcher-friendly. I definitely feel comfortable in a ballpark that isn’t set up for hitting that many home runs. I think my approach works better in the bigger ballparks, so I’m looking forward to that.”
McGehee knew he’d be an ex-Marlin once Miami acquired Martin Prado from the Yankees to play third base. He reached out to his agent and Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations and began imagining playing for another team. He said he secretly was hoping for San Francisco. He learned Friday that he was a Giant.
”One team that really jumped off page for me was San Francisco,’ he said. “I didn’t think too far ahead, but I really hoping San Francisco would be it. When I got the call San Francisco was where I was going, there was a little shock, but I was really excited.
“I found myself walking around with a smile on my face. I couldn’t be more happy to not only be in an organization that has had success that lasted awhile but it’s a chance for me to get back home. One of the things I’m most excited about is finally sharing some of my career and journey close to home with family and friends.”