“It’s funny I know. It does get annoying,” Nez joked before trailing off mid sentence into a laugh of his own.
The gregarious Giant, who’s beginning his first full season with the club, has become a cult hero at Third and King, in part due to his habit of running out of his helmet.
For the power strapped Giants jerseys the club was No. 28 in home runs a season ago Nez provides the offense with an indispensible extra dimension. Whenever Nez reaches base, he’s one pitch from racing his way into scoring position.
“A single can be a double with him,” Bochy explained. “Sometimes, he doesn’t go when the pitcher doesn’t give him a chance. So he doesn’t force the issue too often either, but he’s fearless. He will go when they know he’s going and he’s not afraid to go.”
Nez is as intrepid a thief as his boss suggests. Even when third base coach Phil Nevin attempts to put the brakes on in a less than ideal spot, Nez says he can’t be reined in.
During the ninth inning of the Giants jerseys’ 4 3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks jerseys on Tuesday night, Nez cheap mlb jerseys representing the tying run at first took off even though everyone inside rain soaked AT Park realized that was exactly what he was about to do.
“I don’t care if people know,” said Nez, who stole the bag without incident. “I go anyway.”
That bold approach served Nez well during his breakout 2016 season, when he swiped 40 bases while splitting time with the Minnesota Twins jerseys and the Giants jerseys, becoming one of just five big leaguers to hit that mark.
Asked if he knew who the last player was to steal 40 times in the Orange and Black, Nez admitted he didn’t have a clue. Advised that the player now likes to hang out during the club’s batting practice, Nez still drew a blank.
Barry Bonds way back in 1996.
“Oh yeah? Shit.” Nez said with a laugh. “[That’s a] good list.”
In 2017, Nez doesn’t just plan to go for 40 he’s ready to go flying right past that total.
“My personal goal, like for anyone, is to win a championship,” Nez said, before revealing his running game objective.
“I have a number in mind. I want to steal 60 or more bases,” Nez said. “That’s my goal this year for stealing bases.”
The bandit even has a plan mapped out for how to reach that lofty haul.
“60 or more,” Nez reiterated. “In my mind, 10 every month. That’s my goal. So, I don’t know if I can do, but I will try.”
Last year, a 60 steal season would have given Nez the second highest total in the majors.
Already, in the opening weeks of the season, Bochy has been asked repeatedly how long he can keep such an ambitious and disruptive speedster stranded in the sixth spot in the lineup. The manager says he likes leading off with cheap Denard Span jersey who’s already fought a hip injury and plans to leave Nez alone, for now.
“If I have to tweak the lineup, if it needs a little tweaking to generate some offense, then I have to do it,” Bochy reasoned.
Playing the part of the consummate professional, Nez had no interest in complaining about where Bochy writes his name on the lineup card.
“I don’t care,” Nez said. “Where[ever] the manager feels comfortable [putting me], I don’t care. As long as I’m in the lineup [somewhere], I try to help the team win.”
With free agency looming at season’s end, Nez isn’t worrying about where he hits or where his helmet ends up. Instead, he’s adhering to his simple philosophy to always be one pitch from advancing into scoring position.