Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/8/13
As soon as the words left Madison Bumgarner’s mouth Wednesday night I knew he might get some blowback. I had asked if he thought players have “checked out” mentally since it became apparent this season was lost. “Sometimes yeah I do” Bumgarner said. “It seems like some days we come in here and some days it doesn’t seem like it.” Manager Bruce Bochy addressed Bumgarner’s comment this morning during a heartfelt and honest discussion with reporters on what is going on with the Giants. Bochy did not sound angry with his pitcher and chalked it up frustration after a good game went haywire. “You’re talking about a pitcher who just lost a really tough ballgame” Bochy said. “I think Madison he’d probably tell you he wishes he had talked to the guys a little bit about it. When you talk to a guy after a tough game like that he might say something he might regret a little bit. It’s not like him to point fingers. We like to take care of things internally.” Note that Bochy did not say Bumgarner was wrong and Bochy acknowledged that he has conducted meetings “more than once” to make sure his players stay mentally checked in. I followed up with another question to Bochy that I’ve thought about for a while. If you look at the Giants’ core many of these players have not lost before. Not like this. They came from really good high school or college programs went into a Giants farm system that mostly had winning teams then advanced to a major-league team on an upswing that resulted in two championships. Maybe these Giants just haven’t learned how to lose. Or more to the point how to rebound. “That’s a great point” Bochy said. “We’re getting tested. You hope we get stronger and this should be a learning experience. This game is easy when everything is going well you’re hitting winning and playing great defense. When you haven’t crossed to the other side of it you’re not accustomed to it. These are uncharted waters how to deal with it. “It goes back to mental toughness of dealing with adversity. To be honest with you we haven’t handled it very well.” That needs to be fixed not only by the manager but leaders among the players and I’m sure Bochy will ask them to do so privately.
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