This is San Francisco Giants centerfielder Angel Pagan:
And yes, center field can become a lonely place to play.
You will find a few players like Pagan on teams that win a bunch of championships in just a few years; they remain totally unknown to casual fans of a sport, mostly unknown to fans of opposing teams, and totally appreciated by the fans of their teams who know that they make quiet but decisive contributions to a team’s success, even if all they do consists of a single critical play during a single critical playoff game.
But I hadn’t noticed one curious aspect of his defense until Saturdays’s 4-2 loss to Arizona.
He will literally turn his back on the game.
Between batters, sometimes between pitches, he turns around and looks at the centerfield bleachers. Well, no, not the bleachers. He likes to watch the fans. Angel Pagan likes to watch the folks who like to watch him, sometimes even grinning or laughing when he sees an especially colorfully costumed fan. And then somehow he turns around in time and sets himself in preparation for the next pitch. I wish I knew how he does that.
A few more shots from Saturday’s game; overall, my camera work was even worse than the Giants’ offense, but a small handful turned out satisfactorily.
This gentleman continued a tradition started last year by of all things New York Mets fans: inoffensive, bizarre, sometimes funny insults directed at Hunter Pence. Pence even got insulted by President Obama during the team’s White House visit last month (“Hunter Pence eats pizza with a fork.”). Hence, this sign in response:
Yeah, we get really strange in the San Francisco bleachers.
I’ll never sit anywhere else.
Vonn Scott Bair