What going again to Oakland means for brand spanking new Blue Jay Marcus Semien

For the tenth time within the plate look, Marcus Semien was squinting out in direction of the mound, ready for his pitch. It was solely the seventh sport of the 2021 season for Semien and the Toronto Blue Jays, however they’d already discovered themselves in a relatively tense spot — backside of the tenth, computerized runner standing on second, tie sport. Main off the inning, a batter’s job on this situation is easy: drive within the run at greatest, advance the runner at worst. Don’t waste the out.

However this wasn’t Semien’s night time. He was already 0-for-4 with a few strikeouts, and on the finish of his 10-pitch, six-minute, uphill battle with Los Angeles Angels reliever Junior Guerra, he swiped at a full-count splitter down-and-away, skipping a groundball to quick. The runner at second was caught, compelled to retreat to his bag. Semien sprinted out of the field however was by no means going to beat the throw. Peeling off to his proper past first base, he threw his head again in disgust.

There was a time in his life when Semien would’ve yelled, would’ve pouted, would’ve rocketed his helmet into the bottom or midway up the best subject line. He misplaced his mood like that lots when he was a child. However then his mother and father pulled him from a sport and advised him he wasn’t going to play baseball anymore if that was how he’d behave. And it caught with him by means of highschool and school to at present, within the professionals, the place he’s now a mum or dad himself to 3 boys beneath 5. Now, when he has these moments and the frustration rises, he appears to be like for them within the crowd. “They’re my rock,” he says. “Any time one thing goes incorrect within the sport, I try to discover them within the stands and it simply centres me. It jogs my memory to maintain my composure out on the sector. As a result of I do know who’s watching.”

He’ll discover his boys — Isaiah, Joshua and Eli — with their mom, Tarah, who may be the perfect athlete within the household. She was one of many prime ladies’s volleyball gamers within the nation as a young person, went to the world championships with the U.S. youth nationwide staff, and was a two-time All-American who helped take the College of California, Berkeley to the nationwide championship in 2010. After she graduated, Tarah performed professionally abroad to assist each herself and Marcus whereas he was grinding away within the minors till a knee damage ended her profession. Their first youngster, Isaiah, was born not lengthy after that.

Now Isaiah’s practically 5 and past impressionable. By the point he was two, he may emulate the batting stance of each certainly one of his dad’s teammates with the Oakland Athletics. Lately, he’s in the lounge carving “Dios” in imaginary dust like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and leaning again with an enormous leg kick like Bo Bichette. Semien watches from the sofa whereas finding out video on his cellphone of the pitcher he’s going to face later that night time. Inevitably, Isaiah hops as much as be part of the session, asking his dad what he’s searching for so he can attempt to decide it up himself. “I put a sport on and he’s, like, actually watching it. He’s already a pupil of the sport,” Semien says. “I’m pleased with that — that my son loves what I do for a residing.”

It’s the one regular factor about this unusual season for Semien — being with household. This February, all of them packed up their issues and moved throughout the nation from California to Florida, the place they’ve been discovering a brand new rhythm in a Tampa suburb ever since. It’s been an adjustment. Outdoors of the 4 seasons he spent with the Chicago White Sox group that drafted him, Semien’s lived his total life within the Bay Space. He was born and raised within the various, hilly suburbs of El Cerrito; educated on Berkeley’s Beaux-Arts campus; and in the end turned an underdog success story because the on a regular basis shortstop and heartbeat of the A’s, a small-budget franchise he helped win the AL West in 2020, reaching MLB’s post-season for a 3rd 12 months working.

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