Bonds closing in on Henderson's all-time walks record
By Rich Draper / MLB.com
Dustan Mohr (right) has batted nearly .300 since May 2. (Ben Margot/AP)
SAN FRANCISCO -- He was a non-entity before, one of those players you punch into a search engine to find out just who he is and what he's done.
The results show Giants outfielder Dustan Mohr has established himself as an ultimate team player and already established as a fan favorite for his hustle and -- lately -- hitting ability.
Early in the season, when introductions were made, there was only polite applause for the ex-Minnesota Twins player, but after batting nearly .300 since May 2 and hitting safely in 10 of his last 12 games (.313) and playing sensational defense, he is cheered with gusto.
His wild roller-coaster ride is similar to the team as a whole, with San Francisco struggling early, then catching fire.
"Earlier I was with the team and had a uniform on," said Mohr, laughing. "It takes a team awhile to figure out where all the pieces fit. I'm not sure if they knew where I fit in before, but it's worked itself out."
Mohr is hitting just below .250 -- hey, he was .179 on June 12 -- and gratified he's been playing regularly enough to show his all-around ability.
Dustan Mohr / RF
Weight: 210 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
"I'm having a blast," said Mohr. "I'm a bigger piece of the puzzle now, but I'm always having fun when I'm out there. It's nice to be a part of this team. The fans are paying good money to watch us play, and we're all giving 100 percent, whether we're feeling good or bad that day.
"I feel I have something to prove each day," said the 27-year-old outfielder. "I'm not in a whole lot but it's been enjoyable watching this team come together. It's very comfortable in the clubhouse, and we're all shooting for the playoffs."
Mohr calls this the best time of his baseball life. He's here, he fits in, he's playing well, the team is winning.
"I still think I'm improving and getting better each year," said the fourth-season player.
Manager Felipe Alou said there was almost a team-wide adjustment period for the Giants, with the influx of new players mixing in with the old. From the pitching to defense to how the lineup would settle in, multiple factors were involved, including the blending of personalities.
"It's a new team, it's a different ballclub," said Alou, who often toyed with the lineup to discover the right combination. "And this ballclub is getting better. It takes longer [to come together] than having the same guys play every day. Now they know they can play at any time."
Walking to a record: Barry Bonds is closing in on Rickey Henderson's all-time Major League record of 2,190 walks, and it's a mark Alou feel is a "big accomplishment."
Barry Bonds / LF
Weight: 230 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
"He's like Willie Mays," said Alou. "There are two things -- you've got to be a great player and a healthy player. Barry I know missed a few games because of rest, but he hasn't had a major injury, and he plays hard, especially when he was a kid."
A record never to be broken?
"There are no untouchable records," said the skipper. "There's always a Barry Bonds somewhere."
Home Run Challenge: Prior to Sunday's game at SBC Park, three teams made up of Bay Area celebrities and former ballplayers will bat against ex-Giants pitcher Bill Laskey in the challenge.
Participants include Giants alums Vida Blue, Mike Felder and Darren Lewis, former A's star Wayne Gross, 49ers alums Steve Bono and Guy McIntyre, Oakland Raider Jerry Porter, San Jose Sharks Brad Stuart and Scott Hannan, along with Larry Krueger of KNBR, Johno Sasaki and Fred Inglis of KTVU, Vernon Glenn of KRON and comedian Bob Sarlatte.
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.