A few months back, there was some discussion around who was the "heart of the team". There was disagreement on what the definition was, but if we're talking about someone who's a good teammate, gives 100% all the time and cares about the team and its fans, it has to be Bengie Molina.
My recent experience sitting near the Giants dugout sealed it for me. I observed him constantly talking to younger guys, especially Sandoval. I observed his true excitement when the team scored runs (even though it was an exhibition game). I observed him interacting with the fans numerous times; waiving to people and getting balls to give to kids.
The one moment that was most telling was upon returning to the dugout after scoring. He acknowledged the fans cheers, pointed at the "Giants" on his jersey and pointed back to the crowd. As if to say, "We're in this together."
I saw a lot of the same stuff yesterday.
He may be an inappropriate cleanup hitter, but that's not his fault. He may be the slowest player in the league, but so what? He may not be patient enough at the plate, but I don't ever mind seeing him at the plate in a "clutch" situation. He may not be the most skilled catcher, but he worked his ass off yesterday preventing wild pitches.
In the final year of his contract, this will surely be his last year as a Giant since the team has Pablo and Buster ready to get behind the dish.
It would be easy to not truly appreciate him until his final game or even after he's gone. I'm going to try and appreciate him all season long. In just two years, he's been a good Giant and is truly the "heart and soul of the team".