Hunter Pence hasn't done a ton at the plate since joining the Giants to get folks enthused about his addition -- no homers and a .154/.179/.269 line, even in 26 at-bats, will tend to make people a little panicky.
That's why it's important to remember that he's really enthused about San Francisco and that, eventually, he'll come around. Well, we don't know that he'll come around, but we do know that he's enthused. How? Turns out, he paid his own way to San Francisco after the Giants traded for him.
That's what he told Tom Tolbert and Eric Byrnes on KNBR during a recent interview anyway. Byrnes asked him about a claim from Brian Sabean that Pence is the only player in Sabean's time with the Giants who bought his own plane ticket to San Francisco.
"Yeah, I told him I was trying to get here as quickly as I could, and we figured that would be the fastest way," Pence said, confirming the story. "It came out to be a little pricey, but I got here. My flight got delayed about an hour on the runway, so it didn't turn out to be quick either. I did my best, but it didn't work out. But I'm here now."
Pricey is relative, of course, for an MLB player -- you can get a flight out of Philadelphia headed to San Francisco this afternoon for about $600. That's a lot of cheese, but it's not that insane for a cross-country flight, especially at the last minute.
However, Pence's dedication here isn't about the price tag. It's about him being willing to cough up the dough in order to get out to San Francisco as quickly as possible. 99.9 percent of MLB players would wait on the traveling secretary (Costanza!) or whoever to book a flight and head out of town then.
Pence busted his tail to get out to San Francisco in a way you almost never see. Now, granted, the enthusiasm hasn't carried over to the plate quite yet. But let's be patient and hope that Pence eventually finds his groove. At the very least, give the dude the benefit of the doubt -- it seems like the fair thing to do.