For Vogelsong it's no longer 'Me against world' mentality

April 15, 2012, 5:01 pm
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Ryan Vogelsong is no stranger to making his return at AT&T Park, though his scheduled rebound from a strained back Sunday lacks in plot when juxtaposed to his 2011 return to Major League Baseball after four years away.

That return keyed a career year in which Vogelsong led the daunting Giants starting staff in ERA and booked himself an expenses-paid ticket to the All-Star game.

That return was the culmination of four years of soul searching though Japan and Venezuela, of 2,412 days between MLB wins fraught with hard work and little to show for it.

That return was about Vogelsong proving to the baseball world that in his six-foot-three, 216-pound frame, he possessed what it takes to compete at the highest level.

This return will be different.

This return, he'll have the unwavering love and faith of Giants fans everywhere already in his back pocket.

With the "me against the world" mentality in his past, the established Vogelsong has a new problem.

"You have to back down with your emotions. You just try to control it," Vogelsong said of the hype.

How is he feeling going in? "I'm good." Vogelsong said. "The other night I got over 90 pitches. I got up and down six times. Everything is good."

If Vogelsong can keep the Giants competitive in his 2012 starts, everything will indeed be good.

Vogelsong, a 34-year old former Giants prospect who was traded to Pittsbugh in 2001 for Jason Schmidt, will climb the AT&T Park mound Sunday and stare down the team that his MLB career once ended with.

His Cinderella season in 2011 began with a start against the same Pittsburgh Pirates. Giants fans can only hope a start against his old squad will spur another season of success for the man they call "Vogey."

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