San Francisco Chronicle
‘Late Night LaMonte’ healthy and motivated
GLENDALE, Ariz. — This spring is a complete turnaround for LaMonte Wade Jr. He’s healthy and he’s smiling, especially after three hits and two walks in the San Francisco Giants’ 12-1 win over the Dodgers on Tuesday.
Last year at this time, Wade was dealing with a severe left knee bone bruise that lingered for months. Unable to perform at the level he had the previous season, he spent most of the season quiet and looking gloomy.
Wade said this spring he has been checking in weekly with Shana Alexander, the director of the Giants’ mental health and wellness program.
“I’m really feeling really good,” he said. “I’m taking advantage of talking to Shana, and I think that helps. It takes a lot off your mind and a lot of stress away.
“Just going out there and knowing that my body’s going to hold up and I can get through it is really taking a lot off my mind. I feel like I’m in a really good spot and I’m going to stay there as long as I can.”
A healthy, happy Wade hit 18 homers, drove in 56 runs and put up a 117 OPS+ in 2021 while earning the “Late Night LaMonte” nickname for his lategame dramatics, which included six game-tying or go-ahead hits in the ninth inning.
Last year, he was limited to 77 games and hit .207 with eight homers.
Manager Gabe Kapler said Wade “has done a tremendous job of being in a great frame of mind and being in a great physical place too. I think those two things are boosting one another.”
Another thing that might help Wade: the ban on extreme defensive shifts, which should