"Once I made you rich enough, rich enough to forget my name"
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
Trust the art, not the artist.
Don’t wear another man’s name on your back, and don’t assume a multimillionaire athlete, no matter his birthplace or public sentiments, really knows or understands your plights or truly appreciates your passion.
To some degree (for some, impressively infinitesimal, and for others, enormously incalculable), we’re all looking out for ourselves. Unfortunately, a select few have the platform to do so on the grandest scale, with millions at the mercy of their erraticism and ego.
These athletes you follow and I write about? Many of them are good men and women with moral virtue and correct convictions. And, as in our world beyond the ballpark or stadium or arena, many are not. They all spend their adult lives playing a child’s game. Applaud those who do so dynamically, and respect those who use their platform for some greater good. But don’t fall in love. Don’t ever assume your loyalty will be returned.
Love the game. Love the experience. Share it with your kids, and celebrate or commiserate with your neighbors. Trust the art, not the artist. The art will endure; the artists come and go.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- What impact will LeBron James’ departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers have on the local sporting economy and, specifically, the Indians? As you might have guessed, it’s way too early to tell. The Cavs’ season-ticket holders had to make their first 2010-11 payments long before James decided to, as he put it, take his “talents to South Beach” (which can only mean he’s taking up sand volleyball). But if James’ departure dictates a significant step back in competitiveness for the Cavs (and how could it not?), it only stands to reason that the Indians could be in a better position to vie for the average local sports fan’s entertainment dollars.
- General manager and soon-to-be team president Mark Shapiro hasn’t given any of the above a great deal of attention. “I think we’ve got to stay focused on our efforts to accelerate our timeframe back to contention and put the Indians in a position to bring a championship here,” Shapiro said. “We don’t spend a lot of time focusing on things we can’t control. Certainly, that’s something outside our scope of control.”
- The upcoming Trade Deadline is within the Indians’ scope, but not much is developing at the moment. Once the Cliff Lee situation is settled, the other dominoes will start to fall. Eventually, they’ll fall for the Indians, though keep in mind that both Jake Westbrook and Kerry Wood have the potential be dealt up until the final day of August, considering their salaries.
- Cliff Lee in pinstripes? This town’s survived worse.
- Can’t stop peeking at Jared Goedert’s numbers in Triple-A and wondering if the Indians will find a way to give him a look this season, knowing Jhonny Peralta’s $7 million option does not fit into the big picture. Goedert hit his 14th home run for Triple-A Columbus. Not bad when you consider he joined the team a month ago. That’s 14 homers in 30 games, along with eight doubles.
- Shapiro on Goedert: “He’s having a breakout year. You always want to have some real pleasant surprises in the Minors. He’s certainly been an overwhelming surprise of this year. He’s been a prospect at times, but injuries have kind of prevented him from getting consistent playing time. It’s certainly a breakout year for him offensively. Going forward, his defense is going to need to improve, particularly with us and where we are with our sinkerballers in rotation. But he’s put himself on the map and is firmly on our radar.”
- And what about Peralta? His .245 batting average is second-lowest among qualifying AL third basemen, while his slugging percentage (.383) and on-base percentage (.307) are third-lowest. Jayson Nix has been here two weeks and has the same number of home runs for the Tribe as Peralta does. Hard to imagine there being much of a market for Peralta’s services this summer, unless he gets extremely hot. I asked Peralta about his power (or lack thereof) earlier this week, and this is what he said: “I don’t worry about home runs too much. I concentrate on scoring position. RBIs. When I see guys on base, I try to be more consistent.” Jhonny, for the record, is batting .282 with a .410 slugging percentage and 30 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
- Fausto Carmona pitching tonight means he should be good to go for whatever assignment Joe Girardi gives him in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Shapiro said Carmona’s composure has stood out more than anything else this season. “He has the ability to separate from the previous pitch, play and inning and stay in the moment,” Shapiro said. “When bad things happen, he has the ability to separate and distance from those things and focus on the pitch at hand. That’s allowed him to stay in his delivery. His delivery has broken down in the past because of hyper-competitiveness and intensity and emotions.”
- I’m going to do a little separating myself. From this blog. While the team’s in Tampa, I’m working on some All-Star preview content for MLB.com, then living up to the “break” part of the All-Star break. But by all means keep using this space to keep the Tribe banter going, and I’ll be back soon.