During spring training everybody's primed for a career year, every team is confident that their rotation will come together, everybody think they have the hot prospect who's going to revolutionize the game, everyone truly believes that maybe, JUST MAYBE, with a little luck and a couple surprises they could win the whole thing and prove that their manager is a genius. And all the columns reflect this optimism.
Come opening day all the expectations run out on to the field and slowly, surely reality sets in. Cincinnati is Cincinnati is Cincinnati and no amount of optimism is going to change that (prove me wrong, AROLDIS CHAPMAN!!). As the games go by and the season builds up, all the optimism and positive thinking fades away and we get new stories about crumbums with no talent in the rotation, overpaid bonus babies whose bubble bursts under the bright lights of the big time, and hot seats from sea to shining sea as one by one squads fall out of the race.
I was thinking about this because I've been reading about a player who is quite confusing to us here at the Peanuts from Heaven blog. A man by the name of Delmon Damarcus Young.
Now Delmondo (as we sometimes like to call him) is something of a special case. Since he joined the team, there has been a large amount of complaining, whining and full-on fulmination regarding his ability (or lack thereof). And while many of our fellow Twins fans believe that he is a--well--it rhymes with "Duck-Wad"-- we here at Peanuts from Heaven disagree.
Stinky believes that he's a fine human being who simply can't quite play baseball as well as some other guys (he does play it better than 99% of the populace though, so she will shake her head and sigh but never EVER boo/curse him). I, Scruffy, have a different opinion. I believe, TRULY believe that somehow, someway Delmon Young can still become a GREAT player.
I own a Delmon Young jersey and wear it with pride. I try to give Delmon special character traits on the blog that make him seem like less of a "Guck-wad" and more of an amusing young fella. And so I'm very very very very excited by reports that Delmon seems to have put his past (and his cheeseburgers) behind him, and may at last be smiling and "where he should have been 5 years ago". He's even cracking jokes--FUNNY ONES!
And yet, the cynical can read this, yawn and say: "heard it before!" They are done with Delmon, they see him as the Lucy to our Charlie Brown, perpetually offering the possibility of glory only to pull it away at the last second. In their minds every promise of maturity, every claim of turning the corner ever chance that this time MAYBE it will work out is fundamentally flawed. They call this feeling: "Realism". My mom calls it: "Poopy-pantsitude".
Me? I'm fully of blind hope and optimism, full of eager anticipation, full of the dream, impossible though it may seem that this is the year that Delmon reaches his potential, that this team reaches its potential, that everything comes to fruition and all is right with the world. Call it silly, call it childish, call it nothing more than spring fever which will fade (along with Delmon) when summer comes. Call it what you will, I'm much happier with my hopes than I'd ever be with your "realism".