There are a few legitimate reasons to gripe about Yasmani Grandal. I should know, I’ve done my share of grumbling about them. Most center around the extended cold streaks he goes through as a batter, and every once in a while I complain that he allows too many passed balls – usually at the worst times possible. Well, this isn’t one of those.
This time, it seems Grandal’s mouth has got him in a bit of trouble because of some comments published today in an article from the Los Angeles Times:
“I don’t worry about the fans … Nothing against them, but they have no clue what baseball is about. They think that we get here at 6 p.m., we stretch and then we go play. I don’t really worry about what they think.” – Yasmani Grandal
It took only a matter of minutes before fans began commenting on how idiotic Grandal is- and those were the least inflammatory. Within a few hours, at least one article went up throwing gasoline on this situation, which could have been a smolder of sparks, potentially blowing it up into a wildfire backlash against the home team’s catcher.
All of this unnecessary drama on the eve of the NLDS, for pete’s sake.
Grandal’s statement seemed to be in the context of how the fans reacted to the Dodgers’ protracted losing streak late in the season, and in their reaction to Dave Roberts‘ leadership during that time, in particular.
“…they have no clue what baseball is about. They think that we get here at 6 p.m., we stretch and then we go play.”
Grandal isn’t exactly wrong on this point. It takes just a casual reading of fan’s comments on sports articles or a scan through the super-heated world of Dodgers Twitter to find fans who are ready to fire the manager, DFA this player and bench that player at the drop of a hat. It’s really not that hard to find plenty of fans who hold extreme positions that aren’t very baseball-savvy.
One doesn’t have to know what’s in Grandals’ heart of hearts to know he wasn’t referring to EVERY Dodgers fan, or even the majority. One simply has to reflect for a moment that Grandal probably receives tons of negative emails and tweets disparaging him – and he probably gets them at a higher rate than most of the Dodgers (but I’ll bet less than Pedro Baez).
“I don’t really worry about what they think.”
Of course he doesn’t worry about the negativity behind some of the fans. He can’t, or he would probably end up curled up like a ball in a corner of the clubhouse. He certainly shouldn’t worry about writers who on one hand pontificate about how much they know the game, while on the other hand, taking the position that teams which win division titles shouldn’t have champagne celebrations.
As if the players don’t start training for the season months before Opening Day, grind out schedules that require them to criss-cross the country and perform at their peaks, away from home and on minimum sleep, play through lingering injuries and various bumps and bruises, while doing it all through the six hottest months of the year. Yup, after all that, they shouldn’t celebrate a major accomplishment against other world-class athletes trying to do the same.
There are plenty of us who don’t know or understand everything there is about being a baseball player. Give Yasmani a break.