Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just What You Wanted to Hear

More on the Carlos Guillen soap opera.  Well, I'm not going to rehash what's already been said well elsewhere.  You can check out the Detroit Tigers Weblog, Bless You Boys and Mack Avenue Tigers for that.

My theory is that aging players have difficulty coming to terms with an erosion of their defensive skill set.  They cannot see it clearly or objectively at all.  It's not surprising.  These are premier athletes who have "yes" men stationed around them at convenient intervals.  Remember Sheff claiming he was more than capable of playing the field, and we're all like, yeah, right, one false move and your 40-year old tendons will rupture like flimsy rubber bands.

I saw Patrick Ewing play a game at the Palace during his last year in the NBA.  He looked like a dinosaur, and his knees were so heavily braced had no lateral movement at all.  Please don't get me started on a certain player who now wears purple in the NFL.  We understand that it's hard to let go.

I like Carlos.  A lot.  He's been a great leader on and off the field (I especially liked his insight into the feeling many Latin players have that MLB could just ship them back home if they make waves, his work to get the Venezuelan WBC team shaped up, and the way he used to have a few calming words for rattled pitchers when he played short).  I'm not sure why he didn't settle this internally before coming to the media.  Maybe he tried and got the brush off, who knows.  He obviously had frustration building for some time, and that can lead to eruptions that are later regretted.  I'm not going to brand him a malcontent just yet, because he's earned my respect over the years as a gutty team player.

Hopefully, he can stay healthy and earn the role he wants on the team.  By the same token, he should be able to accept a gradual shift in that role and playing time as health and skills dictate.

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