Sunday, March 14, 2010

Everybody Loves Blummer (No Pressure, No Problems)

He might not be the best example of the point I'm trying to get across but Geoff Blum was the first guy who popped in my head and I think the comparison is fairly apt so I'm gonna roll with it.

In their years with the Padres, Blummer and Burroughs posted similar numbers- sure, Blum hit 'em out out of the yard a bit more frequently and Burroughs had a better average but they're close enough for where I'm going with this. In fact, Sean out-OPS+ed Geoff 91 to 83 yet Blum is recalled fondly by most while the mere mention of the word "Burroughs" makes San Diegans recoil in disgust. Why? I think you know where this is headed.

When we got Blum, we knew what we were getting: a below average guy who gets on the field because the rules say you have to have nine guys out there- and people in general didn't hold that against him. Sure, fans would get frustrated with his Ks and so-forth but nothing approaching the level of hatred generated by Burroughs. Every time he would fail, it seemed as though people regarded it as a personal affront, a slap in their face because they had faith and thought better of him than that. Why? I think you know where this is headed.

There are some people I grew up with and was in advanced placement classes with who now hold down modest jobs- nothing extravagant but sufficient enough to comfortably support their families; sadly, many consider them failures. Others I grew up with, ones who maybe didn't score as well on tests or for whatever reasons didn't get the attention that the first group did, now lead lives many of you would find harrowing. Yet they garner praise for staying out of prison this year, switching over to methadone or merely neglecting their children instead of completely abandoning them.

Expectations are a dangerous thing and can really skew the way we would otherwise view things. I recall one time several years ago; I forget the specifics but I had been planning this day for weeks. Of course this would be the day that everything that could go wrong did go wrong; my wife got called into work, it was teeming rain, my car was being uncooperative, ad infinitum. I saw my friend Jeff, a man wise beyond his years, later that day and told him my tale of woe- I will never forget his reaction. He smiled wider than I've ever seen anyone smile in the history of smiling and said "Well, good, buddy! You learned something about expectations today!" Boy, was I livid at first but it really gave me a new perspective on things, one I wouldn't trade for anything.


  1. what the heartwarming is going ON here?

    I'm pretty sure that doesn't qualify as a 'rant.'

  2. Heartwarming? Sweet!

    I guess I even break the rules I set for myself, haha