Posted by Ernest Dove at 12:00 PM
So the Mets struck early in the free agent market........ by signing catcher Johnny Monell Jr. to what is likely a minor league deal, with a spring invite. Obviously not the HUGE splash many Mets fans were hoping for, but its not even what I really wanted to talk about. I'm more interested in how the beat writers and such found out about the signing. Its almost 2015, so naturally they found out via twitter, with Monell Jr. stating his excitement on the signing, with the hashtag #DreamChasing. So it got me thinking.
How often, in our sports world of stats, injury updates, and constant monitoring of our fantasy league teams and view of our new/old trading cards do we remember that we are dealing actual human beings? In all the hoopla surrounding Matt Harvey's arrival, dominance, Harvey Day, and eventual surgery, we seemingly forget that the ever confident Harvey remains just a 25 year old man with passion, talent, and dream of being a major league pitcher.
Juan Lagares just won a gold glove. Yeah, the guy who according to many scouts, evaluators, experts and the like, questioned whether or not he could even manage a .250+ BA or be more then a 5th outfielder defensive replacement. Instead, he forced his way into the starting lineup, hit a very respectable .281, an increase of almost 40 points from the 2013, and also produced a 40 point increase in his OBP during the year. Oh, and did I mention that he won a gold glove?
Jacob deGrom, the shortstop with a strong arm, went from the infield, to Tommy John surgery, to a 4.51 ERA in 2013, to bullpen option, to potential upcoming rookie of the year.
I believe what these men, along with pretty much all athletes have in common, is that there is being put into becoming what THEY want to be, not what the fans, scouts, writers and bloggers want them to be. Athletes are obviously not the only ones with dreams. Heck, write now I technically doing my dream chasing is about. Its about my dream of maybe one day writing for a professional living, and not just a hobby. I'm even planning on humbly announcing on this site my upcoming official status as editor in chief of a fitness and clothing line website, which is about to launch within the coming days.
We all have our thoughts, opinions, comments, frustrations and critiques of these athletes, these organizations, and even about others sharing their opposing thoughts, etc. We also must continue to be aware that those we argue about, support, yell at and vile the most, are the same people who simply trying to live out their dreams.
Sure, the Arod's of the world appear to be cheating, taking advantage, mocking us, and smiling while making millions either way, but its not about one man. Its about a team, a city, a state, a nation, a world filled with dreamers, opportunists and fortune seekers.
During this offseason, we will regularly learn about guys (in our opinion) being overpaid, undervalued, traded, released, and also given a shot (on a minor league contract) to make a few at bats or innings count, during beautiful spring time games. Games in which many of us fans will be watching, sitting, relaxing, cheering, booing and overall enjoying the fact that spring game don't matter, so we don't care who wins. However, to players like Monnel Jr., he will pretty much be on the job interview of a lifetime. And whether he's doing it in front of a few hundred, or a few thousand excited South Florida local Mets fans, he will be more concerned the handful of decision makers, who have the ultimate say about his playing future, his career, his dream.
Sports, in and of itself, is meant to be for entertainment. The child in all of us will continue to live and die (in some way) by our favorite players, schools, teams and towns. We care about winning. Winning makes you feel good. Friendly trash talking with your buddies makes you feel good. Going home from the sports bar, after a win, or loss, may or not have a slight impact on the rest of your day or week. But remember this, as you skim through the sports waiver wires, along with seeking out hidden gems, don't forget to kindly remember and respect the fact that the wire really is like a tight rope. A short leash, if you will, where the wrong step could mean the end of a profession, a livelihood, and a dream.
Ok, I'll step off my high horse now. Today, I guess I'll leave all the actual stats, updates, analysis and inside information to the experts like Mack and crew on the site. I'll make my comments, praise, be angry and share opinions. I'll also keep the whole dream chasing thing in the back of mind as well. Wishing you all the best................... Go Mets !