There are many teams I enjoy reading about nightly, one being the Dodgers. And there seems to be trouble a-brewin in the club house between the veterans and the younger players. From the outside looking in, it’s easy to form your own opinions. But, then again, we aren’t in the club house. Jeff Kent says the younger kids don’t respect the veterans, and don’t take seriously the way the season is being played out. The younger guys shoot back with their own opinions. It’s a mess. And while no one asked me for my opinion, that’s the beauty of having a blog. I can have one.
This may sound strange coming from a teenager, but here goes. However much younger players disagree with the veterans, you have to give the veterans credit for their experience . These guys paved the way for younger players. Back in the day there weren’t multi-million dollar contracts for the best players in the game. Today, some of the contracts are mind boggling.
The old saying that youngsters should be seen and not heard has merit. (I can’t believe I am saying this!) We all get irritated when our elders make suggestions because we tend to think we’re never wrong. But I do believe that the veterans lead by example, and know a little bit more about the world, the game, and business than the younger guys. Simple signs of respect are responded to in kind. The war of ugly words gets no one anywhere. Younger players should soak up all they can, respect and learn from the veterans, as one day they will find themselves in Kents shoes. I recently read David Wells book, Perfect I’m Not. While it brought on some controversy when it was released, it was an awesome read. You realize just how much this guy went through to get where he is today, and how truly passionate he is about the game. I found myself agonizing with the guy through the tough times, and shaking my head through the mistakes (and laughing a lot). That’s what it’s all about! They’ve made the mistakes, and felt the joy of accomplishments, and everyone can learn from that experience. Guys like Kent, Wells and Gonzalez have so much to offer to anyone who is willing to listen. Some are looking at the end of their careers, and they have one goal in mind – going out World Champions –
This time of year, I often reflect on the past season, wondering how it passed by so quickly. It seems like yesterday it was April, then all of a sudden, it’s closing weekend. For me, it will be sad to see some players retire, as I have grown up watching them play hard for so long. One such player is Craig Biggio. There was never a time that he wasn’t hustling down the baselines, trying to beat out a throw. He never gave anything less than his best. Every time.
David Wells has contributed a lot to the game as well. While he still feels he has something left in the tank, I wonder, will this be it? I hope not. I too think he still has something to contribute and hope he comes back next year.
Then there are guys like Luis Gonzalez who now plays for the Dodgers. Growing up, I always thought of him as a DBack, but he proudly wears his Dodger blue, he too giving them everything he has. I really hope to see him on a team that will value his talents. He still has it.
With all that said, another season closes, but there’s always anticipation for spring. Now the question is, who will end up in the World Series?
What’s been the best thing about being a baseball player so far?
Just coming out every day and looking at the parks you get to go to and it’s definitely a lot of fun and coming out with the crowd and playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.
Do you and your brother JD have a sibling rivalry between you?
No. I grew up watching him and how he handled himself and I think I portrayed my self when I started coming up by watching him and tried to follow his footsteps.
Yeah, (laughs), we compete now. But when we were young and stuff we always competed outside in the front yard and playing games. We just always had baseball or basketball games or football games in the yard, any of them, we always had competition.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on the field?
During spring training last year there was a pop fly and I dropped it. That was pretty embarrassing.
Tell me something about you that few people know…
Most people don’t know that I am starting to pick up the guitar again.
I like country, contemporary Christian, whatever. I like Third Day and groups like that.
If you controlled the locker room music, what would we be hearing?
Probably some country.