In the news it's not often that you hear something that's truly refreshing, easy and fun to listen to. Well today, there was one.
I am as sick of winter, snow and the wind as you, and I am ready for spring. There are few signs more absolute that spring is on the way than the Indians opening spring training this week. Be it in Arizona. But I wouldn't care if it was at Firestone Stadium at this stage of the game, lets get on with it.
The new look Tribe had a real nice off season with the centerpiece being the signing of Ohio native, Nick Swisher. An Ohio State grad, and long time productive major league ball player, it's been hard not to get caught up in his smile and enthusiasm for the game and being and Indian for the next 4 or 5 years. But how about these comments?
Swisher through his warm and infectious smile, acknowledged this week that he felt to blessed to be a major league ball player, and he couldn't be happier to be with the Tribe. He went on to say that there are only about 750 people on earth lucky enough to call themselves major league ball players and that he felt lucky to be one of them. How can you not love that guy? When was the last time you heard a ball player say that? Me? Never. But man, is he telling the truth.
Yeah I know, ball players make too much money. But it's not our money, it's the owners money. And those saying that money is better spent on something more "worthwhile" is mute. Ball team owners are in a business of winning the World Series, not running a charity or a governmental agency. Funny, does anyone complain about George Clooney making 20 million per picture? Same thing, it's the studio's money not ours, whose job it is to put people in theater seats. If you don't like athletes, actors or singers making tons of money, don't go, it's simple. But to hear a ball player loaded with cash say this? Refreshing to say the least, whether you are any professional athlete anywhere or a Hollywood icon.
I have no idea if Swisher will hit 30 home runs this year, or lead the Tribe to the pennant. But what I do know is that I will be rooting for him, and the Tribe. He is their new leader, new face, and new identity. And he's the kind of guy you want to cheer for. A big helping of humility knowing he is making a great living, by living out a big dream. Good for him. Man, do we need more of this from famous people - appreciation.
Making it to the Major Leagues is about the hardest thing on earth. You start in t-ball, little league, and pony league. Move on to assorted travel leagues, eventually college, then to tons of levels of minor league baseball, if you are lucky enough to get noticed and drafted. This takes place over many years, and you must be the best at every level to move on the the next. If not, you are out - period. Additionally, you must stay healthy the whole time, and be in the right organization. The odds are so stacked against you all the way, and not by a little.
Making it onto baseball's biggest stage is brutally hard. The only thing that gets you there is being among the best in the world. You can't smoke and mirror this one. Good looks, a great figure, washboard abs, or being a child of someone famous doesn't matter in baseball. It can't be faked. You can either hit, throw, and/or catch a 100 mph ball or you can't.
And it's great to hear Swisher, heck any ball player playing any game for a living to get the totality of it all. His comments went down smoother than an Arnold Palmer in the shade on a hot summer day, and is possibly more refreshing. Forget that he's rich and wake up to the fact that all of our favorite players, singers, actors, TV idols and the Kardashians are stinking rich. Root for Swisher because he gets it, in the entertainment arena where so many don't...or won't.
Go Nick and Go Tribe!