I Pledge Allegiance

As a writer I am supposed to be as objective as possible meaning that while I may have a favorite player I can’t let that influence my writing. The regular fans of the game have the right to defend their favorite players when the need arises from whatever criticism comes their way.

Growing up I had my favorite players though not always players with the Texas Rangers. I loved guys like Andre Dawson, Mike Schmidt, Dale Murphy, Gary Carter and Pete Rose. When it came to Texas I was a fan of Pete O’ Brien, Pete Incaviglia and Larry Parrish. I could imagine how crazy I would have gone if Twitter existed back then and I would see people tearing down my favorite players.

But what about today? 

Yes, Ian Kinsler is not having a great year defensively at second base. In fact he ranks 20th in errors and fielding percentage. He also has a tendency to fall asleep on the base paths which annoys me to no end. While I can sit here and criticize him it won’t stop his fans from defending him. And I have no problem with that. That’s what being a fan is all about.

Another great example is Michael Young. I have written several articles this season in which I called for him to be given time off as he was having his worst offensive year of his career. His fans said I was wrong. A few even said I was an idiot. I knew that Ron Washington would never rest him and all I could for was that he would eventually start to contribute. In fact he’s hitting .280 in the month of September and, as of this writing, is in the middle of an eight game hitting streak. His fans can point a finger at me and say “I told you so” which is their right but it still won’t change my opinion that he is best suited as a DH and should never be used in the field.

If I had to be honest there is one player that I have defended a few times this season and whom happens to be a current favorite player of mine and that is Mitch Moreland. Don’t get me wrong I am objective but it’s hard at times to keep the fandom away from swaying your opinion. I do my best though.

This all brings me to Wednesday night. Earlier that day I had written an article where I said that Mike Trout deserved to be the AL MVP. That night a Miguel Cabrera fan sought me out and proceeded to verbally attack me. Now while I would never use the language he did if I responded to a writer I can say that I admired his allegiance.

So while you may have a favorite player you must understand that they will have their critics. You may not like what’s being published, tweeted or said on the radio but don’t let it get you down. Stand by your player. Remember, somewhere out there is a person still admiring his Laynce Nix rookie card.  

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shut Down Inning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.
James Holland

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