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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Dee Gordon, Living the Dream
I Really Hope I was Wrong about Dee Gordon. I think its too early to have him playing at the Major League level. He is projected to be the shortstop of the future. Is it possible that the future is now? I hope so.
He runs like a gazelle with smoothness, agility and such ease. He’s a Baryshnikov on the base paths. Watching the kid run is like seeing a Monet or Renoir for the first time. A masterpiece before your eyes. You wonder how he’d do in the 100 meter Olympic final. How many seconds does Dee take to run from 0 to 60 MPH?
He looks like the 15 year old playing in the local Babe Ruth League All-Star team. His waistline has got to be 27 or 28 inches. The Dodger uniform he should be wearing is a boys size 18. He gained 5% of his body weight by sliding head first into second base and picking up a few pounds of Philly infield dirt on his uniform.
He is poised, having been on big league diamonds before. The enormity of major league crowds and the plushness of major league club houses don’t faze him. He acts like he belongs there. He does, because he needs to gorge himself by indulging in the Major League clubhouse spreads with a lot of extra desserts.
He certainly deserves the nickname Flash more than his father ever did. The kid isn’t shy on the base paths, picking Oswalt’s pocket and stealing second base on him at the first movement the veteran made to home plate. Rookies don’t do that on the day of their first start in the show. Or do they?
He’s the starting shortstop for the Dodgers the next month or so. He’ll have his ups and downs. His miscues and heroics. He’ll steal a few bags and he’ll probably be picked off a few times. The important thing is that he’s getting major league experience, and with that will come more confidence. At least that is what we all hope. Will a month of struggles and failures destroy the kids confidence? That’s the risk of calling up a young phenom too early. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it looks like he’ll be okay. But there are bound to be some setbacks. How will they affect him?
Will Dodger fans show patience with this kid? Will they be quick to cheer him on and slow to criticize? He is, after all, 23 years old. That means he was born 8 years after MTV hit the scene, the year of the ‘88 championship season. Wow, it has been 23 years. Will Dee be lifting that World Series trophy one day in Los Angeles?
He grew up the son of a Major League all-star, so none of the limelight is alien to him. With Dee, it wasn’t “if” he got to the Major Leagues, it was “when.” Its almost as if he had these past few days all scripted out, and he just went out there and acted the part after years of mental rehearsals.
Good luck kid. It’s a joy to watch you on the diamond. Hopefully that dream of hoisting the trophy above your head in a victory celebration is not too far off.