Amid all the trade speculation that has his name connected with deals that would send him anywhere from New York to L.A., Curtis Granderson is occupying his mind with other things. As he recovers from a grueling season and gets prepared for the holidays, Granderson has decided to launch headlong into another venture: a television show.
I’ll not get into the specifics of the show, James Schmehl’s article covers that pretty well if you are interested. Instead I’ll focus on what Granderson should be focusing on; baseball.
Granderson set a new career high in home runs in 2009 and made his first all-star team. Other than the longballs, however, it was easy to see that Grandy took a step backward at the plate, especially when it came to facing southpaws.
Granderson is supposed to be the face of the Tigers, he is supposed to be progressing towards being the best center fielder in the American League. He is supposed to be figuring out how to hit a left hander. What he should not be doing is pitching a television series.
Granderson has long been known as a player who devotes large amounts of time and money to charity work, for that he should be commended and praised. I hope he continues to give of himself in that way, as we all can appreciate an athlete that does thing the right way and who gives back to his community. Granderson has steered clear of trouble, he has been a model athlete to be sure.
But where does it end? At what point is Granderson doing a disservice to his employer and his teammates? My guess is the line has already been crossed, and it happened the second he signed on to a television project.
If Grandy wants to be, he has the talent to be an elite major league player. Two years ago it seemed he was well on his way to being just that. But Granderson has regressed as a hitter and the Tigers are now open to the possibility of dealing him away.
If he was doing all that his talent allows on the field, none of his side projects would matter. If he had continued to progress towards greatness, we all would marvel at his ability to balance his off-field interests with the on-field performance. But he hasn’t progressed, he has regressed, so questions will be asked, fair or not, whether he is giving too much of himself to other projects.
It certainly appears to me that he is.
You want to be a superstar athlete, Curtis? You want to be recognized by fans all over the world? You get there with the bat, not by standing in front of a camera. The shelf-life of a ballplayer, especially one who can’t hit a left hander, is short. There is plenty of time after your career is over to work in television. But platoon players don’t usually get the best gigs on TV.
Maybe it’s time to focus on baseball just a little bit more.