I have determined that I must be the World’s Strangest Fan. I am once again saddened by the departure of a member of “My Team.”
Luis Matos has been designated for reassignment. There was never a doubt that this would happen someday, but I am never happy when the day finally comes. He was never a great outfielder, never really hit for average or power. You really aren’t going to do well in the Beast that is the AL East with players like Luis. None of that mattered to me. Every time I had the opportunity to speak with him, he seemed like he was genuinely happy to respond. We saw him last year with his hand still bandaged from breaking it during a bunt attempt, running the ramps at Camden Yards. We asked him how his hand was, and he slowed down, turned and smiled, and said it was getting better and he hoped to be back soon. He could have kept going and yelled “Fine” over his shoulder, but he didn’t. I don’t have great expectations for civility from professional athletes, so all it takes is a little courtesy to push one of them into my “Top Fourty.”
I don’t understand why, and it seems sort of un-American, but for me it’s not about winning and losing. Of course I want my favorite team to win, but that isn’t the most important thing to me. I like to watch baseball players play baseball. I believe that most of them come to the ballpark every day and do the best that they can. Some are better than others and, honestly, some try harder than others.
There have been many players who have come and gone in the last couple of years and they will soon be more to follow. I won’t miss some of them, but several of them, although not stars, made my trips to Camden Yards more enjoyable.
I will admit that I would cringe every time Matos came to bat this year, but I didn’t want him to leave – I just wanted him to get better.
Goodbye Luis, and may you find success wherever you go from here.