Things are not going well. It’s pretty obvious. The smile and the swing you had last year seem a distant memory, and now everyone is clamoring to jump off your bandwagon from a year ago to adopt the phrase “same old Gordon”. It’s been a rough couple of months, I know, but I’m sure things will get better.
I’m not sure why it’s you, Alex, that others choose to use that phrase for. Why, there’s another player on your team that is performing exactly how he always has (not well) but everyone makes an excuse for him, because he smiles or something. You could smile too, but that’s just not how you are. People should forgive you; I forgive you. But I want my Alex back.
I want my Alex that doesn’t miss belt high fastballs. Remember when you used to get your foot down and stayed inside the ball? I do, and boy was it glorious. You were clearing the centerfield wall with plenty to spare, and lacing doubles to both gaps. You were a star; the star I always knew you could be.
Now, you’re not getting your foot down, and you’re not hitting belt high fastballs. You’re not hitting much of anything. And it’s starting to wear on people.
Sure you’ve been jerked around the lineup once you finally found a comfortable home hitting leadoff. Sure fans like to talk about how the batting order is all about comfort, and once a player finds his comfort level, the best thing a manager can do is leave him where he’s productive. But you had to know you weren’t going to hit leadoff forever, Alex. You don’t look like a leadoff hitter. Jarrod Dyson looks like a leadoff hitter. It doesn’t matter that you posted a 139 OPS+ and a .376 on-base percentage last year batting mostly leadoff, you don’t have the gift of blazing speed and singles-only power, so you were never destined to bat No. 1.
You were destined to be a star, and a star you were last year.
You were a star to the point that the team gave you a new contract worth nearly $40 million. With that kind of contract (especially in a market like Kansas City) comes expectations, the kind of expectations that cause a grown man that wears tights and a cape to berate me on Twitter.
Today is the day. You’re back hitting leadoff despite Dyson’s best efforts to play his position incorrectly and knock you out of the lineup. Today is the day you get hot (as if you weren’t already. Wink.) and take back your place as this team’s best player.