Read it? Pretty good, right?
I don’t make a habit of writing articles about other people’s articles but this particular piece really spoke to me as I’ve been looking forward to Graveman the pitcher since his trade was announced but now I’m looking forward to Kendall Graveman, the man.
For Slusser to call him “the friendliest person you’ll ever meet” really speaks volumes to his character and what he can bring to this team if he makes the big league roster. The Oakland Athletics, in their period of reintroduction, need a player that can become the “kid brother” in the clubhouse. They need a nice guy that’s going to stay optimistic, work hard and show up to the park thankful for every opportunity he’s received.
It is very easy for athletes, even those on the A’s, to let their paycheck and a little notoriety get the better of them and and Graveman doesn’t seem like the type of player that will let that happen. You’re not going to see this player yelling at umps or engaging in Twitter wars with A’s trolls. This is a guy, like Sonny, who people are going to get behind and support because they want to see him succeed because he’s genuine in a world where genuine is a virtue oft forgotten.
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Kendall Graveman, as Slusser wrote, is fighting for a spot in the rotation in 2015 and I’m sure that he will get his chance, if not immediately, over the course of the season as players get injured or lose their stuff. If and when he gets the call to pitch for the green and gold, he won’t take it lightly. He won’t complain about the owners or the sewage or the fans or his paycheck, he’s just going to go out there and play.
Many people maligned the Josh Donaldson trade at the time. Why trade an all-star under team control for four question marks? This is why. Kendall Graveman could be the next Sonny if given the chance and he’s a good presence in the clubhouse of a sport that can get jaded and bitter at the drop of a hat. Graveman is impressing people with his friendliness and his pitching, Brett Lawrie is impressing people with his hustle and drive, Sean Nolin is a legitimate question mark as he recovers from surgery and Franklin Barreto is considered by many Jays fans as the ultimate grab in the Donaldson trade.
I supported the move from the get-go but if you still think trading Donaldson was going to have an adverse effect on chemistry or production, you may be in for a nice surprise in the coming season or two.