Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman (yes, ace) is living the good life this offseason, combining his incredible work ethic in the gym with some other off-field talents
Marcus Stroman seems to have the work ethic of ten men. After his incredible comeback from a torn ACL to pitch through September and the playoffs for the Blue Jays, the former Duke star has kept the peddle to the gas all offseason. He and Aaron Sanchez, whose couple-nickname of #Strochez has a 4.0 WAR of its own, have been hard at work to enter 2016 in peak shape.
He’s also keeping busy outside of baseball, too, always representing Toronto and always with a Blue Jays hat atop his head. Ian Hunter at Blue Jay Hunter linked up a new Stroman appearance yesterday, featuring the Jays righty starring in a video with his friend, musician Mike Stud.
This comes on the heels of Stroman registering ‘HDMH’ (Height Don’t Measure Heart) as a trademark. Andrew Stoeten wrote about this when Stroman announced it, saying that he’s going ‘Full Brand’ in a good way. Which is right. Not only is this good for Stroman and Jays fans, it’s good for baseball.
Naturally, this will have pushback from the old-school ball crowd. A young player with flashy hair and an edgy style spending time on something other than becoming a sports robot? The horror. Given the off-field headlines you see around other professional sports, things like this should be applauded.
Appealing to a newer generation of baseball fans has been a primary challenge for Major League Baseball in recent years. The need for immediacy in the social media age isn’t always met by the slow burn of baseball, while many veterans and the “respect the game” crowd don’t necessarily appeal themselves to younger consumers. Which isn’t right or wrong, just a reality of the circumstances.
In Stroman, and young players like him, Major League Baseball is getting its personality back. This is very similar to the NBA, which took off in popularity once players began being treated as marketable brands of their own. Its an area where the NHL arguably trails behind, which in a small and secondary way explains the limited popularity of hockey through some American markets.
The key here is that Marcus Stroman, without deterring from his incredible dedication to baseball, remains part of the conversation in the 21 hours between the final out of a game and first pitch the next evening. He’s filling your Twitter and Instagram feeds, appearing in music videos and wading into the business world. With his combination of youth, on-field talent and off-field intelligence in this modern era, Stroman has the potential to be an athlete more dynamic than Toronto has seen in many, many years.