Blue Jays: Osuna displays bravery with public admission
Roberto Osuna remained unused and on the bench in Friday night’s loss to the Royals, and Saturday morning we found out why. Osuna admitted that he’s dealing with issues related to anxiety, an extremely brave public admission.
In the last number of years, mental health has been treated a lot more seriously across North America. It’s taken a long road to get to the point where it’s widely considered a serious issue, and it’s taken the bravery of several prominent people throughout the world to battle that stigma.
You can add Roberto Osuna‘s name to that list, as the Blue Jays’ closer publicly admitted that he’s physically fine, but is dealing with anxiety related issues, which is what kept him from being available in last night’s game against the Royals.
A few years ago, this wouldn’t have been a plausible excuse in the eyes of many sports fans, but as more public figures like Osuna admit to their struggles, the more people start to see the seriousness of the issue. Having family members who battle with severe anxiety and depression, I can tell you first hand that it’s a very serious thing, and I’m thankful the Blue Jays appear to be treating it as such.
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Last night I wrote about how John Gibbons didn’t handle the questions about Osuna properly, and even though I’ve got some new perspective, I still wish he would have answered the question a little differently. That said, you have to admire that the skipper didn’t divulge any information about his young star, leaving that up to the team and the player to make public if they chose.
As difficult as dealing with mental health issues can be, it’s been very encouraging to see the reaction from the Blue Jays’ fanbase on Twitter and elsewhere. It seems that campaigns like “Bell Let’s Talk” have made a big impact, as the overwhelming sentiment online is in great support of the Mexican fireballer, which is exactly how it should be.
With this new information, we don’t know exactly how long Osuna will remain unavailable, and that’s something fans will just have to accept. He did tell the media that he hopes to be available for today’s game, but wouldn’t know for sure until later on. That’s likely going to be the case for awhile, and trust me when I tell you that it’s in the best interest of both the club, and the player to make sure he’s feeling better before throwing him back into live game action.
For the few that criticized him being on the bench last night, it’s worth noting that Osuna stated that he feels better around the diamond, indicating “when I’m not on the field, I feel just weird and a little bit lost”. Having him around his teammates and around a game he loves is a great distraction for dealing with something like this, so don’t be surprised to see him with the team in the coming days. That’s the best place for him.
It remains to be seen how long the issue will affect him, but again, it’s wonderful to see the franchise stand behind him and provide support, and also to see the bravery the young pitcher displayed. Every time someone of his stature is willing to publicly admit something like this, it helps break down the stigma attached.
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For that, I thank you Mr. Osuna, and wish you nothing but the best.