Blue Jays: The Mantra of Curtis Granderson

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24: Curtis Granderson
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24: Curtis Granderson /

Curtis Granderson has had a positive impact on the field for the Blue Jays, but the 37 year old’s influence in the clubhouse may be even greater.

We’ve talked a fair bit about Curtis Granderson so far this year, but it’s been with good reason. The 15 year big league veteran is slashing .321/.433/.571 with three home runs and 12 RBI, including the walk-off blast against Craig Kimbrel and the Red Sox earlier in the week. He’s already earned 0.8 bWAR as well, and the first month of the campaign hasn’t concluded yet.

For the one year, five million dollar pact that he signed with the Blue Jays, it almost feels like he’s justified the contract already, even if we’ve got the vast majority of the season to play yet. For as good as he’s been on the field, it’s been pretty easy to see the positive influence, whether it’s in the post-game interviews he’s done, sitting and chatting with his teammates on the bench, or even just the constant smile that he wears while donning the blue and white.

The light attitude around the team has been infectious, and it hasn’t just been Granderson either. We’ve watched Yangervis Solarte bring his positive attitude as well, dancing in front of the dugout, and bouncing around the infield with the energy of an excited child. That leadership, even if it’s just by example, has had a positive affect on the Blue Jays that is pretty much undeniable.

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Fans have really started to notice this trend with the team, and it’s endeared us to guys like Granderson and Solarte in short order. While they’ve been missing key players like Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki, the “team” has performed above expectations, currently sitting at 14-10 despite losing their last two series to the Yankees and Red Sox. I’m no expert, but I’d be willing to bet that the difference in the energy in the clubhouse has been a big reason for the early success.

Earlier this week Mike Wilner of Sportsnet’s 590 the Fan hosted his Blue Jays talk phone in show, and one caller asked about a mantra that Granderson lives by, and apparently puts inside his hat. The concept is very simple, and for a professional athlete dealing with the pressures of a full season, simple can be incredibly helpful.

You often hear professional athletes talk about getting back to “having fun” in order to achieve the greatest success, and ultimately just to enjoy day to day life. You can’t discount that kind of positive influence on your teammates, coaches, and everyone involved in the clubhouse, and when you’re talking about a season that spans more than six months, keeping the game “fun” is critically important.

When that messages comes from a successful veteran who clearly still loves the game, it will rub off on those around him. It’s just another reason to like Curtis Granderson and his fit with the Blue Jays. It may be simple, but simple things can go a very long way.

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