Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman: Young, passionate, and misunderstood

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Marcus Stroman
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Marcus Stroman /

Marcus Stroman’s post-game comments after a 5-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox have created quite a stir among media and fans. Many have suggested that Stroman is immature, egotistic, and speaks his mind too much. However, is this criticism warranted?

A Summary of What Happened

The Toronto Blue Jays had just lost 5-2 to the Boston Red Sox, their seventh loss in ten games. It capped off a disappointing 43-52 first half that had the Blue Jays 14 games out of a playoff spot. After the post-game interview, Stroman couldn’t help but voice his frustrations: “I’m f—ing terrible! We’re f—ing terrible!”

Later, through his twitter account, Stroman quickly clarified his comments:

Immature? How about passionate.

Everything Stroman said was true. The Blue Jays have terribly underperformed, and his struggles are one of the reasons for a disappointing season. That being said, how does Stroman’s outburst make him immature?

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There’s nothing wrong with showing emotion in sports – in fact, it should be encouraged. Too often, media and fans forget that baseball players are human beings too.

And it’s not like Stroman called out a specific teammate or a group of players (for example, the horrid infield defense). Rather, he vented his frustration about the team’s overall struggles and accepted his responsibility in those struggles as well. I don’t know about you, but sounds like a mature player to me. Passionate? Yes. Immature? Hardly.

(On a side note, if you want to see real immaturity, Chris Sale cut up all of the White Sox’ throwback jerseys because he didn’t like them.)

Egotistic? You’ve got to be kidding me.

Along with being “immature”, I’ve also read a lot of comments and articles that suggest Stroman is egotistical, arrogant, and self-centered. In fact, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star recently wrote an article that goes on to explain why he thinks Stroman is self-centered:

"“He expresses his love for the organization and the city, yet whenever you see him interviewed, when it’s his turn to appear before the cameras, he seems to always make sure he’s wearing something featuring the Stroman brand. It’s never the Jays’ hat or other gear. That sends a message.”"

What message Richard? I don’t get it. Since when does representing your own brand make you self-centered? Last time I checked, baseball players didn’t have to wear team gear all the time.

It’s  frustrating to see some fans and media portraying Stroman as this “me first” player when in reality, he is anything but that. They forget that this is the guy that came back from an ACL tear to pitch in the playoffs in the same year. Stroman didn’t have to risk his career with a quick rehab – he could’ve taken the year off as most players do. Instead, he spent hours upon hours rehabbing his injury that eventually gave the Blue Jays another quality starter to pair with David Price in the playoffs. I’m sorry, but does an egotistical player do that?

What’s the point of criticizing Marcus Stroman?

To finish his article, Richard Griffin states that his points were meant to be constructive criticism. But really, were they? In fact, when people criticize Stroman’s attitude, what are they trying to get out of it? Likes on Facebook from people who share the same thoughts? More views on an article?

No, seriously. Give me one good reason that justifies calling a player on the team YOU SUPPORT immature, egotistic, and self-centered when he really isn’t. I can’t think of one.

Next: Could Ryan Merritt be worth a gamble?

If your goal is to give a player constructive criticism, either choose something that Marcus Stroman actually is doing/did wrong, or keep it to baseball. Otherwise, try and support a guy that’s about to anchor the Blue Jays rotation in 2019 and beyond. It’s not that hard.