And just like that a fan favorite is born. Mark Reynolds, you are now the face of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This weekend was your coming out party. Your stock is soaring right now.
Rip the team, back it up, and then follow it up with a potential All-Star appearance. Oh yeah…your jersey is gonna sell out at the team shop this week.
On Friday, you blasted the team for their pathetic performance. You spoke of players packing it in, not playing hard, not caring and not giving a damn. And you very smartly added yourself to the critique, reminding everyone of a play that you didn’t back up.
And in today’s digital world your message was welcomed by a fan base absolutely starving for evidence that somebody in that clubhouse is as angry as they are. Fans want to see that this sideways season irritates the athletes as much it irritates them. And in the absence of any tangible proof, they assume the players lack passion.
It’s not fair; fans don’t see what happens behind closed doors, but it’s the truth. It’s why fans didn’t like Bob Melvin. Too calm, cool and collected.
But the reaction among the fans was automatic and predictable. A rousing validation of all the angry emotions that have surrounded this lost season. They had the proof; somebody in that room feels like we do. And his name is Mark Reynolds.
The reaction among your teammates was fascinating to read about. Some, like Chris Snyder, took what you said a step further. “Guys feel like they should be owed something…they just go out there, put a smile on their face on every first and 15th of the month and other than that, it’s ho-hum.”
Others didn’t, like Chris Young, “There isn’t any kind of lack of effort, no matter how it looks.”
Either way, you stirred it up. You gave the fans, media and your teammates something to react to. You made people uncomfortable.
It sure beats the heck out of a mind-numbing team meeting doesn’t it?
Then you backed it up. You homered on Saturday and followed that up with the game tying three-run shot on Sunday. Mix in the fact that you are one of five finalists for the last All-Star slot in the NL, and presto, a star is born. Vote for Mark Reynolds here.
The big picture for this baseball team hasn’t changed a lick. The D-backs are still on pace to lose nearly 100 games.
But for fans who wondered where was the leadership, the passion, the fire and the public display of accountability, you Mark Reynolds, gave it them.
And they’re going to love you for that.