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Must-click link: Explaining Jose Bautista

Jun 15, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

Jose Bautista AP

We’ve seen several lazy passes at explaining the phenomenon that is the late-blooming Jose Bautista. Most of them — empty “gee-whiz” musings at best, veiled PED accusations at worst — start from the proposition that Bautista came from out of nowhere and started hitting home runs like some kind of freak.

But Jose Bautista is not quite the freak of nature that he is often made out to be. There’s a story there, involving years of hard work, freak injuries, professional wilderness and then, finally, stability and adjustment that, when read as a whole, makes eminent sense.

Jeff Passan has that story today over at The Post Game. A long, thoughtful report and meditation on where Jose Bautista came from and how he got to where he is now.  It’s must-read material.

  1. Justin - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Now that Granderson and Teixeira have caught up to him, for the most part, the Yankee lovin’ Bautista haters will lay off. If they kept hating they may have had to look in the mirror, heaven forbid.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      Texeria will finish with around the same numbers he does every year, I believe. I think Granderson’s numbers will exceed any of his career previous highs as he’s settling into Yankees Stadium and isn’t striking out against lefties all the time, but yeah, if the dude finishes with 60 HRs, it should be questioned.

  2. nps6724 - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    I like this guy. He gets that baseball isn’t everything in the world. For a kid to turn down the kinda money he did in pursuit of his education is admirable.

    • FC - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

      Yeah man turning down that $5000 was incredible, so was that $42000! The man is smart. He knew he could get more and eventually signed for $300.000 with the Reds. If you’re going to drop College it has to be for big bucks.

      • FC - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

        Of course the Red deal fell through, but it’s the principle…

  3. nyyfaninbama - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    As a Yankees fan I hate to see this guy come to the plate but as a baseball fan I have to admire the talent, both defensively and offensively of Jose Bautisa.

  4. RickyB - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    I, too, am a Yankee fan and have the utmost respect for Bautista. Thank you for posting the link to this article — one of the better in-depth features on a player that I’ve read in a while. What resonated most with me was his insistence that he would not have used PEDs had he come up in that era, that it simply is not in his nature. What he did in school reinforces that statement. I am not naive — I played professional ball and knew players who juiced up in the mid-’90s and others who took so many greenies before a game they couldn’t steal second because they were so jumpy. I for one believe Bautista is clean.

  5. cur68 - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    The dude’s not a dumb jock and that’s why I like him and have always liked him, hitting aside. Also I just found out his nickname growing up was “The Rat”. It is with great shame, and now a certain amount of twisted pride that I admit that mine was very similar when I played little league. It seems I do actually have something in common with that guy.

  6. shaggylocks - Jun 15, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    I feel a bit ashamed admitting that I harbored doubts about Bautista in the back of my mind. Not serious doubts that I would ever voice, but if-he-was-later-shown-to-be-using-I-wouldn’t-be-surprised level doubts. After learning more about his history and who he is and where he’s come from, I now have a ton of respect for the guy. Perhaps even one-of-my-new-favorite-players level respect.

  7. jamie54 - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Great story. You can tell by the way he speaks how intelligent he is. Expecting players to now do the same thing go the route of revamping the swing in an effort to fully develop. If he can do it, others can follow.

  8. danberman4 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    It’s funny that no one doubted McGwire, Sosa and the others. Then we found out what saps we all were. Now, if someone has is skeptical, they are lazy or unfair. Baseball created this atmosphere all by itself. And the players are just as much to blame as the owners.

    http://pinetarandbrickbats.blogspot.com/2011/05/bautistas-amazing-run.html

    • tomemos - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:36 AM

      Blogwhore.

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