Wednesday, April 27, 2016

When It All Comes Together

I'm not a journalist, or a beat writer; in fact, my employer has nothing to do with the Minnesota Twins. What I am is a 25 year-old IT Recruiter who loves baseball. I am married to a wife that is my best friend (seriously, she's incredible and puts up with significantly too much Twitter). I have created an outlet for sharing my thoughts as they relate to the Twins and baseball as a whole. What happened on April 26, 2016 was a handful of world's colliding however.

While it no doubt may seem an odd paragraph to open this with, it serves a purpose. I have both a Twitter account (@tlschwerz) and this blog for the purpose of an outlet to voice my thoughts on the Twins and all things baseball. Through those mediums, I've crafted some (I think) great stories, solid content, and admittedly some downright stinkers. Twitter has provided an avenue for quick analysis, stat blurbs, and a bit more interaction.

Thanks in part to both mediums, I've had the privilege of interacting with both players and those that do this for real (journalists/beat writers) plenty. Regardless of the interactions, I've generally tried to stay fair. Some haven't been fond of the numbers shared and I've found myself blocked or ignored. Others have been receptive to the coverage and have followed or interacted. At the end of the day, it's all about remaining connected to baseball in a fun and hobbyist way.

One of my favorite relationships came full circle on the 26th however. Jose Berrios, the Minnesota Twins top pitching prospect (and Major League Baseball's second best), was promoted to the big leagues. Not only did he get his shot, but he felt the need to make me one of the first people he shared it with.
I have covered Jose for much of his time in the Twins organization. He's dominated at every level, and I've generally been engrossed in just how good of a pitcher he truly is. Interviewing him at Double-A New Britain, covering bits of the Future's Game, and speaking with him throughout the offseason's, I've learned there's so much more than than just a great pitcher however.

A year ago, I wrote a piece I entitled The Jose Berrios Story. It was as much about baseball, as it was about a man that's a great father, husband, and person. A driven individual who will stop at nothing to achieve his personal goals, and someone that regardless of the situation, puts himself second. I think that in a nutshell explains why this prospect's promotion means so much more than any other.

Jose is going to do great things for the Twins and big league baseball. He's going to do great things for himself at the next level, and he'll be accomplishing many goals as a 21 year old that most grown men would do anything to have the chance to attempt. What's important though, is that if none of it comes together, Jose has lost nothing, as he already has it all. Baseball is what he's great at, but it's not at all what makes him great. That's what made sharing such exciting news fun.

Of course there were detractors to breaking the news. As a lowly blogger, I was met with plenty of distaste from [some of] the established and heralded writers of Twins Territory. There was obvious vitriol, jealousy, or disregard for sensibility, but it's all ok. At the end of the day, I understand. Breaking news isn't my playground, journalism isn't either, and I'm ok with that. It's not my goal to hop in and be a part of the established, but for a day, I enjoyed playing in the same sandbox.

When it comes down to it, there was never anything to be made about breaking news for the sake of notoriety, but instead the culmination of a relationship that will now lend itself to Berrios getting to succeed at the highest level. I couldn't be happier for Jose, his wife, his daughter, and the rest of his family. If there's a young man that deserves everything coming to him, it's La MaKina, and I'm thrilled to sit down and watch the ride.

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