I know, the Yankees play their first Spring Training game today, and I know it's the debut of Bartolo Colon...I didn't forget, but I was struck by something today. I felt sympathetic... for Sergio Mitre.
I know what you're think... WTF Bro. Yes yes, I know. I've been ripping on this guy since this blog began. In fact, here is the first entry of Bleeding Yankee Blue titled WHY LAST NIGHT WAS IMPORTANT from September 15, 2010. Seeing Mitre in a game has always meant they were about to lose or they were about the blow the game.
But Pete Caldera writes a great piece in today's Bergen Record called MITRE EAGER TO PROVE WORTH and I tell you, you can't help but root for the guy after reading it.
Look, this is my feeling on Mitre, he's been given plenty of chances and have pretty much not delivered. He's not a great pitcher. He probably has the drive, but his body can't handle what he wants to accomplish out there, and that happens some times. Some pitchers just can't hack it. Now, you have to give the guy a little credit. He's a major league pitcher, that takes a lot of talent and he's continually in the mix, you have to hand that to him. He's just not good.
In Caldera's piece he quotes Mitre saying: "When I found out Andy was retiring, I just started licking my chops... It's a wide open door to compete for Freddy, Bartolo, myself — whoever wants it. It's a great opportunity. [I] can't wait to go out there and try to perform."
I like that attitude. In fact, I like that Caldera actually put a human face on Mitre, because for so long many of us, including me, just figured his was a robot on automatic failure, but it's true, the guys out there competing like all the other guys. You have to respect it.
So as we start a new today, February 26, 2011 and the Yankees are about the take the field in Tampa against the Phillies, I realized that I've been a little harsh. Call it my passion for my team, maybe you want to just call me an S.O.B., but the bottom line is, If you can get out there, compete for a job and win it, you deserve it. Even if it means, it's Sergio Mitre.
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