Sunday, June 15, 2014
THE EXPECTATION FOR A SON
When Mariano Rivera III was drafted to the New York Yankees, the Yankees fan base rejoiced. The son of our beloved Sandman, Mariano Rivera, would wear pinstripes. It is inevitable that his son would one day lead us the way his father did. Comments like "I hope the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," and "Mo will return," were thrown out. But are our expectations of Junior realistic? Are they really fair?
Every scouting report I have read on Junior says the same thing. He has pitching control issues. He has a fastball in the low 90's, but no cutter. He's 5'11" and 155lbs at 20 years old, so his physical frame isn't ideal for a pitchers either. Still, Mo was only 6'2", and Junior still has some growing to do. I wouldn't hold that against him too much. But what can we expect of Junior? Will he follow in his fathers foot steps?
According to the Daily News, Mo is "wary" of the expectation for his son. Here's the quote:
"Rivera said his son must create his own name. "The thing is he has to," Rivera said. "If everything goes well and we agree to the terms, he has to be his own. It's going to be unfair to try to compare him with me or try to expect he will do something I did. They have to know what he has and the ability he has and go from there because if you're going to compare him to me that's going to be unfair."
I get it. We are all very excited about Junior being drafted. It's awesome for the Rivera family, for the organization, and for Yankees fans. But Mo is being careful about his child's well being. He is letting it be known now that his son is just that. His SON. Not a carbon copy of him. Junior probably won't go out and break the same records as dad, and won't pitch the same way either. He is an entirely different individual, and to expect him to be Mo is to cut him down before he even starts. It's unfair.
(In photo: Ryan Ripken)
I'm sure that other draft picks are experiencing the same thing right now. Ryan Ripken, drafted by the Washington Nationals, is son of Cal Ripken Jr. Nick Gordon, drafted by the Minnesota Twins, is son of Tom Gordon. But maybe, it's just too much pressure for the kids. They have huge shoes to fill, and if they continue attempting to live up to the expectations of their fathers, they will end up living in their shadows instead.
Bottom line, let them play. Cheer them on, and hope for the best. They have got to create their own names, and their own legacies. The comparisons are unfair to the players they will become. If we constantly expect Junior to be our Sandman, we'll miss all the great things he will do.