January 24th, 2010

Granderson defends his community work

As I wrote in my story on Curtis Granderson’s charity basketball game Sunday, it was fitting that one of Granderson’s last events in the Detroit area was a community work. As much as he has done on the field, his off-field work really made an impression.

For almost everyone, that impression has been a positive one. Still, some — or maybe one — made it an issue for scrutiny in the days and weeks after Granderson’s trade to New York. Was he doing too much?

Granderson has stayed out of that debate, but when he was asked about Sunday, he admitted he was perplexed about that it’s even worth bringing up.

“It’s amazing how, you know, so much is talked about players not doing something [to give back],” Granderson said after Sunday’s game. “Then I do something, and now that’s the reason why everyone thought I was playing bad. But yet, my involvement with so many different things — from my book, to my foundation, to education, the RBI program — is very minimal.

“My book [“All You Can Be”] took two days. That’s it. Two days. Everybody thinks it took a lot longer. I did autograph signings on an off-day. When I mentioned with RBI and countless organizations, it’s really just my name, and that I support them. They may have an event, but there’s a good chance I’m probably playing and not there. So there are a lot of things the resume, but it’s not that time-consuming.

“It’s amazing what’s OK to spend your time on and what’s not. If I were married and had kids, that’s OK. But the fact that I’m helping out everyone else’s kids, there seems to be a problem with that.”

Granderson said he really isn’t sure where the pushback is coming from. But it’s clearly something worth defending himself against.

“It’s been talked about over the past two years, I think,” Granderson said. “And honestly, the busiest year was 2007, which was arguably my best year.

That was the year Granderson hit 20 doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases along with a .300 average.

“I was doing two school visits a day and then coming to the ballpark, and then two more the next day,” Granderson continued. “Then we had all the Tigers events. We were establishing the [Grand Kids] foundation. We were doing autograph signings. I had the blog I was doing three times a week versus one time a week. All these different things, and it was arguably the best season. So I can’t put too much into what’s happening off the field correlating with on the field.”