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.”


I hope these kinds of questions don’t bother Curtis too much, because that would be a shame. I think part of the reason things like this come up is *because* people like him so much. They want an external reason for his struggles, rather than conceding that he is struggling. Just a thought.

I remember a few of us kicking the tires on this subject last summer. It’s like Matt says, you want to find a reason when someone has a dropoff in performance. There is indeed one local writer who took it to the next level in the days and weeks following the trade, with sometimes daily articles claiming Grandy was spread too thin. I don’t know how this writer sees his role; perhaps he feels a need to defend the organization, which he does quite often, or maybe he wanted to apply balm to the wound of Granderson being traded. At any rate, there’s no way of knowing what effect, if any, Grandy’s outside work had on his performance. Sometimes a guy just has a bad year (30 homers isn’t bad) and I hope Curtis keeps doing what he does for the community.

whoever criticized him on that point is an idiot. HE’S A SINGLE MAN – he’s got some time to kill. geesh.

Remember, he was MLB’s Ambassador too. I think the comments started when he wasn’t hitting lefties and someone, somwhere, made an off the cuff remark about spending more time in the batting cage rather than all his extra curricular activities. Then, it got blown out of proportion. In my eyes, Grandy will always be a Tiger. I love him and will miss him very much.

The problems started when he became the worst hitter against left handers in the League. His OBP dropped, the K’s became frequent and costly, his fielding tailed off and his horrible production in the clutch during the pennant race was the clincher. He has a poor arm, lousy plate discipline and his 30 homers in over 700 plate appearances mean nothing. He got a good contract and was treated very well by the Tigers and their fans. He just didn’t deliver when he was really needed. This is professional baseball, not wiffle ball in the backyard. To come to the plate and swing at obviously rotten pitches against southpaws over and over again shows a lack of dedication to your job. Can’t be argued. Once a player leaves to play for another team in the American League, I don’t care how he does or if he focuses on baseball. Time to move on… .183 against LH pitching with 2 homers and 9 RBI. Embarrassing.

Well, so much for ending things on a positive note. Is that you, Lynn? I don’t think anyone would disagree that we’ve all moved on and am looking forward to this season.

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