Baseball Magazine

Separating Yourself Vs Standing out

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
We all have words we live by.  I've turned a few into posts. "Show up, Suit up, Shut up, and Play hard" is one of them.  Another one for me is ... 
It is better to separate yourself from the crowd then to stand out from one.
A clown stands out in a crowd.  Your eyes are automatically drawn to a clown.  They get tons of attention.  However, does anyone respect a clown?  Nope.  They're a clown.  Nobody takes them seriously.  Although they may be entertaining to look at for a while, people grow tired of their act rather quickly.  

Separating yourself vs Standing out

Manny being Manny.

The same concept holds true in baseball.  Over the years, there have been quite a few players that have drawn a lot of attention to themselves.  Manny Ramirez,  John Rocker, Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, and now Brian Wilson.  Through their attitude, actions, and/or appearance, they have done things to stand out from the major league crowd.  Unfortunately, all have (or will have) trouble sustaining respect.  Sports fans and especially those in the media have a high tolerance for players who stand out.  That is, as long as their performance stays at a high level.  As soon as their performance drops, an avalanche of criticism falls down on them.  Take Manny Ramirez as an example.  When he was in his prime and hitting a ton, the Red Sox, their fans, and the media looked the other way on many of his "issues."  The sports media saw him as entertaining and loved to report all the "Mannyisms" of Manny-being-Manny.   When his performance started to drop, he all of a sudden was correctly reported as a "cancer" that nobody wanted.  Brian Wilson is setting himself up for the same fate.  Their "acts" become tiring very quickly.  Crash Davis spoke of this in Bull Durham when he said ...
If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press'll think you're colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob.
Of course, you'll be "colorful" until you stop winning 20 in the show.

Separating yourself vs Standing out

Giants closer/clown Brian Wilson

Separating yourself from the crowd is something very different.  It's what makes players like Derek Jeter, Chase Utley, Tori Hunter, Adrian Gonzalez, CC Sabathia, and David Wright well liked even when their performance slips or when they make mistakes.  People give these players the benefit of the doubt when times get tough because they play the game the right way.  They let their day-to-day and year-to-year performances do the talking for them.  They all understand that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.
Every player gets to choose which type of player they become - someone who stands out or someone who separates themselves from others.  If they choose to stand out, they will get lots of attention but in the long run, I don't think they will like the type of attention they get.

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