"Patience, my brothers! Cast away your thoughts of the future, and savour this moment! Leave tomorrow for tomorrow! The Stocky-Yet-Swift Pasty White Rosy-Cheeked Hope shall have his time! A day off won't kill him!"
In the moment, those sorts of thoughts seemed to make sense to us. To our way of thinking, a day off here or there wasn't going to impede his development that much. But for much of the last week, we've watched Snider cool his heels on the bench, waiting for his chance to go out and get his reps and at bats to help him learn and develop.
(Remember how well part-time employment worked for José Bautista through his development years with the Pirates? Probably not.)
Mind you, we're not a two-time World Series Champion Manager and we never had the opportunity to put the lineup card in the Gestetner machine and run off carbon copies night after night in that era, so we're probably no match for The Manager's baseball acumen. But if we tilt our head in just the right way, we can start to think like him, and see what value this time on the bench might offer to the franchise's single most important young player. Here's what we came up with in terms of mad skills that Travis is developing while sitting:
1. Rocking a hoodie: Shaun Marcum is obviously a leader on this team, and his intense hoodie-wearing must be some sort of key to the rotation's success. If Snider can apply himself, he might be able to spur the offense by chewing intensely on his hood's drawstrings.
2. High-fives: An important part of becoming a part of the team. If you see a guy who just got jammed on the first pitch and squibbed a weak grounder to second, but advanced the runner by one base, you'd best know how to get up to the top step and give a sincere fist bump to your returning hero.
3. Sunflower seed spitting: What happens if you're in the outfield, and you get a shell caught in your throat? You think you're gonna know how to hack up that carapace based on instinct and gag reflex?
4. Preparing for your close-up: You know the TV cameras are going to find you on the bench, and you need to prepare that steely, cold, detached-yet-emotionally complicated look that lets the fans know the depth of your soul, and the burning fire within. (Side benefit: This totally works on chicks too. Stare off intently beyond the bottle service table, and some lady is going to look upon you a wounded soul that needs solace. Mrroawr.)
5. Putting weight back on: You think you're going to keep hitting one-handed homers if you drop 20 pounds through the physical exertion of playing the field and running the bases? Forget that. Park your ass on the bench, dig into an O-Dog Combo and think about the days when Cecil Fielder was the most feared hitter in baseball.
6. Funneling your rage more productively: Because that needle-point isn't going to finish itself.
That's the best that we can figure. Feel free to add your own notions on the skills that Snider can develop from the dugout in the comments section below.
(Yes, as established yesterday, I am a comment whore.)
Friday Rock Out - The Jam, "In the City"
Consider this our Long Distance Dedication to The Manager: We wanna tell you about the young ideas.
The Ack is off on assignment this weekend, but we should be around to fill in as necessary. Have fun, and stay cool my babies.