Does the Times Think Baseball Players Are Usually Pretentious?

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02/16/2010 1:42 PM |

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There’s a fine article in today’s Times about the Yankees’ big offseason acquisition, Curtis Granderson, who comes across as an exceptionally decent, thoughtful person largely devoid of many of the obnoxious tastes and character traits characteristic of the successful professional athlete. The article’s headline, attempting to define what makes Granderson different, settles on:

“Granderson Gives the Yankees an All-Star Without Pretension.”

It’s true: it’s a lack of pretension that makes Granderson unique among his peers; most prominent baseball players are of course incredibly pretentious. To wit:

-Last weekend, I saw Adam Dunn at Tiny Cup, reading The Collected Stories of J.G. Ballard. In a keffiyeh.

-Kenji Johima’s Flickr page has a whole album of self-portraits with lens flare.

-It’s a running joke in the Cubs clubhouse how Aramis Ramirez calls every movie he doesn’t like “a complacent bougie stroke-off.” Even Avatar!

-Historically, Jim Palmer’s insistence on applying a neo-Marxist interpretive framework to even Romantic poetry alienated him from the rest of the Baltimore Orioles starting rotation, who favored a more hermeneutic approach (it’s a testament to Earl Weaver’s skills as a manager that this profound schism didn’t interfere with the team’s success).

-Et cetera.

Pitchers and catchers report this week, guys!