For whatever reason the arrival of Augie Ojeda in the Diamiondbacks line-up has caused more attention than such an event normally would. Maybe it’s because he is "so small" i.e. the same height as me, or his obvious enthusiasm, or the fact that he has replaced a player with dubious connotations. Whatever the reason, anybody who follows the D-Backs is aware of Augie’s presence. Yet I can’t help feeling that there is a certain sadness (or maybe pathos) surrounding players such as this. For when he was young Augie must have been very very good. He must have been way better than all his peers just to get as far as he has got now. The big leagues must have seemed like a realistic goal and he must have had big dreams.Dreams of being the main player on a World Series winning team, being a regular in the All Star game, or, the ultimate accolade, having his own charity. Yet along the way he never quite made it (he played 78 games for the Cubs in 2001 and other than that no more than 30 games in a season). Did he wake up one morning and know that he would never be one of the "regulars"? Was it something that a hitting coach or a manager said? Or has he never realised? Will he never admit it? Does he still belive that he can make it?
When I go to the theatre in London (and especially the musicals) it’s the background performers who fascinate me, they turn up day after day, they are incredibly talented, yet remain away from the spotlight. Are they like Augie? Do they still think that they will make the big time or are they content to be doing something that they are good at and something that they enjoy?
The quote at the head of this entry is from the Bright Eyes song "Soul Singer in a Session Band" (I recommend the album Cassadega,unless you are a fan of thrash metal) and I obviously don’t intend to imply that Augie is reduced to prostituting his talent, but I hope that if, or when, he is sent back to Tucson he is still the "hopeless romantic" he was when he took his first swing at a fastball.
Enjoy the game