There was an eye-popping story written by Mr. Bob Smizik in his blog on May 10 about Neil Walker. In the story, Smizik had this to say about what Walker owes the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates have a large investment in Walker, having paid him a $1.95 million bonus to sign. Based on this story, Walker seems to think he owes little in return.—Bob Smizik
Pirates fans always find it amusing when Mr. Smizik talks about others being held accountable for outlandish statements, but I never felt moved enough to waste time commenting on it. That is until after reading it all again last night. We simply couldn’t get over what was the most outlandish comment in an article filled with them:
He’s a Pittsburgh guy who’s not a “Pittsburgh guy.’’—-Bob Smizik in reference to Neil Walker
That’s not a misprint. Will the Post Gazette hold Smizik accountable for making that statement? No way. Smizik simply keeps on grinding out blog posts that generate too many eye balls for the PG to pass up.
Apparently, his attempt at an ’apology’ was enough for the PG. His response came in the form of a question sent to him on May 24. Smizik said he went overboard. Gee, do you think so?
But even then, in the very same response, Smizik hilariously backpedaled from his own apology by saying, ”It was my understanding that it went deeper than that.” Unfortunately, Smizik doesn’t provide details to what that might be.
Meanwhile, Walker let his performance do the talking for him. And did it ever. Starting the next day on May 25, Walker began a hitting spree that has confused even the hard core baseball minds. He took the game by storm. It was a trend that would continue and by the end of May, Walker had nine hits in 28 at-bats with four going for extra bases.
But Walker didn’t stop there. Hell, Walker hasn’t stopped all season. As was evident by Walker’s recent post-game comment in which he said, “We ain’t quittin.” The player that was described by Smizik as “The Pittsburgh guy who’s not a ‘Pittsburgh Guy,” has thrust himself into talks for Rookie of the Year with an unmatched work ethic and humbleness rarely seen in the game today.
The Neil Walker story was placed on a tee and it’s such a shame Smizik swung and missed on it.
Making over the top accusations based on what Smizik incorrectly described as Walker receiving “a tongue lashing by his boss,” is unacceptable from anyone claiming to be a professional, let alone one that recently had a Rookie of the Year vote. But Smizik still wasn’t done. He wrapped up the May article with the following fatherly quote:
With Andy LaRoche as the starting third baseman and Pedro Alvarez as the likely future at that position, Walker has been cast in a utility role by the Pirates. He is playing third and second base and the corner outfield positions. It’s somewhat understandable that a guy who is still 24 and a former No. 1 draft choice, might not share what he sees the Pirates future for him. Utility players don’t get the big contracts. But Walker won’t be getting any kind of MLB contract unless his attitude shapes up considerably.—Bob Smizik
Are you laughing out loud?
If you missed it, here is the full post and we promise plenty more laughs.
But let’s call this what it is, Walker’s body of work in 2010 is a testament to his tremendous work ethic, maybe Smizik’s body of work is also.