Go ga-ga for Grandy

1. He’s trending upward

This is Grandy’s 30-year-old season.  A couple years back, The Hardball Times killed it with their intense two-part analysis of how baseball players age.  They found, among many other things, that for the time period from 1980-2008, a player’s peak is their age 28, 29 and 30 seasons.  So enjoy this one, because this is still the time that a five-tool guy like Grandy has it all.

2. He’s underpaid

Grandy is in the middle of a six-year, $30 million contract right now.  It’s crazy to say that a $30 million contract makes anyone underpaid, but when you look at his WAR from last season, his being underpaid is objectively true.  Grandy’s 7.0 WAR was 8th in the majors last season — ahead of guys like Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Reyes, and Prince Fielder, all of whom have much bigger contracts.

3. He’s smart

Grandy graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago — with a double major.  You think of athletes who finish college and you think of fluff majors, right?  Sports management, Communications, or “American Studies.”  But not Grandy.  His double major was in business administration and business marketing.

4. He’s published

He writes books, he’s cerebral, he’s thoughtful.  The message of his book, All You Can Be, is intended for young children and seeks to impart on them the lessons of choosing the right friends, and living with passion for your interests.

5. He’s coming off a career year

This is probably the best baseball reason to love him.  We noted his WAR was 8th in the majors but his wOBA was 11th in the majors as well.  Detractors will say his strikeouts were up (his K% was top-20, er bottom-20), but that comes with an obvious bonus: his homers and RBIs were up as well.  The strikeout is bad, but the home run is good.  In this Yankee lineup, his power just works. He brought home a Silver Slugger award in 2011, and  some folks project an MVP award for Granderson in 2012.

6. He’ll always give an honest interview 

Just cruise around YouTube.  Grandy’s everywhere with goofball antics,  honest self-assessments, and just patience with the media. He’s done a podcast or two along the way, as well.

7. His charity work is everywhere

You can only begin to get an idea of what Grandy’s all about when you check out a clip from the farewell he received from his Detroit-based  charity after he was traded.  Grandy then gets shipped to New York, where he just picks up his charity work where it left off.  And in his other spare time, he enjoys promoting the sport he plays for a living. Sorry, is that us gushing?  Our bad.

8. Because he gets “it”

Okay, this point 8 is cheating.  It’s not much different than the last two points.  But the idea is just that important: he understands the fan’s perspective.  He doesn’t take things too seriously. He does things like goof around with the other team’s mascot, and remind you that he knows he’s playing a game for a living. It’s easy to like guys like that.

9. Fans from his old team still love him

Any fan of any team knows that, when you still love a player after he’s long gone from your team, that guy is special.  Grandy is still beloved in Detroit, and doesn’t hide his love for his old town either.

10. He’s competitive and wants to win

A recent profile of Grandy by Kevin Kernan in the Post tries meld all these various points together.  Grandy is well traveled, doesn’t seem to take anything about his place in life for granted, and wants to win.

It’s all why we love Grandy, and why you should too.

11 thoughts on “Go ga-ga for Grandy

  1. steve

    If he had the time and the rings he'd be the 'center' of the Yankees and not Jeter. When he gets his 5/100 contract we have to remember these years and not be down on him and the inevitable decline that will come in his mid/late 30s.

  2. David

    Who can make the sun shine? The Grandy-man can! Absolutely love watching him play, talk, do anything…

  3. mcmastro

    I really love the power and OBP. But more importantly is the charity work that he does. He truly is a great guy. Once he can learn to field a line drive coming right at him and strike out less than 170 times a year, he'll be unstoppable ;). He truly is a great guy though and the Yankees got great value in their trade for him.

    • skeaney

      Still want to trade him?

      • mcmastro

        oh i'm always going to want to trade him, but i still appreciate what he has done for the team. As a GM, which i am not for good reason, you do have to make some cold, calculated decisions. I just feel like he won't be the same player this year and if that comes to be than the Yankees wasted trading him at his all-time high value. If he does have a good year it essentially means they are on the hook for $13 million for him next year, which is not a bad contract, except it means that they still have to hand Cano a huge contract, as well as possibly Martin. Adding to the problem is a probable hole in right field with not being able to afford Swisher and a possible hole in the rotation with Kuroda being gone. But it's all understandable why people don't want to see him go.

  4. michael

    I love Granderson for many reasons. I don't mean to nit-pick, but there are statements in here that aren't correct.

    He will be 31 this month, before a game is played. Even still, 30 isn't considered trending up, or even plateau-ing. Declines most often begin no later than 30, especially for all non BB% skills, including speed, defense, contact, and power. Tom Tango has a set of graphs for each skill. In general, total production peaks debatably from 26-28.

    Granderson is paid more than Votto. This year, and previous years. This may change in the future.

    I don't mean to take away the gusto of the article. He is on a team-friendly contract and producing brilliantly, and he's still near his peak production, as evidenced by his career-year in 2011. I look forward to seeing him play more in the Bronx and hopefully the Yankees pick up his 2013 option for good reason.

  5. roadrider

    "You think of athletes who finish college and you think of fluff majors, right? Sports management, Communications, or “American Studies.” But not Grandy. His double major was in business administration and business marketing."

    To us science types business administration and business marketing are fluff majors.

    • srsly.

    • Jacques

      That was exactly what I was thinking!

    • mikeNicoletti

      Truth.

  6. danrizzle

    I was very happy when Granderson was traded to the Yankees, and even happy to have him through his struggles in 2010. Last year was flat-out awesome. Just a great guy to root for.

    One issue with the post: I'm pretty sure all bleacherreport content is written by bonobos.

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