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
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.