Nolan Arenado certainly proved a whole lot of people wrong this year. Just two years ago, Arenado’s media perception took an unreasonably large hit. A rumor floated around that he was unhappy about not being promoted, he put up a bad month, and suddenly he was labeled as a whiner. He now had “makeup issues.”
Even if it was fair to be asking questions about his character, Arenado’s fall from grace in the eyes of the baseball media was nothing short of amazing. MLB.com dropped him from their top 50 list, ESPN dumped him from their top 100, Baseball Prospectus bumped him down a full 37 spots on their list, etc. The point here is not to single out any of these outlets. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The point is to illustrate how pretty much everyone took the “makeup issues” narrative and ran with it.
One notable exception? Our own Marc Hulet, who kept a level head, writing in February 2013 that “questions have been raised about his maturity level, but most young men his age (21) have questionable behavior at times, so he probably deserves a mulligan.” This is exactly what I didn’t understand at the time. What 21-year-old doesn’t have some maturity issues? (For example, when I was 21, I still thought that mixing box wine with Mt. Dew was an acceptable practice.) Read the rest of this entry »