I know bloggers and stat nerds often get tagged with the reputation of being more interested in the numbers of baseball, rather than what the "old media" have tagged as the poetic, beautiful side of the game. Of course, any thinking person knows this is poppycock. There would be no reason to devote this much time and energy to something we didn't care about, and frankly, the statistically inclined would be better off using their considerable talents to make a pile of money on Wall Street.
Anyway, this particular blog post is about the poetic, beautiful side of the game. Namely, Jarrod Dyson. That dude is fast!
I know that's not earth-shattering news to any Royals fan, but it's fun to talk about. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to think of a Royals position player who has been more fun to watch than...Carlos Beltran, maybe?
I will admit, as a slow, fat guy, I have a soft spot for Royals who can run like the wind. I'm a little too young to remember Willie Wilson's prime as a speedster, but I always wanted Gary Thurman, Tom Goodwin and Joey Gathright to succeed. I like to imagine what I could do if I could run like that, just for one day. How much fun it would be, even in a beer-league softball game, to cover ground like that, to feel the wind rushing past your face as you fly down the baseline. Heck, I'd be parking my car at the far ends of parking lots and sprinting for the front doors wherever I was going.
Now that I'm older and hopefully wiser, I understand the limitations those guys had, and that Dyson shares with them: a lack of power and a low walk rate once pitchers realize they can challenge these guys and not worry about giving up homers.
In a perfect world, Dyson would be in Omaha, getting regular at-bats. The Royals are probably stunting his development some by keeping him in the majors. On the other hand, the Royals are definitely using him in the most judicious way possible while he's in the majors. Rather than just throwing him out there, they are picking their spots and letting his speed work for them at crucial moments in ballgames.
Meanwhile, I'm going to just enjoy the show whenever Dyson gets on base. Not only is he blazing fast, he seems to have very good baserunning instincts. And as a guy who was picked in the 50th and final round of the 2006 draft, Dyson is easy to root for. His mere presence in the majors is an example of odds overcome. In the first quarter of this season, the Royals have shown that they will fight, scratch and claw every night, and Dyson is just one Royal who embodies that spirit.