This is a follow-up to: Tim Anderson, Pitcher Privilege, and Unwritten Rules: Baseball Must Change.
I expected the post linked above to receive mixed reactions, and it did. As I read online responses, both to my post and to the Tim Anderson situation in general, two things came to mind: first, this was a rare occasion where the White Sox not only dominated the national media’s sports coverage for a day, but were shed in an overwhelmingly positive light. Additionally, now that Anderson is making a name for himself in the national spotlight, the White Sox should begin to market him more aggressively.
By now, White Sox fans are well aware that Tim Anderson did not play baseball until his junior year of high school. He is an outsider relative to the majority of his peers who have been playing baseball consistently since early adolescence. This status gives Anderson the opportunity to view baseball norms from a unique perspective. Much like the fan favorite A.J. Pierzynski, Anderson is quickly becoming beloved by the White Sox fanbase because of his passion for the game and ability to energize both his teammates and the crowd.
Moreover, Anderson is not one to back down from a challenge, and this trait has led to him winning over fans on a national scale. After Wednesday’s events, many players and media members shared their thoughts on Twitter. Most believed that the Royals were in the wrong, but there were some that placed the blame on Anderson:
Notice that Grichuk did not mention Anderson by name, even though it is obvious based on the timing of the tweet that Anderson’s celebration prompted it. When I first saw Grichuk’s tweet, I enjoyed the backlash he was receiving and expected the matter to be over. Anderson, however, isn’t the type to appreciate being called out indirectly:
Anderson’s reply provoked a sheepish denial from Grichuk. As Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports so eloquently put it, “Everyone’s a badass until you call them out on it. Then they run for cover”.
Tim Anderson’s willingness to challenge baseball’s status quo in games and put opponents in their place following games makes him an extremely marketable player, one that the White Sox have been sorely needing. Not only does he hold these qualities, but it is also worth mentioning his charity, Anderson’s League of Leaders, which has been very active in both Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Anderson’s hometown) and the south side of Chicago in assisting underprivileged youth, especially those who are forced to deal with circumstances involving domestic violence.
Between his passion on the field, the confidence he both plays and conducts himself with, and his admirable charity work, Tim Anderson has always been a very marketable player. As he has pledged to remain staunch in his tendency to play with passion and regularly challenge baseball norms, he will become even more recognizable to baseball fans across the country. The White Sox should capitalize on the positive media attention Anderson will continue to bring by beginning to market him more aggressively as the face of the team and a reason for fans to tune into games.
Featured Photo: Getty Images