Add Yet Another Flavor of the Month

It never seems to end, the small sample size mania that engulfs Cardinal Nation seemingly every season.  The emergence of the one or sometimes two players who make a grand entrance and dazzle the faithful into instant adoration.

Why do I couch it as “never seems to end”?  Because such phenomena more often than not eventually become no more than a mirage, a short term preoccupation that will more than likely turn out to be not what it seemed to be, leaving us bereft and still thirsty for the actual thing.

The newest of such flavor of the month players is one Jeremy Hazelbaker.  Hazelbaker, a 28 year old career minor leaguer who now resides with his third organization in eight seasons in professional baseball, has become the latest act in Small Sample Size Theater:  St. Louis Cardinals Edition.  Hazelbaker is in his second season with the Cardinals organization after languishing for five minor league seasons in the Red Sox organization and one full season and one partial in the Dodgers minor league system before being released and picked up by the Cardinals.  Until now, Hazelbaker hasn’t sniffed the major leagues with any organization, but a twist of fate leading to an injury to shortstop Ruben Tejada gave Hazelbaker the opportunity he had long been denied, a spot on a major league roster.

He has made the most of it in the first week of the season, hitting 2 home runs in his six plate appearances so far.  For a fanbase that has seen its team swept in the first series of the new season, Hazelbaker is a large drink of water to a thirsty crowd.    Drinking too much can be a problem, however.

I preach this all the time, and yet I don’t know why I do because it never gets through.  NEVER, NEVER NEVER, get too excited (or become too disgusted) with small sample size performance.  I really mean NEVER.

Jeremy Hazelbaker may be the biggest surprise since the rise of Donald Trump, and have a great resurgent major league career, but he also may be a complete dud and end up in obscurity, like so many other flashes in the pan have done.  No one is going to know the end of this book for a good long while.

In the meantime, last season’s most popular flavor, Randal Grichuk, is now wondering where he stands.  Who is the real Randal Grichuk?   Will the struggling Grichuk return to his former popular status?  Or will he find himself occupying the Peter Bourjos Memorial bench spot?

Stay tuned for new episodes of “As The Outfield Churns”, produced and directed by Michael Scott Matheny.


So long, folks.


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1 Comment

  1. Baseballmania

     /  April 9, 2016

    I posted under the wrong topic, my bad.



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