Curtis Granderson is one of the more interesting Yankees. He does many things well on the field—in fact he has done almost everything right so far. And he is secure enough to give an honest, thoughtful answer when he is asked a question.
I got a hint of that, covering him when he played for Team USA during the World Baseball Classic last year (Derek Jeter told MLB.com that he was impressed at Granderson’s personality when he was a teammate on that squad). He seems to have intuitively figured out what it takes to thrive in New York, even if you’re coming in as a replacement for a popular figure on a team that just won a title: 1) produce, 2) be honest.
So he does not give just rote platitudes (parodied in the classic “Major League”). The guy thinks before he speaks, as he did last week when he not only spoke of how well Robinson Cano is playing but recalled specifically how he had played against Cano every step since low Class A ball.
It was cool to hear his take on hitting triples after he had two of them in a game Thursday: “A lot of people ask me the art of hitting a triple, the big thing is just being able to run hard. The ball can go into a lot of funky places. Sure enough I had two balls that were able to kick around, away from defenders long enough to allow me to get to third base.”
And it was interesting to hear him speak in some depth about the decline in the number of African-American players in major league baseball over the past couple of decades. He spoke of competition from other sports—noting that Jackie Robinson was a multi-sport athlete, as was Granderson in his youth—to data that reports that many kids learn baseball from their dads and that there has been an increase in single-parent families.
Good insight. Look forward to having him around.