"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. - 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' - Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
--Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Many players have captured the hearts and minds of Royals fans over the years -- Brett, Saberhagen, Harvey... the list goes on. But rarely have such players _embodied_ the wild emotional swings of fans so well as the man whom we nickname now: Jose Guillen. Read on for what must be considered as we undertake the next stage in our arduous journey.
Rany has not risen to the moment as required by his own nicknaming challenge. Indeed, why should Royals fans "keep 'em coming" to him if he can't keep up. Of course, that's not a relevant issue anyway, since he's a latecoming pretender to the Royals Blogosphere. "Baseball Prospectus." What have they ever done? And, no, Rany, we didn't make fun of your hair -- indeed, it speaks for itself. You're obviously a little upset that we had the foresight to nickname Mike "Avilanche" Aviles (although I am apparently too stupid to figure out how to close the poll). None of them grab you, you say? Well, grab this. (And that's what we said.)
But we're not here to discuss androgenic alopecia. You think it's uncalled for? You were the one who brought up the Baseball Prospectus hairstyle, Dr. Pimple Popper, we were the ones trying to nickname the Royals. So let's move on, shall we?
We know that Jose Guillen can hit the baseball. Hard. (OK, maybe not in April). But he's been carrying the Royals less-than-dominating offense since then. He also takes a firm moral stand. He will tolerate no excuses for those who would use performance enhancing drugs -- not even from players who, like himself, hail from Latin America. Elsewhere, he has said of steroids: "That is something I never considered in my life... You're ruining your whole career. You're ruining your reputation. This really is hurting baseball right now, the image of the game." (Um, just ignore the rest of the article.) So, look out PED users! Jose Guillen has come all the way from the D. R. to kick ass, take names, hit home runs, and, yes, Defend Our (Bleep)ing National Innocence! The hobgoblin of little minds (pictured right), indeed!
But Guillen's heroic outspokenness and role-modelism don't stop there! Guillen was ready to don the classic powder blue immediately, and he certainly seemed to be Whitman-esque in his largeness and multitude-holding-capacity. And who will ever forget his classic "(bleep)ing babies" rant? Not Royals fans, for sure. Fans quickly lined up to support the "fire" of the new Royals who has quickly become the favorite of many. Only a curmudgeon could have a problem with such a courageous display of soul-searching and leadership ability.
Such grumpy-grumps are missing the point, however. Whatever problems Guillen might have, he can hit the ball. But, as we all know, "statistically measurable performance" and whatnot is all relatively meaningless in the face of fire, leadership, and grit. And Jose Guillen seems to have those in abundance. Sure, he might complain about how his teammates aren't working hard enough and then lope to first base. He might tell the fans what to do with themselves when they boo him for said loping. But he's ready to apologize to get back in our good graces. And who are we not to accept the apology? It's not like he's done anything crazy before or has a background of ugly endings and longstanding grudges. I'm sure this will work out just fine. Moreover, isn't that just like us as fans? One minute, there's a 12-game losing streak, people are calling for heads and jumping off the bandwagon (although I'm not sure there ever was a 2008 Royals bandwagon). The next, the team is on an NL-abetted winning streak and fans are saying that it will be the greatest injustice since the segregation of baseball if Jose doesn't make the All-Star team ahead of Milton
Bradley, Josh Hamilton, Magglio Ordonez, Marcus Thames, B. J. Upton, Curtis Granderson, J. D. Drew, and the rest. So who are we to judge? Guillen's streakiness matches his moods, and both match perfectly with the Royals and their fans.
Over in the original nicknaming thread, where we're still taking suggestions for players (although I don't know how long that post will be easily available from the front page --perhaps we should start doing it here), a number of good suggestions were posted. They were all so good (as in: they still make me chuckle when I read them), in fact, that I can honestly say that I don't have a favorite. I hope I get all the attributions and names right (and you people had plenty of time!), and here are the nominees:
In a tribute to the beloved former Self-Appointed Team Effort Inspector of the Royals, Scott Elarton, RoyalsRetro suggests Team Baby Inspector.
Top Ramen came up with Samsonite, because Guillen is "capable of carrying his teammates, but also has a reputation of having a lot of baggage."
philofthenorth's clever pen put forth JoGui, pronounced, "hoagy"
And NHZ, I believe, nominated Jome Run Jose.
There are so many great people throughout history who cast aside expectations to set new standards of excellence. They are so often misunderstood. As Emerson wrote: "Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh." To this list we can add Jose Guillen. It is up to us to make sure he has the greatest nickname of any of them.