I really don’t want to jump on the bandwagon so early, but Colin Cowgill is making things more difficult than they should be. The 26-year-old pro is just one of many misfit toys in the New York Mets’ island of an outfield, but something about Cowgill makes him particularly easy to root for.
Maybe it’s his name. The alliteration and the country-ness of it (Cowgill is from Kentucky) are more than a little charming. It’s probably more important that Cowgill has the intangibles on the inside to back up the likability on the outside. Here’s what he said on WFAN the other day (H/T MetsBlog):
“I show up ready to play. I try to play hard, get on base and score runs and help this team win as much as I can any way I can… I try my hardest to win… We have good players out there and it’s very competitive. What we lack on paper, we’re a team that’s gonna hustle… People can say what they want, but we’re gonna show up to play every day, we’re gonna compete harder than any other team out there and we’re gonna try our best to win games.”
That’s just pure grission right there. It doesn’t hurt that Cowgill’s two previous major league teams, the Diamondbacks and Athletics, were both surprise playoff teams when Cowgill played for them.
It does hurt that Cowgill has never posted an OPS above .700 at the major league level. In fact, Cowgill has been the definition of “meh” for his entire career, save for a 2011 season in which he hit .354/.430/.554 at triple-A Reno. That comes with your standard Pacific Coast League disclaimer as well as a nod to his 2012 triple-A line of .254/.312/.373 in 285 plate appearances.
But then there’s the hot start that he’s gotten off to this spring (including a home run in today’s blowout loss to St. Louis), and the notion that Mets fans need an outfielder to believe in in 2013. How could I not get suckered in when David Wright sparked a Twitter trend with a classic SNL reference? I couldn’t resist.
It’s pretty stupid to believe in things with your heart that you don’t really believe in with your head, but then again, baseball is supposed to be fun. More Cowgill, please.