Weekly Dose: We need to talk about Springer

Photo by Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star News/SCNG

By @RyanGrosman
February 1, 2021

Each week, I’ll be writing about one thing that’s on my mind.

Last week George Springer was officially introduced to the Blue Jays faithful.

My first thought was how in the hell did the Blue Jays land one of this year’s top free agents? When has that ever happened? The answer is, close to never.

When it comes to persuading free agents to play north of the border, the Blue Jays have notoriously struck out. (Pun very much intended.) But not this time. And Springer is exactly the player the rebuilding Jays need right now.

But then, glass half empty as I am, my next immediate thought was how will Springer’s involvement in the Astros cheating scandal affect his new team?

It feels like Springer has largely been given a pass. Mostly because he wisely shut up after the news broke. Whereas guys like Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa ran their tone-deaf mouths off, thus digging themselves even deeper graves with every syllable.

But Springer is not exempt. He was there. He willingly participated in arguably the biggest baseball scandal since the Black Sox.

That’s why I find it odd that there’s been little talk about who Springer will be joining in the Jays’ clubhouse. If you haven’t figured out who I’m talking about yet, think back to which team the Astros beat to win the 2017 World Series, for which Springer was named MVP. That would be the Los Angeles Dodgers. A team that employed both Hyun-jin Ryu and Ross Stripling.

Also think about who was a key member of an Astros’ division rival for the two years they were banging away at those trash cans. That would be ex-Oakland A and newest Blue Jay, Marcus Semien.

It appears that Springer might have some ‘splaining to do.

This is just one of the thousands of things that makes the Astros cheating scandal beyond bizarre. Did they think they’d be teammates forever? That they’d never play for another organization? Because, guess what? Players move around all the time, especially these days. It’s immensely rare for someone to play their entire career with one franchise, let alone 25 someones.

Obviously they didn’t think this far ahead. Because if they did — if they really thought about the consequences — maybe they would never have cheated. Or, even more stupidly, perhaps they thought they’d never get caught.

Springer doesn’t have to be defined solely by this scandal. He’s already proven that he’s one of the best centre fielders in the game sans trash can. And now, with a newly-minted six-year contract, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to continue to change the narrative.

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