Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Character in paradise

Curtis Granderson's star power will burn brighter as he heats up the Big Apple in 2010.

Granderson, the Detroit Tigers' center fielder, is expected to be traded to the New York Yankees as early as today in a complex multi-player, multi-league deal. Besides baseball talent combining speed, power and defense, Granderson offers something even more tangible than stolen bases, home runs and circus catches.

He offers strong personal character, self-assurance and community compassion that has been lacking in the past several weeks in the national athletic arena.

To this point, New York media has chewed up a steroid-juiced Yankee lineup and the carefully crafted family image of a wayward professional golfer. Granderson gives them a view from the other side, a view that is part of an innocent baseball past that honored and revered positive role models instead of indiscretions and opportunism.

The critics will say that Granderson couldn't hit left-handed pitching and struck out a little too often. A change of scenery -- and a sweet spot in a Yankee lineup where he doesn't have to be the "go-to" guy all the time -- may be the tonic to boost his career to a new level.

He just may bake The Apple.

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