I’ve been thinking about it all day, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that the best tribute we could offer a measured, logical young man upon his exit is an equally mature and thoughtful chorus. I would like to apologize up front for not being able to provide you that. High-strung and volatile emotions regarding the trade of a prospect, you say? Right this way!
First off, let’s stop calling it the trade of a prospect. If you don’t mind, I’d like to call this what it is: the untimely ripping of Travis Snider from Toronto’s loving embrace. Too dramatic? Whatever, guy who makes trades under the cover of darkness while half of the fanbase is asleep or dropping off. I think if anyone has a flare for theatre here, it’s you. Only one of us pulled a guy from the outfield in the middle of the game last night and it was NOT ME, SIR.
I don’t have a lot of friends who like baseball and so I often find myself trying to do one of two things: 1) Explain fanaticism as related to sports and 2) Explain complete heartbreak as related to sports. For a long time, Travis was part of the first conversation, the one I had when trying to draw people in. “The Jays have this guy who you would love. He once tweeted that he was watching Man vs. Food for the first time and wondered if baseball was really his dream job. He eyeblacked a moustache on his face for Cito Gaston and left it on long after everyone else had removed theirs. He has promise and upside and he’s likeable and he’ll fit here for a long, long time.”
Snider has now become part of that second conversation, too, and that saddens me more than I can say. The conversation about why I’m taking it so hard just because “some kid” got moved last night. I don’t mean to sound like I wore black and cried at my desk all day (although..), or like I’m eulogizing a 24 year old who surely will continue to be everything he has been thus far and more. I don’t need to be talked back from the ledge, but I did take it badly, and here is why:
I will miss a lot of things about Travis Snider, but my sadness is two-fold - yes, I will miss having the guy who tweets 15 pictures of Christmas dinner on my team, I will miss the defense, I will miss the bat. I will miss his immeasurable patience and good humour in the face of hardship. I will miss his bad spelling and his Friday Night Lights quotes. The thing I will miss the most, however, is unquantifiable - I will miss what could have been.
When Halladay was traded, I was devastated. It took me ages to get over it, though I knew it was coming, and it was no small effort. My reaction to Snider’s trade is a completely different type of pain, because when Doc left I knew exactly what shape my loss was. Roy Halladay was an established athlete and I had no questions about what his future held away from the Jays. His sheer excellence provided closure in itself. Travis? I still have a lot of questions about Travis.
Will he stop striking out so much one day? Will he flourish with regular, major league at bats? Was he rushed? Did he deserve to be here more than Eric GD Thames? I think he will, was and did, but I don’t know. I have unwavering faith in what he could be, but I don't know. I can say, with little hesitation, that I believe his oft-spoken of potential was no myth, but I can't know.
I still have a lot of questions about Travis. It would have been an absolute fucking pleasure to see the answers unfold in Toronto.