By Dan Bernstein–
I know it’s not his fault, and I have to be careful to remember that.
But Alabama native Jake Peavy is sounding so much like Brett Favre that it is starting to unnerve me, causing reflexive reactions that are probably against my better judgment.
It’s not him, it’s me.
As soon as I start hearing a deep-south denizen drawling about how competitive he is, where he is in his latest recovery from injury, and how he is or isn’t communicating with coaches, certain well-worn neural pathways start to fire in my brain.
Above all, it’s the drama. Another case of it always being something with this guy. We know Peavy loves to talk – needs to talk, needs to be the guy saying stuff – but when that combines with constant questions about availability, velocity, pitch counts and rehab assignments, it starts reminding us of the many familiarly-twangy, will-he-play-or-won’t-he stories of recent football seasons.
I’m not calling Peavy a phony, and he’s certainly not the bizarre, tortured masochist that Favre has been. I think he really means what he says about wanting so badly to show his teammates he can be counted on to take the ball, and do his job. I don’t think he’s intentionally trumping up his physical problems to give the appearance that he’s overcoming adversity in superhuman fashion. He’s not telling his agent to distribute pictures of his strains, sprains and surgeries.
Yet this story has now moved into that same, in-between territory of how what’s best for the team must supersede what a player may want, who is in charge of making those decisions, and what information is provided to make them intelligently and carefully.
In one version we know, the part of the team’s leader is played by the bookish Brad Childress – a largely overmatched coach seemingly content to emasculate himself as the player in question steadily erodes his authority. For this one, though, we substitute Ozzie Guillen, which is roughly as jarring a casting change as hiring Jack Black to play Albus Dumbledore. So there’s no doubt who’s in charge.
It just sounds the same, is all.
We get it, Jake. You’re a bulldog, a throwback, a tough guy. You’re a Ballplayer, in all the romantic sense of what that word used to mean. You’re a gamer, an Ace. You want to be needed, and the White Sox are trying to decide how much they can really rely on you.
Peavy does everything pretty publicly, enjoying the ongoing dialogue whether playing or rehabbing, and that’s fine. Nothing wrong with doing what we ask stars to do.
He can’t help the fact that his accent is nearly identical to that of the Mississippi-bred Favre, nor can he help being prone to injuries that make his readiness to play a routine concern.
What I can’t help is defaulting to similar feelings when I recognize similar circumstances and listen to similar words from a similar voice.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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