I read this piece the other day (and I know some of you have been discussing it in the comments below), but hadn’t had a chance to link to it yet. It was written by Paul Daugherty, and it was published under the headline “Jay Bruce generosity knows no bounds”:
Jay Bruce calls himself Ã¢â‚¬Å“a product of generosity,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ so heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s giving the Reds $400,000. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s something he has wanted to do since he was a kid selling candy door to door, to pay for his teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Little League uniforms. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been in his head since the scout who signed him in 2005 offered advice Bruce embraced.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget where you came from,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Brian Wilson told the 18-year-old the day the Reds drafted him with their first pick in Ã¢â‚¬â„¢05. Actually Wilson, being a Texan like Bruce, said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dance with who brung you.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Go read the entire column. Even if you were already Jay Bruce’s biggest fan, you will smile a bit wider at the maturity and level-headedness (did I just use that word?) of Cincinnati’s young star.
Anyway, the stuff about Bruce is great, but I don’t want something to get lost in the shuffle. Equally deserving of praise (or moreso) is our embattled closer:
This sort of benevolence happens a lot among pro jocks, more than we ever report. Part of it is we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take the time to honor the good, because the good isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sexy. Part of it is some athletes donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want their generosity made public. Who would you guess leads the current Reds in giving locally?
If you said Francisco Cordero, drop a coin into your own cup. Charley Frank, the director of the Reds Community Fund, says Coco donates Ã¢â‚¬Å“well into the six figuresÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ to local causes. Several other Reds are five-figure donors to the Community Fund, Frank said.
Cordero has frustrated me. There’s no denying that. Last year, however, when he was struggling mightily, remember how he stepped up to the mike and accepted the blame on his shoulders? He didn’t criticize the fans for booing him; rather, he said that he should be booed. That was in stark contrast to some former Reds (like this guy), and despite all else, I became a bigger CoCo fan that night.
Now we hear that Cordero donates to local causes more than any other Red. Yeah, he was pretty bad at times last year, and yeah, he has probably been overpaid…but Cordero is a player about whom Reds fans can be proud. As is Bruce, and almost everyone else on this roster.
You’ll hear me say this all season long: it’s a good time to be a Reds fan. And not only because of what these guys are doing on the field.