Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Where I explain why I write about Kyle Snyder…again.

A Kyle photo I haven't used in a while (taken by Rob Bradford in Japan and used without permission).  Yes, here's my semi-annual entry about why I write about Kyle Snyder!

A Kyle photo I haven't used in a while (taken by Rob Bradford in Japan and used without permission). Yes, here's my semi-annual entry about why I write about Kyle Snyder!

I’ve had a bad day.  Nothing earth shattering just a typical bad day and getting cranky emails from folks only exacerbated my mood.  So, be warned my friends, this is a long one.  (And this is officially the first entry that doesn’t contain a song lyric in the title since January 2009! )

Sometimes writing comes so naturally for me that I just start typing and don’t stop for hours.  Sometimes it’s a task that I find many ways to avoid.  I mention this as an explanation to why I haven’t fallen into a rhythm this season with the blogging.  I’m working on doing it every day (and I’ve succeeded for the most part) now I just have to focus on a better schedule.

The above is in response to a message I received about a hour ago from someone, essentially, yelling at me for not posting this morning.  When I first started blogging in 2005 it didn’t occur to me that I should blog every day and that people would be paying attention.  Then I got an email from a White Sox fan reprimanding me for starting a blog but not keeping it updated.  That put me on the path to try and post every day.  Working at WEEI.com was a good motivation for blogging all the time too (it’s amazing how focused you can become when someone pays you!).

I genuinely appreciate the folks who read this blog and am happy to field your messages but the crankiness in them this week was off the charts.  Along with a few emails asking a similar question, I received a question at my FormSpring page today about Kyle Snyder.  I’ve decided to pull it out of the FormSpring page and answer it here:

I’ve only read your blog for a couple of months and I need to know what the deal is with your Kyle Snyder obsession. He doesn’t even play any more so who cares about what he’s doing? More people would be interested to read about the Sox not Snyder.

It’s funny. I read other blogs and there seem to be a lot of repeat mentions of specific things.  I don’t like to throw the “this is because I’m a woman” argument out there, but for some reason, any time I mention Kyle I inevitably get at least one message asking me why I write about him (or asking me much ruder questions than that which I won’t print here).  Luckily the anti-Kyle emails I receive run about one for every five pro-Kyle messages sent to me so I don’t let it bother me too much.  Because FormSpring allows questions to be anonymous (and because it is difficult to read intent through a one paragraph question) I’ve decided to take this question at face value and respond to why I write about a player who is no longer on the team.

I feel like I’ve done this before, in great detail, so instead of reinventing the wheel I’m going to call upon my words from the past to explain things for me. There have been times when I go through a bit of soul-searching in regard to this blog.  I wonder if I want it to be personal, about me and mentioning baseball once in a while or if I want it to be more professional, no feelings involved just discussing the game.  I decide again and again that I am who I am and if I feel like writing about a player just because this player has achieved things or gone through issues that attract me to him then I’m not going to hold back just because someone might find this blog and be confused as to why I’m writing about feeling sorry for someone being DFA’d instead of focusing on how that move will help the team.

I find Kyle’s story interesting, compelling, inspirational and sometimes a little heart-wrenching and sad.  Because of these things, I find Kyle to be someone people should read about and since no one else out there is writing about him, it’s my honor to do it here.

I’m pleased that over the few years I’ve been writing about him, people have come forward to let me know that they knew him or just followed him from the Royals or had never heard of him before me but now have taken in interest in him and his career.  That says more about Kyle and his story than it does me but I take some pride in spreading the word.  🙂

I’ve written two entries about Kyle that involve some of my most honest writing that I’ve put out here.  I think these entries opened me up to a lot of the criticism I get but for me it was worth it.  After meeting Kyle in New York back in April of 2007 (and following the death of Josh Hancock) I wrote a piece called “Being a Fan“.  It wasn’t only about Kyle but about being a fan in general and it is the best explanation I’ve given of why there are some players  I just take a shine to and want to do well.

Fans have an ego. We tend to think that the players play for us and when they do well, it’s in our name. To be fair, the 2004 team reinforced this belief with what they said, so our egos can’t be blamed for that solely. I don’t know what made me talk to Kyle or why I said the specific things I said instead of something geeky like “you’re so great!” or the opening line one of the groupies used (“you’re my friend’s favorite player!”), but his reaction to me made me very happy that I did. Maybe he was feeling down because the team lost? Maybe he’s very shy (he certainly seemed to be) and wanted to be anywhere but in a loud, crowded bar, making a public appearance the night after a disappointing loss, being accosted by drunken chicks pretending to know who he is? Maybe one person coming over and telling him he had no reason to hang his head; that he did a good job, maybe that actually mattered to him?

Even if it didn’t, was it so difficult to say? Did it pain me to take a moment out of my evening to thank him for entertaining me? Bringing in ego again, for me it was pretty much the highlight of the day (save the Yankees fan who yelled “1918″ in the subway, prompting his Yankee fan friend to yell, “Dude, WHAT did you say??”). I felt like I made a difference in Kyle’s evening. Even if I didn’t, I felt like I did.

If something, God forbid, happened to Kyle Saturday night, it would have happened with him knowing that at least one stranger cared enough to let him know how well he did. What’s wrong with that?

I’m a firm believer in telling people how I feel. I sleep well at night knowing if something happened to me, I’d leave this world knowing that those I love wouldn’t ever question my feelings for them. I take that with me in every aspect of my life.

A year after writing that entry, I found myself writing another one that bared my soul and emotions to the world.  Kyle had been DFA’d by the Red Sox the weekend before the Sox were to come back to Fenway for Opening Day and receive their World Series rings.  I’m not going to lie, I’m a mush.  Commercials make me cry.  The first few notes of a bucketful of songs immediately bring tears to my eyes.  Heck, any Christmas special ever made makes me cry.  I hate watching the Super Bowl because I can’t stand to watch the devastated faces of the losers (one game championships/playoffs just kill me.  I need an entire series to get used to the idea of one of the teams having to lose).  I’ve given up apologizing for this – it’s just who I am.  So, it’s fair to say that after taking an active interest in Kyle’s career (pretty much since the first time he took the mound for the Red Sox in 2006), the news of the team DFA’ing him hit me pretty hard.   So against the part of my brain that warned me I was opening myself up to a boatload of ridicule, I wrote and published “For Kyle” (and then questioned myself all night on whether I should have hit “publish”).

I hope he knows he has fans and our (well MY) appreciation of him transcends whichever team he ends up with. It isn’t often you can say that someone in Kyle’s profession is a good guy. But I have it on great authority (not just my experience with him) that Kyle certainly is a good guy. And he deserves better. And it just breaks my heart that this has happened to him.

I know Kyle must be upset and that alone is upsetting to me. Maybe someday I’ll learn not to personalize this so much, but I doubt it. It’s easy for some to just look at it like a game and the players are just pieces sitting on the field. That isn’t me. These are people with real feelings and it can’t be easy to have something like this happen. So I’m upset for Kyle. And that’s my focus tonight. I deal with the rest later.

If you click that link there are, actually, some very nice comments from folks. I dig me my readers and friends.

I think there is a wonderful story in Kyle Snyder and I’m happy to tell parts of it here.  I tag everything appropriately so if you aren’t interested in reading about him (although, as I’ve said, my comments and email indicate those interested in Kyle outnumber those who aren’t) you don’t have to.  I apologize for the length of this post but I’m really starting to get annoyed with the Kyle police.  I’m a (relatively) quiet presence on the Internet – if you don’t want to read me you sure don’t have to.

Keep on truckin’, Kyle.  I’ll be here telling folks about it.

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April 30, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 |

5 Comments »

  1. If you don’t care about the people who play the game, I don’t know why you care about baseball. As fans, we can’t control the team: we can’t make plays, we can’t coach, we can’t make out the lineup cards or set the rotation or call for relievers or make trades or draft prospects. But somehow it matters to us whether games we watch are won. The only way I can make this make sense is if we care about the athletes who play the game. They have dreams they, not we, can realize–they suffer through the work they, not we, endure. There’s a purity to what they want that we can only approach–we watch, we follow, but they live the game of baseball. It always amazes me to watch players when they aren’t on the field, tossing baseballs and catching them, as if they can’t get enough. There’s something about their dreams, their work, their achievements, that’s good for US. And that’s true whether they stay on our team, or play for another, or fight to stay in the game.

    And I think every player like Kyle should have someone like you out there to hold up the banner.

    (Only Kyle get’s Steve’s heart, though. Even if I do have to finish that Masterson jersey.)

    Comment by KellyO | April 30, 2010 | Reply

  2. “I’m a firm believer in telling people how I feel. I sleep well at night knowing if something happened to me, I’d leave this world knowing that those I love wouldn’t ever question my feelings for them. I take that with me in every aspect of my life.”

    Yup, me too, Cyn. And my parents recent health problems have highlighted how important this is. Shower the people you love with love. Love you, Cyn.

    Comment by Dewey | April 30, 2010 | Reply

  3. “More people would be interested to read about the Sox not Snyder.”

    I agree with this person; you should always write about what I want to read, when I want to read it. Is that so hard? Jeez.

    Comment by jere | April 30, 2010 | Reply

  4. Every professional athlete deserves and has fans. Being a fan doesn’t mean that we are no longer fans when they they are not active. I have been following Kyle Snyder’s career since he came into the league with Kansas City. I, like Cyn, will always be a Kyle Snyder fan, and hope that he retruns to the MLB soon.
    I commend Cyn for writing about Kyle and other athletes that she follows I enjoy all of the postings, and I am happy to have a fellow Kyle follower.

    Cyn, I hope you will continue to writee about Kyle Snyder. You pour out your heart and write beautufully. I appreciate your talent as well as admire you as a person. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. Kyle and his fans need you….

    Comment by Anna | May 1, 2010 | Reply

  5. Really enjoyed reading this entry,Cyn! You are true to yourself and it shows in your writing! You ROCK!

    Comment by Becky | May 1, 2010 | Reply


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