Thursday, December 16, 2010

PLAYER MOLD: Mr. Perfect

The name says it all - this guy's perfect. He's an all-star on the field, he looks great in a baseball uniform, and he looks even better with his smoking hot - yet sweetest girl you've ever met in your life - girlfriend on his arm. He's got the size, he's got the talent, and soon enough, he'll have the money to go with it. This kid has every reason in the world to be a cocky Superstar, and who could blame him? Life is pretty good for Mr. Perfect.

He hasn't let anything go to his head, and he seems to be appreciating all the perks and recognition that have come his way. He's got a friendly demeanor in the clubhouse and never has anything bad to say about anybody. He enjoys the game. Baseball is a treat for him - partly because it doesn't present to him the same frustration that it instills in everybody else, but mainly because of the childlike fun he has playing it. He knows the game. He understands it. Yet he works hard. Wait, it's kinda weird how hard he works. Yeah, why does he work so hard? And why's he always asking me how I'm doing? Something's up with this guy.

Mr. Perfect harnesses the rare combination of top talent, a good work ethic, social skills, and a strong moral compass. This combo is so rare that people cannot help but question his motives. His talent on the field speaks for itself, but he does community service too? Get outta here.

Mr. Perfect often sees backlash from haters who refuse to believe someone would actually always do the right thing. Take the Tim Tebow experience. I'd say it's embarrassingly close to 50/50 on people loving and hating the Gator QB. The worst dirt the bashers could dig up? 'Virgin!' -- 'God-lover!' -- 'Why don't you go make out with Urban Meyer!' National championship. Heisman. National championship.

People are suspicious of good intentions and jealous of accomplishments, that's simply human nature. It's not until you spend some time with Mr. Perfect playing cards during a rain-out that you realize he's the real deal. He's hitting .397 and won't stop talking about the gapper you hit yesterday. He invited you out to dinner after the game with his parents who are visiting. You set up a time to work on some stuff in the cages together before early outs. This kid's a legitimately nice guy. And just like that, you go from skeptic to believer. You want to be best friends. You want him to marry your sister. You go from hatred to man-crush. How could anybody not like this guy?

You feed off of his work ethic. He makes you a better player. The team rallies around his attitude and love for the game, and come crunch time he always delivers. He's perfect. And until you get to know him, you will hate him for it.

Big League Version: Joe Mauer
Movie Shout Out: Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez

The Project
Mr. Perfect
The Grinder
The Superstar

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