Here’s a make-you-feel-better-about-this-cold-and-crappy-world story. It’s from Jason Beck of MLB.com. It’s about Wynton Bernard, Tigers farmhand. Who, after he was released from the Padres organization and couldn’t latch on anyplace, made his way into the Tigers organization via the Tigers’ annual tryout camp:
In many ways, the tryout is the opposite of the game. A player is taught to ride the daily ups and downs and trust the results of a season. In a tryout, it’s one player against the guy next to him, and a bad at-bat, a bad play, sends a guy home . . .
“. . . There was one point where one of the guys told us, ‘It’s OK. You guys can go home.’ So I packed my bag. And I think it was Dave Owen who said, ‘No, we want you to stay.'”
Bernard went on to hit .323 with 30 doubles, six homers, 47 RBIs and 45 stolen bases, earning Midwest League MVP honors last season with the West Michigan Whitecaps. The odds he makes the bigs? Long, most likely. But the fact that he has made the best of a bad situation and made it back into a major league organization in as improbable a manner as he did is something he’ll always have with him.
The Tigers will have another tryout camp on March 9. Maybe someone else will use it to hold on to their dream a bit longer.