Monday, February 6, 2012
Jeremy Guthrie, 2011 Topps Diamond #321
When the O's claimed Jeremy off of waivers from the Indians in the spring of 2007, I was among those who assumed that it was a desperate attempt to strike gold with another team's castoff. Instead, they got a dependable starting pitcher who easily would have been a perennial 15-game winner with any kind of offensive support. Looking back, I realize that I was present for his Camden Yards debut, a solid three-inning, one-run effort in long relief on a chilly April 10. He struck out three Tigers in a 3-1 O's loss, and within a month he was in the starting rotation to stay.
The thing that really struck me about Guthrie was the way he seemed to enjoy his profession, his teammates, and his fans. Through Twitter, he made it clear that he didn't take himself as seriously as many more standoffish athletes do. He regularly interacted with all kinds of people online, even going so far as to fulfill Christmas wishes that were tweeted to him: signed photos and memorabilia, even phone calls to some lucky fans. He also encouraged people to be socially responsible, setting the example by biking to Camden Yards on game days. That's the Jeremy Guthrie who was on display today with his classy farewell remarks to the O's organization and the community at large.
It seems to me that Jeremy Guthrie is a better person than he is a baseball player, and I mean that as a compliment. I hope he thrives in Denver.