I heard the term again during last night’s All-Star Game. I wish I could remember the exact quote but when Paul Goldschmidt came to bat in the second inning, Harold Reynolds either uttered the word “overlooked” or “underrated” to describe him. I rolled my eyes because it certainly wasn’t the first nor will it be the last time those words will be used to describe the great Goldschmidt. But I ask myself and all of you: who is it exactly that overlooks Paul Goldschmidt?
Certainly not the fans. After all, it was Goldy’s second consecutive All-Star start, the first time an Arizona Diamondbacks’ position player has received that honor. He beat out Adrian Gonzalez and Anthony Rizzo, guys who come from huge markets with sizable national followings. Was it all the Kansas City Royals fans who got four of their guys elected as starters, stuffing the ballot box for their small market brethern? No, it was because baseball fans who pay attention to the game know that the premier first baseman in the National League resides in Arizona. So it’s not the fans who overlook him.
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Try the media. What is the old saying, if you tell yourself something you know is a lie you will eventually believe it to be true? That’s how it is Paul Goldschmidt is overlooked in the eyes of the baseball media. As an example, I refer back to something I wrote last month which you can read here. It was about how mlb.com columnist Phil Rogers framed the choice to start the All-Star Game at first base between Gonzalez and Rizzo. He mentioned Goldschmidt but only in passing. You can click on the article here and then read the comments by readers. Teh majority of fans, not just of the D’backs, said Goldy deserved to start, hands down. Rogers wrote a later piece, found here, that framed the debate as Goldschmidt vs. Gonzalez. Very nice but why wasn’t that written the first time around when Goldy had superior numbers to both Gonzalez and Rizzo?
Now, you can say that Goldschmidt does get recognized by the media and I am being ultra-paranoid. After all, the media voted him as the runner-up to Andrew McCutchen in the 2013 NL MVP race. That’s about the only instance of any kind of love shown him without the “underrated” attached to him. How about we rectify some of that? In the three and a half seasons of writing about the D’backs, I do not believe they have been on Sunday Night Baseball once. They have been featured on national telecasts on opening night with nothing the rest of the year and the occasional Saturday night. If the media wants Goldschmidt to stop being so “overlooked” how about a Dodgers-D’backs game on Sunday night or a Mets-D’backs game on a Saturday in prime time? Oh that’s right, the fans don’t overlook Goldy. It’s the people that cover baseball that do.