Hello. I am your elevator porter-- welcome on to the Major League Baseball Elevator. We go up, and we go down-- visiting various floors of professional baseball.
On the top level-- Major League Baseball. The Show. Even this level has levels-- there is a penthouse for the legends, and soon to be legends-- those heading to the MLB Hal of Fame. Below that are the players whose careers will be fruitful, lucrative-- and forgotten, except for statistics in the Elias Sports Bureau, and some clippings of their achievements on the sports pages of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Sometimes on the elevator that is Major League Baseball, paths cross-- one player going up, one going down. That happened Sunday evening in Columbus, Ohio, when up and coming Louisville Bats catcher Nevin Ashley faced former Major League star Daisuke Matsuzaka. Ashley-- a North Knox High School product-- is a catcher who is one level removed from "The Show." He is also one foul tip injury away from promotion to the Cincinnati Reds. Ashley-- and the rest of the Triple A hopefuls-- are trying to get where "Dice-K" was at one time-- a star in "The Show." Matsuzaka was a "Show" stopper... a great pitcher with the Boston Red Sox in their best years. He even won a World Series ring with the Sox. But in recent years, injuries and time have taken their toll, and Matsuzaka is desperately trying to regain what he lost.
This day though, Dice-K had Ashley's number. Nevin came into the the game hitting a very respectable .294 with three homers and 18 RBI's for a team struggling to score runs. This day though, he went 0 for 2 against the Asian trailblazer. But in the words of the late, great Buck O'Neil-- "Baseball can bring you up here... but don't get too cocky, because tomorrow, it can bring you down there. But the good thing is, there will always BE a tomorrow. You got me today-- but I'm coming back!"
Baseball is a game of tomorrows-- and of elevator rides. Ashley's is heading up; unfortunately, Dice-K's may be going down. This baseball elevator has been taking players for rides since Alexander Cartwright codified baseball in 1849... and for the 164 years since. Going up, going down-- that's life on the baseball elevator.
That's my take... I'm Tom Lee.