Casey Blake: Go Away? Never!
Casey Blake is a Major League baseball player, yet he is always looking for a free haircut.
Brian Slocum, a fringe minor league player for the Cleveland organization will occasionally get called up when the Indians are in a pinch.
He also cuts hair.
So, naturally whenever Slocum comes up from Buffalo, Blake gets his haircut and is a very happy man.
I'm going to assume that the hair cut is free, but Casey Blake is such a great guy, I'm also going to assume he repays Slocum back in a different way.
It probably isn't Blake sweeping up either, which he will frequently do after his trim.
What is the point of saying all of this?
The point is, Casey Blake is a simple guy. The guy looks like he should be a farmer in some large country area in the mid-west.
For all we know, he could have been one growing up in Iowa.
But, that statement couldn't be more wrong.
Casey Blake was a four sport athlete in high school, running track and playing baseball, basketball, and football.
Simple guy? Despite his four sport talent, as simple as you can get.
You hear of that player for every team, the one that does it all, never gets any of the credit, and never says a word about anything.
Casey Blake is the Indians' king of deadpan humor, and in the same way he tells a joke, he talks about his team. It doesn't change for Blake.
He is always there, doing his job, shutting his mouth, and never getting credit.
In fact, he actually gets credit taken away from him.
For the past few years now, most people—including myself, have said "Casey Blake needs to be moved to the bench, he is great but he serves a better purpose as a backup."
We always end up eating our words.
When Aaron Boone was signed, Casey Blake had to learn a new position, off to right field you go.
When Trot Nixon was signed, Casey Blake had to share right field and play some first base.
Then when Andy Marte went down with an injury, and Ryan Garko was swinging a big bat, that third base spot came calling once again.
Did Blake ever complain?
Not once, and why should he? Like I said, he is a simple guy, and he is playing baseball for money. I think anyone would shut their mouth and do their job if that was the case.
This past off-season Casey Blake finally got rewarded for all his hard work. He got a one year deal that will pay him over six million dollars this year.
Most importantly though, I don't think anyone doubted Blake. They were ready for another year of Casey at third.
However, it didn't take long for the doubters to reappear, and yes I was one of them. While I didn't suggest he lose his job, I did suggest we see more Marte.
Now, Blake has made that nearly impossible.
A little over a week ago, on April 17th, Casey Blake's average was hovering around .152 with seven runs batted in and no home runs.
Today, his average stands at .239 with two home runs, and a team leading 18 runs batted in.
I want to say I'll never doubt Casey Blake again, he raised his average 87 points in a matter of a week and a few days.
But, I know that just isn't true. I probably will at some point during the year, because when it comes down to it his numbers with runners in scoring position aren't just that good and he is always a target for blame.
Fact of the matter is though, Casey Blake is clutch, and has come up and delivered in those situations.
Not just offensively, but in every other way as well. Now, if only we could find him a free haircut when Slocum isn't around.
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