I Continue to Love Everything Dansby Swanson Says
It’s all going to matter most what he does on the field now that he’s signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs, but we can’t know that part until the regular season begins. All we can know so far about Dansby Swanson is how he is becoming part of the Cubs organization, how he works with the staff, how he develops relationships with his teammates, and so on and so forth.
To that end, so far, I remain impressed by everything this guy says. From his introductory press conference to his work on mental health to his expectations for the team. It is everything you’d want to hear from a player in whom the Cubs are investing so much.
The latest edition of “man this guy just GETS it” comes from a Steve Greenberg column at the Sun-Times, with Swanson discussing, among other things, how he works with younger players:
‘‘I should do it and I have to do it because that’s just part of the gig,’’ Swanson told Greenberg of working with younger players. ‘‘I’ve got to know everyone, got to be familiar with everyone, so when those kids have a chance to make an impact, they’ll be able to have an impact and be comfortable doing it.
‘‘I’ve never been a guy who looks down on kids because they’re younger, like: ‘You’re in High-A? I’m in the big leagues. Who are you?’ That’s not me. I’m here to help you learn to be the best. But with that love also comes the respect factor, understanding there are certain dos and don’ts as a young kid and helping guide him and teach him how to be a professional.’’
Swanson wants to be the leader of this team, and he knows that means being there not only for his current teammates, but his future teammates as well. Think about the wealth of experience he already has that he can share with them, from being a top overall pick to a big-time prospect to being traded to going through big league struggles to winning a championship to hitting free agency. And that’s to say nothing of the baseball skills and knowledge he has to impart as well.
I really appreciated an anecdote in Greenberg’s article, where Swanson was talking about Braves prospect Vaughn Grissom, who is expected to replace Swanson at shortstop this year. Grissom was coming up last year as an impact youngster for the Braves, and all Swanson cared about was making sure Grissom was the best player he could be. He didn’t care about the possibility that, the better Grissom played, the more likely it was that the Braves could feel comfortable moving on from Swanson. Instead, Swanson just wanted to win games, which meant the most important thing was helping Grissom be as good as he could be. “If I could teach him, I was going to teach him.”
More at the Sun-Times on Swanson’s leadership, his emphasis on playing every day, and what he’s bringing with him from Atlanta.