Ryan Vogelsong And The World Baseball Classic

Ryan Vogelsong and family. (Flickr/randychiu)

On Monday, it was announced that Ryan Vogelsong will be joining Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.

By now, everyone is aware that Buster Posey is Captain America and that needs no further explanation.

But Ryan Vogelsong? He’s your Baseball Everyman in a sense.

Here is a man who returned to the Giants on a minor league contract after a long journey. From being traded to playing in Japan, he worked hard and every thing returned, full circle.

Vogelsong often refers to the chip on his shoulder, most notably in the World Series and when he was snubbed from the 2012 All-Star Game.

There was never any doubt of his ability to pitch, however. In 2012, he posted an ERA/FIP/xFIP line of 3.37/3.70/4.15. His K/9 was at 7.50 and BB/9 at 2.94. Call him a really, really good fourth starter, if you will.

With two years of pitching for the Giants under his belt, he’s now tackling the World Baseball Classic and pitching for Team USA.

It doesn’t take a computer to know that the chip on his shoulder is still there, regardless of all the expectations he’s exceeded.

But, as it obviously seems, he’s not the hero that goes without saying. He’s not the ace who wows people with filthy curveballs and knee-buckling change-ups, pitch after pitch after pitch, putting up straight zeroes on the scoreboard. He isn’t the top prospect who quickly rose through the ranks of the minor leagues and continued to amaze people in the big leagues.

No, here is a pitcher who didn’t make it big until he was 33. Here’s the guy who goes onto the field and goes, “I’m of the opinion that screw you and I’m here to pitch better than you think I can.”

All-Star Game his first year back in MLB; got a fifth place Cy Young vote, too. Second year, no All-Star Game, no Cy Young vote — but he’s got a ring.

Ryan Vogelsong playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic — regardless of the opinions about players partaking in the event over staying at spring training — gives you a hero to root for along side players like R.A Dickey. He wasn’t bult a superhero, but he can be. And being a Team USA pitcher is a Captain America moment, but a little less Steve Rogers and a little more James Howlett.

And that’s your Baseball Everyman.


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