Jul 23, 2021 3 min read

The Yermin Mercedes story shows the reality of baseball

The Yermin Mercedes story shows the reality of baseball

Baseball transactions involve human beings, a fact we're seeing in this week's drama.

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Good morning, frents!

So it turns out that Yermin Mercedes retirement lasted about as long as Dave McGinnis' tenure as head coach of the Chicago Bears.

The current Charlotte Knights catcher and former April sensation for the Sox deleted Wednesday night's retirement post from Instagram and replaced it with a new picture of a rising phoenix on Thursday.

"I will never quit," read part of the post.

It wasn't the day's only social media activity. A man claiming to be Mercedes' uncle posted on Twitter that his nephew had "got frustrated with how the White Sox handled him" and that he wanted to be traded or released after being demoted earlier this month.

Mercedes, though, must have reconsidered or been talked out of his "It's over" declaration. He was in uniform for Charlotte's Thursday night game against the Durham Bulls, but did not play.

So what now?

It's hard to say what happens when we don't know the whole story. Most of us can relate to a setback we've had in our personal or professional lives and the impulse we've felt to immediately quit. Mercedes isn't any different, though he had the misfortune of acting on that impulse in front of an entire sport — most of which was trying to translate an Instagram post written in Spanish.

It's a good reminder, as Tony La Russa said on Wednesday, that every baseball transaction is different. It's easy for fans to get think roster shuffling is soulless and that the principals take it as easily as we do.

But these are human beings we're talking about. They're baseball players who have played thousands of games at maximum effort for minimal money and the dream of one day reaching the major leagues.

To get pushed back from the big table after thinking you might've arrived for good?

Well, that's gotta suck.

At the same time, no one's ever been ignorant of the realities of baseball as a business.

Just as no one was ignorant to the shortcomings that kept Mercedes a career minor leaguer deep into his 20s.

Sox Machine's Jim Margalus did an excellent breakdown showing Mercedes' inability to hit anything faster than 92 MPH and the trouble he's run into with two-strike counts. His thin profile on defense made Seby Zavala a more attractive option as a backup to Zack Collins with Yasmani Grandal on the IL.

It remains to be seen if Mercedes will get a spot on the team with September's expanded rosters. With the Sox presumably running away with the AL Central, it'd be a good time to get Mercedes more looks at major league pitching and figure out if his time in Charlotte fixed anything.

But the possibility of Mercedes simply being a four-week wonder is very real. And how both player and team might deal with that fact is a drama that's already playing out in front of us.

Up next: The Sox hit Milwaukee for a fun and beer-fueled series that culminates in a Sunday night date on ESPN. Lucas Giolito (8-6, 3.90) starts tonight against Freddy Peralta (7-3, 2.39).

News and results


Cardinals 3, Cubs 2: The slog continues

Three losses in four games in St. Louis this week with only Tuesday's six-run comeback in the ninth preventing a clean sweep. Kris Bryant made a pinch-hit appearance in this one — a walk in the eighth — and should be playing in front of plenty of scouts at Wrigley this weekend. T-minus seven days until the trading deadline.

Up next: The D-Backs arrive on the North Side for three. games. Zach Davies (5-6, 4.35) starts today against Zac Gallen (1-4, 3.86).

Busy news day for the Blackhawks

  • Amended versions of the two lawsuits brought light to a new round of disturbing allegations against former video coach Bradley Aldrich from former Hawks player "John Doe."
  • The team's 2021-22 schedule was released. The season opens Oct. 13 in Denver with the home opener Oct. 19 against the Islanders.
  • The Hawks are making a big push for Columbus d-man Seth Jones, per Elliotte Friedman. The success of the deal seems to hinge on the Hawks finding a good enough trade package that doesn't include Kirby Dach or Alex DeBrincat.
  1. The "Meet The Rookies" episode with Justin Fields dropped last night. YouTube
  2. Potential second-round targets for the Bulls. NBC Sports Chicago
  3. Sit back, relax and strap it down: Hawk Harrelson will be honored in Cooperstown this weekend. Sun-Times
  4. The Big Ten preseason prediction poll is out. One guess who's favored to win the league. Cleveland.com
  5. The Chicago pop-up bar devoted to hard seltzer. Eater Chicago

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