No player likes to have to take a step back, even if it's a detour that will help their career in the long run. When you're in the minor leagues, the only way to get to the Show is up, and anything else is often viewed as a failure.
That's why I'm so impressed with Aeros backup catcher Javier Herrera. Herrera is a good defensive catcher. But like most defensive catchers, he struggles on offense. So much so, that after spending all of 2005 and the first half of 2006 in Akron, the Indians sent him back to Class-A Kinston while promoting young catcher Wyatt Toregas. (See my story in the Beacon Thursday for more on the relationship between Herrera and Toregas.)
It was a tough time for Herrera, but he took it in stride. Not that he didn't want to be in Akron, but he UNDERSTOOD why he needed to be in Kinston. And even when the Indians brought him back to Akron this year - to be Toregas' backup - Herrera still has handled it with maturity.
"I didn't want to go down, but I was in total agreement with their decision,'' Herrera said. "I had a bad start and Wyatt was on fire. He was doing everything he needed to move up and I wasn't.''
Refreshing. Honestly, you just don't hear guys say that - and mean it.
I don't know if Herrera is ever going to make it to the majors, but it's hard not to root for him and hope he finds the way.
That being said, who are the good guys in the game you root for?