I know there will be some people who read the story in the Trib today and think that Polanco was highly critical of the fans. I really feel what he said was on point, there are so many sports "fans" who are full of vitriol, who spew nasty (and sometimes personal) criticisms toward athletes. To me, the whole situation with Polanco is sad.

On a personal note, my family was at the game a few weeks back against the Brewers. My boys were so excited to see players such as Christian Yelich and yelled to any and every player they saw for some form of acknowledgement. Only Gregory Polanco took the time to acknowledge them. He smiled and waved, and my kids have done nothing but gush about it since. Yes it was a small thing, but regardless of his play, Polanco tries to connect with the fans, which is why I think what's happened the past few days cut so deep with him.

He's never been the same since he was injured, maybe he never will be. Sure, he's not lived up to what people thought he would be. Neither did Gerrit Cole, nor did Tyler Glasnow, Mitch Keller, so many others. This indicates to me that the failures with Polanco were a combination of his injuries and the previous regime. As he said, all he's ever done was try.

One need really only look at the play which altered the trajectory of his career: it was the bottom of the 6th inning in a game the Pirates were trailing, their record at 69-71, well out of contention for anything. It this context, he was hustling for a double and needed to hook slide to avoid being tagged out (or so he thought). He could have just went in and gotten tagged out, and no one would have faulted him for his aggressive baserunning. He didn't, he was still trying.

Maybe you hate his production, that's fine. It hasn't been pretty to watch him since that night in 2018. You can't hate him as a symbol of what's wrong with the Pirates, because he's not it.

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