The Trials of Travis

From his initial signing in 1996, Travis Lee has been touted as the cornerstone of the franchise. The weight of the future was levied upon his shoulders by the local media and team officials. From the beginning, he would be the first baseman of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Travis played one year in the minor leagues moving from class A High Desert to triple A Tucson. At each step, the fans were led to believe that he would be the baseball savior. Some of this of course stems from the fact that the Diamondbacks gave this young player $10 million to sign with the Diamondbacks. Fans began to reason that anyone worth that much money must be some sort of baseball god. In his rookie season in 1998, Travis started out putting up numbers that everyone would come to expect. He is the holder of many of the Arizona Diamondbacks records of franchise firsts. Travis has the first hit, the first RBI, the first home run, the first stolen base. During the first three months of the season, Travis could do no wrong. His legend and his fans grew immensely. Then the unthinkable happened. Travis got hurt, pitchers began to make adjustments, and he experienced adversity. This problem continued in 1999 and soon Travis found that his playing time was being limited for perhaps the first time in his career. This coupled with the meteoric rise of Erubiel Durazo left Travis’s star tainted. This year, Travis was asked to move from his comfortable position of first base to the outfield. There he played very well but continued to struggle at the plate. At home games, he began hearing a mixture of boos with the cheers. Fans began getting very critical of Travis. How could anyone who got $10 million play so poorly? Forget that he is playing for the league minimum, has since the first season. All anyone remembers is that he received $10 million to sign. The final straw came today when Travis was sent to the minors. It is probably the best thing that could happen to him. He can go down and gain some confidence. Perhaps that is all he is lacking. The chance to go down and light the Tucson skies with home runs and RBI. I still believe in Travis and think he will be the type of player that comes around only once a generation. I just hope when he gets all of his tools together that he is still a Diamondback.


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