The Indians have asked a lot of Yu Chang this year. The former shortstop has transitioned to a corner infielder, namely playing third base. Now, the 25-year-old, Taiwanese player is trying to shore up the hole at first base. He had a decent game against the White Sox, he pulled one heck of a double play in the sixth, and when he tried to do it again in the ninth, bounced the ball off of a baserunner’s head.
You win some, you lose some.
Yet, after the game-ending error, Chang ended up getting lambasted by racist trolls who apparently value an early season, no consequences game over being a decent human being. Chang, who’s stepped up whenever Terry Francona has asked him to, stepped up again by calling out the bigots.
Chang made a throwing error, big whop. It’s not the end of the world and it’s not even like it’ll make a difference in the season. Baseball isn’t football, even if everyone thinks it is. Baseball isn’t a one-game-make-or-break sport. Baseball is made up of series and even then, a lot of them. Especially in division rivals like the White Sox.
Do you know how many opportunities against just that one team alone that Chang is going to have to redeem himself? Heck, he already turned a crazy double play three innings prior. Some people just suck.
Chang, for his part, is doing good work so far at the plate. While it’s not overly impressive, he’s hitting .250 while splitting time with Jake Bauers. Chang has two doubles, two RBI’s, and two walks on the young season. With Bauers’ struggles and uncertainty with if/when Bobby Bradley gets called up this season, Chang could find himself as the only reliable first base option going.
Considering how he’s handled the platoon situation with Bauers, changing positions (twice), and now these racists, it’s fair to say that Chang is developing nicely into a reliable member of the team. The Indians need players like Chang to succeed.
He’s not someone who’s going to let obstacles or fools get in his way.