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Do Better, ESPN

So I was watching the ESPYs last night and was pretty shook with one of the awards that was presented. Best Comeback Athlete. The nominees for this award were Joe Burrow, Diamond DeShields, Klay Thompson, and Baltimore’s own, Trey Mancini. Just a little back ground on the nominees, DeShields was hospitalized with having a “grape-sized” tumor in her spinal cord. Thompson suffered a torn Achilles and ACL, while Burrow also suffered a torn ACL to end their seasons. Mancini missed the 2020 season due to him FIGHTING off stage 3 colon cancer. While all of these athletes are absolutely worthy enough of the award for best comeback athlete, there is one that is a no-brainer for me.

Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles heavy hitter and fan favorite, FOUGHT through STAGE 3 COLON CANCER. Cancer has taken so many of our loved ones and we all know the severity of this terrible disease. These players play at the highest level and for Mancini to rejoin his teammates in Baltimore a year after going through 6 months of chemotherapy gives me chills just thinking about it. I had a chance to meet Trey, while I was working with the promotions crew with the Norfolk Tides, their AAA ballclub. Genuine, kind, and competitor are some words that come to mind when thinking about Trey and his time in Norfolk. This is where I get a little frustrated.

On Wednesday, at the ESPYS, Klay Thompson was the winning candidate for the best comeback player award…Yes, Klay, what he went through with two severe injuries and coming back to be a key part in the Golden State Warriors winning their fourth championship since 2015. I am not taking away from the path and dedication he took to get back, but its not comparable to fighting against cancer. There is Christian Eriksen, who nearly died on the soccer pitch during the Euros in 2020. He brought Brentsford to be respectable in the Premier League, and just signed a contract to play with Manchester United. There are so many athletes that have come back from SO MUCH more than Klay Thompson.

I think this is where our country has gone with their view on sports. NFL and NBA are two of the top viewed and beloved sports currently in our country. MLB is definitely America’s past time, but that is where it is…in the past. It has not gained the attention of the youth in the past decade. Klay wins this award because its the “popular” choice. Was is the correct choice for the “Comeback Player” of the year award. I’m going to have to disagree. I ask for ESPN to take into consideration the severity of what the athlete has gone through and how they come back to their respective sport. Mancini batted .255 in 2021 and is currently batting .277 in 2022. He is a key part of this Orioles rebuild and team. Klay had some good games, but without Steph, he is not were he is now. I am a Red Sox fan, but there will not be once that I root against Trey Mancini, knowing his story and what kind of person he is.

Published by AJ

VA is home. Huge baseball and football guy. Former college athlete. Have a niche for finding sports teams that create heartbreak in my life.

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