Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – It’s not easy being an Indians player these days, just ask the ace of their pitching staff – Justin Masterson.
The Tribe hurler threw a solid game Saturday night as the team finally broke their 9-game losing streak, beating the Yankees 3-1 at Progressive Field.
Masterson is no stranger to breaking losing streaks, he was the on the winning end when the Indians broke their 11-game losing streak earlier in the month.
The pitcher, always candid and outgoing in talking about how he feels about his profession, admitted Saturday night that walking around town these days isn’t an easy thing to do.
So what’s the message the pitcher would give to fans?
“It sucks for us more than it does for you,” Masterson said. “They (fans) are like ‘we’ve been watching for a long time,’ and I’m like yeah – but this is our job, that’s what makes it more frustrating the way I look at for myself.”
The Indians pitcher has always tried to stay calm and cool, whether it’s on the mound, in the locker room or out in public. It doesn’t mean it’s always an easy thing to do.
“This is my job, this is my profession, I’m supposed to, you know, not be perfect, but do well, and when your not, especially collectively, it’s tough,” Masterson said.
Playing sports in an animal that most will never understand. There’s not many other jobs in the world where you are in the public eye as much as playing sports, with every move and in Masterson’s case, every pitch being dissected.
Having a ‘bad day at the office’ is a whole different story for a ball player when he has to hear about it on the radio or television being slammed by those that root for the team.
“You go to a meeting and you blow the meeting – it’s not fun, and those around you like those you work with in your company, they may be upset with you, just like our fans may be upset with us,” Masterson said.
While it’s not so much fun to be a player on a bad team like now for Indians players, it comes with the territory when your making quite a bit more salary-wise than the average 9-5 worker.
For Masterson, he says hearing feedback from the fans, even if it’s not always wine and roses, is something he looks forward to as he and team try to make the final six weeks of 2012 the best it can be.
“I enjoy (hearing from the fans) because I know they care,” Masterson said. “Whether people trying to tell me how to pitch and stuff, you look at it, and you understand because at least they care.
“Even after we got home after a couple tough road trips and the fans still giving us a cheer still. They are still fighting for us, still fighting for themselves.”
Masterson has the right mindset about the fans and how they feel. While it comes with being a ball player, sometimes fans forget that these are husbands, fathers, and sons as well.
The Tribe pitcher hopes that they won’t have to defend themselves too much longer about their poor performances, but till then, know that what you say and how you feel doesn’t go unnoticed.