I woke up this morning to find out that another player who I came to know as a person and for whom I grew to care will no longer be a part of our Astros minor league family. The downside for me in getting to know these young men is that I do become attached to many of them. The upside is that knowing them makes my life richer.
I'm glad I got to see Jason Chowning in action when I was in Lexington. When he was on, he was simply unhittable. I'm also glad I got to see him off the mound as well. He was the guy in the clubhouse that kept things loose. When I asked the ubiquitous question, "Who on the team makes you laugh?" the answer was invariably "Chowning."
But Mike Foltynewicz also told me that he looked up to Jason. When Folty first came to Lexington for his first full season, Jason "took him in" and helped him make the adjustments to the daily grind of baseball. And they became good friends.
Which I can understand. Jason is one of those people who is just easy to connect with. When I'd tweet him about a good performance, I'd generally get back a breezy, "Thank ya mama, I'm tryin." I don't know whether Jason will stay in baseball or whether he will now pursue his other dream of a career in law enforcement, but either way, I wish him the best. I'll be watching, son.