Professional sports can be a cruel world. One minute you’re preparing to help the organization you’ve spent your entire career with repeat as champions; the next you’re on a flight across the country to join a rebuilding team you know nothing about. That’s exactly what happened to Cristian Pache this offseason, who was traded to Oakland in the deal that netted the Braves Matt Olson.
What made you feel for the young man even more was that — before the trade — Pache had recently become very active on Twitter, acknowledging fans in the most humble way possible. People would send him hate, and he would turn the other cheek and simply say, “God bless.” It became impossible not to love the kid, and within a matter of moments, his Braves career was over before it ever really started.
Of course, Pache was disappointed, but his spirits remained high for his new opportunity with the Athletics, where he’s been given a chance to play everyday. To this point, the results have been lackluster. Despite his plus-defense in centerfield, he’s still yet to prove he can handle major-league pitching. Pache is hitting just .164 this season with a couple of homers over 53 games. That’s not going to cut it, and he knows that, but that hasn’t stopped Braves Country from supporting him, which he acknowledged Tuesday night.
Before yesterday’s game, Pache’s first time against his old team, he talked about how much he appreciates the love he still receives from Braves fans.
Cristian Pache received his ring before tonight’s game. He told me this afternoon he’s been pleasantly surprised by how much love and support #Braves fans still give him on social media.
“It makes me very happy.” @cristianpache25
— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) June 7, 2022
As a fan, you never want your club to lose trades. It would sting if Matt Olson didn’t pan out in Atlanta while Cristian Pache turned into Andruw Jones and Shea Langeliers became JT Realmuto. However, Pache will always have a fan in me. His attitude could make Ebenezer Scrooge crack a smile. He’s impossible not to love, and I hope he finds a way to right the ship and turn things around. At least he’s in an organization where he should receive plenty of opportunities over the next few seasons.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire