“This is weird,” first baseman Matt Olson told reporters in a Zoom interview on Sunday as he sat in front of an A's backdrop.
The new way we hold interviews will take a bit to adjust to -- just as the two-time Gold Glove Award winner will have to get used to receiving attention. He’s not one for the limelight.
“That’s kind of how I like it,” Olson said. “You all kind of know that by now.”
Olson was smiling as he made the statement, but staying away from the attention might present a problem. He has his impressive numbers to blame for that.
He won’t be able to get the at-bats he’s used to or deserves in the shortened 60-game season, but Olson never lets a short stint get in the way of his success.
Coming off of a broken hamate bone early last season, despite missing six weeks of play, Olson managed to tally 60 hits in 60 games with 40 RBI in that timeframe. In 127 total games, he finished with a .267/.545/.896 with a .368 wOBA and 134 wRC+. Oh, and he hit 36 balls over the fence as well.
Olson even was in AL MVP talks last season -- well, more like whispers. And A's manager Bob Melvin is sure Olson will be an MVP one day. Perhaps sooner than we think.
The numbers matter to him, sure -- the attention attached to them? Not so much. But the terms “overlooked,” and “underappreciated” continue to be stamped on the 26-year-old.
“I just like to go out and do what I do and not make a big deal about it," Olson said. "I do think I’m one of the better first basemen, and go out there and I play with the confidence, but I’m cool if I’m not all in the press when I’m going well.”
That makes this article a bit ironic, doesn’t it? Oh well.