Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Is karma to blame for Aroldis Chapman's recent woes?

The going has been tough lately for no. 54

"What goes around comes around." "You reap what you sew." "You get what you deserve."

These are all ways to express a belief held by many that karma really does exist. Good deeds and actions breed future good, while bad ones breed, well you know the rest.

Given the adversity that Aroldis Chapman has been dealt with lately, one has to wonder if his transgressions have anything to do with his current poor performance on the mound. The left-hander has gone from virtually unhittable during the first two months of the season, to getting knocked around like a pinata over the last two weeks.

And with all the controversy swirling around his personal life this year, it's not far-fetched to see why. Chapman has been sued, robbed, ticketed, and arrested so far this season -- and that's all occurred within the last month alone. It doesn't matter if you boast a 100+ MPH fastball or not, going through situations like that is going to affect anyone. Chapman is no different.

The Cuban Missile hasn't been his self ever since. He's been the losing pitcher of record in four of his last seven appearances and is sporting an ERA of 11.00 during that same span. He's also blown three saves during this stretch including two straight. He's quickly gone from being an obvious selection in the All-Star Game to being in jeopardy of losing his job as the Reds' closer.

So, the question that arises here is this: What can we expect out of the fireballing hurler? Is this latest showing by him a more realistic depiction of what we can expect from him? Or is the Chapman we saw earlier in the year something we can consistently rely on?

I'm going to say "no" on each of those last two questions. What he managed to do in April and May is not something we're likely to see again. However, the trend we've seen out of him lately isn't likely to continue either. He'll eventually get back to shutting down opposing hitters and lighting up scoreboards, but in order to do so he'll have to aim to make better decisions off the field. Ultimately, he's brought upon this bad karma to himself and it's going to take himself to help prevent any further mishaps.

Too often you see athletes with special talents ruin their careers through various reasons -- drugs, womanizing, gambling, etc. I just hope Chapman doesn't become one of them.   

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