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DO YOU BELIEVE IN JOSE BAUTISTA?
Joe Posnanski
June 27, 2011
By the time he turned 29, the Blue Jays' slugger had been cut or traded six times. By the time he turns 31, he could become the first player in a decade to hit 50 home runs in consecutive seasons. Crazy? Suspicious? Not as much as you might think
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June 27, 2011

Do You Believe In Jose Bautista?

By the time he turned 29, the Blue Jays' slugger had been cut or traded six times. By the time he turns 31, he could become the first player in a decade to hit 50 home runs in consecutive seasons. Crazy? Suspicious? Not as much as you might think

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At first he seems nervous. But as the filming goes on, he looks more at ease. The actors are funny. They're friendly. And this, he figures, is the sort of things superstars do.

"Do you want me to actually hit the ball?" he asks the director.

"No," the director says. "Just pretend to hit it."

"Because I'll hit it," he says. Everybody in the room laughs. It is a good room—full of friends, a place of respect—and he says again, "No, I'm serious, I'll hit it."

Back in the clubhouse, he works with Toronto's talented but moody shortstop Yunel Escobar. ("It's amazing how big an effect he's had on Yunel," one Blue Jays employee says. "It's night and day.") He keeps up everybody's spirits during batting practice. "He's a natural leader," Farrell says. Off the field he chats with fans, seems endlessly patient with media questions, performs with Sopranos actors....

Point is, he's trying to embrace being a superstar. It's what he's wanted all his life.

Do you believe in miracles? Can you? There are people who roll their eyes every time they look at Toronto's box scores. Hey, look, Jose Bautista hit another home run. Hey, look, Jose Bautista reached base four more times. Hey, look, Jose Bautista has turned into Babe Ruth.

"One thing I believe with all my heart is that the kind of person you are will eventually come to light," Bautista says. "You can only be yourself. I know what kind of person I am ... what kind of person I try to be. So I don't worry about it. People will know who I am."

Do you believe in miracles? Can you? Or maybe those are the wrong questions. Maybe the real question is: Do you believe that people who never stop trying or believing are capable of doing amazing true things? And if not: What's the point of watching?

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