As the weeks progress, the legend of one Daniel David Norris continues to grow. And his lore took a big leap forward this week as not only one but two sports networks did features on Norris earlier this week.
Both were great pieces of work and unearthed their own interesting quotes and revelations from one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects.
Those surrounding the Blue Jays organization may have heard Norris’ “man in the van” stories umpteen times by now, but having ESPN cover Daniel Norris is kind of validation for what many already knew.
It’s kind of like watching that indie band you’ve followed for years finally hit it big. Actually, now that I think of it … Daniel Norris is kind of a walking indie band. And if the world’s biggest sports network takes notice, Daniel Norris must be doing something right.
Sportsnet Feature with Stephen Brunt
“NBC … is that like a big network?”
Not surprisingly, Stephen Brunt put forth another one of his classic video essays, and this time around the focus was none other than Daniel Norris.
Along the way, Norris even stopped by the beach to shave off his signature beard. But it really is unfortunate he didn’t keep the moustache.
ESPN Feature – Van Life
“I sleep with a machete – I use it to cut my apples.”
This one was definitely the biggie. In addition to this video feature, ESPN did a full-length feature story on Daniel Norris aptly titled “The Man in the Van“.
If people in baseball didn’t know about Daniel Norris before this article, they certainly will now. It actually delves into a lot of his past and why Daniel is the way he is.
Perhaps the most fascinating and telling thing about that article revealed that Norris spent all of $14 dollars on a new t-shirt the day that his $2 million dollar signing bonus cleared. A true testament not only to his restraint, but also his overall character.
Fighting for the Fifth Starter’s Spot
“The organization loves [Norris] so his time will come, whether it’s right now or not.” – John Gibbons.
All the extraneous stuff about Daniel Norris aside, he’s still in the midst of fighting for a spot in the Blue Jays starting rotation. He certainly looked the part of one of the Blue Jays’ starting pitchers against the Orioles earlier this week.
Far be it to for the Blue Jays to declare a fifth starter this early on in Spring Training, but if things continue to trend the way they are, Norris would be poised to take that fifth starter’s spot, and Aaron Sanchez would be relegated to the bullpen.
The thing with Aaron Sanchez is the club is kind of under the gun to make a decision on him relatively quickly. If the Blue Jays still intend on making a definitive decision by mid-March, that really only gives Sanchez two more outings to make an impact.
Currently, Aaron Sanchez’ repertoire kind of lends itself better to being used in relief situations, while Daniel Norris’ repertoire is better suited as a starter.
If the organization really does love Norris as much as John Gibbons indicated, it sounds like he may may the team either way. Again, it’s still very early in the proceedings, but my gut tells me Daniel Norris will in fact break camp as the Blue Jays’ fifth starter.