But in the playing good at the baseball sense, he is killing it right now. (Not only that but he also pairs well with Cold Mountain Creek.) He currently has 9 homeruns in 39 games (compared with 12 in 115 last year) and is really starting to heat up at a time when the Brewers could really use him.
Nobody can be sure as to why this is. You can attribute it to his new contacts, not swinging at the outside slider, the Insanity Workout, luck, working with Dale Sveum more or the inspiration he gained from watching The Blind Side. His numbers don't tell a story of a wholly different player, so you just can't know for sure what it is.
Luckily, I have a theory. The reason for Corey Hart's improvement thus far this season is simple, Jim Edmonds is a Brewer.
Corey Hart has been considered to be one of the Brewers building blocks for years now. In the minor leagues, he was never in danger of not starting and ever since his arrival in Milwaukee the same has been true. The Brewers have simply never had another option.
In 2008 he should have been benched in September (or at least given some rest), but he wasn't. After Kapler got hurt there was no one else.
In 2009 he was given every opportunity to play until an appendix ended his season.
Now in 2010, for the first time since joining the Brewers, he had a threat to his job and he didn't like it.
The Brewers lost a little bit of faith in him and signed someone to platoon with him. The writing was on the wall. Perform or you will not be a Brewers in 2011. We can easily sign people for less to do your job. Stop getting stupid tattoos. He didn't realize it and it wasn't until a poor showing in spring training led to him not being the Opening Day starter that he figured it out and it burned at him.
"That was stupid, Spring Training doesn't matter, but they decided it mattered this year for some reason," Hart said of his preseason slump. "I'm just working to try to turn their minds around. Hopefully I can keep playing well so I can stay in the lineup.
It didn't make sense to him. Why is Jim Edmonds, a guy who didn't even play last season, taking my job? He's like 50! I'm not that bad against righties. And he's like 50! Faced with not playing every day, Corey Hart had to do something that he hasn't always done in his career. He had to work hard. He had to meet with Dale Sveum and work on his swing. He had to watch video. He had to focus, everyday. He had to work harder than he's ever worked before.
Corey Hart basically admits that he didn't work hard enough when he says that he should have gotten glasses before and this isn't meant to be a knock on Corey Hart. Not everyone can be crazily obsessed with being the best like Ryan Braun. Some of us (yes, us) just aren't built that way. So many times in sports with a younger player you find yourself waiting for them to figure it out, waiting for the switch to flip and Corey Hart is one of those guys that you thought would never "get it". Is this it? Maybe. Maybe this is what we've been waiting for and Corey Hart is finally living up to his tremendous potential. Maybe Jim Edmonds is just what Corey Hart needed to finally be what Doug Melvin, the Brewers brass and all the fans want him to be. Maybe.
Or maybe he's just having a hot streak.
Tags: appendix, blind side, brewers, building blocks, cold mountain, cold mountain creek, Corey Hart, homeruns, insanity, jim edmonds, kapler, little bit of faith, minor leagues, numbers don, Opening Day, platoon, right time, slider, slump, spring training