Blue Jays’ Atkins: Granderson everything you could possibly hope for

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Ross Atkins remembers when Titanic was released in theatres. Everybody who had seen the 1997 James Cameron-directed film would come back and rave about it, hyping up expectations to the highest degree.

“Could it possibly be as good as everyone said it was going to be? And it was,” Atkins said Friday on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast.

The Toronto Blue Jays general manager was using the metaphor to describe how outfielder Curtis Granderson has lived up to his reputation as one of the nicest guys in baseball.

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“Curtis Granderson is everything you could possibly hope for in a leader, in a human being and just the consistency that he creates,” Atkins told host Buster Olney.

Granderson, a 15-year MLB veteran, signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jays in January. He’s long been known for his friendly and positive personality, as well as his extensive charity endeavours.

Atkins has been amazed at Granderson’s treatment of every person he comes across in the organization, whether it’s a marketing employee, member of the grounds crew or someone from the Jays Care Foundation.

“Every single person he interacts with, someone comes up to me at least once every three or four days and tells me what a remarkable human being he is,” said Atkins. “He’s consistent with every single human being he touches.”

The GM noted that Granderson sets an “incredible tone” in the Toronto clubhouse and it helps that he is producing on the field. The 37-year-old has rebounded from a dismal second half of 2017 to become one of the more productive Blue Jays hitters this season. He’s batting .319/.439/.532 with two home runs in 18 games so far, and has played left and right field, designated hitter and has also provided value as a pinch hitter.

“To have him contributing is extremely powerful,” said Atkins. “That type of person that is setting a standard and setting the bar and expectation for how to treat people in the game and performing is extremely powerful.”

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