No one, in this moment, on this Monday night at PNC Park, in this miserable clubhouse, could speak to that more movingly than Kevin Newman. He's the Pirates' first-round pick from 2015, he'd just been promoted from Class AAA Indianapolis last weekend, and he just made his first start in this 1-0 loss to the Braves ... and he wound up 0 for 3 with a whiff.
I asked him afterward to share his very first impressions of the difference between the minors and majors.
"Well, the guys are bigger, the pitchers are better, and the game's faster," Newman replied. "It's all around an elevated level of play. It's definitely harder. I mean, these are the best players in the world. You come up here, and it's not easy right away to get a grip on everything."
That tale's been told, in various voices, for a century and a half.
But man, is it really supposed to be as hard as almost all of the Pirates' callups from Indianapolis make it look?
I compiled these two lists myself after the game:
Meadows, a first-rounder of whom much had been expected, did deliver: In 154 at-bats, he slashed .292/.327/.468 with five home runs and, on July 31, became a vital piece of the trade that brought Chris Archer. Good for him. Good for all involved in getting him to that point.
But now look again at that list up there, and answer this: Why did everyone else have to add up to a collective catastrophe?