A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kevin Millwood

When you need a job, you look at the openings, your talents, and your needs, and you make a logical decision to see what you can do.
For example, Kevin Millwood is currently hanging out with the Red Sox in the minor leagues. He's not very happy because he's not in the pros, but to be honest, this isn't the days when he was filling the number 4 slot with the Atlanta Braves. His ERA isn't league leading like it was when he was in Cleveland. He's not throwing a no-hitter for the dead era Phillies. He's just a pitcher with an upside that hasn't lived up to expectations for quite some time. The 4-16 stint in Baltimore last year with a 5+ ERA wasn't good either.
So if he's crying over not being in the majors - just because he once was all right (thank you, Leo Mazzone), then perhaps there is a sense that he "just hasn't earned it yet (baby)."
And he isn't alone.
Future Just for Men spokesman Jason Giambi is sending out all the right signals to the Yankees to let them know that he doesn't want to be a role player for Colorado and wants to play for them (it's not quite Rickey Henderson informing the major leagues that "Rickey wants to play and he wants to play for you," but hey, it's a start. With comments like:
“I wasn’t touching the ground, I was excited." (at the prospect of playing in New York and hitting a home run).
“Just being excited like old times to have that opportunity to play in front of (the fans) again. I went up there, and I think he could have thrown the resin bag at 2-0 and I would have swung at it, no matter what.” (in an attempt to ass kiss for the Big Apple since his second stint with the A's wasn't quite the way his first stint with them was.
And we can't fault him for trying since we're trying to work and we're willing to work any number of places - though having a specialized advanced degree pretty much says that I'm stuck in some variation of it because too many employers think I'm too "skilled" to be "happy" at lesser part time jobs that would accomodate my slightly over part time hours of teaching. Too many other employers think I'm too pricey for the starting salaries that they can afford due to my "advanced" degree (interesting because I thought that a liberal arts masters degree wasn't quite as "advanced" as a STEM degree, but yeah...).
So if there is love and a paycheck and an opporuntity to get it, so be it. Let Mr. Giambi do what he has to do to earn it. Let Mr. Millwood work hard to have the comeback he deserves (and who can say that he's not worth one more chance - aren't we all?).
In the end, all people deserve the right to earn a living - even Barry Bonds - he who was so hated that he didn't get a job after posting a .480 OBP and 132 walks to go with his 28 home runs in the year he set the all time home run record. And yeah... this was something about BALCO, and Bonds was a clubhouse cancer, but if that's the case, why bring him back for the record? And maybe there was a fear of the perjury trial and what could be said, but if you look at Barry's stats... they were positively sick (even if it made me physically sick to see him beat McGwire's home run record). This was a man who in 2004 walked 232 TIMES! Somehow, only 120 of these were intentional. This was a man who is ranked #21 all time on Baseball Reference Dot Com. This was a man who was walked with the bases loaded. This was the man who was walked 177 times the year he hit 73 home runs (McGwire was walked 162 in the year he hit 70).
But like so many others from an era that made a mistake, he was passed over and left to be forgotten. It's not that he didn't shoot himself in the foot and sabotage his world, but still... isn't ours a society of second chances? Aren't all sins save upsetting Oprah worth another chance?

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