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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chone Figgins

I guess it all comes back to hope and belief in the future. There is reality, and there is dominance, but in the end, there is the brutal truth. Either we follow the example of Admiral Stockdale and confront it, or it confronts us.
 For example, in the world of 4th of July fun, one can eat lots of hot dogs over the course of 10 minutes at Nathan's for a chance at national glory and a $10,000 top prize. There is something to be said about gulping down pounds of food in order to be the best, but whether it's throwing, catching, hitting, or running, there is something to be said about being the best.
In the eating world, to win this year, it took 54 dogs making it to the point where they're in the belly, but Mark Chestnut put down 62 because he could. That's ass kicking power. Since the days of Takeru Kobayashi and his domination over all comers, which reportedly still exists - though outside of the world of Major League Eating, which he refuses to be a part of - there has been a national following for the 4th of July competition. Chestnut is still there... but Kobayashi has gone away.
Where do stars go when we don't see them on TV? I know where I'd like to see the Kardashians go, and I'd be willing to watch TV to see them go there, but alas, that's just me.
One has to wonder where do great stars go when they can't play anymore? Is there an old folks home for these guys to go? Do they take back large parts of excessive contracts (from Denny Neagle sized to Barry Zito sized) in order to allow the players to hang out there and be pampered by guys and gals who will say "I remember you when..." Do the guys still whip out game-used memorabilia to sign? Do the girls still want to get naked? Do they still allow them to play and manage the same baseball team in corners of the country (Yuma, Arizona) where nobody knew there was baseball, let alone people who wanted to watch baseball?
Oh, Jose Canseco, where have you gone and why can't you just vanish?
There was a great article on ESPN's website today about players who don't live up to their promise. Some of this is injury related, while some of it is just plain disintegration of talent - Chone Figgins, case in point. Maybe he was good at one point, but this year, he's lousy in that special Dunn / Uggla kind of way.
In fact, he was referred to as:
"the worst everyday hitter in baseball."
ESPN followed this up with "His defense has tailed off sharply from peak levels, and his baserunning skill has also started to wane. Figgins might be the former star who's least likely to bounce back.. Two and a half more years to go on his four-year, $36 million contract, and that assumes his $9 million option doesn't vest in 2014. Oy."
It's another sub Mendoza Line blunder. If anyone couldn't see that giving him big money to leave Anaheim and make things happen for Seattle was a bad idea, they shouldn't be within 20 miles of a baseball stadium - much less covering the game.
Such is the nature of being a 2nd tier team with no hope for the immediate future other than to play well enough that King Felix doesn't demand a trade before you can make the miracle happen (Pittsburgh is feeling it at 3 games over .500 and Cleveland is remembering the good old days, too, as they continue to hold off Detroit for first place). Sadly, sometimes, it's all about the gambles that you don't make in hoping that the hot girl with the "do me" eyes is actually going to pay off in life for you when in actuality, she's just a Hooters waitress looking to make bank off you while giving you nothing in return.
And that my friends is Chone Figgins - except he doesn't have implants and he doesn't look good in a tight top - at least to me.

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