Which men of misery prevented their teams from escaping the murky waters of suckitude?
My semiannual Replacement-Level Killers series spotlights the worst holes in contenders' lineups, as well as the possible remedies they might take to avoid letting such subpar production destroy their post-season chances the next time around. I make no claims for this companion series being so noble in purpose. Because bad baseball so often makes for good copy, it's more fun to hunt the fish at the bottom of the major-league barrel to find the positions where players' contributions could be considered the worst in the majors. What follows is an "all-star" team of players who have produced tornado-level disasters amid their lineups, often at salaries that represented far more than just a soft breeze running through their team's bank account. Once again, I present the Vortices of Suck.
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Johan versus Livan in Citi Field in a grudge match of sorts.
Unhappy chance puts me in New York now instead of Chicago tomorrow to see the Cubs' home opener, but the usual formula for what to do with lemons applies in the Empire State as much as the Land of Lincoln. Today's game in Flushing gave me a shot to see Citi Field for the first time, with a chance to see Johan Santana on the mound, Jim Riggleman steer a patchwork roster, and Jose Reyes play in his second game since his activation from the DL.
Keeping his head above water, Kevin responds to some readers' questions about his most recent articles.
The last two weeks have been pretty busy over here at KG central, with lots of external distractions, and my county being declared a
disaster area. Because of this, I'm fallen behind on my mail, so let's do some catch-up and share with the class along the way.
On a tight budget, the Cardinals looked to upgrade their second base position this offseason. They found a bargain in the longtime Angel.
Adam Kennedy, brother of minor league catcher Bryan Kennedy, was selected by his current organization #20 overall in the first round of the 1997 amateur draft out of Cal State Northridge. He started his professional career as a shortstop for New Jersey of the New York-Penn League before moving on to High-A in the Carolina League:
Derek catches a SoCal interleague Father's Day special, and gets his take on Bartolo Colon's return to action.
The Angels, on the other hand, are in last place, six games out of first place in the AL West, and six games under .500. The team has made the postseason three out of the last four years, but now stands in the awkward position of trying to decide if it's time to fish or cut bait. All season long, prospects who seem to be the future of this franchise have gotten call-ups to fill in or back up when the big club's veterans have faltered. Already, guys like Howie Kendrick (#5 on our top prospects list) Kendry Morales (#26 on our list) and Erick Aybar (#50) have gotten time on the major league roster. Only Morales has seen significant playing time in The Show, but the question lingering over the Angels' season has been when do you give up, deal the veterans, and put things in the prospects' hands?