In an article that appeared last week on ESPN.com, Peter Gammons provided a list of 20 players whom respondants to an informal straw poll described as candidates for a breakout season. The list, derived from a survey of major league executives, included a mix of pitchers and hitters, five-tool talents and makeup guys, united only in their ability to tease hibernating fantasy leaguers into dreams of greener days ahead.
If one needs any reminder that lists like these are little more than a grownup’s version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it’s worth reviewing a similar list that Gammons produced last year.
“If you have kids who might [grow up to] be major league baseball players, we’re fighting for your kids, possibly. If I work for your newspaper and you’re in the union fighting for your equality and rights, sure I would strike, and so would you…”
–Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder
There was little joy in watching the final, desperate days of the Tony Muser Era arrive at their inevitable conclusion. Nor was there any sense of anger or frustration from knowing how much opportunity has been wasted while we waited for the axe to fall.