Remember when skinny 22-year old Cuban rookie Livan Hernandez won four times to propel the ‘97 Marlins to an unlikely championship? Remember that wide-eyed nobody kid who came up from the minors to flawlessly pitch the Angels into their first World Series victory in 2002? That was Francisco Rodriguez, alias K-Rod, who just broke the all-time saves record this year. As a free agent, he’ll be one the highest paid pitchers of all time when he signs a new contract this coming year. Careers are born in the white-hot moments of October baseball.He gets demerits for mentioning Livan Hernandez without also mentioning his henchman, Eric Gregg. Other than that, it's a very enjoyable piece.
Just ask Bobby Jenks, the portly kid who several teams gave up on because of past substance abuse (the Angels actually) who went from freaking double-A to dominating hitters in the postseason and closing the 2005 World Series for the White Sox. Nobody to somebody, just like that. Now he’s one of the best closers in the league, year in, year out. What would have happened if Price had come in, served up a meatball to Drew and blown the game? His life might be pretty different.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Expect the Unexpected
Russ Smith at Splice Today reminds us that you never know who will come up big when October comes around: