I’ll admit, I’m overstating things a bit here by quoting that particular They Might Be Giants song… but the truth of it is that I have been very disappointed by a number of recent “designated for assignments” that happened to players I like.
I originally made this rainy Brian Roberts custom to express that I was sad ABOUT Brian, but now it’s because I’m sad FOR Brian.
It does seem like the Orioles took an attitude of “it’s time to move on” with Brian this winter, but to fans of Brian it seemed almost like an act of spite when he signed with the freakin’ Yankees. No, it couldn’t be the Royals or Astros, it had to be the Bronx.
As it turned out, it didn’t quite work out for anybody, the Yankees went and traded for a bunch of new infielders, and Brian found himself without a job while the Yankees play an out-of-position Stephen Drew.
I don’t expect the Orioles to try to bring Brian back, but I’ve read the Padres haven’t gotten much production out of second, maybe they’ll give him a shot. The Giants and A’s both have needs at second base, but I don’t know if a contending team would take a chance on Brian… Then again, the Giants have already tried and ditched Dan Uggla, so what’s wrong with throwing another struggling former All-Star into the mix?
Moving on to another former Oriole who didn’t have success with a new team…
This past winter there was incredulity a-plenty surrounding the Orioles after they traded Jim Johnson, the guy who lead the AL in saves for two years running, to Oakland for Jemile Weeks, a minor leaguer and several boxes of Dan Duquette’s favorite variety of Toaster Strudel.
Now, Duquette looks like an absolute genius, because Johnson was so bad with the A’s that they ate his salary for the year and released him. I would not be entirely surprised if the Orioles sign him to a minor league contract to see if he might be able to revive some of that Oriole Magic. (Feel it happen! Magic! Magic!)
(Shhhhh… Don’t tell anyone that’s Nationals Park in the background of an A’s card…)
Just a little side note of happiness, I had to smile when I was doing an internet image search of “Jim Johnson Athletics” and one of the first hits was my custom from over the winter:
For what it’s worth, if I were at The National this weekend, I’d be looking to pick up one of the 1959 Bazooka cards upon which my “Hot Stove” custom set was based… and I’d probably be turning white as a sheet when I see how expensive they are.
The last source of Shlabotnik sadness comes from San Diego’s treatment of Jason Lane.
You may remember Lane as an Astros outfielder from 2002 to 2007. In 2011 he made the conversion to being a full-time pitcher, and spent two years in the independent Atlantic League. This year, he made it back to The Show after a 7 year absence.
In June, the Padres called him up for several days. In two relief appearances, Lane faced 14 batters, allowed just one to get to base, but that apparently wasn’t good enough, because he got shipped back down to AAA El Paso.
One July 28th he got called back up to make a start, and while his performance wasn’t spectacular – 1 earned run and 6 hits in 6+ innings of a Padres loss – it was good enough that one would think that they’d give a guy with a 0.87 ERA and a 0.677 WHIP another try… but apparently not. Free Jason Lane!
It was at this point that I was going to launch into a feel-good guy or two, but it quickly grew into its own post, which you’ll see tomorrow.
Who were you disappointed to see traded, DFA’d or otherwised dissed over the past week?