Saturday, April 01, 2006

Career caution

Lessons on the precarious nature of a career in baseball in the Boston Globe (italics mine):

The Sox hit some lean years in the 1990s, when Wayne Britton (1993-2001) was scouting director, first under Gorman, then Duquette. But at the time, it didn't look that way. Not when the Sox boasted not only Rose and Pavano but pitchers Andy Yount, a Clemens clone from Texas; Juan Pena, a 27th-round pick out of a Miami community college; Chris Reitsma, a strong-armed Canadian; and first-rounders Josh Garrett and John Curtice.

''Andy Yount was as good a pitching prospect as I'd ever seen, the whole package," said Bob Schaefer, a special-assignment scout with the Braves who at the time was the Sox' farm director. ''Pavano had better stuff than Rose, but Rose was the better pitcher -- he held runners on, threw to both sides of the plate with movement. And Pena, he probably had the best package of all, compared to Rose and Pavano, good breaking stuff and perfect control.

''I thought they might all be 20-game winners."

Yount, grieving at a gravesite over the death of a friend, squeezed a bottle too tight, the glass shattering in his pitching hand and severing tendons, effectively ending his career. Pena, in another freak injury, was struck on the pitching elbow by a line drive and never recovered. He won his only two decisions with the Sox. Curtice, a good-natured but flaky lefty out of the same high school as Michael Cuddyer of the Twins, was sent to a fat farm to get in better shape, wound up hurting his arm, and washed out. Reitsma was traded and now is the Braves' closer. Garrett never made it; he's working in a Fort Myers bank as an investment counselor.


Post a Comment

<< Home