"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Friday, March 28, 2008

Glory Days Revisited: Outfield

Ah, what verdant stretches do our outfielders from the unforgettable years of 2002-2004 patrol now?

Brian "BOOM" Buchanan played for the Padres and Mets after being traded away from the Twins, then spent time with the St. Paul Saints and the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks before recently signing a minor-league deal with the Royals.

Lew Ford refused an assignment to the minors at the end of the 2007 season and signed as a free agent with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. Here's hoping "Leeeeeeeew!" doesn't mean anything obscene in Japanese.

If the following is news to you, you need to emerge from the cave more often: Torii Hunter signed with the Angels for ninety million dollars in November. Zounds.

Jacque Jones, as you may recall, turned down an offer of arbitration from the Twins in 2005 and soon signed with the Cubs, where he performed fairly well through 2007 but had ongoing conflicts with management. He was traded to the Tigers in the offseason.

Bobby Kielty was traded to the Blue Jays in mid-2003 for Shannon Stewart (more on him anon). In the offseason, the Jays turned around and traded him to the A's for Ted Lilly. He performed poorly for the A's in 2004 but they stuck with him and were rewarded with both a solid 2005 and the presence of biggest Irish afro on earth in their dugout. He saw limited action in '06 and was released while on the disabled list in mid-2007. He signed on with the Red Sox shortly thereafter and went on to hit what turned out to be the game- and series-clinching home run in a pinch-hit appearance during game 4. They signed him to a 2008 contract in the offseason.

Traded to the Giants before the 2004 season, Dustan Mohr has proven hard to keep track of. He played well for the Giants that year but was not retained. He spent 2005 with the Rockies, where he saw limited action and hit poorly. He struggled as a fill-in player with the Red Sox in 2006 and was demoted to the minors and ended the season in AAA for the Tigers. In 2007 he played in a handful of games for the Devil Rays around midseason and was released. He has yet to sign with another team.

Minnesota-born Michael Restovich, claimed off waivers after spring training 2005 by the Devil Rays, was back on waivers within a week and claimed by the Rockies, who traded him to the Pirates that May. He was released at the end of the season, signed to a minor league contract by the Cubs, where he spent the 2006 season. He then signed on with the Nationals in the minor leagues, failed to make the club out of spring training, was called up in mid-April and hit himself back into AAA within weeks. He is currently playing for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Presumably he made it to Japan by using some small fraction of his frequent-flier miles.

Michael Ryan has not played in the major leagues since the end of his 2005 season with the Twins. He spent 2006 in AAA with the Braves and 2007 in AAA with the Phillies. He is now an unsigned free agent and does not appear to be in spring training with any organization.

Shannon Stewart played for the A's in 2006 and is currently in spring training with his old team, the Blue Jays.

2 rejoinders:

She-Ra sounded off...

Awwww I miss Dustan Mohr.

Jim H. sounded off...

Kubel and Buchanan both look as if they are in great pain when they run. DH genes.