Monday, January 09, 2006


Since I don't want to be one of those illiterate bloggers shooting off at the mouth and presenting things that aren't true as facts, I would like to retract my last post about available pitchers and note that two days before I had opened my big stupid mouth, Al Leiter had signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees and Byung-Hyun Kim re-signed with Colorado. I also completely neglected to mention Jeff Weaver as an available option, which he should take as an insult since he's a pretty good pitcher who should make plenty of teams happy with his performance, if not the dollars he'll eventually get.

Unlike, oh, say, everyone else, I'm still a believer in Kim. People forget that the kid is only 27 and probably the hardest-throwing submariner in Baseball's history. When Prince Theo traded one of the most overrated players in the game for him during the 2003 season, I remember wondering just how drunk he must've gotten Arizona to screw them up the ass like that, to say nothing of trading nothing for Curt Schilling when he finally decided to call them in the morning six months later.

Alas, it didn't work out for Boston. Though he helped stabilize an otherwise shaky bullpen with a 3.16 ERA in 79.1 innings of work, he blew a 12th inning save in Game One of the 2003 playoffs against Oakland, which preceded flipping off the booing Fenway faithful as he was introduced before them a couple days later. Closing championship games clearly isn't Kim's strong suit, as he also blew two 9th inning saves for the Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series. And that was when he was just 22. That said, you'd have to wonder about the emotional psyche of a kid who has clearly demonstrated not only the inability to handle high-pressure situations but also the public humiliation that comes in its aftermath. Fucking up three different crucial games in front of a televised audience of millions by the time you're 24? That's enough to make any man sensitive enough to give the middle finger to anyone else that boos him for it.

Psychological evaluations aside (which I won't pretend to be smart enough to accurately make), Kim is more than talented enough to justify the $1.5 million he's guaranteed in 2006. He's still young enough to get his shit together and have a damn good career but unfortunately for all the natural talent they may possess, some people just aren't mentally wired to handle being professional athletes and Kim may be one of them. Which is kind of exactly why I root for him.

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