Is it just me, or have the last couple weeks just been brutal for baseball coverage? Not a trade or impact free agent signing to speak of, and way, way too many egos bashing heads with each other over the Hall of Fame. Seriously, spare me on that garbage.
Yes, this is a baseball blog, and I guess I’m supposed to have an opinion. Well, in my opinion Barry Bonds is the best player I’ve ever seen, and it’s not even close. He played in a sport that profited greatly from his talents. Last I checked, he was still eligible for the Hall. If he’s not a Hall of Fame player, then I don’t know who/what is. This whole thing has turned into one big cluster of arrogant sportswriters and TV personalities, and it’s too much for me. Next topic.
Alex Rodriguez: Please, just go away. Next topic.
I know it’s not much, but the Giants did ink a minor league deal with Dontrelle Willis yesterday. I’ll admit, I was surprised as anyone to read about that. I knew he was once with the organization, but I couldn’t have told you what year it was (2010, he pitched all of 7.1 innings between rookie ball and AAA). If you’re my age, then you remember throwing to your buddy in the back yard, trying to imitate Willis’ crazy windup. When he first came up, that guy was all the rage. And a Bay Area kid to boot! Wow, was that 10 years ago already?
Seriously, what the heck HAPPENED to that guy? His first 5 years in the bigs, his highest bb/9 was 3.8. Yeah, that’s a little high, but that’s not a bad rate. Then, he just loses it. Was it physical? I mean, it couldn’t have been easy to keep all of those moving parts in line, but like I said, he’d thrown for nearly 5 full seasons. Was it mental? That’s my guess. Either way, that was sure a quick fall from grace.
Ultimately, you’d expect Willis to end up in the Fresno rotation, as he’s still been starting games in both the minors and independent leagues in recent years. But he definitely adds another interesting name to the mix of arms that will be battling it out for those two bullpen spots in spring training. He’s got a .200 BAA versus lefties in his big league career, and you can bet that’s exactly why the Giants wanted to get a better look.
This is basically a spring tryout, and there’s really no downside to that kind of deal for Willis. But seriously, the Giants seem to be just throwing darts at all of these wild arms. Cordier, Reifer, Weathers, Carignan… One of them has to stick, right?
Finally, a little news that doesn’t revolve around PED’s or the BBWAA. At the rate things are going this winter, I’ll gladly take it. Less than 6 weeks to Cactus League play folks. It can’t come soon enough.