MWAH has a new writer, Mr. Loren Robb. Allow him to introduce himself.
It's a very tough game we watch and play, an operation with a short memory and an even shorter tolerance for error. Similar to the rigidness of corporate America, professional baseball eats you up and spits you out if you don't stand up straight. Ask Bobby Abreu, he is the perfect example.
Starting in 2009, Abreu stayed classic and bullied his averages around his career marks for Anaheim. He made his loyalty seem And us Angel fans let Bobby pull at the heart strings as he manned the 2nd spot in the lineup better than most around the league. In his first two seasons his slash lines went as follows: .293/.390/.435 and .255/.352/.435, respectively. Numbers worthy of appreciation. But when his numbers started to dip in 2010 (a season in which nothing really went right for the Halos), nature wasn't kind to Bobby. I think it was taken too far when comments he made this off-season about wanting to play or be traded, even if it meant for another team, were interpreted as distasteful. Who wants to be in a relationship where they aren't given the opportunity to contribute and in turn are criticized for not doing so? He was judged on the smallest sample size: 9 games and 27 PA's before being released. We never gave him a chance, and the guy was heading for decline before he even put the jersey on.
But after the conclusion of this week's Freeway Series, one can only smile at the fact that Bobby is back to a place of comfort and meaning. Or that's at least as it seems. His numbers are back to form: .309/.425/.436 in 35 games. He is used with more frequency (94 AB) and plays left field as he wanted to. As a Dodger, his demeanor even suggests he's older, more himself. He stays fresh, he battles, and he contributes; much like those who took his place here in Anaheim (mainly those guys with 25 and 27 on their backs). There is finally peace among Southern California, and hopefully this happy ending is only the beginning for both clubs connected by the freeway.
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Yes, it's all OUR fault BA stunk on ice. His poor little self-esteem was injured. Blah, blah, psycho babble, blah. He played poorly and got cut. That's as it should be, especially with a superior replacement waiting in the wings. 35 games is an incredibly small sample size. Let's see how that slash line looks at the end of the season. And, seriously, if to have him bat would you really want to see him in the outfield on a daily basis? No, you would not. I dare any one of us to watch the rest of the Dodgers' season and chronicle his..."exploits".
Good for him if he does well. Observing him decline the past few seasons tells me he won't but maybe playing in a division only slightly above 3A will help him feel better about himself. I'm feeling better already, but that's because he's gone.
@Rick K. Wow talk about sour grapes, Bobby played good ball for the Angels and now he is kicking butt for the Dodgers. If you think 35 games is a small sample size then how were the Angels able to evaluate him in only 9 games? Bobby never "stunk" with the Angels if you don't believe me look at the statistics.
@kbrown2225 @Rick K. I did look at the stats. He had a 0.4 fWAR last season (that's a BIG sample size) and that stinks. And with the Dodgers, his BABIP is .385 which is well beyond what anyone can sustain. Once that normalizes, the Bobby is going to be back to hitting around .250 with no power and poor defense. He still gets on-base, so he isn't totally useless, but he is not someone who should be playing everyday for a contender.
@monkeywithahalo @kbrown2225 Sorry, Loren and kbrown2225, but Mr. ™ accurately sums up the situation. This is real life, not the insulated and theoretical world of academia. Baseball is a meritocracy, as it should be, and if one does not perform then something bad happens. Yes, Bobby was a plus for the team for a stretch and "good ball" is a fair description. But age and decline have taken hold of him as it does for us all. Ervin Santana has received extra time to straighten out due to his age and upside (This actually refers to his entire career, not just this season.). BA did not, also due to his age and upside. I wouldn't even have been unhappy about it except for that ridiculous clause Tony Reagins gave him that forced him onto the roster for this season. It would have been a non-issue if he'd signed on as a cheaper free agent to hold down a spot until Mike Trout was ready. And, man, is he ready! But he wasn't on opening day when illness caused him to lose considerable weight (mileage may vary depending on the reporter) and so I'd have been happy if they had made the decision to keep BA in March rather than while his numbers were in free fall in July of last season. I know that's a little like hating on Waterworld because it cost so much to make (yet was still pretty entertaining) but, in this case, if Trout doesn't get sick maybe he'd have been on the roster on Opening Day and been a huge plus for the team with both bat and glove. Or maybe he'd have been infected with the Sub-Performance virus that bit everyone else on the team. Wow, I almost talked myself out of it with that last sentence!