The Pirates have traded Craig Wilson to the Mariners. The former Yankee had been playing for the Indianapolis Indians, the Pirates' Triple-A club. Seattle is probably hoping he can provide more power at first base than Miguel Cairo.
Wilson was hitting just .230 at Triple-A Indianapolis, but he had managed 10 homers in 217 at-bats, suggesting that his power is back following last year's shoulder surgery. The Mariners could eventually look to use him as part of a platoon at first base.
Craig Wilson had shoulder surgery similar to Bubba's, one month earlier. Like Bubba, he had a hard time finding a job after the surgery. He finally settled for a minor league contract with the Reds...only to be released before spring training started when he didn't pass his physical. Again, pretty similar to what happened to Bubba with the Mariners.
Wilson eventually got picked up by his old team, the Pirates. The Pirates' team doctor was also the guy who did Wilson's surgery, so perhaps he was more willing to give him a clean bill of health. Or maybe all Wilson needed was a little more time to heal. In any case, he's been playing without apparent problems. His average isn't that great, but he was always a guy who hit more for power than for average.
I guess I'm still hoping Bubba can come back from his surgery. If Craig Wilson can do it, why not Bubba?
Yeah, I know. Everyone's different. Maybe Bubba really can't play any more. If there's a chance he could totally blow out his shoulder so he can never put away groceries or play catch with his future kids...it's not worth it. There's more to life than baseball.
But maybe he just needs more time. I think it's clear now that saying he would be ready by spring training this year was extremely optimistic. Most baseball players who have that kind of shoulder surgery take longer than that to return to playing, and many say it was a full year or more before they felt normal again. Maybe he doesn't feel up to playing now physically, or is just tired of it. But he might feel differently next year. A lot of players who retire change their minds and come back.
I'm not the only one who is reminded of Bubba by Brett Gardner. Jim Baumbach of Newsday
was, too. Only not in a good way. He posted this a few days ago:Brett Gardner is Bubba Crosby with speed
Grrrrr. (Someone named Owen posted a comment saying "Bubba Crosby is Bubba Crosby with speed." At least someone remembered Bubba has good wheels. Honestly, I think it's his name. Even people who should know better, like beat reporters and stat-heads, assume that anyone named "Bubba" must be slow.)
But what really ticked me off was the photo posted with the story. Of Bubba and Sheff colliding. Good gravy. That collision wasn't Bubba's fault. All the nice moments Bubba had, and the only thing he's going to be remembered for is that collision.
He deserves better, darn it. That's one reason I'm hoping he'll change his mind about retiring. At least then there would be a chance that he'd be remembered for something other than that stupid collision.