Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Yesterday was Juneteenth. Which, coincidentally, means that eleven years ago yesterday, Bubba Crosby became a pro baseball player, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team that drafted him in the first round. He probably wasn't expecting his career to turn out the way it did. Still, he's more fortunate than most players. His signing bonus was almost a million dollars. If he didn't invest it with Madoff or Stanford, he should be okay financially. And unlike the vast majority of baseball players, he has a four-year degree to put on his resume if he does decide to enter the job market.
Back when Bubba was a Yankee, their Triple-A club was well-stocked with young outfielders who seemed like they could contribute on the big league level, but were hopelessly blocked. Caja wants to know what happened to them.
Reese was released by the Yankees after an abysmal 2007 season in Scranton. He had a serious shoulder injury at the end of 2006, which may be the reason he fell off so much the next year. He got some minor league offers, but no invitations to big league spring training. He decided to retire from playing to spend more time with his family. He is now a scout for the Yankees.
Thompson was signed by the Pirates last year, but suffered a hand injury early in the season, and was released shortly afterward. He signed with the independent league Newark Bears this year, and played a few games with them. After only three weeks, he was released.
It's kind of surprising that there's not more interest in Thompson. He's only 29 years old. There have long been rumors that Thompson has attitude issues. Maybe that has something to do with it. Or maybe it's just a reflection of how baseball has changed. Teams want superstars, or young and cheap prospects. A lot of players who would have carved out solid though not spectacular big league careers a few years ago are now finding they can't get jobs.
Bronson Sardinha may be the saddest case of all. His troubles are largely of his own making. The Yankees DFA'd him when he still had all his options left because they needed to get him off the 40-man roster. They still wanted him, though. After he cleared waivers, they offered him a good contract (his description) to stay with Scranton...but he turned it down. He thought he might get a better opportunity elsewhere. He ended up with the Tacoma Rainiers, the Mariners' AAA team. A few weeks into the season, Bronson was arrested for DWI. The Rainiers released him, just leaving him behind as they continued their road trip. He later signed with the Indians, and was demoted to their AA team. He wasn't happy about it.
Sardinha signed with the Tigers this year. He didn't make the big league roster, and was assigned to their double-A team after spring training. A couple of days after that, he was released. It seems to have been a decision by the Tigers to go with their own young prospects; several other free agents were also released that day.
Sardinha still wants to play, but no one will give him a shot. According to this interview with his brother Dane, Bronson has been unable to get a job anywhere - even in the independent leagues.
He's only 26 years old. He was the Yankees' first round draft pick in 2001, and got a million dollar signing bonus. And now he can't get a job.
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