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Following up on an idea raised by Coach in yesterday's QOTD ... There are lots of "what if?" stories in baseball. There are those that take the self-inflicted Doc Gooden route; there are those that take the simple inexplicable flameout route like Joe Charboneau; some fall prey to injury like Mark Fidrych or other health concerns like J.R. Richard; and of course, there are is the senseless tragedy route unfortunately followed by those like Lyman Bostock. So, as to Thursday's ..

Question of the day:Who are the most memorable players, to you, who had "greatness" stamped all over them, but who fell off the sports radar for one reason or another?

P.S. Cast your Andujar ballot today! Meet the candidates here. Voting concludes Dec. 23.

QOTD: What if? | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Smirnoff - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 09:57 AM EST (#11649) #
Darryl Strawberry-- looked like a sure-thing hall of famer. Just say no, Darryl. Just say no.
_Jeff Geauvreau - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 10:14 AM EST (#11650) #
Smirnoff go to the Rogers set to buy the Dome story( at the bottom of page) here on Batters Box and make your pledge :-) COMN for link.

Coach - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 10:58 AM EST (#11651) #
Does anyone else remember the Clint Hurdle hype? The "Can't Miss Kid" was a Sports Illustrated cover boy at age 20, so maybe he was jinxed. There's also a long list of brilliant prospects who never even got a cup of coffee. Some of them, like Brien Taylor and Josh Hamilton, hurt their own chances.

In terms of players ruined by greedy management, I've always wondered what David Clyde woulda, coulda, shoulda been. Of course, then-Rangers owner Bob Short deserves most of the blame for that one, but manager Billy Martin rode many other promising pitchers into oblivion.

Hardly an "off the radar" selection, but what if Don Mattingly had been free of back pain? He would have put up several more 900+ OPS seasons, finished with at least a dozen Gold Gloves, been a huge part of the '96 champs, and been only 37, presumably still productive, for the magnificent '98 Yankees. Donnie Baseball could have retired at 39 with four rings and 3,000 hits, a much more fitting legacy for a superb player.

Ah, what might have been. Obviously, J.R. Richard belongs on this list (maybe even more than yesterday's merely underrated) and it's impossible not to think of Tony Conigliaro and Herb Score.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 11:18 AM EST (#11652) #
Pete Reiser would have probably had a great career if he had approached outfield walls with a little more caution.
_csimon - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 11:22 AM EST (#11653) #
Coach--I was in Miami at Spring Training time the year that Hurdle was getting all that press. The Orioles trained in Miami and I went to a game against the Royals and Hurdle played. He hit the ball SO hard I just thought he couldn't miss being a huge star

How long ago was it?--well, Eddie Murray played 3rd base for Baltimore that day

And you're right about Herb Score too.
_Mick - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 11:38 AM EST (#11654) #
Right first name, right initial, wrong guy ...

Talk about your overhyped uberprospects ... Clint Hartung was supposed to be the Brooklyn Dodgers ace pitcher and cleanup hitter for a decade and now nobody even remembers him.

After four years as a below average pitcher (112 games, 72 starts, 29-29, ERA+ of 80), Hartung hung around another couple of years
to continue as a spare OF/1B, retiring in 1952 at the age of 29 with a career .238 BA and OPS+ of 84.

He was hyped as Babe Ruth in Dodger Blue (according to my mom and uncle, anyway) and turned out to be ... David McCarty, I guess.
_Dan Julien - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 11:53 AM EST (#11655) #
I don't know how many of you have ESPN Insider(probably all) but it states about Koskie that Minnesota has made a final offer of 2 yrs/$8 million and will probably not offer him arbitration if he doesn't accept...good news for JP I think
_Ken - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 12:36 PM EST (#11656) #
Clint Hartung played his whole career (such as it was) with the New York Giants, not the Dodgers.
_Mark J - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 12:40 PM EST (#11657) #
Offtopic, but I just wanted to mention I got my copy of the Hardball Times Annual in the mail last night :) Just wanted to say it looks *great*. Very professional.

As for the content, the stat selection is terrific and it's awesome that it could be out so soon after the end of the season. Anyway, suffice it to say I will be a repeat buyer next year.
_BCMike - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 12:51 PM EST (#11658) #
Minnesota has made a final offer of 2 yrs/$8 million and will probably not offer him arbitration if he doesn't accept...good news for JP I think

Hmmm, how much more can the Jays offer? I would imagine they would add another year, but can they afford more than 4mil/per?
_Mick - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 12:52 PM EST (#11659) #
Thanks Ken, you're right of course. My mom was a Dodger fan and my uncle a Giant fan (you can imagine their distaste for each other after The Miracle at Coogan's Bluff) and I briefly confused the two. Furthering the point, ironically enough, about how nobody remembers Hartung!
_Daryn - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 01:44 PM EST (#11660) #
Eddie Zosky.. if only he was a better ball player....
_NDG - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 01:52 PM EST (#11661) #
Bo Jackson ... the football player.

Unbelieveable talent. I don't know why he ever wasted his time on baseball (although if I remember correctly, he made more money at one time playing baseball). If not for his hip and baseball diversions, I think we'd consider him in that ultra-elite category of runners.
_G.T. - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 02:30 PM EST (#11662) #
For me, no question - Duane Ward.

He'd stepped into the closer's role, and contined to get better. Most memorable to me because the "What if?" extends to the team itself...
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:00 PM EST (#11663) #
Kevin Maas.
Looked like he was going to knock Mattingly out of his 1B spot, and be a monster.
Turned into just a nother Chris Woodward (an overhyped nobody, for the uneducated).

Grand Funk out.
_Mylegacy - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:49 PM EST (#11664) #
The 94 (strike year - no WS) Expos. The best team in basball that never got a shot at the brass monkey.
_Rocktrdglr - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:59 PM EST (#11665) #
Indians fan here. John McDonald has been traded to the Jays for a PTBNL. The press release (COMN) states the player will be named after the Rule 5 Draft.
_AWeb - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:51 PM EST (#11666) #
Duane Ward. After two incredible seasons in a row, finally made the closer role and got even better. Then boom, out goes the arm (I don't remember the specifics of the injury), and he's done at 29. I still remember that 85mph curveball/slider thing he threw as one of the nastiest pitches I ever saw.
_Ron - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 05:28 PM EST (#11667) #
HUGE baseball news came out last night with court documents revealing Giambi did take roids, even though Giambi denied it when asked by the media last season. Giambi asked Bonds trainer what he does with Barry ... so there's a good chance Barry has also done roids. Is there going to be a thread for this?
_Wedding Singer - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 05:43 PM EST (#11668) #
JP says on that the trade for McDonald means that they will not be re-signing Chris Gomez.

JP also re-signed Mennechino to a 1 year $650K deal, with a second year that vests based on plate appearances.

I like both moves. I thought Mennechino might have commanded more after his strong year last year........
_greenfrog - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 05:46 PM EST (#11669) #
I wonder whether Stieb might have had a more successful career (say, 200+ wins) if he hadn't been overworked (or thrown so many damn sliders). During the four seasons from 1982 and 1985 he threw 288.1, 278, 267, and 265 innings. Ouch.
_H. Winfield Teu - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 05:48 PM EST (#11670) #
Brian Taylor....too bad a brain didnt come with that arm
_Stan - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 06:29 PM EST (#11671) #
Herb Score in the fifties, with Cleveland won 36 games in his first 2 years and won 19 games in the next 6 yrs. Took a line drive in the eye and also hurt his arm. A very promising career.
_ainge_fan - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 08:15 PM EST (#11672) #
Not sure if anyone posted or not - the buzz section of Sports Weekly on the baseball side (Nightengale) suggested that the Jays offered Alexis Rios to Washington for Nick Johnson and that TO offered Koskie a 3 year deal for $15 mil.
If so, please ignore.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 08:32 PM EST (#11673) #
Ron, we do not accept libellous comments. If you would like to discuss the issue of steroids in baseball generally, you may do so in the Hijack thread.
Craig B - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 09:03 PM EST (#11674) #
Mark J, thanks for the very kind words. But "professional"... we're not quite there.

Can you spot the mistake on the front cover?
Craig B - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 09:13 PM EST (#11675) #
As for the Q of TD, he was mentioned already but my #1 choice is still Dwight Gooden. He was like nothing I have ever seen.

Others? Larry Walker was a kid who couldn't miss. Then, somehoe, he did. And then all of a sudden, he didn't! He came roaring back. Funny how that happens. Walker had more tools and skills than any other young player I can recall except maybe Vlad Guerrero or A-Rod.

Who else... certainly Eric Davis was marvelous. Again, Davis didn't really "miss", though he didn't end up replicating his amazing talent.

Oddibe McDowell was a player of prodigious talent who just sort of stopped hitting. Then there's Sil Campusano... we were all told he was going to be great, but he stunk and it was obvious (so began my long estrangement from the scouting community :)

Hmm, who else. Scott Radinsky was a monster on the mound, but he never quite panned out as the dominant closer I thought he could be. One guy who had all kinds of great stuff was Carlos Perez, but that never really came out right. Omar Daal was another guy like that.

Is it too painful to mention Josh Phelps? Is that tempting fate?
_Tyler - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 09:37 PM EST (#11676) #
Mike is there a comment deleted from Ron? Or are you suggesting that saying "Giambi asked Bonds trainer what he does with Barry ... so there's a good chance Barry has also done roids." is libellous?
_Jonny German - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 09:54 PM EST (#11677) #
Can you spot the mistake on the front cover?

I think you should fire your editon.
_Simon - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 03:46 PM EST (#11678) #
Not of my lifetime, of course, but Steve Dalkowski should have made the big leagues if he could have harnessed his fastball. I remember when i was younger, the jays having a lot of young infield prospects that turned into nothing, but I'm not sure if they were actually highly regarded or just replacement players all along...guys like Tomas Perez, Domingo Cedeno, and a couple of others. Were those guys Chris Gomez-type players or were they actually hyped when they came up? One guy who was supposed to be good was Angel Martinez, I remember going to a game at the Dome about ten years ago and calling him the Jays' catcher of the future. We all know how well that worked out.
Craig B - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:16 PM EST (#11679) #
I think you should fire your editon.

Well, yours truly looked at it too... and I OKed it, as did everyone else. I guess I'll have to fire myself too.

And to be fair, the graphic designer who did our beautiful cover - her first language isn't English.
Craig B - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:17 PM EST (#11680) #
are you suggesting that saying "Giambi asked Bonds trainer what he does with Barry ... so there's a good chance Barry has also done roids." is libellous?

Not anymore it's not! :)
_Jonny German - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:25 PM EST (#11681) #
Well, yours truly looked at it too... and I OKed it, as did everyone else.

Yeah, it's one of those things that doesn't jump out as a typo, for whatever reason. I had to look at it a couple times even after you mentioned that there was an error.
QOTD: What if? | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.