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View Full Version : Hanging on to achieve a milestone:Right or wrong?



texasdave
05-28-2007, 02:02 PM
Watching a star player near the end of their career can be painful. The last person to know that their skills have eroded seems to be the player himself. We all have seen film of Willie Mays stumbling around the Mets' outfield. We all probably knew about or have heard the whispers of Pete Rose hanging on just to break Ty Cobbs' all-time hit record. And now, down here in Houston, another chapter of this story is playing out. Craig Biggio is clearly no longer the player he once was. It appears evident that he no longer possesses the skills to be a regular in the National League. His bat has slowed. His glove is sure, but his range and arm are woeful. Still the lure of 3,000 hits and perhaps a guaranteed spot in the Hall of Fame pushes him to keep playing. My question is simple: What does the Houston Astros' organization owe him? They have better options in Mark Loretta and Chris Burke. The fact that he and Jeff Bagwell have been the heart and soul of this team for a decade and a half are indisputable. He is a player who has the utmost respect of baseball fans in Houston, and likely around the country. It is hurting his team to keep running him out there on a regular basis. With Ausmus, Everett and the pitcher's spot, they can't afford to shoot blanks with another position in the batting order. From his first year as a regular in 1989 through 2001 he pretty much alternated better halves of seasons. Some years it would be the first half, others the second. But since 2002 he has dropped off in the second half every year. And dropped off by larger and larger margins. If that trend were to continue in 2007 it would be difficult to watch.



YEAR AGE FIRST SECOND DIFF
2007 41 0.661 ??? ???
2006 40 0.784 0.648 -0.136
2005 39 0.848 0.728 -0.120
2004 38 0.843 0.759 -0.084
2003 37 0.776 0.744 -0.032
2002 36 0.736 0.730 -0.006
2001 35 0.878 0.791 -0.087
2000 34 0.748 0.914 0.166
1999 33 0.827 0.858 0.031
1998 32 0.912 0.900 -0.012
1997 31 0.900 0.935 0.035
1996 30 0.848 0.743 -0.105
1995 29 0.858 0.918 0.060
1994 28 0.895 0.889 -0.006
1993 27 0.827 0.871 0.044
1992 26 0.777 0.712 -0.065
1991 25 0.766 0.696 -0.070
1990 24 0.683 0.697 0.014
1989 23 0.717 0.757 0.040


So how much does an organization owe a player who has contributed so much over the years? Do they owe so much that the team suffers? This is happening with Craig Biggio in 2007. But in a year or two we could be having the same questions about Ken Griffey Jr. Any thoughts?

mroby85
05-29-2007, 01:49 AM
i personally don't think we owe griffey much, just because of the way that way his career as a red has gone. however i do think that guys like larkin, shouldve had a better fate.

HBP
05-29-2007, 09:23 AM
IMO they do at least owe him however many more at bats it takes to get to 3000. He's only 28 hits away, so it won't be too much longer. After that, I'd say it'd be fair to bench him if the others are outplaying him.

As for Jr., I don't know if he'll be here much longer. He deserves a shot to play for a contender.

BigJohn
05-29-2007, 10:12 AM
Same people that say we owe Jr will say that Brett Favre is a bum and he should retire!

UC_Ken
05-29-2007, 10:18 AM
Baseball is a business and if Biggio is preventing Houston from winning games they owe it to the other players, the organization, and the fans to bench him.

As someone who has spent his whole career in their organization they owe Biggio to be honest and respectful to him. They do not owe him playing time unless they already promised it to him.

RedlegNation
05-29-2007, 10:41 AM
I don't think you owe a player anything, but I don't have any problem with a player hanging around as long as he wants. If there is a team that is willing to sign him, then I don't begrudge the player that.

At that point, it's the team's fault for signing a player that might be hurting the club. But there are a lot of factors involved, including the player's PR value and merchandising, selling tickets, etc.

If I'm the Astros, I let Biggio play until he gets the record. They would take a huge PR hit if they didn't, I would imagine. Biggio is a very popular Astro, and heck, he might be hurting the team, but they can certainly market his chase to 3000. Might help sell a few more tickets or t-shirts.

hebroncougar
05-29-2007, 10:48 AM
IF a team wants to play someone that is hurting the team, then yes it's a problem. It would be different if Biggio was a bench or role player, and if he was at this point, he'd probably still get to 3,000 before the end of the year.

RedlegNation
05-29-2007, 11:25 AM
IF a team wants to play someone that is hurting the team, then yes it's a problem. It would be different if Biggio was a bench or role player, and if he was at this point, he'd probably still get to 3,000 before the end of the year.

It's a problem for whom?

Yes, I understand what you are saying, and you are correct. But it's quite possible that the team would do a cost/benefit assessment and determine that the benefits of playing the player (in terms of goodwill towards fans, merchandising, ticket sales) outweighs the problems inherent in having him in the lineup every day (production less than another player could provide).

I'm not saying either way is right or wrong, but there are logical arguments on both sides.

hebroncougar
05-29-2007, 12:21 PM
It's a problem for whom?

Yes, I understand what you are saying, and you are correct. But it's quite possible that the team would do a cost/benefit assessment and determine that the benefits of playing the player (in terms of goodwill towards fans, merchandising, ticket sales) outweighs the problems inherent in having him in the lineup every day (production less than another player could provide).

I'm not saying either way is right or wrong, but there are logical arguments on both sides.


Well in this current instance I was thinking of Chris Burke, and the Astros record. The Astros offense isn't good enough to carry a bat as bad as Biggio.

RedlegNation
05-29-2007, 03:36 PM
Well in this current instance I was thinking of Chris Burke, and the Astros record. The Astros offense isn't good enough to carry a bat as bad as Biggio.

You are absolutely correct.

I was just noting that it is quite possible that the Astros realize exactly what you are saying, but feel like their organization is better served by having Biggio play every day until he gets the record. There are lots of logical reasons why they may think that, and we can't really fault them for it. Six of one, half-dozen of the other.

Boston Red
05-30-2007, 11:34 AM
How exactly is Chris Burke a better option than Craig Biggio? He not only struggled for the Astros this year, but he's really scuffling at Round Rock now.