And everyone's favorite whipping boy.
This season, several generally mediocre or aging ballplayers on these teams have played some of the best baseball of their careers and become local legends in the process. Now they'll be looking for permanent employment at season's end.
The Rockies rewarded Willy Taveras with a $1.5 million raise after he hit .320 in that same 2007 season, his first with the team. He hit .251 the following year and was gone by the next April. Any Rockies fans who felt blindsided by Mr. Taveras 's rapid decline probably should have seen it coming. Clint Hurdle, then the team's manager, had benched Mr. Taveras for the final two games of the '07 Series.