Re: Ryan Freel
Freel is a continuation of the Pete Rose Curse.
With Pete, we had a kind of little guy who hustled a lot and played hard at all times. When we see another player who does the same, we embrace him - sometimes a little too much. There are a lot of Joe Sixpacks who love the guy (I've more than a few coworkers who are very surprised when I keep saying the team should have traded him a couple of years ago when his value was high - and that I think he hurts the team more than helps him with his style of play now more than anything else).
Unfortunately, as with the case of Sabo and more so Freel, they have a lot less talent than Rose and nowhere near the baseball smarts. And, now instead of having a hustling great player, we have a careless player who has a very good potential of hurting himself - and someone else.
It's that second part which has made me wish the Reds had gotten rid of him a long time.