Re: Freel traded for Ramon Hernandez
I'm so pleased I can hardly contain myself. We got rid of the attraction of Freel's hustle and in return we got a solid catcher who just might hit sometimes. How long has it been since we had one of those? Last year we were stuck with three catchers for most of the season--Ross (and his close to .200 average and his ability to muff catches), Valentin (who simply needed to be selling cars or starring in porn films), and Bako (who reminded me of a player on the 1962 Mets--lovable but not very good). We have gone from that to a solid major leaguer catcher and a promising rookie who will be an adequate backup. Not bad.
As for Freel, he was the epitome of what many lust for--the Pete Rose syndrome. Yes, he hustled, sometimes to the extreme, and didn't play very smart. He'd dive for a ball that was uncatchable or if it was he'd do it for effect (and some who panned Edmunds for that same thing, loved Freel for it), and then make a bone-headed move on the bases to take away runs. Managers loved him because of the hustle, and felt compelled to play him despite the fact that his OBP shrunk as he got older and steady play diminished his effectiveness. Good riddance. Wayne gave him a primo contract and now has him back. Thanks, Wayne!
Good move by Walt, who knows baseball talent when he sees it. I'm sure other moves will be made to shore up the outfield, but I can't help but be giddy about this. Besides the salary relief we get, we can give Farney to Baltimore and it's fitting. Yes, he made some plays, but often his minuses were more than his positives. Good luck to him and the Reds. I have a feeling the Reds will come out the winner in this transaction. We won't mis his 30 RBI's or his bad swings at bad balls, but the hope that there is another Pete Rose will continue. Freel wasn't Pete. Time for a new agenda.
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