Re: Bender Update !!!
You make some good points, GAC, but I don't necessarily agree entirely with your assessment. You make it look like it was obvious that injuries were the ONLY reason for Casey's drop in production. Like I said, I thought the second half of '01 he was clearly suffering from injury. Most were even willing to admit that '02 was a result of being less than a year removed from the surgery. It wasn't until '03 that many, including myself, began to wonder if Sean Casey just wasn't the player we thought he was going to be. It was a legitimate question that came from trying to be objective.
You make it sound lke that was somehow "unobjective" or "unfair." It was different opinion, that's all. I don't think you can blame 2003 on a surgery he had in 2001. Other players have had similar surgery and had gone back to normal production in much less time. Why was it taking Sean so long to recover completely? He did have 14 HRs in 2003. Now if he had other injuries last year, then that's another story. But I think it was a perfectly legitimate opinion to think Sean Casey's production from last year could not be blamed on his shoulder and that just maybe he was a player who peaked early and was on the decline. I don't think anyone hoped for this, but after last year I think it was definitely something that could have LEGITIMATELY been considered. It's not that uncommon for players to come up and put up Casey-like numbers for a year or two and then go into an unexplained decline. Ben Grieve comes to mind.
But I take a little umbrage with guys who now come in and say "we knew all along". No you didn't. You hoped and it looks like you might be right. I'll gladly admit that I didn't think Sean Casey would do what he's doing. It wasn't until last year that I began to think this way. Like I said, I predicted a big comeback for him in 2002 and 2003, because I thought the injury was why his production had passed. But after it didn't happen two full seasons after his surgery, you have to begin to question. In my opinion, that's EXACTLY what someone being objective would do. How could someone being objective not consider that asa possibility. You say there were people who considered everything BUT injury. I think there were also who never considered anything BUT injury. Why do you think there was no interest in Casey in the trade market? Afterall, the Reds FO would have gladly given him away to anyone willing to take his contract. Maybe it was that the other 29 teams, who were being objective, didn't think his drop in production was entirely injury related.
It's entirely possible that Sean Casey realized that this was a make or break year for him and worked in the off-season to return to the hitting approach he employed in his successful years. It's possible that it was all about adjustments and hard work as opposed to nothing more than health. I don't think anyone knows entirely. All we can do is hope that it's permanent.
BTW, please stop calling yourself Casey "supporters" and referring to others as "detractors."
Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David