Who Am I?

Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2001
From: Kevin Hench
Subject:  Who Am I?


Let's play that old ballyard standard, Who Am I?

As the clues are given, picture puzzle pieces coming together, featuring fat
cheeks and sleepy, indifferent eyes.

I expect to play every day.

In my last 95 at-bats I have driven in six runs and three of those were on
one swing.

I am a poor baserunner.

I am a poor outfielder.

Since being told I would be hitting fifth every day, I have batted .264 with
a .377 slugging percentage and driven in five runs in 53 at-bats.

I am a guess hitter.

I only hit mistakes.

I average less than one home run every 30 at-bats.

I am slow.

My power is almost completely gone.

I am what they call "a cripple hitter."

I am old.

I expect to play every day.

I am Dante Bichette.

Dante Bichette's whole career has been an illusion.  The Angels and Brewers
got rid of him because they thought he stunk.  They were right.  He's never
done anything anywhere outside of Coors Field that would merit playing every
day in the bigs.  The problem was that the numbers he put up in Coors Field
were so huge that they were hard to ignore.  Sadly, Dan Duquette, like Reds
GM Jim Bowen before him, couldn't ignore them either.  They are eye-popping. 
But every time Bichette quits on a curveball that ends up rolling into the
strike zone, remember, curve balls don't roll into the strike zone in Coors. 
The cartoon joke that is Coors Field is a perfect place for pure, cartoonish
fastball hitters.  Just sit fastball and hack away.  There is no way you'll
see three breaking balls consecutively in Coors.  But the word is out on
Dante, which is why pitchers rarely make as glaring a mistake as Aaron Sele
did with that get-over fastball on the inner half that Dante crushed for half
his RBIs since July 29.

The aging mistake hitter is a baseball staple.  You just hate to be saddled
with one yourself when you're trying to make up ground in a pennant race.

Oh, and Dante, if you can't look in the mirror, at least look in Total
Baseball... you're not an everyday player, probably never were, except for
those seasons on the moon.

Notes:  Is it a bad sign when Doug Mirabelli (15) has more RBIs in August
than Manny Ramirez (13)?... My buddy Dave put it best:  "Are these the guys
you want to end the curse?"  Hardly. ... Everyone - Nomar, Pedro, Varitek, et
al. - should shut it down right now.  What is the point?  We are not going to
catch either of these teams and even if we did, we couldn't beat any of the
AL playoff teams three of five or four of seven...  Trot Nixon sure makes a
lot of soft outs in the leadoff spot.  Dribbler back to the mound with the
sacks jacked tonight against Dave Burba?  What gives?  He also takes too many
2-0 pitches.  Jose Offerman and Trot Nixon need to switch hitting
sensibilities.  Jose should take all 2-0 and 3-1 pitches and Trot, who has
lots of pop, should be looking to kill those "cripple" pitches...  A hundred
years from now someone will be thumbing through Total Baseball, see that 2-0
record and 0.69 ERA and ask, "Gee, I wonder what happened to Juan Pena?" 
That freak injury was the beginning of this 2001 tragedy that has continued
unabated ever since that final, fatal spring training day in the spring of
2000.... Joe Kerrigan now has a lower winning percentage than Jimy
Williams... Why did you forsake us, Felipe?

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

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NY Post:

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