"The next Jason Giambi". Lofty words of praise heaped on the young St. Mary's College product. I don't know if Billy Beane and Michael Lewis knew what would happen to the players they wrote about in Moneyball, but those players were doomed with insane expectations. The next Jason Giambi? At the time, that was one hell of a bar. Fortunately for Mark, he wouldn't have to try and accomplish it in Oakland. Instead, he was doomed to disappoint another fan base after being the main cog in the poorly-balanced Carlos Beltran trade.The hope was there. So was the hype. But somewhere along the way the numbers stopped showing up. That magical breakout 2006 season couldn't be repeated. Sub-average hitting and an inability to hold down a true defensive position isn't what the casual fan expects out of a first round (supplemental part) draft pick. But that's what he became.
He came over to the Sox for a failed first rounder who now plays in Japan and a china doll from Michigan. I remember being confused by the trade. It made little sense, but whatever. And then Kenny gave that extension. And yet another GM damned Mark to being hated by his fanbase. Which sucks. By all accounts, he's a likeable guy. He even has a Twitter for his dog! But his hitting and his defense never got it together enough to be anything more than unlikeable, but only on the field.
It was never personal Mark, trust me on that one. You were doomed from the start through no fault of your own. It sucks for everyone involved that it didn't work out for you in Chicago, but mostly for you. You seemed to really like it here. I guess this meandering column could be called an apology for things working out, but that doesn't seem right either. Best of luck in Toronto.