Catching up on the site after my vacation, I noticed that a strange story hadn't been discussed here: Adam Eaton suffering a few slings and arrows from anonymous teammates who didn't like the cut of his jib.
As for Adam Eaton, who is on his way to the Chicago White Sox in the three-team trade, I spoke with a player who told me it's an addition by subtraction. Eaton was a selfish me-me type player, and the clubhouse will be thrilled he is gone. Didn't run out some ground balls, ran through stop signs and had a huge sense of entitlement for a player who was a rookie. A.J. Pollock will be a better fit in center field for Arizona.
azcentral sports’ Nick Piecoro was told that Eaton "irked people in the clubhouse" and his "attitude had a tendency to wear on people."
One can simply write this off as more weirdness from the Diamondbacks, who have a history of burying players after trading them under the Kevin Towers administration. Trevor Bauer was entitled, Justin Upton didn't run into enough walls, and pitching coach Charles Nagy didn't order enough beanballs. Some of these claims might be true (Bauer seems to be the least sympathetic figure), but at this point, Eaton might've felt left out if he didn't take absorb a late hit from the desert.
It'd just be easier to laugh at this if the Sox clubhouse didn't have their own track record of rejecting newcomers who tried to impress their style upon the clubhouse before they had earned the right, at least in the eyes of their peers.
Granted, this time should be different. Rick Hahn has turned over nearly half the lineup after a 99-loss season, and Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko will be winding down their White Sox careers in 2014. Even if Eaton happens to be the kind of guy who runs afoul of a traditional Konerko-led clubhouse, they only have to coexist for a year.
That's assuming they don't evolve, anyway, which is another thin set of circumstances. Conor Gillaspie irked his Giants teammates with comments that were too cute and too brash too soon, and now he's incapable of projecting a healthy self-esteem. If Eaton plays his cards right, that could be his future. As for Konerko, this is supposed to be the year he actively relates to younger players and meets them halfway.
I wouldn't make too much of this story, because the only constant might be the Diamondbacks' disenchantment with players they used to highly value. Maybe there's some truth to the claims, but Eaton didn't tip his hand with his response, which was about as professional and high-road as anybody could expect.
Still, whenever another team is willing to set an unfortunate example, it's worth exploring to see whether it applies. This series of events doesn't raise any red flags with me, but it does reinforce my previously held notion that the Sox should let Eaton establish tangible value before stressing his intangibles.
Our friend Brett looks at Rick Hahn's series of trades -- including Eaton -- in terms of their projections, and concludes that any temporary drop in production will be worth withstanding, financially and otherwise.
Lou Whitaker suffered one of the most criminal one-and-dones in Hall of Fame voting history, so it's not unusual that he wouldn't feel too bad for Jack Morris, who is in need of a big push on his 15th and final appearance on the ballot. Whitaker's candor on the subject, however, is quite unusual:
"Jack Morris was no better than Alan Trammell-Lou Whitaker," Whitaker said during the interview, audio of which was posted on DetroitSportsRag.com and confirmed by MLB Network Radio co-host Jim Bowden. "If we didn’t make the plays, and we didn’t come up with the big hits, Jack Morris wouldn’t be where he was, or where he is."
He's also absolutely right. Although that isn't Morris' fault.
Jerry Coleman, the legendary San Diego Padres broadcaster, died on Sunday at the age of 89. He's best known for two things that don't really overlap. He's the only MLB player who
served saw combat in two wars:
Before he ever played major league baseball, Coleman was a World War II bomber pilot with 57 missions flown in the Pacific theater. Only a few years into his big-league career, he returned to the Corps and combat, flying another 60 missions over Korea and surviving a horrific crash.
And as a broadcaster, he left a wealth of malaprops. My favorite:
"(Dave) Winfield goes back to the wall, he hits his head on the wall and it rolls off! It's rolling all the way back to second base. This is a terrible thing for the Padres."