Conor Gillaspie officially ran his course with the Chicago White Sox, and now he's following the path of the guy who once ran into him during his effort to catch a 27th out.
Yup, Gillaspie's DFA resulted in him taking the Gordon Beckham Memorial Tollway to Anaheim, where he'll serve as a replacement third baseman until David Freese comes back from a broken finger.
Gillaspie was the right guy during a dark time in Sox history. For one, he only cost the Sox Jeff Soptic, who is repeating High-A for the third straight year at age 24, whereas Gillaspie played well enough to make Jeff Keppinger expendable.
But he also provided a surprising amount of entertainment for somebody who wasn't supposed to be entertaining. He was basically the ballplayer equivalent of Norm MacDonald's roast of Bob Saget. Based on the audience reaction, a lot of the humor didn't broadly register, but the people who got it got it.
The difference is that MacDonald knew what he was doing. Gillaspie only became funny by a combination of circumstances.
And most of it stems from his first impression. His entire inaugural year with Chicago seemed to be an overcorrection of his introduction to the San Francisco organization. He ran afoul of the Giants clubhouse immediately by coming off as entitled, and also a bit of a smartass.
When he came through with a game-winning hit for the Sox during his first week of games, he couldn't sound any less confident if he tried in a postgame interview with the White Sox broadcast booth:
"I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous most of the day. This game's so crazy sometimes, how it works out, y'know? I about had 30 panic attacks, it seemed like, during the game. It's not that I've never played here, but to feel like I'm important and can contribute in a positive way is ... y'know, it puts a lot of pressure on a younger guy. So I'm glad I was able to do the job today."
That brief interview, during which Gillaspie sounded like he was going to throw up in front of Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone, launched a thousand jokes as a way to pass the time during a mostly dismal 2½ years.
(And while those dark ages may extend past Gillaspie's exit, he didn't have as much to contribute without somebody to bounce off like Andre Rienzo or Moises Sierra. He was best with a foil. And playing time.)
In the end, he left a lot of stuff we can throw into a shoebox, such as:
Reviewing the tape, Conor held on for a while. pic.twitter.com/raS4aBIBbM— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 9, 2014
And that's all from a cursory search. I'm sure there's more.
It's a shame said shoebox isn't real, because it'd be fascinating to retrieve it in five to 10 years and try to explain it to somebody who didn't quite get in on the ground floor. Maybe he or she find it nearly as funny as we did, but I'm guessing you had to be there. Against our better judgment, we were.