When the Twins signed Mike Lamb before the season I was optimistic. While Lamb wasn\’t a huge name, he certainly was an improvement over signings from years past (Butch Huskey anyone?). He\’s hit over .300 a couple of times and is a .276 lifetime hitter and had just come off a few decent years with Houston.
However, like most of his predecessors (Huskey, Bret Boone, Tony Batista, Phil Nevin, the list goes on) Lamb struggled through the first couple months of the year, and has settled on the bench.
Today I came across an article on ESPN\’s Page2 about Lamb.
What struck me about this article was one paragraph in particular:
\”But when people say, \’Wow, the dream job,\’ they don\’t fully understand,\” he said. \”I know I have little right to complain, that I\’m awfully lucky and blessed. I know that. But my grandparents are getting up there in age and I see them once per year. I see my sister once per year, my parents a couple of times per year. I have a 3-year-old son named Andrew, a 1-year-old daughter named Kayla, and my wife Teresa is pregnant. I went six weeks at the beginning of the season without seeing them, and I\’ll go five weeks at the end without seeing them.\”
I agree that the baseball player life isn\’t all roses. It\’s definitely hard being on the road and away from your family… but… if family is so important, perhaps with your $3.5 million salary you could have moved the family up to Minnesota to see them during those 81 nights you are playing at home. Also, last I checked the season ended in October, and you don\’t need to show up again until late Feb/early March. So isn\’t it your own fault that you are only seeing your grandparents and sister once a year? Seems to me that you have 4-5 months worth of time to make some visits, and I think your career earnings through 2007 of $6,492,000 should allow you the money to fly wherever you need to go.
It\’s hard to have sympathy for a guy who will make more money this year sitting on the bench than most people will see in a lifetime. Especially when his complaints are of his own making.
An article I read early in spring training talked about how negative Mike Lamb was. Basically that he was always negative and surly. I thought at the time that he could be my favorite new Twins player because of that, but now I just see a player who feels sorry for himself.
Of course I go and say all that, and then I read this: http://www.twincities.com/ci_9935622?source=most_viewed
So which is it Mike?
My thought is that Lamb no longer has a place on this team. The Twins have a certain player who is injured right now and have no place to put him when he comes back.. especially since his replacement is batting .320. This particular player has also played 157 games at 3rd base (22 errors and a comparable fielding percentage to the current guys playing 3rd base). Why not admit the mistake of signing Lamb and put Cuddyer back at 3rd?
My $.02 (which is what Mike Lamb makes every fifth of a second)
Did you know? (Mike Lamb edition)
June 4, 1996: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 31st round of the 1996 amateur draft, but did not sign.