Announced the retirement of INF-R Alex Gonzalez; recalled 1B/3B/C-R Chris Coste from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. [5/21]
It's been a long, long, long road for Coste to the big leagues, but he's always hit, he's not embarrassingly bad at either infield corner or behind the plate, and how can you not root for a guy whose big break was four years as a star on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, contending against the evil empire St. Paul Saints in the Northern League? The guy played with Darryl Motley of the '85 Royals, human fire hydrant Brian Traxler, the ageless Jeff Bittiger, famous sibling Ozzie Canseco, and the always-wandering Blaise Ilsley. Anybody else remember the too-large Mike Busch playing third for the Dodgers? He washed up in Fargo too.
Anyway, Coste has been through a lot, but he was being scouted, getting a first shot courtesy of the Pirates, and then finally sticking with the Indians' organization. He's basically someone to root for, proof positive that the Indy leagues have done more than give us the occasional pitching find, they've also given us guys good enough to stick in the upper levels of affiliated farm systems, and even crack The Show.
As for Gonzalez, while he's certainly the not-so-secret beneficiary of the Bartman incident, and although he was always seen as somewhat disappointing, he did turn out to be a pretty useful ballplayer. If he wasn't one of the American League's trinity at shortstop, he was a good glove, a hitter with modest pop and modest patience. He could bunt, and that's the sort of thing that might get Buster Olney lathered up and tingly. Because A-Gonz arrived young yet ready, a lot of us were quick to expect that he'd blossom into something more, but that's our fault, not his.Here's an interesting one that has nothing to do with baseball -- In The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell writes that Allen Iverson probably isn't so good. On another note, is it possible that Gladwell and Iverson have the same hair stylist?