Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Coco Crisp is not your god, despite how he looks on the giant Jacobs Field scoreboard and how loud the knee-dropping and teeth-gnashing that's resulted from the announced-but-not-consummated trade of Coco to Boston.
Those numbers on the scoreboard -- the .281 batting average, the .338 OBP, the .468 slugging percentage -- represent a good player, not a great one. Not a foundation player. They're right in line with his career numbers of .287/.332/.424 in 1,626 ABs. Plenty of people are cuckoo for Coco Crisp for some reason that goes beyond his decent abilities. Maybe it's the afro. Maybe it's his good-guy image. Maybe it's his charity work. Or maybe it's his breakfast cereal name.
But you can't fall in love with a player based on who he is rather than what he does. If you do, you end up with a team of Brook Jacobys and Aaron Boones. When you can get a guy like Andy Marte, and maybe even a guy like Austin Kearns (whose career numbers of .266/.360/.461 in 1,268 ABs I'll take over Coco Crisp's in a heartbeat), you do it. Crisp is a member of the Tribe's supporting cast, much like hunky George Eads in CSI. When he held out for more money a couple seasons ago, the CSI producers were quick to say sayonara, knowing who the franchise (William Peteren, William Petersen, William Petersen) really is. Sure, George Eads is hunky and all, but there's lots of hunky guys in Hollywood waiting for a spot on a show like CSI, just as there are a lot of decent leftfielders who can slug 16 homers a year waiting for a spot in a big-league outfield. When Eads found out he was expendable, he came crawling back.
One of them's Jason Michaels, who the Indians can get from Philly if they so choose. And if Kearns becomes available again thanks to the Reds' new GM, there's another. Of course, since God hates Cleveland sports, Guillermo Mota has already failed his physical, jeopardizing the deal. Be sure the wailing will continue til this all gets sorted out.