Sunday, December 14, 2008
Daniel Cabrera, 2008 Upper Deck First Edition #143
While I was distracted this weekend with family Christmas parties, heartbreaking football games, and Internet outages, the Orioles cut ties with Daniel Cabrera, failing to tender him a contract by the midnight deadline on Friday night/Saturday morning. This ends the five-year tenure of one of the most frustrating performers ever to wear an O's uniform. A 6'8" pitcher with a nasty attitude and an arm speed of ninety-plus miles per hour will get all the chances in the world, and the Birds surely used up a lot of those chances. It doesn't matter how unhittable your pitches are if they seldom find the plate, but Danny's problems were compounded by an increase in hits by opposing batters. His velocity started to tail off, and the team was convinced that he was injured, though they couldn't find any concrete evidence. That was enough to scare them away from a probable $5 million contract for 2009. While I cannot fault Baltimore for settting Cabrera free, and I will not miss the few dozen headaches per year that he caused, there's still a nagging feeling that he will win 15-18 games somewhere and make us look bad. Who knows?