Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Jose Bautista, 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Starting Point #SP91

This card might make you a bit queasy, since it's a reminder that the Orioles once employed - and cut loose - a player who a) has gone to six straight All-Star Games while playing for a division rival, posting a 156 OPS+ in that span and winning a pair of home run titles, and 2) is a malcontented pain in the ass who has recently butted heads with Baltimore favorites ranging from Adam Jones to Darren O'Day. This card came in the massive mailing from Randy a few months back, and I both love it (for documenting an otherwise-overlooked piece of O's history) and hate it (for the above reasons).

That the wayward Orioles of the 2000s managed to snatch up Jose Bautista from Pittsburgh in the Rule 5 draft, only to lose him on waivers to Tampa Bay after a dozen plate appearances, is a joke that writes itself. But even I can't beat up on the Birds too badly for that one. As has been well documented, "Joey Bats" was passed around like currency in his 2004 rookie year, going on to play a dozen games with the Devil Rays before being sold to the Royals, for whom he appeared in 13 games...and then he changed teams twice on July 30 alone . KC traded Jose to the Mets, who turned around and swapped him to the Pirates in the Kris Benson deal, bringing him full-circle in seven and a half months. Even then, Bautista was a mediocre player throughout his time in Pittsburgh, and still didn't crack a 100 OPS+ in 2009, his first full season in Toronto. So what are the odds that Bautista was going to break out at age 29, after 575 so-so games in parts of six big league seasons? It doesn't serve as much more than an annoying little glimpse into an alternate reality.

1 comment:

Rob said...

This makes me sick to my stomach for all the reasons you listed above, but particularly because over the past couple of seasons he really comes off like an entitled jerk.