Would You Like Some Cheese with that Whine?

In this day and age, baseball players change teams more often than Dennis Rodman changes hair color. The Free Agent Era has produced a boon in several industries. For example, with all the player movement fans are nearly required to buy a game day program just to see who is now on the roster. The team seamstress is now making overtime as well sewing on all of the names of the new players. With the changes, there is also a need for the media to meet and greet these new players. For better or worse, this also gives the players a chance to speak to reporters and give the fans a glimpse into their personalities and thoughts. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it isn’t so good. In the past week, two former Arizona Diamondbacks players were signed by other teams and as part of their signings, they took the opportunity to take some pot shots at their old team and its fans.

Andy Benes this past week signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. Now whether he was trying to tell the fans he was happy to be a part of the organization or he was just misquoted, we will never know. But he didn’t endure himself to the Diamondbacks fans when he said his mind and his heart has been in St. Louis the past two seasons. Maybe that explains why he didn’t pitch well last year. If he would have focused as much on his pitching as he did on St. Louis he may have been a 20 game winner.

Gregg Olson also changed uniforms last week signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now Gregg went from being the comeback player of the year in 1998 to being the team’s new mascot, a goat, in 1999. I think his mind was in Los Angeles and his body had to follow. After giving up the home run on opening day 1999 in Los Angeles, he never recovered. During winter workouts this week, Olson talked about his season last year and also about the Arizona Diamondbacks fans. He complained about how the home town fans treated him and how he got booed whenever he gave up a hit. Maybe of the hits he gave up weren’t game winning home runs, he wouldn’t be booed. I’m thinking, anyone who is making more money than most fans will see in their life time and does a mediocre job deserves to be booed off the mound. Olson better develop a thicker skin or a better fastball if he doesn’t want to catch grief from the bleachers.

With the attitude of these players, it will be interesting to see how the Diamondbacks fans react as the Dodgers and the Cardinals come to town in 2000. The fireworks may not be restricted to pre-game activities.

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