Normally at HBT we have a pretty set pattern of posts when it comes to non-superstar players toward the end of their careers: we have something about their last signing. Their last release/DFA/retirement/whatever. Then maybe a post about them trying to latch on one or two more times. Maybe playing in Asia or going back to the high minors. Sometimes an interview about how they’re enjoying retirement or how they got a coaching gig.
We didn’t have that pattern with Khalil Greene. I looked back at the HBT archives and realized we hadn’t written about him since early 2010, right after he signed with the Rangers. He never reported to spring training, however, and then the Rangers voided his contract. We knew for a while that he had suffered from social anxiety disorder which made the news while he played for St. Louis. That came back to haunt him again in the winter of 2010 and like that, he was out of baseball. No comebacks. No spring training invites. No stint in Japan.
And certainly no interview. Indeed, as this story from Rob Rains at the STL Sports Page reveals, Khalil Greene — who may have been one of the greatest college shortstops of all time, and who was, for about four years, one of the more valuable shortstops in the majors — has disappeared from the public eye altogether.
He maintains contact with one person from his baseball life — Tim Corbin, who was an assistant coach at Clemson when Greene played there and now coaches Vanderbilt — but no one else. But based on what his former teammates have to say about his time in the majors — that he always seemed to be struggle with the pressures of the game, to the point where he would physically hurt himself when he failed — it’s understandable that he has retreated from the game and the public eye. Everyone speaks fondly of Greene, but everyone seems to agree that he had things in his life that were more important to him than baseball.
While it’s a shame that Greene never truly fulfilled the immense promise he had back when he was 21 and was being compared favorably to Cal Ripken, it’s far better that Greene has, presumably, found happiness, contentment and solitude with his family in his private life that he never could find on a baseball diamond.
Just a really crappy week for the Braves and Braves fans. The latest indignity came as I was writing that Oakland A’s post and needed a link to a story about the Braves collapse in 2011. Enter Google’s auto-fill function:
Part of me wants to fight the specifics here regarding what is and what is not a collapse. Most of me is simply resigned.
The poet Ted Hughes once said “the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember.” Ted Hughes can get bent.
They A’s frittered away the AL West lead, with the Angels clinch coming when it did thanks to the A’s frittering away the game in the ninth inning last night. Now they seem to be frittering away even more stuff: they’re down 4-0 to the Rangers in the first inning of this afternoon’s game.
That’s the worst team in Major League Baseball, of course. Not that the A’s are alone in turning in an unexpectedly poor performance to the Rangers lately. The Braves season effectively ended last weekend when they got swept by the Rangers.
And if this continues, that’s not the only thing the A’s are going to have in common with the Braves.
It’s been an ugly couple of weeks in sports. Let us cleanse the palette with pure wholesomeness:
Barry Bonds in pinstripes. And presumably on nothing more than milk, cookies and the occasional St. Joseph’s aspirin.
On September 5, Ron Washington abruptly resigned from the Texas Rangers. He gave no explanation apart from citing “an off-the-field personal matter.” He just spoke to the press in Dallas and explained why he resigned. Sort of.
Washington said “I was not true to my wife, after 42 years.” He said nothing more as far as explanation. He said “I made a mistake, and I’m embarrassed. More than I’ve ever been in my life.” He added that “when you put yourself in situations, you own it,” and said he apologized to his wife and wanted to apologize “to those I disappointed,” including his players, his coaches, Major League Baseball and the Texas Rangers.
He added, “All I ask is for your forgiveness and your understanding.” He further asked that his privacy be respected. He said the matter was “certainly personal,” and that “we’re trying to put it behind us.” He said “Today I’m at a very low time in my life.” Washington took no questions.
To put it plainly: Ron Washington is not the first and will not be the last person in baseball to cheat on his wife. None, that I am aware of, resigned for it. One has to assume that there is more to this story.