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4.20.2006

To All The G's I Have Loved Before (2006) 

At least once a year I like to check in on our former Gigantes. The exercise affords me a feeling that's one-half nostalgia, one-half Schadenfreude, and one-half teeth-gnashing jealousy. In emotional literacy, as in all other aspects of my life, I'm giving 150%.

The noble, the clear-eyed, the retired: Marquis Grissom, Kirk Rueter.

The last gaspers: Michael Tucker, cut by the Nationals in spring training, now in the minor leagues. Deivi Cruz, cut by the Cardinals, whereabouts unknown. J.T. Snow, backing up Kevin Youkilis in Boston, 12 at-bats so far. Benito Santiago, 23 ABs last year with Pittsburgh, current whereabouts unknown.

The grim march continues: Edgardo Alfonzo, 9 ABs so far with Anaheim. Jim Brower, 8 IP, 13 H, 9 R, 8 BB with Baltimore. Felix Rodriguez, proud as hell to be a Washington National, last seen getting thoroughly abused by Carlos Beltran.

You're dead to me. Dead!: Brett Tomko, Jeff Kent, Jose Cruz Jr., Ramon Martinez, Bill Mueller, Kenny Lofton, Ned Colletti.

The wayward prodigies: Jerome Williams couldn't crack the Cubs depleted rotation out of camp, started in the bullpen, just had his first start of the year. David Aardsma made his Cubs' debut yesterday. Let's go to the recap: "Aardsma...walked the first two batters in the sixth. Sandy Alomar Jr. snapped a 2-2 tie with a two-out RBI single to right. Aardsma then loaded the bases with a walk to Jason Repko and Ricky Ledee batted for Penny, greeting Eyre with another RBI single that made it 4-2." Yorvit Torrealba: He sucked in Seattle and started his Rockies career on the DL. Tony Torcato: "Hey, Mr. Sabean! Surprise, surprise! What brings you to the Pasadena Mall? Did you know you can switch to Cingular and still keep all your rollover minutes?"

Their spirits still stride these hallways, haunting all who care to listen: Joe Nathan, two straight all-star years; Francisco Liriano's brief major league career numbers: 33 IP, 9 BB, 48 Ks; Boof Bonser, this year in AAA so far: 18 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 19 K.

Still leaves a warm tingly feeling, but not the $11 M type of tingly: Scott Eyre, no earned runs in 8 IP on da North Side so far.

Nice guys finish...let's just say Florida is lovely in April and leave it at that: Matt "Old Man of the Marlins" Herges, 6.1 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 2.84 ERA. Rich Aurilia is now Cincinnati's super-utility guy in the best hittin' park in the bigs: 14 HR, 68 RBI last year.

Wishful thinking: Pedro Feliz, traded straight up for Jonathan Papelbon two years ago, had a decent year as a utility guy for the World Champion Red Sox, played one more year as Boston's regular third baseman, then decided to retire with his ring to run his family's yucca plantation on the leeward side of Hispaniola.

There are plenty more out there, waiting, lurking, ready to draw game-winning bases-loaded walks off Armando Benitez in their only major-league appearances of the year. At whose career have you sneaked a peek lately?

**

Small print update: Niekro and Benitez back on the active roster, Ishikawa and Taschner back to the minors. Congrats, Travis, on your 1st major league hit last night.

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