Wow, it’s all so clear now.
Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey Jr. are legends, no doubt about it. When their names come up for the Hall of Fame you can almost bet your only son that they will be inducted in their first chance possible. So why have these two legends been struggling so much when they are only 38 and 40, respectively? Well, it’s because our expectations are now completely skewed by Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Look, you are not supposed to be a great baseball player when you are nearing your 40’s. Well, maybe if you’ve been Roidin’ for most of your career but if you have been clean and never appeared on one of those ESPN news reports with guys like Jason Giambi and Jose Canseco reality usually sets in at around 35 that you have lost a step or two.
Frank Thomas is a career .300 hitter and always has been throughout his 19-year career. This season he was humiliated in front of the entire sports world when the freakin’ Toronto Blue Jays didn’t want him and is now hitting just .258 for the year.
Ken Griffey Jr., a man who once hit 8 home runs in 8 straight games and who could probably hit one out with his eyes closed has just 7 this year despite not suffering through any injuries that we know of. It took him 4 games to hit #600 off perhaps the worst pitching in the National League, the Florida Marlins.
Meanwhile, at Griffey’s age, Barry Bonds was two years removed from hitting 73 home runs and was in his second of three 40+ home run seasons with 403 at-bats or less. Do you see Ken Griffey Jr. ever hitting 40 again? Sadly, I don’t.
Clemens, at the same age as Frank Thomas won 17 games for New York, pitched 200+ innings, and was voted into the All-Star game. Frank will be lucky if he gets to finish the season on any roster.
So next time you see Griffey Jr. struggle for a ball out in Right Field or Frank Thomas ground into another double play remember that it’s the passing of two legends who never cheated anyone, including their fans.
I cannot say the same about Barry, Roger, or Jose Canseco.