In the Shadow of a Giant

Wait, I definitely recognize one of them. Maybe that other guy seems vaguely familiar.

Buried in the Minneapolis Star Tribune story titled “Ex-Twins Dickey, Slowey scale Mount Kilimanjaro” is this nugget:

While Mets management tried to discourage Dickey from the arduous pursuit, the Rockies were fine with Slowey going ahead.

Kevin Slowey‘s been called a lot of things recently. On his return from surgery, he was taken to task for “matter of fact” responses. So, a bad interview. A recent television graphic decided he didn’t count enough to be considered a remaining available reliever despite his actual existence in said bullpen. So, a non-entity. Once he told the team he could not warm up to be a reliever with his trunk hurting so, he was branded a me-first kind of guy. So, selfish. He once related his plight to Sisyphus pushing his rock up the hill. So, nerd. Upon his exit from the Twins, he was a clubhouse lawyer that was “disliked by so many at so many different levels in the Twins organization.” So, the patented Clubhouse Cancer. Oh, and once he was gone, he was labeled a “jerk” that was traded for a “boiled hot dog and a used spit cup.” So, a jerk that was traded for a boiled hot dog and a used spit cup.

It probably was enough to call it quits at some point. Maybe when the team made him a reliever and then questioned his will to pitch. Or maybe when the beat writers had all decided he was an insufferable nerd-wuss. Some point in there, he could have said that he’d had enough, he’d made enough money, and he didn’t need all this abuse.

But all that was supposed to change. A trade was coming and a new team would surely see that he had pinpoint control and could get enough whiffs to make his bad ground-ball rate work. Right?

And then he was finally traded to a new team. And he began to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with his buddies. Fresh starts and all that. The phoenix rising.

Well, at some point he must have also realized that there wasn’t a worse match for his fly ball ways than Coors Field. And once the trade was followed with further acquisitions, he must have read how he was now part of the “chum” in the bottom of the Rockies’ sixth-starter bucket. Oh — he’s also ticketed as, perhaps, the third-most likely pitcher to seize that coveted sixth-starter role.

And while the Mets want to protect the asset that his his no-UCL-having Hobbit-quoting three-knuckle-ball-throwing veteran friend… the Rockies are like, ‘meh, whatever, don’t fall down the mountain or anything.’ Not quite the same slings and arrows he once endured, he still isn’t quite getting what a man might call ‘respect.’

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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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I’d like to nominate “Insufferable Nerd-Wuss” for the next Fangraphs T-Shirt after “We’re All Gonna Go Dateless!”