Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mike Hampton

Now, on to one of the things I like about the Braves.

Surprise. Mike Hampton is one of those good things.

I think that you just have to admire a guy who has worked so hard to try and keep playing, despite repeated setbacks. The sheer tenacity required to go through never-ending rehab. The doggedness required to ignore the fact that your body is refusing to keep things together well enough to play baseball.

I'm a big fan of Mike Hampton. He could have sat at home, collected $14 million a year for the past three years, and no one really would have cared much. Instead, he's essentially become the butt of a lot of jokes, all while working hard to try and keep doing something that he obviously loves.

But don't take any of the above to mean that I believe that he'll ever be an effective major league player again. Honestly, I don't expect him to ever pitch in the majors again.

Fortunately, the Braves front office appears to have come to the same conclusion, as they built their 2008 roster in such a way as to make Hampton a luxury rather than a necessity. If he surprises everyone and pitches the second half of 2008, it will be nice. But if he doesn't, the Braves do have a decent rotation.

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