25 February 2011

the g-man goeth

mark grudzielanek, scourge of harry caray's limited pronunciation skills, retired on tuesday.
this makes me sad because grudzielanek was one of the few major leaguers who are older than i am (please keep playing, jim thome!). grudzielanek was a dodger during the meat of the fox years, from midseason 1998 through 2002, and so he never experienced any games of real significance with the dodgers.  he was converted from shortstop to second base midway through his tenure with the blue, and eventually won a gold glove at his new position in 2006 with the royals.

he did hit a career high .326 in his first full season with the dodgers, and he appeared in more games as dodger than he did for any of his other teams (expos, cubs, cardinals, royals and indians).  he was sent to the cubbies with eric karros after the 2002 season in the crazy deal that brought todd hundley back to the dodgers for a second go around. 21 games and .182 was all we got out of hundley, while grudzielanek prodded on, making the playoffs in 2003 with the cubs and in 2005 with the cardinals, although his teams would lose in the nlcs both times. 

from st louis, it was on to kansas city (where he appeared in the same infield as doug mientkiewicz) for three years before sitting out the 2009 season.  he did have a short stint in the twins' organization during the '09 season, but was released before he even got close to earning a callup.  i was disappointed because i enjoy seeing former dodgers as twins (see repko, jason and thome, jim).  it gives me some reason to cheer when i go to games.  i did get to see grudz at target field last season, however, when the tribe came to town in mid april.  but then, he was released by the indians in june.

here's to you mark grudzielanek!  thanks for playing.

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