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This is the archive for May 2008

Lenstradamus Called It Last October...They Should've Listened.

A funny story before I get into this. A short time after the Mets got Johan, I had a column ready to roll, singing the praises of the Mets and all but having them headed for the Show. I stopped just cause I'm a notorious procrastinator and I never came back to it. Looking at how they've started this year, I'm glad I didn't. Conversely, a year ago after the worst collapse in sports history, I wrote a column while righteously pissed saying they should've canned Randolph. There was just way too much that jumped out at me then, that I felt could become a bigger problem now if they went unchecked. They should've listened. I'm not one to say 'I told you so', but damnit, they should've listened. To Omar Minaya and the Wilpons, I should've printed a copy of my 'Open Letter To Willie Randolph' and sent it to them. Maybe if they acted then, they wouldn't be reading the stuff they're reading now questioning the team's lackluster effort given against the dregs of the Senior Circuit. For those of you uninitiated, let's recap shall we?

Someone give this man a damn retirement party

Apparently no one seems to have noticed, but Julio Franco retired yesterday after a 23-year career in baseball.

How this news hasn't even registered as a blip on the MLB radar boggles my mind. In this day and age when so many athletes who "retire" get a send-off of obscene proportions (only to unretire less than a year later), the end of a career that spans decades should get some kind of an honorable mention, yet no one seems to give a damn. No, Julio Franco was not a superstar, but the fact that he was still playing effectively after over 20 years should be worth something. There are major league players who weren't even BORN when the man started his career. He holds the record for being the oldest ballplayer in the major leagues to hit a home run, which he achieved at the age of 48. How many 48-year-old men do you see still hitting home runs these days? Hell, how many 48-year-old men are still playing baseball, period?

His final stats: .298 average, 2,586 hits and 173 home runs in 23 seasons in the majors with eight teams. All of it steroid-free, too--that alone should earn him a year-long party.

Cal Ripken can get put on a pedestal for playing a lot of baseball games in a row. Barry Bonds can get a paper crown on his ginormous head for hitting a bunch of home runs. How come Julio Franco can play baseball and play it well for 23 years and no one seems to feel it's worth even mentioning?

Somebody had better be coming up with a Julio Franco Day pretty damn soon, that's all I can say.