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Wednesday, June 8

The Rick Monday Commemorative Homers Times Two Equals RBIs Award

For those of you familiar with Baseball Reference, here are the top 5 comps of Today's Award Winner:

Reggie Smith (961)
Ruppert Jones (961)
Chili Davis (960)
Dwight Evans (957)
Rick Monday (954)

Wha-Ow! Talk about a Who's-Who in Middling Competence. Count the rings, baybee...Smith, 1. Jones, 1. Davis, 3 blingy motherfuckers. Monday Monday, 1. Of course, out of the six rings, only Davis with the '91 Twins and Monday with the '81 Dodgers had a major role.

ALL were big-name players, all for the most part batted in or near the heart of the order, some were glove men, some were breast men, and all were productive enough.

But, basically, none of these men carried a team on their backs to a World Series win. None of these men were IMPACT players.

For me, I guess I will never, ever be able to give Corey Patterson a fair shake, because when he came here, I was led to expect that he would become an IMPACT player. Like Grandpa Pujols, Vlad the Impala, The Great Sofa. Like the Present Day Derrek Lee, which I have purposely led us towards.

When many of us first noticed Derrek Lee, it was in the 2003 Playoffs. The previous year, he had enjoyed his first substantial Fantasy year. In 2003, he was a 30 homer guy, but at the start of the playoffs, he was the one place in the Florida lineup I could relax on, he just didn't seem like much. Of course, he then settled down and by Games 6 and 7, he was Just Killing Us. So we went out and got him, and to me he had a fine year with his glove and the occasional game or two. But now, finally, the light has clicked on for Mr. Lee, at 29 years of age.

Right now, Corey Patterson is one fucked up hombre. Is he a power guy? An average guy? A leadoff man? A third-hole slugger? A six-hole mopup man? The comps would suggest that mop-up duty is his destiny, which on a championship team, you need a guy who can sit in that six-hole, and once in a while break someone's back with a clutch two-out run-scoring blast. If you can also play stellar defense, like Evans or Monday could at times, that's an extra super duper bonus.

But right now he is watching cheese float by him over the plate, and swinging at 58 foot sliders. He is so fucked up that the Great Impact Player is functioning at Rob Deer Two-Outcome status. It's either Home Run, or Nothin', as Ernie usedta say in the old Home Run Derby commercials.

If it were me, I'd stick him in the six spot, and inform him to shut his fucking mouth about hitting third. When you're ready to hit third, kid, I'll let you know. I like his defense (sorry, Chuck, but you can't really go by his recent performance). He NEEDS to be managed, and the laissez-faire policies currently practiced by New-Age Philosopher Johnnie B. Baker aren't helping Corey one bit. Patterson never struck me as a particularly deep sort, and I am going to assume that right now, he doesn't know whether or not to breathe in, breathe out, shit or cut bait. He's better than this.

But there are those who would advocate packaging him with some pitching prospects for a true leadoff man. And to you, I would politely say....OK. I don't think we are trading the next Lou Brock away, or the next Barry Bonds. Rick Monday for a true leadoff man...sure, I won't kick over that.