Every year the Brewers sign some old guy who is way past his prime. They say that the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes. The Brewers most recent signing, has lead me to add one more to my list; the Brewers signing a worthless veteran every off-season. Usually they tell the old man that he will be able to compete for a full time job, but that is almost never the case. At least this time they did not invite that geezer to camp and give him false hope. This is puzzling though, because they already tried this experiment once and it did not work…
Corey Patterson is the definition of a journeyman. This marks his 9th team change since the year 2000. That includes a very short stint with the Brewers in 2009, which included 11 games and 7 strikeouts in just 14 at-bats. Oh, but he did have a single, then got caught stealing…so clearly this is a talent the Brewers needed to get back. Patterson must have made an impression on someone though, because he is going to be back in the Brewers organization for the 2011 season.
My only guess is that the Brewers plan to have him back up Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, Carlos Gomez, and Norichika Aoki. And should any of them get injured, or mysteriously suspended, I would hope that Caleb Gindl or Logan Shafer would be the ones to get the call to the big leagues. So, Patterson will be playing in Triple-A Nashville for the whole season. As a 33 year old stolen base specialist with a .290 career on-base percentage, it is probably rough to get a job right now. Especially when half-way decent outfielders like Raul Ibanez are struggling to find work. Beggars can’t be choosers.
I remember the days when Corey was a budding superstar on the Chicago Cubs in the early 2000′s. Problem with Patterson was that he never bloomed. Guy had all of the “potential” in the world, but could never put the entire puzzle together. His best seasons were in 2003 and 2004, he hit some home runs and stole a lot of bases. It went south pretty quickly after that. Once the Cubs gave up on him(like the Cubs are known to do), Patterson went to die in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Washington D.C., Baltimore again, Toronto, and St. Louis. It is entirely possible that his career takes its last gasp of air as a member of the Brewers organization.
This signing really serves no purpose, other than to give Gindl and Shafer a veteran to learn from while they spend the season in Nashville. So, to that point I kind of like this signing. However, I can almost guarantee you that this will be the last time an entire article is dedicated to Corey Patterson…maybe ever again. CP was lucky that the Brewers have a quota to meet on ballplayers with broken hips, who watch Matlock, and have a severe craving for apple sauce. Otherwise, he probably would be forced into retirement. Baseball players usually age like cheese, and Patterson is a white cheddar that has been left out for far too long.
In unrelated news, I sure hope that Punxsutawney Phil hooks us up tomorrow. All signs point to spring arriving in Seattle in about a fortnight or so. From what I understand, Wisconsin “winter” has been pretty tame this year. Give us what we want you little furry dude. Global warming is in full swing, so make like Peter Pan and lose that shadow tomorrow morning. Thanks Phil.