03/22/2005: Thought for the Day:
Ankiel now joins a notorious list of "might’ve beens" from baseball history – Tony Conigliaro, Herb Score, Pete Reiser, Mark Fidrych, Steve Busby, and, of course, countless people you’ve never heard of. But we shouldn’t exactly feel sorry for the guy. By my count he made at least $4 million by the age of 25 ($1.5 million in salary over five years, plus a $2.5 million signing bonus) and, you know, he did get to play in the major leagues (which is more than you can say for flameouts like Brien Taylor or Josh Hamilton).
And let’s face it, after Ankiel hangs up his cleats for good, he’ll follow a career path not unlike countless Americans before him. I mean, very few of us get paid to follow our dreams. By the time we reach age 25, most of us have already set aside our ball gloves or our guitars or our paintbrushes and we’ve started looking for more practical ways to settle down, pay the rent, make do. In a very real sense, then, when we mourn for Rick Ankiel we may as well be mourning ourselves.
--Brian Gunn, on new minor-league outfielder Rick Ankiel
Len on 03.22.05 @ 08:18 AM CST