saint or sinner?

In the same vein as Jay Leno's perennial question "straight or gay" (lest it is "gay or straight" - who cares in this P.C. world anymore - eh? It is a funny segment on Leno's show) - let us thoroughly analyze now the qualities and the faults of many an illuminary... shall we? Ok? Good! ~ NOTA BENE: perhaps because of the subject matter, this blog is neither perfect with IE, nor with Firefox!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Jeff Reardon


Former major league pitcher Jeff Reardon was arrested on Boxing Day 2005. On charges of armed robbery, oddly enough... (AP/HO, Palm Beach, Fla. County Sheriff Department.)
Back in the day, Reardon was nearly unhittable as a closer. The moment he came on, the game was as good as over. Too bad he spent so many years pitching for the Montreal Expos (good pitching wasted indeed - he couldn't come and close games they had already lost in the 3rd inning!).
It is simply too bad that he got to play for the team he had always wanted to pitch for - the Boston Red Sox - only when it was way too late in his career. He was no longer as effective by then. He was no longer "the terminator" (a nickname that went to a lot of elite closers - Dennis Eckersley and Jeff Reardon were the two most meritorious ones in my book. They would both prove to be human when they'd give up a big time home run in a crucial game - and then it would be all downhill for them... Reardon, reduced to robbery. Eckersley, worse! The Eck is now a most execrable commentator on ESPN or something... The kind of commentator that makes you go "what the (h)eck?!?" often... if you know what I mean. But that is another story...)
Jeff Reardon himself is but a pale shadow of what he used to be indeed... He is to be excused though for his momentary lapse of judgement here (unlike repeat offender Eckersley!)


Jeff Reardon is seen here in this 1989 file picture
when he was with the Minnesota Twins. (AP File Photo)
Those were the days, eh, Jeff...!

Back to 2005 now. According to police, "a man walked into Hamilton Jewelers, a store at a local Palm Beach Gardens mall, handed an employee a note saying he had a gun, and then fled with an undisclosed amount of money." That man was a very dissolute Reardon, who was easily tracked down to a nearby restaurant afterwards, where the police recovered the stolen money, arrested him and charged him with armed robbery. It is important to mention that it was found that Reardon did not have a gun and that he "gave no resistance when arrested" either. He was in fact apologetic and blamed the incident on a prescription for depression. "He said it was the medication that made him do it and that he was sorry," said Lt. David O'Neill, a police spokesperson, "who added that Reardon, who has lived locally for 20 years, had never caused a problem before." The cause for this depression is simple: the former hurler, now 50, had a 20-year-old son who died of a drug overdose in February, 2004.
He also has a wife and two other children.
Sure - he did not deliver for the team(s) worthy of his talents ( his baseball career "spanned 16 seasons and included stops with the New York Mets, Montreal, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees," and only the Mets and Expos got a "terminator closer". Boston and Atlanta deserved to have been the first two teams with Reardon in his prime in their line-up! Still, overall, "Reardon went 73-77 with 367 saves and a 3.16 ERA." No, Minnesota did not deserve him either... IMHO - in my humble-&-luminous opinion.)
He is faillible - on and off the baseball field. Aren't we all... Losing a son though, as he did, makes me want to state for the record that he's more saint than sinner on my score sheet...

 


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