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Tired of Looking At It (Or Them)

Feb 22, 2010, 11:57 PM EDT

Our man Rev is back with another snowy day rant. These are his words.

I
don’t know about you, but I am absolutely 100% D-O-N-E – done
– looking at the dirty, nasty snow on the side of the roads.
Upon arrival the snow was great fun. Hey look, the snow on my lawn could
post-up Earl Boykins…awesome.  Having off from work was nice.
My back, after shoveling, tightening up worse than Jonathan Broxton
in a crucial playoff situation against the Phillies…not so good. As
with so many things the snow wore out its welcome soon after arriving.
It arrived with great promise, but ultimately left me wishing it never
came into my life. I feel the exact same way about countless athletes
who’ve passed through this town. I’ve listed a few below for your
hating pleasure. 

Scott Williams,
Sixers
– The ultimate right time, right place guy. He won three
rings with Michael Jordan’s Bulls. Charles Barkley does not have a
ring, but Scott Williams has THREE. That makes perfect sense. In 1994,
with career averages of 4.85 points per game and 4.25 rebounds per game,
the Sixers signed him to something like a 7 year, $18 million contract.
His first season was his most “productive” in a Sixer uniform when
he averaged 6.4 ppg and 6.3 rpg. His main contribution to the team was
his singular ability to inspire entire home crowds to direct their booing
directly at him. By all accounts he is a very nice guy who has since
gone on to enjoy a broadcasting career. However, fairly or not, during
his time here he became the symbol of all that was wrong with the Sixers.
What did the Sixers get for their money? During Williams’s time with
the Sixers they compiled a sterling 97-233 record. A job well done Scottie.

Jerry
Spradlin, Phillies
– Yes, I am really going this obscure. You
remember Jerry Spradlin, don’t you? 6’7”, 230 lb., righty who
touched 98+ mph on the gun. Yeah, I never liked this guy. He pitched
all of 163.1 relief innings for the Phillies, somehow managing to give
up 18 HR’s over the course of those innings. Not surprisingly, he
earned the glorious nickname “First ball fastball” amongst my friends.
I think it bothered me to no end that he threw so damn hard, and so
damn straight. Don’t believe me? Consider the following from a Jerry
Crasnick chat on ESPN.com:

“…most
major league hitters have more trouble with a 92 mph fastball with movement
than a straight 98 mph fastball right down the middle. Does the name
"Jerry Spradlin" ring a bell?”

When
did this chat take place? Try last season. Spradlin last played in the
big leagues in 2000.  Nine years later, in citing an example of
a pitcher who throws hard, but straight, of all the pitchers who pitched
during that time Crasnick zeroed in on Jerry Spradlin. Amazing.

My
dislike for Spradlin was further validated after hearing a story Ricky
Bottalico told. The Phils were in the midst of getting pounded by the
Giants in an August 1998 game at the Vet. From the AP game story, “Barry
Bonds was 4-4 with a home run, triple, two singles, and three RBI’s.
He had also stolen a base in the fifth inning when the Giants were up
9-2.” In the 7th Bonds came to the plate again as the leadoff
hitter, the Giants were up 12-3. As Ricky Bo tells it between the 6th
and 7th innings Terry Francona called down to the bullpen
to get Spradlin up so he could drill Bonds with that 98+ mph straightball. 
Spradlin refused to do it. What an awesome teammate. So, Ricky Bo ends
up having to go in and plunk Bonds, who was none too pleased and charged
the mound tackling Ricky Bo. Is it any wonder why I disliked Jerry Spradlin
so much? To this day I cannot stand the guy.

Quinton Caver, Eagles
– I know, another obscure player. What is my beef with Caver?
I couldn’t deal with the fact that this guy was a 6’4”, 230 lb.
linebacker who shied away from contact. Coming out of Arkansas the Eagles
took him in the 2nd round, 55th overall, of the
2001 NFL Draft. There was something else that bothered me about Caver
almost as much as his brutal Eagles career. His nickname coming out
of college was The Range Rover. This nickname is a) ridiculous and b)incredibly
accurate in that just like the car he was incredibly overpriced and
way less rugged than advertised. In 16 career games with the Eagles
Caver recorded 9 solo tackles. To put that into perspective David Akers
has 18 career solo tackles. This guy almost makes Asante Samuel look
like Ronnie Lott. Almost.

In
looking back at these three guys I suppose a couple of themes emerge.
First, I cannot stomach guys like Spradlin and Caver who have all the
physical tools in the world, yet are unable to put it together. I suppose
this would fall under the “Bronx Tale” theme “the saddest thing
in life is wasted talent” umbrella.  I also don’t deal well
with guys who are grossly overpaid on bad teams. We’ve had the misfortune
of watching countless players who fall into these categories.

What
are some of yours?