Maybe I'm just salty over the recent loss of Eric Gagne, but when I hear new Texas Ranger Kenny Lofton extolling the virtues of Eric Gagne from the perspective of close clubhouse experience, I have to pause...
"He's a guy who wants to win as well, so I think with him deciding to come here knowing what they're trying to do here, I think he also wants to be part of a winner," said Lofton, Gagne's teammate in Los Angeles last season.
Let's recap here. Gagne pitched in 2.0 innings over two games during the 2006 season. Lofton, who joined the Dodgers last year, played in 129 games, which (to his credit) overlapped with Gagne's two games. One of those two games was a loss (June 2) to the Phillies; Gagne pitched a meaningless ninth in a 6-8 loss. The other was a win (June 6) against the Mets, which the Dodgers took 8-5 and Gagne took the save by pitching a scoreless ninth, including two strikeouts.
Given that Gagne would hang out in the bullpen, and Kenny would spend his idle time in the dugout, it is conceivable that Lofton could have spent a lot of time together outside Dodger Stadium, but not likely. Maybe they hung out together and traded fashion tips in spring training, or maybe they played Halo together at Kenny's house on weekends. Or, more likely, Lofton might not know Gagne enough to make a call on how they are going to turn around the fortunes of the Rangers, 80-82 in 2006 and third in the four-team AL West.
Look, I like Gagne, and I liked Lofton last year. But the two of them waxing nostalgic on each other? Come on, now.