Dodgers history is filled with fish that got away, from Roberto Clemente to Carlos Santana. Pedro Martinez. Mike Piazza. Paul Konerko. Shane Victorino. Okay, I'll stop now. But my point is that once they get away, rarely do we get them back. (Or, as with Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis, we get them too late.)
So it is with great interest that I'm following Eric Gagne's progress this spring training. Gagne's admitted HGH use makes his return more than just a nice reunion with his original team. It is (in John Facenda voice) a shot at redemption.
Ned Colletti saw enough in Gagne's arm to pay him $500,000 if he makes the team, with another $500,000 possible in incentives. Should he be chosen, it won't be a sentimental inclusion — Gagne will have to earn his spot.
Right now, the chances of Gagne appearing at Dodger Stadium again don't seem great — he's competing against a boatload of other washed-up pitchers. But the soft, squishy part of me is rooting for him to make it so he can at least partially atone for his misdeeds. The hard, cynical part of me thinks he should receive his just desserts for cheating, and he's already earned a great deal of money, so he doesn't deserve a second chance. And the itchy, annoying part of me is saying, We need to see a doctor about this rash!
Way to take a stand, Orel. I know bloggers are supposed to express outrage! and be controversial! but I just can't tap my inner Plaschke to fully come down against Gagne. It helps that Gagne has been contrite about his HGH usage and hasn't pulled a Paulie on us. What do you think?
photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers