Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Walter update

Anyone in attendance knew something was up based on the loud cheers Randy Walter received each time he stepped to the plate. In case you didn't know, Walter has decided to retire from baseball.

He told me that he didn't have anything planned except to go home and spend time with his family. He also said this was something he had been thinking about for some time.

Call me crazy, but if you have been thinking about walking away from baseball -- something he's known nearly his whole life -- wouldn't you have something more solid planned? Also, why now? Why not wait until the season is over. That's three more weeks. Could moving on with your life not wait three weeks?

No. Not when the real reason behind the departure has more to do with playing time than it does with seeing the writing on the wall or not having fun playing a game.

When I asked manager Dave Machemer to elaborate on the how's, when's and why's of the situation, he became defensive and wanted to keep things private. I spoke with Walter and he, too, wanted to not discuss the details other than that he made up his mind and was looking forward.

There's also the numbers game. You have five outfielders (Horwitz, Ortmeier, Walter, Schierholtz, Foster) for three spots, plus two first basemen (Ishikawa and Von Schell) for one spot. One of the extra guys gets the DH spot. When you don't have the DH, three guys luck out.

I have little doubt that the driving force behind Walter's decision is playing time. It's part of the business. If you don't play, you can't develop. If you don't develop, you can't move towards the Majors. It's a vicious cycle, but it is also par for the course.

6 comments:

skip sceery said...

25 players make up a team trying to reach the pot of gold, some who are prospects, some suspects, and others who never will be. But, they should all be treated with equal respect.

I'm not going to catagorize Randy, but only say he always gave the impression of being a classy guy in an unforegiving business.Every team needs that type of player.

Interpreting Joe's report,this situation smells of another Machamer gaffe. Maybe it will be enough for the Giants to keep him the hell out of here next year.

Joe said...

I don't think you can say this was a Machemer gaffe. Aside from not knowing the details of their relationship, all we know is that Walter didn't perform well with the playing time he received. I don't think you can argue the other six players I mentioned have all had better seasons.

Being a classy, hard-working player doesn't mean you get playing time over those who out-perform you. Keep in mind, Walter was a starter when this season began.

The point of the the blog was to give a "how-I-see-it" view. And how I see this is there is a player who wasn't playing and wasn't progressing through the ranks, so he quit. To say this was Machemer's fault would mean that he should have been playing someone who wasn't producing.

skip sceery said...

My interpretation was formed by your reporting neither Randy or Machemer were willing to discuss the
particulars.And as you mentioned, why now with only three weeks left? Maybe it was a reach by me, maybe not. And I wasn't biching about his lack of playing time, because, yes, he was having a lousy year.

Also, unless I've completely lost it, he was not a starter in the beginning of the season. As I recall. it was EME, Timpner, and Schierholtz. The only time he started regularly was after EME was injured or Timpner was promoted and that was only until another body showed up.

I hope I've clarified my thinking so we can move on.

skip sceery said...

My interpretation was formed by your reporting neither Randy or Machemer were willing to discuss the
particulars.And as you mentioned, why now with only three weeks left? Maybe it was a reach by me, maybe not. And I wasn't biching about his lack of playing time, because, yes, he was having a lousy year.

Also, unless I've completely lost it, he was not a starter in the beginning of the season. As I recall. it was EME, Timpner, and Schierholtz. The only time he started regularly was after EME was injured or Timpner was promoted and that was only until another body showed up.

I hope I've clarified my thinking so we can move on.

Joe said...

Skip,

I hope you don't think I was attacking you. I wasn't. If that was the impression, I'm sorry.

greg8370 said...

Billy Sadler to Triple A today