|No milestone for Barry off Springer|
You shouldn't really cheer a beaning, as throwing at a guy can cause injuries, or even worse, head injuries. But back in 2006 Barry Bonds did seem like a special case. Looking for number 714 Bonds stepped up to the plate and saw at least one pitch sail behind him before another plonked into his back. I think we played the Giants in quick succession because I recollect Bonds was close to hitting 714 off Taylor Buccholz at AT&T Park.
Springer was a fantastic pickup in the middle of 2004 when the Astros bullpen was really struggling. It arguably cost Jimy Williams his job at the All-Star Break, as it seemed to cough up leads left right and centre.
Ricky Stone and Kirk Bullinger and his low-arm action out, Dan Wheeler, Springer, Chad Qualls, David Oliver and Darren Oliver in. Oliver barely pitched, and Weathers pitched more like Dan 'Pinkeye' Miceli than Brad Lidge but the rest were money. Qualls had actually had a rather scrappy 2004 in New Orleans with the Zephyrs, and Springer was actually in retirement after playing with the Cardinals in 2003. Wheeler was claimed from the Mets off waivers and pitched fourteen times for the Astros in the regular season.
He pitched decently for the next two seasons until Tim Purpura, for reasons unbeknownst to the rest of us, failed to offer him a contract extension. Tony LaRussa snaffled him up and he had two excellent seasons with the Redbirds before moving on to Oakland, Tampa Bay, and finally Cincinatti.
But after 21 years and 18 seasons, Springer is retiring, and this time for good. This home-town piece is a solid read.