Thursday, December 06, 2007

What in the HELL was I thinking? The Chris Shelton edition

Red Pop, Sloth, The Great Red-Headed Hope, the man who had one of the greatest Aprils in MLB history, Chris Shelton, is not longer a Tiger. Designated for assignment a couple of weeks ago, Shelton's days were numbered, and his number came up today.

Mr. April will be traded to Texas for for career AAAA center fielder Freddy Guzman, who will help fill the minor league outfield holes left by the trades of Gorkys Hernandez and Cameron Maybin. I'm sure Guzman will be a fine center fielder...For the Toledo Mud Hens.

Shelton once swung a bat as Thor swung his hammer.
Too bad that swing had a huge hole in it...

It seems like eons have passed since Shelton was the talk of baseball, with his insane 10 home run April 2006. In reality, only 18 months have passed since those heady days. How far the mighty have fallen. Starting at 1st base for a pennant contender in early 2006, to being given away for a career minor leaguer in late 2007.

From above the fold, to the agate type. I sure didn't see that coming...

I sincerely thought the Tigers had their 1st baseman of the future. Read what I wrote in the early days of TWFE, back in mid-April of 2006. I was a blogger flush with dreams of Chris Shelton punishing pitchers for the next decade.

Is Chris Shelton a baseball GOD? No. Is he for real? Yes. Will he lead the majors in home runs and RBI? No, especially if Jim Leyland inexplicably keeps batting Shelton 6th. Do the Tigers have their 1st baseman of the present and future? Damn straight. All Tiger fans were hoping that Shelton would turn into the kind of player that could consistently put up a .300 average, 25-30 home runs, and 100 RBI. Looks like that's what the Tigers have on their hands. Shelton won't be the next coming of Babe Ruth, but more like the next coming of Norm Cash. In other words, an All Star caliber 1st baseman who mans the position for the next decade. There's not a damn thing wrong with that...

What in the HELL was I thinking?

I got carried away, as most fans did. For that matter, so did Shelton, as that insane April power surge was the absolutely worst thing that happened to him. Shelton thought of himself as a dead pull power hitter, instead of a line drive hitter who would spray the ball around the field.

The home run was short lived, Shelton couldn't regain that sweet line drive swing that got him to the majors, and stopped hitting altogether. The Tigers finally moved on in August of '06, and Shelton moved to Toledo. For good.

Which is where we find ourselves 18 months later. Shelton, never finding his swing, being given away for a semi-warm minor league body.

It's funny how things turn out. What you thought was a sure thing, and wrote as such, was really nothing at all. Just a blip on the MLB radar.

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