Via Mark Healey:
The Yankees are intrigued by the leadership abilities of Mike Cameron, Aaron Rowand and several others, but is it Jim Edmonds who some team insiders believe is the proper target. There have been more than one Edmonds/Brain Cashman flirtation over the years, and for different reasons, the two have never been able to pull off a deal.
“He’s the next coming of (Paul O’Neill),” said one team exec. “We really think he’s the answer to a lot of our problems, and with him in center and Johnny Damon in left, we’ll cover a ton of ground and get some offense out of there as well.”
“He won’t cost us players – the Brewers want Ian Kennedy-plus for Cameron, so that’s pretty much not happening – He won’t cost us years – he’s looking for a two-year deal – and we have Brett (Gardner) and the kid (Austin Jackson) around in case he needs rest or gets hurt.”
This is funny. It makes me think back to something that was in the L.A. Times back on March 18, 1998 regarding Jim Edmonds:
Edmonds has what Manager Terry Collins calls “a gait of confidence,” which some might construe more negatively as a pro glide. He has so much natural ability and such a carefree, almost happy-go-lucky, approach to the game that everything seems easy for him.
He will laugh at himself after looking silly waving at two curveballs in the dirt, then drill a fastball over the wall. He will hobble off the field with a pained expression after a hard slide, then race 40 yards into the gap, chasing down a long fly ball.
“Some guys have to grind it out every day,” Collins said. “Others are so skilled they sometimes give the impression they’re not trying, even though they are.”
Anyone who has seen Edmonds crash into a wall, dive onto the warning track or run from first to third on a single knows that Edmonds exerts himself every day.
But between those plays will be an occasional at-bat where it appears Edmonds didn’t have much of a plan, or a night when, perhaps because of injury or fatigue, he will mope around for a few innings as if he didn’t really want to be out there.
“I don’t think in the 2,200 games I played I could count on two hands the number of nights I felt great,” said Angel third base coach Larry Bowa, a former Philadelphia Phillie shortstop. “But that’s what separates the good players from the superstars; they’re able to grind it out.
“Jimmy has the chance to be a superstar with the way he hits and plays defense. But there are games when it looks like he’s not mentally where he should be… . Sometimes because of his mannerisms–he’ll drop his head or something–you get the perception that maybe he doesn’t feel like playing.”
General Manager Bill Bavasi noticed that as early as 1992, when Edmonds was playing at double-A Midland, Texas. The team’s farm director at the time, Bavasi evaluated Edmonds for a few days and concluded, “His body language will drive you nuts.”
Now, does that sound like Paul O’Neill? Really?
Oh, and, Jim Edmonds will be 39-years old next season. Just what the heck is that “team exec” smoking?