Friday, August 04, 2006
Say Goodnight, Gracey
Mark Grace cannot help himself. As quoted by Barry Rozner in today’s paper: “I think the fans thought of me as one of them. I didn’t have a posse and didn’t travel with ‘security guards,’ or have private booths around town. I tried to always be available to the fans.’’
Yes, he famously (to my group of pals) bought a round of beers in Cincinnati, while trolling for skank in Covington, Kentucky with Luis Gonzalez and Brian McRae, all the while smoking, the record reflects that as great as individual player he may have been, his teams did not win with him as their best player, and he did not make the players around him better.
His reputation with the fans and media is solidified by his beer-buying and agility with a juicy quote, but he was not a winner. 2000-plus hits, but no 100 RBI seasons.
He burned his bridge with me when, seconds after winning the 2001 World Series, took the occasion to rip the Cubs and their management, saying “I'm not good enough to play for the Chicago Cubs, but I'm good enough for the World Champion Diamondbacks." Congratulations on winning the Series, Gracey, celebrate that, don’t take shots at the team and its fans who provided you with all the strange you could handle.
And, of course, let's not forget his dalliance with B-actress, Janine Turner.