I always liked Larry Bigbie. Back in the Summer of 2004 when I decided to really start getting back into being an Oriole fan, Bigbie’s was one of the jerseys I contemplated purchasing. He was a young kid with a big upside, (the potential to be) an Oriole through and through, having been drafted by the Birds in 1999. I still remember one raucous $5 student night when the O’s took the Cleveland Indians into extra innings, and most of us college students in the upper deck were getting pretty restless, the alcohol having stopped flowing in the 7th inning (per stadium rules). Now faced with the choice of watching the teams keep playing, not knowing how much longer we would be forced to stay dry, or scooting out to the bars while our O’s played on, we were in quite the pickle(s). Larry Bigbie did all of us a great service that night, driving a pitch into the bleachers in right-center in the bottom of the 10th, sending us all happily into the night along with that baseball.
Of course we now know that it probably wasn’t just sweat and perseverance that gave Bigbie the ability to hit that, or any of his, home runs, but rather a strong mix of Radomski-Segui cocktail.
Thanks to Nestor over at WNST.net for pointing out this article from Yahoo! sports. Jeff Passan chronicles Bigbie’s recent life since becoming, as he puts it, “baseball’s Sammy Gravano.” Bigbie has been playing in Japan, and seems more than a little upset that it was he who is attributed with ruining the good names of his friends Jack Cust and Brian Roberts. He says that the feds already had the names, they just brought them to him with “incentive” to be truthful, and that he tried to get ahold of Brian when the Mitchell Report broke, but that Roberts has never called him back. It’s a sad piece. The story is a good read for any baseball fan interested in digging a little deeper than the Mitchell Report headlines, and for any Oriole fan curious just how things played out before, during, and now after the investigation for the kid from Ball State (another reason to like him) with the perpetual cheek-full-o-chaw that we all rooted for during the early years of this decade.