After Hampton missed his first scheduled start of the 2008 Major League Baseball season (he strained a “chest muscle” during warmups), we feel it’s a safe bet that Mike will make his next start by Christmas. Christmas 2009 that is…
Congratulations, Mr. Hampton! You’re the big winner! You’re not only the recipient of Frumpzilla’s First Annual Dead Weight Award, you’re the first recipient of any award ever handed out by Frumpzilla.com, ever (barely). Who knows, if Frumpzilla wasn’t only a little over a month old, you might actually be winning back-to-back Dead Weight Awards. You’d almost certainly be the front runner, if nothing else.
Mike, you were riding high back in ’99: 22-4, 2.90 ERA, 1.285 WHIP. Life was good (though I guess it still is in a sense). Only a 17-9 Randy Johnson kept you from the Cy Young that year (you finished 2nd in case you’d forgotten). Sure, The Big Unit had a lower ERA, WHIP, and struck out twice as many batters, but 17-9? You were robbed, dude.
Of course, after your big rep/contract year, things started to head “North”. Yeah, yeah, you played in the Subway Series with the Mets in 2000 (you lost), and sure, you managed to go a solid 15-10 that year. Things could have been worse. 2001 saw you shift, again, to the Rockies. You went 21-28 over two seasons, capped off by a 7-15, 4.77 ERA, and 1.785 WHIP campaign in 2002. Not good.
Still, just when you thought the afterglow of that ’99 season was about to fade away to little more than a relatively meaningless statistical footnote, Braves GM John Schueroltz, in his infinite wisdom, came calling. Yep, you got a monster deal, and, to be fair, went 27-17 in your first two seasons as a Bravo, though that probably didn’t justify the $28+ million you banked. Well, wait a minute, f&ck the “probably”, it simply didn’t justify it. If only it ended there.
In 2005 you went down after your 12th start, and haven’t come back since. That’s right, Mr. Hampton, you haven’t made a Major League start since October of 2005. Lucky for you, you’re still getting paid: $15+ million in 2005 for 12 starts; $14.5 million in 2006 for, *ahem*, ZERO starts; and another $14 million in 2007 for yet another season without taking a single competitive step on the mound.
But 2008’s a fresh “start” right? Oops, silly me, you pulled a hammy in the spring. Bounced back though, which was nice, but then we have last night’s strained pectoral muscle. Will this ever end, Mike? I mean, you’re not trying to save your seat in the dugout or something right? Are you simply jerking our chain? The Braves’ chain?
Come to think of it, maybe that’s it. You were with the Astros during your bank rolling ’99 season yeah? Lost in the Divisional Series to what organization? The Braves? Still a bit bitter? I guess so…