I’ve been beat up. I’ve been thrown out. But, I’m not down. I’m not down. I’ve been shown up. But, I’ve grown up. And I’m not down. I’m not down. -Clash
Public Service Announcement: OK, here we go! Just a fast one today. A blast from the past one today. At long last one today. Eric Gagne was once the greatest closer in all of baseball. But then came the injuries. Then came surgeries. You want to trust the doctors. Their procedure is the best. But the last try was a failure. And the intern was a mess. Gagne was a mess. Gagne was a mess back in ’06. Back in ’06, he thought it might be over. Greer is putting the ball in play. He gets it out deep and Havlicek steals it! Over to Sam Jones! Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over…It’s all over! Gagne thought it was all over when doctors took out eighty-five percent of his L-4 and L-5 vertebrae. That summer, doctors also performed surgery on his pitching elbow. With all of that, the Texas Rangers still took out a six-million dollar flier on him. The Six Million Dollar Man. Eric Gagne. Closer. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.
Bigger? Faster? Stronger? That’s a tough bill to fill. A climb all uphill. But he had the skills. The skills to pay the bills. Had the skills to save fifty-two games in his first season as a closer. Had the skills to save fifty-five out of fifty-five the following year. Fifty-five saves lives. That made him the first pitcher to ever record fifty saves in more than one season. It also made him the fastest pitcher to ever reach the 100-save plateau. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Powerful enough to convert eighty-four consecutive save chances. Another major league record. Powerful enough to convert 161 out of 167 chances. Yowza! Earned himself the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award. How do you spell relief? G-a-g-n-e. Became the first relief pitcher in eleven years to win the Cy. Hey hey my my! Rock and roll will never die.
Eric Gagne didn’t die, but he was never quite the same. During his time with Texas, he was 2–0 with 16 saves and an ERA of 2.16. Opposing hitters batted only .192 against him. He later had a stint with the Red Sox where in the World Series he pitched a perfect ninth inning in a 13–1 Game 1 victory. He later had a stint with the Brewers where after 3 blown saves in 6 attempts, Ned Yost announced Gagné would be removed from the closer’s role. Ultimately, he was released by the Brewers in part due to a shoulder injury. Last year, Eric helped the Quebec Capitales of the independent Can-Am League win the Championship as a starting pitcher/coach.
This year, things are looking are up for good old Gagne. This year, everything’s coming up roses. You’ll be swell! You’ll be great! Gonna have the whole world on the plate! Starting here, starting now,honey, everything’s coming up roses! This year, Sports Illustrated’s John Heyman just reported that the Dodgers are looking to land a spot for him. He also reports the Rockies are in the mix as well. I report that I hope he makes it.
Peace out homies. Six Two and Even!