Boy, it has been what seems like a million years since I traced our existence--the thrills of birth, life, and death--as seen with baseball transactions as metaphor. In fact, it has been almost a year, and it is not that I have not seen moves that piqued me: it is more a case of too much to do.
But, with the bulk of my spring baseball stuff out of the way (though my Top 250 Prospect List will be out this week), I just could not resist writing about Wily Mo Pena, who signed to play with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
Pena has actually been playing in Japan for a couple of years now, turning in a .280-21-76 line with Southbank, then tanking somewhat last year with a .233-1-16 season, making the former self-proclaimed whiz kid expendable, and available to Orix.
Originally drafted by the Mets, and then finding that signing illegal since Pena was just 16 years old, Pena then signed with the Yankees but was traded to the Reds for another would be superstar, Drew Henson.
One condition, if memory serves, of Pena joining the Reds was the team had to promote him to the Bigs within a year, and as an 18-year-old, Pena assembled a dubious .222-1-1 September in 2002.
Pena did play eight Major League seasons with a .250-84-240 line, and endured no fewer than 16 transactions involving seven more teams and swaps for the likes of Bronson Arroyo and Chris Carter before Pena fled for the land of the Rising Sun.
Confidence is a major component of success at anything. Cockiness is not.