Was Percival making a Curtain Call?

 
 


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I am beginning to really enjoy the local media members who are at the same odds as us bloggers right now as to the proper terminology or even the phrasing for what Troy Percival is doing right now. But we all should have been aware and ready for it since it is the same kind of song and dance we got right after he got injured near the end of 2008. We know the guy is hurt, we saw the way he was pitching right before he began to yell at his Manager Joe Maddon on the mound during his last performance.

But we have also been told recently that Andrew Friedman and Maddon would sit down soon and discuss the remedies and the consequences of the decisions that Percival needs to make in the coming weeks for the team to make any substantial decisions about his 40-man roster spot. You see, if he retires or leave the team voluntarily, the Rays can then have a solid decision and know what, and where they will need to make moves next. But the merry-go-round got more confusing during the beginning of Saturday nights contest against the Minnesota Twins. Because there was Percival, sauntering down to the Bullpen sitting right on the rail in front of Bullpen Catcher Scott Cursi for about three innings.

It was almost like one of those “Where is Waldo” scenarios as I asked people if they saw him, but only a handful only remember seeing him nestled behind the bench, but on the rail before he then again vanished into the Rays dugout innings later. Was this a gratuitous Percival sighting to entice and confuse the Rays masses, or was it a nicely orchestrated move by both the team and Percival to put some water on the fires about his future with the team.


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As we later found out, he was in town to have a chat with Maddon about the process he is going to encounter using his own personal chiropractor in California who is doing some readjusting and adjusting of his back in the western state. My question is why is he not going to visit a local bone stretcher and then the Rays can have ample medical records and conversations with this doctor. Much less, is he a doctor that Percival has history with from his time with the Los Angeles Angels, or someone referred to by the Rays. So Percival basically came to town to tell the team and Maddon that is doesn’t feel he is finished as a player, but needs some body work done in the mean time.

I know there was a part of the home crowd last night that thought you might be in town to finally cut the strings and fly away into your retirement. That you might be coming back to the Trop. to say your fond farewells to friends and players, but again, we got the mixed signals from you. We are already going to be paying you for your 2009 season since that time has come ands gone to release you without obligations or monetary considerations. We also know that the Bullpen is again in a state of high alert where their individual roles are going to be mixed and jumbled again on a daily basis, and is some instances, batter-by-batter basis.

But is that fair to the guy out there you sat with at your Bullpen team dinners, chatted and joked with on the planes, and even enjoyed seeing them celebrate their first bid into the playoffs up front and in person, then vanished into the background come playoff time.

We get you want o have your treatments in Cali where you can be closer to friend and family. I mean really understand the want to be near your family while getting treatment. Hopefully you stay in close contact with Ron Porterfield and the rest of the medical staff so they can get good and accurate updates on your attempt to find that last bit of energy to hit the mound again this season. So you basically told the team you wanted to play  today and will be  seeking your medical treatment at home in California. Okay, that is kind of acceptable………..What?

You mean you are going to string along this team for another two or three weeks or maybe draw it out for another month or so before either you come back healthy or you finally throw in the towel. And in that meantime, the Rays have to keep your 40-man roster spot warm and cozy for your triumphant return. Troy, buddy, I commend you on what you have done for the team in 2008 to get us to the promised land by posting 28 saves before finally going down with your body in shambles, but this time we need some reassurances you are going to be tip top, or a member of the Rays walking wounded for awhile.

Is that asking too much of a 39-year old closer who is closer to the retirement door than the clubhouse door right now. I understand the will and the determination to want to go on until they carry you off the field wounded and battered for the last time. But you are beginning to have the image of someone who is trying to hold on too hard to something out of fear of losing it.  Calling it quits at any level or position is hard if you still think you can out-perform and out maneuver the young guys, but to endanger their chance at success and  maybe be a contributing aspect to their chance of repeating for another title based on you “maybe” coming back in great shape to pitch them towards the promised land again. Well, maybe it is good you are getting treatment in California. You might want to bring a Hollywood scriptwriter back with you………because that would be a made-for-TV movie at best.

 

So okay, I am going to giver you some time to change my views here. I am going to give the great Troy Percival, who is hankering to get to number 7 in the All-Time saves category for his career.  I am willing to give you some time since we saw you stroll from number 10 to number 8 in quick fashion. But you got to believe we will be watching for you Percy.  Some believe that Maddon has too much faith in you right now, and should cut the strings and run hard the other way before you fire another volley of profanity on him on the mound. We will keep that locker open for you. We will also not give away your parking space in the players’ lot, but hopefully the Rays will have a tighter rein on you during this rehab.

Tick…… Tock, Troy, Tick…Tock!

 
 
 

6 Comments

Rays – not ever having been a professional athlete, I can’t totally understand the need to not want to “hang it up” – but really, I think there comes a time when someone needs to sit these players down and say “It is time”. No one wants to get old and be reminded that they can’t do what they use to be able to – but they really do need to think about what is best for their team as well. And right now Percival seems to have left the Rays in a bind. Good luck to all involved.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I can tell you as a former jock, it took a devastating injury to get me to stop playing.
But then again, I would run through a brick wall if I could back then.
Even now it is hard to admit I am older and a bit slower, but I can still outrun my kids lol.
There is no real way to tell someone that they are no longer wanted or needed at that time.
No manual, term paper, or even a guidebook to help you shift through the transition.
I know they hit me with my book, it was the only way to get me to hang them up.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I guess I can’t really blame Percival for not really wanting to hang it up just yet. It must be really hard to give up doing something you really love, and he’s probably worried about what his future beyond baseball holds. I’m sure he has a family to support and has to think about that, too. Still, it’s not really in the best interests of the team to let a guy who might or might not be healthy to keep waffling about coming back or not. Just ask any team caught up in the Brett Favre drama.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

I could see the Rays maybe putting him somewhere in the minor league system as a manager or coach.
He has done that before, and he seemed to love it before he decided to play again.
Post career is a scary thing. I got lucky enough to get on with a great company and a job I loved for 9 years before finally moving on to my next chapter.
Some guys did not get the education before signing and have to either go back to school at an advanced age, or resort to job they would not have dreamed of even months before they either are released or retire from the game.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Hope is chiropractor has no business relationship with Manny’s “personal physician”… don’t want more of the same ;-)
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com/

Jeff,
Right now that would send him away for good……….maybe.
I always find the word “personal” attached to anything sometime s a bit unnerving.
But it could be worse, he could want another two year contract.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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