Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, June 03, 2011 07:00 AM Comments: 1
As you may or may not be aware, the Phillies are once again the employers of one Les Walrond. Walrond, who was, a week ago, signed out of independent minor league ball, was promoted yesterday to AAA Lehigh Valley. For those of you who are not familiar, Walrond is a 34-year-old left-handed reliever with a career major league ERA of 7.07. In general, if your ERA is going to be the model number of a jet airliner, you tend to want to go with an Airbus, rather than a Boeing (3.40 versus 7.37 and so on). Walrond made his major league debut in 2003, and has played for three major league teams since then, but he’s never had more than the proverbial cup of coffee. In fact, by innings pitched, Walrond is still a rookie. In 2008, he was a roster filler for a few weeks with the Phillies, and we, as fans, gravitated to him because of his funny name. But the more I think about Les Walrond (and yes, I do spend time thinking about Les Walrond), the more I see him as a player of great sociological significance.
Walrond is the exemplar of the itinerant worker of major league baseball, the man who was never a prospect or a star but aimlessly wanders through the underground wasteland that is the high minors for a decade or more, hoping, in his heart of hearts, to catch on for that one last chance at breaking into the show, but expecting only his next paycheck. The high minors and independent ball are full of such players as these men, traipsing aimlessly around like the title character in “Charlie on the MTA” while younger and more promising talents are skyrocketing past him. Continue reading They Are the Eggmen; I Am the Walrond