Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Red Sox with No Cards: 2005

2005 saw the Red Sox win the Wild Card for the second consecutive season.  Unfortunately this time they were swept out of the ALDS by the White Sox.  There were not an overwhelming number of players without cards, and even fewer who made much of an impact.  Geremi Gonzalez almost made the list, but I randomly found a Venezuelan sticker card a few weeks ago, so he missed out.

Bradford was acquired in a July trade with the Athletics, in which Boston gave up the disgruntled outfielder Jay Payton.  Bradford appeared in the most games of any of the players on this list.  He was a right-handed middle reliever who had been a major part of the Athletics bullpen and was immortalized in Moneyball.  Bradford used a sidearm motion that was so extreme his knuckles nearly scraped the ground.  His release point was just inches off the ground.  Bradford was good, he was 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA while striking out ten and walking four in 23.1 innings over 31 games.  Bradford bounced around with several teams after 2005 and continued to be a deceptive and successful relief pitcher.

After making his Major League debut in 2002 and appearing in 58 games, Cassidy did not make it back to the Majors until 2005.  Cassidy was originally traded to the Red Sox in April of 2004 as part of a conditional deal.  He was decent for Pawtucket in 2004 and was 6-3 with a 4.65 ERA for them in 2005 before getting the call-up to Boston.  Cassidy appeared in just one game for Boston coming on in the seventh inning of a game on July 9.  He pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up four hits and three runs for a 40.50 ERA.  Ten days later he was traded to the Padres for Adam Hyzdu who appeared for Boston in 2004.  Cassidy later pitched in ten games for the Padres that season and was a major part of their bullpen in 2005.

Cruz had once been a star with the Blue Jays.  He came up with the Seattle Mariners in 1997 and was traded to Toronto for relief help at midseason.  He finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year vote to Nomar Garciaparra.  Cruz hit 30 home runs two seasons in a row and was even a 30/30 player in 2001.  Cruz continued to be successful for a few seasons afterward and then started bouncing around a little.  He started the 2005 season with Arizona and was hitting .213 with 12 home runs when he was traded on July 30 to Boston for minor leaguers Kyle Bono and Kenny Perez, who never made it to the Majors.  Cruz lasted just four games and 13 plate appearances with Boston.  He had three hits, including a double and was placed on waivers.  He was picked up by the Dodgers, his third team of the season.  Cruz kept playing for a few years afterwards, mostly as a backup outfielder.  It makes sense that Cruz does not have a card with the Red Sox, though it is still disappointing.  He had been my little brother's favorite player for a time when he was a Blue Jays fan.

After several seasons of bouncing between the Majors and Minors with the Oakland Athletics, Chad Harville found a spot in the bullpen with the Houston Astros.  He was 3-2 with a 4.75 ERA in 56 games.  2005 saw more of the same.  He was 0-2 with a 4.46 ERA in 37 games with the Astros before being placed on waivers in late August.  Harville was claimed by the Red Sox and pitched in eight games over the final month or so of the season.  He finished four games and was 0-1 with a rather frightening 6.43 ERA over seven innings of work.  Harville struck out three and walked three.  The next season was his last in the Majors as he pitched with the Devil Rays.

Perisho had been a southpaw relief pitcher for a number of teams in the late 1990s and early 2000's.  Perisho had appeared with the Angels, Rangers, Tigers, and Marlins.  He was a big part of the Marlins bullpen in 2004 and was 5-3 with a 4.40 ERA.  Perisho was having a big season in 2005 before he was released.  He had a 2-0 record with a 1.93 ERA but walked eleven versus ten strikeouts.  Boston signed him in August, though he appeared in just one game with the Red Sox.  He did not record an out and gave up a double to the only batter he faced.  His ERA with the Red Sox is the dreaded infinite.  He was released by the Red Sox shortly afterward.  He never appeared in the Majors again but continued to bounce from organization to organization.

Petagine had long been considered a prototypical Quadruple-A hitter, too good for the minors, but not quite good enough for the Majors.  He bounced various National League teams, coming up with the Astros, but also playing for the Padres, Mets, and Reds.  After 1998, Petagine moved on to play in the Japanese Leagues, first with the Yakult Swallows and then with the Yomiuri Giants.  Petagine was a star in Japan, never hitting fewer than 29 home runs and never hitting less than .290.  Boston took a chance on bringing Petagine back to the U.S., primarily as depth at first base for Kevin Millar.  Petagine spent most of the season with Pawtucket where he hit .327/.452/.635 with 20 home runs.  He was called up in August and made it into 18 games down the stretch, hitting .281/.361/.428 with one home run and nine RBIs.  Petagine played a little more for Seattle the next season before heading back to Japan.  Petagine does have a minor league card with the Red Sox.

Remlinger was a 39 year old southpaw and a veteran of 13 Major League seasons when he was acquired by the Red Sox.  He was well-traveled, having pitched for five teams, all in the National League.  Remlinger was primarily a middle reliever, apart from a couple of seasons with the Reds where he was a starter.  He was an All Star in 2002 as a middle reliever with the Braves.  The Cubs traded Remlinger to the Red Sox in August for minor leaguer Olivo Astacio.  He pitched in eight games with a 14.85 ERA.  He struck out five and walked five in 6.2 innings.  The next season, Remlinger returned to the Braves for his final Major League season.

Wooten had been a utility player with the Angels despite coming up as a catcher.  Wooten played catcher, first base, third base, and designated hitter.  Wooten had a little bit of pop in his bat, which explained the time at DH.  Wooten was signed as a minor league free agent by the Red Sox in January and spent most of the time in Pawtucket where he hit .267 with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs while playing first, third, and catcher.  Wooten was called up to Boston and made it into just one game as a defensive replacement for Jason Varitek in the final game of the season.  He had one at-bat and grounded out.  After 2005, Wooten bounced from team to team but never made it back to the Majors.  Wooten has a Pawtucket Red Sox card.

A lot of the players that did not receive Red Sox cards from the 2005 season make sense.  Very few of them played in more than a handful of games.  In fact, Wooten, Perisho, and Cassidy all played in just one game.  Cruz played in four, but was with three teams over the course of the season.  Remlinger and Harville each had fewer than ten games in the last month of the season.  Only Petagine and Bradford played for any real length of time.  If I had to pick one player that I am most disappointed by not having a card, it would be Chad Bradford.  I always liked watching him pitch and a card of him throwing like the one shown would be pretty interesting.

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