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5.09.2007

Not So Fast, Rickey Henderson

Just because Roger Clemens has decided he's still capable of throwing a baseball into the strike zone, does not mean that every 40-something ex-major leaguer can make a successful comeback.

Rickey Henderson seems to think he's more than capable, hoping some major league team out there will come calling.

"I see Roger can come back and play. I can come back and play," he said. "They say I've done too much. The players they put on the field nowadays, they couldn't make it in my day. They'd get sent back to AAA."

Henderson played in the Independent Golden Baseball League two years ago, unsuccessfully trying to attract the attention of big league clubs. He hasn't played in the majors since appearing in 30 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003, his 25th year in the game.

As a special instructor for the New York Mets this season, the Man of Steal holds career-bests with 2,295 runs scored and 1,406 stolen bags and is second behind Giants slugger Barry Bonds with 2,190 walks.

He has also notched 3,055 career hits, 297 home runs, appeared in 10 All-Star games and won the 1990 AL MVP award along with an AL Gold Glove in 1981 as an outfielder with Oakland.

Personally, I feel like anyone who won a gold glove the year I was born should probably not be playing baseball. But technically, Henderson is four months younger than Mets infielder and oldest current player in the majors, Julio Franco... which is just not right. Henderson caught a foul ball in the stands Monday night, saying: "Showing 'em I've still got good hands. The ball found me. I was so quick."

The 48-year-old legend says he hasn't hit the gym for a while, but he drives a tractor on his 455 acres of land near Yosemite National Park, rides horses and raises cows... and insists he will win a trophy in competitive fishing one day.

Henderson also showed his realist side, saying he's probably through with playing baseball. However, he plans to stay involved with the Mets. Who better to school players in the fundamentals of leading off and baserunning? Jose Reyes, leading the majors with 19 steals, is testament to that.

[Baseball Corner] | [MLB Trade Rumors] | [Baseball Primer]

7 comments:

jake the snake said...

If Rickey Henderson makes a comeback, I just don't know what I'll do. Where would he play? The Twins sure could use a DH.