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Bryan LaHair: A Free Agent Once Again


Anthony Rizzo, watch out.

 

I kid, obviously, as Rizzo was the one who pushed the man above out of Major League Baseball. However, Bryan LaHair might actually get another chance in the states, with Chris Cotillo reporting on twitter that the Softbank Hawks in Japan have released the lefty 1st baseman, and he is now a free agent.

Even before Cotillo broke the news of his release, I spoke to a source in the industry about LaHair last night and he told me to “never say never” regarding a return to the states. “There have been worse players called up” he stated, and said he should be an intriguing option for 1B/DH hungry teams. My own speculation says that the Orioles could be a great fit here, as LaHair obviously can play 1st, DH, or even play right. He wouldn`t be expensive whatsoever for Baltimore either, so I don`t see why that can`t happen. As for the Cubs, there is no chance anything happens. Rizzo is “the man” at first, Theo has Schierholtz in right, and there has to be old feelings there like “Why in the world would the Cubs start benching me in favor of freaking Jeff Baker?” Or “Why does Rizzo get to start against LHP and I don’t?”. Fun to think about though.

As you can probably tell, I was very upset with how the Cubs handled Bryan LaHair. The guy wins the MVP in the minors the year before, comes out and hits .390 in April with Matt Kemp the only player who did better, then they start benching him constantly in favor of Jeff Baker, who has zero chance of a future with the team. In a lost season, what`s the harm in seeing if LaHair can adjust, or see what he can do in a full season against all pitching? He earned that opportunity, and instead the Cubs went and started benching him all the time. When you`re on the bench that much, you can`t get into a rhythm. It`s extremely difficult.

Then Anthony Rizzo came up and ok, sure let Rizzo play, he`s your guy. But the Cubs should have let LaHair play everyday in RF for the rest of the season. Instead, they decided to let David Dejesus play and hit .265 with 10 HRs, over a guy who could have hit .275+ with 30+ HRs. In a season you`re punting anyways, who cares if LaHair isn`t a fantastic fielder. The players showed they supported LaHair and his play by voting him into the All-Star game. That was awesome, he earned that selection with hard work and dedication. Of course Sveum kept playing him 3-4 times a week and he dropped off. People will always say he had a horrid 2nd half, yes, it`s because he never played.  You have to realize that.

Now that my rant is over I thank you for reading through, i`ve been wanting to get my thoughts out there on LaHair ever since that summer to see if people agree, if I’m not the only one, and what the other people`s logic could be. We should all be happy LaHair might get another shot in the majors, whether it`s a minor league deal or a bench job. I`m just waiting for LaHair to come up against the Cubs and slam a walk off home run, and flip that bat to the moon.

I would love to listen to your thoughts on Bryan LaHair, as as you can see I love talking about him. Thanks for reading!

 

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  • Scott Livingston

    You are spot on. I watched Bryan during his AAA days in Tacoma and he is a professional hitter. He still holds the record for career doubles in Tacoma at a park with big dimensions and at the time a 16 foot outfield fence. He would have hit at least 15 more home runs yearly with the current configuration.

    As for fielding, he’s as good at first base as anyone I’ve seen. In the outfield, does anyone want an outfielder at Wrigley that is going to make a running catch into the ivy. There are bricks behind that stuff. Bryan’s outfield play should have concerned no one. He made all the plays in Tacoma playing first base and the corner outfield positions in his last season in the Seattle system and he did it flawlessly.

    How the Mariners and Cubs have handled this fan favorite, who is also a favorite of his peers, is just more evidence that this lifelong fan of both clubs will never see them in the World Series.