Monday, February 7, 2011

Woodie Fryman (betraying my age)

Left-handed and no longer breathing: Woodie Fryman, a journeyman southpaw who toiled 18 seasons in the majors, died on Sunday at the age of 70.

Seventy. Boy, am I growing old.

Woodie Fryman had a marvelous, memorable name and one glorious half season in 1972. He was a mere 4-10 for a lousy Phillie team when he was waived to the Detroit Tigers, for whom he went 10-3, 2.06 and was a key cog in their drive to unseat the Baltimore Orioles at the top of the AL East. 

And the next season, Fryman was 6-13 with an ERA above 5. Whatever bottle he caught that lightning in had shattered.

It's rather a surprise to me to see in his stats that he had more decisions with Montreal than anyone else. I remember him at a Tiger and a Phillie, but he was most effective with the Expos, especially after he moved to the bullpen.

Most effective for Montreal -- and for a few months with Detroit, when he demonstrated to this then-young fan a long-established pennant race principle: A seemingly ineffective veteran on an also-ran can be something else completely on a contender. 


Poll stuff: We had 44 responses to last week's question on what to expect from Joe Nathan.

Seven (15 percent) expect his pre-injury dominance; 19 (43 percent) expect him to be the fulltime closer but less effectively than in the past; 15 (34 percent) see him sharing the closer role; and three (15 percent) foresee another injury.

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