The Pittsburgh Pirates released Lastings Milledge today, making his bust status as official as it can possibly be.
It’s one thing to be traded by the Mets. It’s one thing to be traded by the Nationals. But to be released by the Pirates? Not good. Truth is, Milledge never lived up the hype that accompanied his rise to New York several seasons back. He was touted as a four-tool guy, but he was sorta like a four-tool-whose-tools-aren’t-so-wondergul guy. Plus, he came off as a sort of a doofus. And only superstars survive as doofuses.
So what happens now? Pretty obvious:
1. Milledge is invited to spring training by someone—I’ll guess either the Dodgers or Phillies.
2. He fails to make the opening day roster and is demoted to Triple A.
3. Spends most—if not all—of the season at Triple A, hitting somewhere around .300 with 15 homers, 70 RBIs, 20 steals.
4. Invited by a different team to spring training in 2012. Doesn’t stick.
5. Instead of accepting another assignment, joins a team in Japan. Plays well, stays for six or seven years, makes good coin, retires.
Same ol’ story, different player.