Matthias wrote:ikellen winslow jr., missing a year because of screwing around on a motorcycle.
If you wanted to expand this discussion beyond baseball, i think you have to include the sad story of Len Bias.
This is true. Bo Jackson was never a superb baseball player (much better FB player) so you can't really include him either. Alison still has a chance to do something. Josh Hamilton is really sad, I stopped collecting cards about 7 years ago, grabbed a couple of his Chrome RCs that were worth about $40 (I can't imagine they're worth more then a buck now). That was the exact reason I quit, prospect hype. HOF RCs were worth less then guys that COULD pan out. Oh, and I stopped collecting cause I was too old
Well, just about every player that has been mentioned as a "talent waste" has had some sort of contributing injury to that talent waste. With Ankiel and Knob it was mental, you could add Steve Sax to that as well. Not sure if injuries contributed to their downfall. But Patterson had a hand injury i believe (i could be wrong) and was never the same. I mentioned Griffey because injuries have made him waste the talent he was forced to waste the last 4 years. Hardly any player I can think of has just been great and then suddenly lost it without an injury leading to his downfall. JR Richards suffered a stroke in his limelight!!! If you wanna go really deep Ted Williams lost 4 years to military service (WWII & Korea) and may have been able to top Ruth (not saying he made the wrong choice, but it was a waste of baseball talent). Brien Taylor comes ot mind as wasted potential but he was injured as a in a bar fight and never recovered.
Arguably, one of the most physically gifted players in the history of MLB was Mickey Mantle. With Mickey's knee issues and carousing, it's hard for me not to wonder what numbers we would have seen from him if he had been more healthy and less of a night owl. Might not have been much different since he is the all-time Yankee leader in games played and AB's, but I still wonder
I think people who waste their talent are more along the lines of Mo Vaughn and Ollie Perez who come into camp extremely overweight and generally out of shape.
The Griffey issue is tragic, and I would say it is a waste of talent, but not in a bad sense. There are wastes of talent like the football player who could be great but doesn't work out at all, or even try hard, and struggles as a result. Griffey is a insanely good player whose talent has been wasted because he couldn't stay healthy. It's really really sad.
Leyland said, "We thought we were getting a hell of a player, but Neifi simply did not perform well."
How about Juan Gonzalez? He was once one of the most feared hitters in the game. He turned down a deal with the Tigers something like 7 years 140 million and hasn't been the same since.That was about 5-6 years ago and now he playing for a minor league contract.
Not at all trying to restrict parameters here, but my original post definitely referred to players who didn't put it together for non-injury related issues. There's really not much Griffey could have done to avoid most of his injury issues (unless you endorse not playing hard). However, there's much D. Gooden could have done to avoid his drug issues. There's much Mike Tyson could have done to control his rape and cannibalism. I was looking for talents that were not realized for reasons within the control of the athlete. Also, Earl Manigoat (sp) comes to mind with basketball. According to many, he was the geatest who ever lived. At 6'3'' he grabbed a dollar bill from the top of a backboard (that's factual, not just from the HBO movie).
Well, apart from those that got addicted to drugs or Sax and Knob there really aren't that many that weren't injury attributed. I mean Patterson (hand) and Ankiel (elbow) both got hurt and seemingly haven't recovered from the consequences of those injuries as minor as they might have been.