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The end of the line for the surprisingly long career of John Mabry?
2007-05-19 16:16
by Bob Timmermann

Today, the Rockies designated John Mabry for assignment and recalled Ryan Spilborghs from Colorado Springs. Mabry was 4 for 34 on the season, including a home run off of Mike Pelfrey of the Mets.

Mabry has been in the majors since the Cardinals called him up for six games in 1994. He stuck for good with St. Louis in 1995 and batted .307 in his rookie year and was there through 1998 before signing a free agent contract with Seattle. In 2000, Mabry was dealt to the Padres along with Tom Davey for Al Martin, who would later tell people that he was really traded for Alex Rodriguez and hoped no one noticed.

After the brief stop in San Diego, Mabry signed as a free agent with the Cardinals. And the Cardinals traded him after five games to the Marlins (I believe Mabry had to consent to that.) After the 2001 season, Mabry was a free agent again and this time the Phillies decided to take a flyer on him. But Mabry couldn't stick around long because on May 22, 2002, A's general manager Billy Beane finally decided that he was not going to put up with Jeremy Giambi's foibles (euphemism) and sent the lesser, non-sliding Giambi to the City of Brotherly Love for Mabry. Mabry got to play in his second career postseason to go along with his postseason trip with the Cardinals in 1996. The Giambi-Mabry trade discussion on BTF was one of the longest threads of its era.

The A's didn't see any need to keep Mabry around and let him leave as a free agent and Mabry was able to reacquaint himself with Seattle for the 2003 season. But Mabry batted .212 and the Mariners let him be a free agent again.

So it was back to St. Louis for two more seasons for Mabry. In 2004, Mabry hit 13 home runs (matching his career high) in just 87 games and he put up a career high in OPS+ at 125. In 2005 Mabry played more and performed worse with an OPS+ of 81. And at the end of 2005, Mabry was a free agent again.

This time, it was the Cubs who came calling for Mabry. And in 107 games, Mabry's OPS+ was 53. Mabry wasn't invited back. The Rockies gave him a shot and realized, just like everybody else that Mabry was just not all that good.

Mabry's long career always surprised me since:

  1. He wasn't a particularly good hitter for average - .263
  2. He wasn't a particularly good fielder, although he played several positions
  3. He had a very low OBP - .322
  4. He had very little power - 96 home runs
  5. He wasn't very fast - 7 stolen bases in his career

I think Mabry's long career can only be explained by the fact that he was from Delaware. I've never trusted that state. I think there are powerful forces that ensure that there is some Delawarian (preferably two!) in the majors. But with Ian Snell showing that he should stick in the majors, the Delaware Cabal has apparently decided that Mabry is expendable.

If I don't post again for a while, then you know that the Rehoboth Beach Gang has gotten to me. They've already sent their calling card, a blue chicken feather, to me.

Other Delawarians who played during Mabry's big league career:

Cliff Brumbaugh

Delino Deshields

Wayne Franklin

Kevin Mench (still active)

Pedro Swann

Chris Widger

2007-05-19 18:02:54
1.   Sam DC
2007-05-19 18:05:18
2.   Bob Timmermann
People think I'm paranoid. But you don't know about these Delawarians...

You just don't know.

2007-05-19 18:47:37
3.   Eric Enders
I'm sure you're aware you're risking Jon's wrath by dissing Delaware.
2007-05-19 18:51:18
4.   Bob Timmermann
Who do you think sent the feather?
2007-05-19 20:14:41
5.   Jon Weisman
2007-05-19 20:35:13
6.   Bob Timmermann
Oh no, the Delaware kiss of death!
2007-05-19 20:35:16
7.   Eric Enders

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