Friday, November 21, 2008

The John Van Benschoten era ends

There have been a lot of casualties of the Pittsburgh Pirate organization over the past sixteen years. Countless fans have fallen off the bandwagon and there's been more than a fair share of players who have had their playing careers ruined by the Pittsburgh Pirates. John Van Benschoten can probably write his name down on the latter list, as he's filed for minor league free agency and informed general manager Neal Huntington that he won't be returning to the Pirates' organization next year.

Pirate fans give JVB a lot of crap and certainly, he's never performed well with the Pirates (save his monstrous home run against Arizona in one of his first few starts back in 2004. But his arm problems were never his fault, nor was the way his transition from first baseman/closer to starter was handled/botched. Watching him was like having teeth pulled, but it was never actually his fault. If he ever finds the strike zone, he might be a useful reliever some day. I'm not really counting on it, but I won't be mad at him if he ever pulls himself together.