Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Hopefully you've heard about the recognition for Jim Abbott. He was elected to the college baseball hall of fame. He deserves it.

For those of you too young, or not into baseball, Jim Abbott was born without his right hand. A remarkable baseball player for Flint Central, he also played as a quarterback for the Flint Central football team.

Abbott pitched for two years at Michigan. He was declared the amateur athlete of the year in 1987. He was named the Big Ten male athlete of the year in 1988 (for baseball which is only deemed a big ten sport every other year). This is really an amazing feat (for a baseball player) considering steroid monger Tony Mandarich (remember him?) was hyped that year as the best offensive lineman of all time, won the Rose Bowl, and was drafted second overall in the draft.

Abbot won a gold medal with the US Olympic baseball team in 1988, where he pitched a complete game victory over Japan in the final game. Abbott left Michigan after his sophomore year and began pitching with the Angels without first playing in the minor leagues. He played for the Angels and Yankees during his best years in the MLB. In 1993, Abbott pitched a no-hitter with the Yankees, pictured below:

For more info on Jim Abbott, check this out.


Everything surrounding this guy related to Michigan is B-A-A-A-D. So BAD, that not only did he tarnish the Michigan program by taking wads of cash from Ed Martin, but he also actually lobbied for Tom Goss (another low point in Michigan history) to select the worst coach in Michigan basketball history.

In fact, you could probably win an argument that everything that happened surrounding the Tractor after his high school career was BAD. Without a doubt, everything that happened to Tractor after his selection in the NBA draft as the sixth choice overall was downhill. For instance, he was traded even up for Dirk Nowitzki after the draft. He's now stuck playing in Spain.

But, even I feel just a scintilla sorry for the Tractor. In what can only be described as judgment so poor it tips the scales of Tyler Ecker running out of bounds against Nebraska with no time on the clock instead of pitching to speedy number 15, the Tractor made some fine investments for his drug dealing kin. It's pretty sad when all your attorney can say on your behalf is this:

Traylor "got some bad advice, and unfortunately he took it," said his attorney, Steve Fishman of Detroit.

"He's a basketball player, not a lawyer."

"For those who think that all NBA players are wealthy, Robert Traylor is an example of one who is not."

Hmmmmm, apparently Robert didn't learn too much during his three years as a Sports Management and Communication major. A good article on the whole thing from the Detroit News by Fred Girard here.


But probably only if you look like this guy: