Friday, July 08, 2005
Jerome Walton Born
No relation to the Wal-Mart Waltons--they're from
This raises a question I've long wondered about but never been able to settle. If you're only going to have one great year in an otherwise undistinguished career, is it better for that to be your rookie year, or some year in the middle? On the one hand, if you're a rookie, you might win the Rookie of the Year, good press, etc. On the other, if you have a good rookie year and never do anything after, you're a bust, a failure, a guy who "never lived up to expectations." Now, having it come in the middle of your career is nice too. If you're really lucky, it comes in a free agent walk year and you can sucker some team into giving you a nice contract (I'm looking at you Jaret Wright and Tony Womack). Of course, if your one good year comes out of nowhere and then retreats back to that same nowhere, you're labeled a fluke, a one-year wonder the guy who "had that one great year."
So is it worse to be the bust or the fluke? I've never decided which, but luckily I doubt it will ever be a concern. As for Jerome Walton, he was a bust, retiring after an unremarkable stretch with the Devil Rays in 1998.