Wow…Jesse Crain a White Sock! My thoughts about one of the most polarizing figures in the Twins bullpen since 2004:
If you have read this blog the last few years (or even just scanning through would probably do the trick), you’ll know the emnity I have towards Crain runs quite deep. I always thought he vultured his way (via an extraordinary ’04 campaign where he picked up a remarkable amount of late-inning W’s) into good standings with Ron Gardenhire to begin with. Plus, I’ve never seen a reliever with quite the knack for giving up the same-winning hit. I won’t do this right now (all Crain’s wrongs litter other posts of mine), but I could name multiple, multiple times where he came in a blew a game. Had we released him halfway through last season, I would have been shouting on high:
However, in the last few months of 2010, a strange thing happened: Crain became absolutely unhittable. As much as I hated to admit it, I actually WANTED to see him come into games in the later innings, as Guerrier was faltering and the rest of the pen couldn’t find their backside with thier collective arms. Crain himself credited the change to a new type of snappy curveball he began throwing, but whatever the case he was “the man” for awhile.
That being said, I’m still glad to see that he’s moving on, as I have a troubling feeling (well, not so troubling anymore not that he’s a Pale Hose, I guess) that the old “Crain-wreck” is bound to crop up again in the near future (hopefully against us!). Now that Bobby Jenks is out of Chicago, maybe the Twins can start a new tradition of owning a certain White Sox reliever…Crain!