Ah–and now we come to the point in the offseason where the unexpected comeback attempts begin. Our first case, so far as I can tell, is Dave Veres, Cardinals closer par average. The splitter artist, inactive since 2003, is attempting to come back with the Rockies after a hip replacement–and apparently he was as surprised about it as everybody else:
Bo Jackson tried to resume his baseball career after undergoing hip-replacement surgery, but his failed comeback bid was in the early 1990s.
“There have been a lot of advancements since then,” Veres said. “The doctor initially didn’t know who I was. He asked me how I hurt my hip, and I told him about pitching. He said, ‘There’s a chance you can pitch again.’ I wasn’t even thinking about that. I was just hoping I’d be able to walk.
I’m sure that was after he said, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m 130th on the all-time career saves list! Only four Rockies have saved more games than I have!”
Hypothetical prima donna theatrics aside, good luck to Veres, who’s looking to play three or four more years despite entering 2007 as a 40-year old. As has been related on this blog before, I used to irrationally hate Veres–this was before I became Jason Isringhausen’s biggest apologist–so now I root for him, to balance things out.
Incidentally, this piece also hints that the Cardinals have begun trawling for their usual batch of bullpen reclamation projects.
Veres said the St. Louis Cardinals, whom he pitched for from 2000 to 2002, expressed interest in giving him a tryout, but “my family and I both felt the first choice would be the Rockies.”
It’s Jason Schmidt all over again! The Cardinals just can’t land big free agents. But don’t fret–I hear they already have feelers out to Mike Williams and Ricky Bottalico.