Sunday, January 6, 2013

Where are they now? Catching up with ex-Yank catcher Eli Whiteside

Back in November 2012, Eli "From the Right Side" Whiteside captured the imagination of the Yankiverse as our newly signed fourth catcher. Not only did we have suddenly competition for the position of backup to the backup backstop, but suddenly, New York City had competition for the position of Number One Eli.

Frankly, New York would have been better off if Eli Manning had been pushed a little harder to keep his top ranking. Unfortunately, the Number One Eli contest didn't last a month - and both contestants are no longer competing. 

The 31-year-old Eli Whiteside - who batted .091 in 11 at bats last year for the World Champion San Francisco Giants - had few chances to make a splash with the Yankees.

On Nov. 5, we signed him off waivers. Twenty nine days later, after the Yankees signed Andy Pettitte, Eli was waived.

He signed with the Blue Jays. He lasted a few hours, then was waived. Same day, Eli signed with the Rangers. He stayed a month. On Jan. 3, Eli was re-waived - this time, for good. Having cleared waivers, he is now an official Ranger minor leaguer. But he is Number One Eli for Texas.

When we rubbish-minded fans ponder the life of MLB players, they see stacks of cash, network TV interviews and carnivorous broads rubbing lotion on their legs in hotel lobbies. We seldom think of Eli Whiteside.

It's part of the biz, of course - being waived four times in two months. But next time some radio caller, Vinnie from Bayonne, screams about the money being wasted on Arod or Russell Martin or anybody --- remember this:

No owner ever gets waived.

No owner ever has to wonder where his kids will attend school next fall.

No owner ever gets passed around like a bong at a frat party.

Owners are independently wealthy billionaires who do nothing but apply figurehead status as the Number One Fan of teams they theoretically support. Where did the notion ever rise that they should also make money off their teams?