Because of an endorsement by manager Don Wakamatsu, Seattle has signed veteran right-hander Jamey Wright. There doesn’t seem to be much to say about the 35-year old pitcher. Somehow, despite 1,723 big league innings, Wright lacks a FanGraphs page. He has struggled the last few years and is barely holding onto a major league career. That career has been composed of short hops around major league baseball, likely facilitated through good personal relationships with irrational managers like Wakamatsu.â†µ
Wright is living the dream: He is so low profile he avoids much bad press; he has never been very good; he has 15 season under his belt and so is presumably rich, and until the day he is forced into early retirement, plays baseball for a living. It is the kind of career that can’t help but inspire a bit of resentment. It is one thing when a player barely skirts above replacement level, but does so and so continues his career. It’s quite another thing when a player probably isn’t better than literally thousands of career minor leaguers, but keeps turning up.â†µ
That makes Wright the face of an inefficient system that rewards personal connections and ignores actual ability. Whatever you do, career or avocation, you likely have suffered from such a system. Wright is making it work for him, and for that I do not blame him. But once Wright eventually screws the pooch, it is going to reignite that resentment and likely bring even more heat down on Don Wakamatsu.