Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the Pine? How did I come to the Pine? Why was I not consulted? And if I am compelled to take part in this, where is the man in charge? I want to see him?
Actually, I’ll settle for the answer to the question, who am I? But remember to try this without research. If the answer doesn’t come to you immediately, be sure to share your thought process, as you may assist another in his or her quest to help me answer this “existential” question.
I was the last switch-hitter to win the American League MVP, but you probably don’t remember me for that.
In the time that has passed since, six different switch-hitters have won the National League MVP (Jimmy Rollins being the most recent), but not a single player from the junior circuit.
I played for a team that had a pretty good run, although we fell short of the World Series the year I won MVP. Not the next year, though. We won it all that season, but I missed a good portion of the year due to a contract dispute. It wasn’t our only championship, however, but I never quite lived up to expectations in any of the World Series I played in.
A few years later, our team underwent a fire sale of sorts. Our owner either traded away or allowed all our best players to leave via free agency. He tried to trade me too–twice–but the commissioner invoked his “in the best interests of baseball” powers and blocked both trade attempts. A couple years later, we finished in last place and I was finally traded away, to our nearest geographic rival.
My first year with my new team was a good one, but after that my very solid career was already on the down side by the time I turned 30. A little substance abuse problem had something to do with it.
Despite flaming out early, I was selected to six all-star teams, but I wasn’t good enough to receive serious Hall of Fame consideration. I peaked at just under 10% of the vote, and dropped off the ballot after four years. Not bad for a poor kid from Louisiana.
Who Am I?