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February 24, 2010 at 9:41 pm ET
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Paging Mr. Mora … Mr. Melvin Mora

The only players who have yet to report to Rockies spring training camp are Melvin Mora and Jay Payton.

At this point, I need to apologize. I am physically unable to stop laughing. Please help me.

Next you’ll tell me they’re crackin’ hardcrabs and drinkin’ the Natty Boh in Denver.

Melvin "MIA" Mora

Six feet of snow, freezing temperatures and gray skies, but today feels like a fresh spring day in Baltimore. Why? Because Jay and Melvin are no longer the Orioles’ problems.

Payton and Mora? Hey, don’t look now but I think those guys might not exactly be, uh … what’s the word I’m looking for? … winners.

Who knows about Payton anymore? Nobody’s seen him since an unremarkable year for a remarkably bad 2008 Orioles team (.243, .291, 7 and 41). Without a contract, he hurt his shoulder lifting weights in March of last year. The Rocks gave him a minor league deal this year and I would assume he’s no lock to make the team. If he decides to show up late, all you can do is shrug.

But Mora is going to make the team as a utility guy. In his heart, though, he’s pretty sure he’s going to play every day. Mora’s never come to terms with his baseball mortality. He was 27 when he broke into the big leagues with the Mets who traded him to Baltimore in 2000. The guy’s 38 now and is coming off a terrible season marked by a precipitous decline in power and a precipitous increase in pouty behavior. Late in the year, amid a miserable slump, O’s manager sat Mora for a while against Boston. As a pinch hitter or a DH or something, Mora actually managed to get on base at some point. He recounted a conversation later with his pal David Ortiz. Basically, Big Papi asked Mora why his manager didn’t respect him. And Mora took Papi’s words very much to heart.

He spent the next couple weeks spouting off in the newspaper about respect. He reminded reporters that he was an all-star and that he deserved better treatment than that. Of course, he neglected to mention that he was an all-star in 2005 and, since then, his numbers have all plummeted. I don’t think anyone wants to say that, in his heyday, Melvin got a little juicy with it, but take a look at his numbers. Just sayin’ is all.

Twenty-ten is a new year and the Rockies are a new team for Melvin. Maybe he’ll thrive. But if he doesn’t show up at camp soon – like tomorrow – I don’t like his chances.

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One Response to “Paging Mr. Mora … Mr. Melvin Mora”
  1. stevo says:

    I always liked Melvin Mora. This is a guy that played every position for the O’s except pitcher and catcher, and never complained, who never said stuff like, “oh, well, if I have to move from shortstop my batting average might go down”.
    I also seem to remember that he was one of the few guys that could bunt and/or sacrifice.
    What happened last year was unfortunate, but sadly, happens a lot w/ veteran players in denial about their playing mortality.

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