I was reading something the other day that reminded me about old graveyards. Used to be that graves would have bells by them, with attached strings that descended into the caskets below. That way, if one were to have been mistakenly buried alive, he could simply tug on the string, and voila! No more dead!
Melvin Mora: officially not retired yet. Now, he's nearly 40, and last year he batted .228 with zero home runs. Melvin Mora might decide to retire soon. But for now, that bell is ringing away. We'll see if someone decides to dig Mora up. This is horrible.
3. Melvin Mora: 2011, 520 OPS (.228/.244/.276, 135 PA) In contrast to the back-ups that represent most on this last, Mora was a good deal more expensive earning $2.35 million for his "efforts" last season. Things started badly, as he went 0-for-5 with two GIDPs and a WP of -45.3% on Opening Day, a figure never close to matched by a D-back the rest of the year. Mora's complete lack of power or plate discipline were obvious problems. He hit nothing more than a double, and his 135 PAs was the most by a player in a season with two or less walks, since Rafael Belliard had 148 and two BB for the 1996 Braves. Yeah, in hindsight, this signing should have been strangled at birth.
Granted, it's hard to go wrong with $2.35 million. But the Diamondbacks did. Give them credit, at least for cutting Mora before he could do any more damage.
Earlier today, I published some perfunctory thoughts about the reported retirement of Melvin Mora, last seen in a utility role with the Diamondbacks before getting released last summer. Fortunately, FanGraphs' Matt Klaassen has gone a little deeper in his retrospective:
Mora finished his career with unremarkable utility stints with the 2010 Rockies and 2011 Diamondbacks, but his ascension from minor-league afterthought to bench player to super-utility man to a two- or three-year run of offensive greatness followed by a non-horrible denouement is still hard to believe. Perhaps it is less hard to believe given Jose Bautista‘s recent rise to greater heights, but it is stunning nonetheless for a guy who, prior to 2003, was probably more famous for being the father of quintuplets.
If you're looking for a comprehensive summary of Mora's odd and surprising career, this is the place. And Klaassen tops it off with an account of Mora's biggest game.