By Daniel I. Dorfman–
Welcome Carlos Silva to the A & W club. What is the A & W club? It has nothing to do with root beer. The A & W Club is a cabal of athletes who come into a town and prove to be as annoying off the field as they are worthless on it.
Carlos, you became a full-fledged member of Chicago’s A & W club when the Cubs dumped you this weekend. The dues in this club aren’t too prohibitive and given the $11.5 million the Cubs still owe you can afford it.
When you go to the club for your indoctrination ceremony, be sure to say hello to the other recent inductees such as Albert Belle, (his big numbers in 1998 were a mirage, it all happened after the Sox were out of the race) Bryan Cox and the person you were traded for, Milton Bradley. You’ll also be able to compare notes with fellow members David Wells, Cade McNown, LaTroy Hawkins and Jamie Navarro.
Chicago has been graced with some classy athletes in recent years from Derrick Rose, Jonathan Toews, Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko, Derrek Lee and Israel Idonije. Then there are some others that have had to be tolerated but at least they produced to some extent. Dennis Rodman, Carl Everett and Carlos Zambrano come to mind.
But every once in a while someone comes along whose lack of production is coupled with unimaginably obnoxious behavior. They make us all shake our collective heads why they were brought in here in the first place. With the circumstances surrounding his release Silva officially became as unwelcome in Chicago as the city’s parking meter deal. At least in Silva’s case, he is going away.
Let’s look at Silva’s qualifications for this specialized designation. The Cubs gave him another chance to revive his career after signing a big contract with Seattle and rewarded the Mariners with a 5-18 record over two years. So the Cubs brought him in as an attempt to salvage something out of the idiotic Bradley signing. Silva, did get off to a terrific start last year, but then went 2-6 and had an E.R.A. north of 14 in the second half of the season. That he never seemed to be in a hurry to get away from the dinner table did nothing to improve his image.
Instead of fighting to get on the rotation this spring, when Silva got to Arizona one of the first things he did is get into a fight with Aramis Ramirez in the dugout. And what he did he do for the rest of March? He pitched badly and has the lack of class to rip his pitching coach after being cut, never taking personal responsibility. Carlos, your application to the A & W Club has been accepted and the waiting period has been waived.
It was refreshing to hear Cubs general manager Jim Hendry manager Mike Quade go on the record and blast Silva for his boorish behavior. Sometimes team executives will claim to be taking the high road and stay quiet in situations similar to this, but then badmouth the guy off the record. Yet with the Cubs likely to have to eat $11.5 million, Quade and Hendry felt justified in getting some things off their chest publicly.
It won’t be too long until there is another member of Chicago’s A & W Club, but it will be hard to see another candidate with as long as a resume as Carlos Silva for a long time.
Do you agree with Daniel? Post your comments below.
Daniel I. Dorfman is a local freelance writer who has written and reported for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe among many other nationally prominent broadcast, online and print media organizations. He is also a researcher for 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDorfman To read more of Daniel’s blogs click here.