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C.j. Nitkowski Newsbeat

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nitkowski: Deadline Time - The View from the Clubhouse

You mean players aren’t just stat lines?

In 1999, I played for the Detroit Tigers. We weren’€™t a good team and I was a left-handed reliever, the most dispensable job in baseball. In late July, the rumors were flying. I had a player I knew well from an opposing team come up to me during batting practice one day and say, “€œYankees, huh? That would be nice.”

Word had gotten around that there was a possibility of a deal that would send me to the New York Yankees. I am a New York native and was a Yankees fan as a kid. This was the greatest kind of rumor I could hear, but nothing ever came of it. There’€™s a deflating moment for a player who was rumored to be on the move, wanted to move and ultimately woke up on Aug. 1 to realize he wasn’€™t moved. Many guys will go through that this July 31; they just won’€™t say so publicly.

There’€™s also denial that you’d even be traded. The Reds drafted me ninth overall in 1994. At the deadline in 1995, there were rumors I would be on the move. I thought that was impossible. My team just drafted me 13 months ago; how could it possibly trade me already? I ignored the rumors. This predated cell phones. I walked into my apartment in Triple-A Indianapolis in the early evening to my landline phone ringing. “€œHey, CJ, we just traded you to Detroit for David Wells.”€ I was in disbelief.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2015 at 03:47 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: c.j. nitkowski, trade deadline



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