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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Former Tigers Pitcher Jeremy Bonderman Wants To Return To Baseball

The Retired World Is Not Enough.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, former Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman is hoping to make a return to baseball. Olney’s column is tabbed as an “Insider” piece, so you’ll need a subscription to read the whole thing, but here’s what he has to say about Bonderman above the pay wall:

  Bonderman, who just turned 30, started his workouts long before he had Tommy John surgery in April 2012. He explained over the phone Sunday that most weeks, he’s training six days out of seven, and he has cut his weight from 245 to about 210 pounds, or what he weighed as he came out of high school.

Bonderman is quoted in the piece as saying he’s simply looking for a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training, so he would present only a small risk to a team hoping the once-promising pitcher could make a career comeback (similar, perhaps, to Joel Zumaya).

Bonderman hasn’t pitched in the big leagues at all since 2010, and hadn’t pitched with sort of effectiveness since 2007, so the odds would appear to be long on him resurrecting his career.

Repoz Posted: November 06, 2012 at 01:26 PM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

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   1. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: November 06, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4294532)
Huh, I didn't realized he'd been out so long. Probably hurt himself throwing chairs.
   2. I Am Not a Number Posted: November 06, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4294548)
Olney’s column is tabbed as an “Insider” piece, so you’ll need a subscription to read the whole thing

Paying to read Olney? Yeah, that's going to happen.
   3. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 06, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4294564)
Maybe a team can sign him and Ankiel as the pitching wild card package deal
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 06, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4294626)
It seems like only yesterday that I used to confuse him with Justin Verlander. If only I hadn't stepped into that time machine and killed that mosquito.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: November 06, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4294654)
Isn't it a little early for the annual Best Shape Of His Life stories to start rolling in?
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4294658)
I was more prescient by constantly confusing him with Nate Robertson. Verlander came up a couple years later.
   7. Benji Posted: November 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4294659)
I always root for these guys that come back after a while away.
   8. JJ1986 Posted: November 06, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4294694)
There was someone I confused Bonderman with, but it wasn't Robertson or Verlander. Maroth, maybe?
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4294708)
Adam Bernero? Zach Miner? There were so many.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: November 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4294763)
Adam Bernero? Zach Miner? There were so many.


Rick Porcello? (too soon?)
   11. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 06, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4294799)

Bonderman was a lot better than any of these guys mentioned (aside from Ankiel and Verlander, natch). He had a lot of talent but couldn't stay healthy. For Tigers fans he's a "what could have been" story, like his bullpen counterpart from that wonderful 2006, Joel Zumaya. Here's a free piece by Grant Brisbee that's worth a read:


His last good season was in 2006. The last lineup he faced that year had Emil Brown hitting cleanup for the Royals. There's no reason to pay attention to this comeback story. If he comes back, he can be another Ryan Vogelsong, and we're all pulling for that, but the odds are very much against it.

But here's why we pay attention to this story: Because there's always a could-have-been-a-contender story with every organization, in just about every year. There's always that one young pitcher whose arm or shoulder couldn't hold up to the rigors of major-league pitching, but who should have, dammit. Mine is Noah Lowry. I'll never forget this game from Lowry. My favorite pitch might be the changeup, and that game was changeup pornography. It moved and darted and dropped, and he had great command of it. Lowry was 23 at the time, and he threw 204 solid innings the next year. He was going to be a pillar of the Giants' rotation for years.

Then his body broke down. The same thing that happened to Bonderman, actually -- he had a rib removed to help with thoracic-outlet syndrome, and he never showed up again. The young pitcher for your favorite team who never came back probably had something different, not that it matters. I remember Padres fans agog with Dennis Tankersley, Rays fans entranced with Scott Kazmir, and Yankees fans enamored of Chien-Ming Wang. Every team has a young pitcher who almost made it, or who did make it, but who didn't make it for long enough.

   12. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 06, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4294819)
It seems like only yesterday that I used to confuse him with Justin Verlander

I still don't know the difference between A J Burnett and Josh Beckett. When I hear one name, I can't think of the other.
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 06, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4294849)
for some reason, I used to mix up Don McMahon and Ted Abernathy

(and Fred Gladding and Fred Lasher)
   14. John Northey Posted: November 06, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4294860)
Heck, I'd give Bonderman a shot in spring if I was a ML GM. Worst case is your own hotshot kids can see someone who reached at 20 and now at 30 has to beg for a job (good life lesson). Best case you get a decent guy for the back of your rotation. If he's willing to be in AAA for a few months better still as it fills that rotation up a bit and lets your kids stay lower down in the system for longer (generally a good idea).
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 06, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4294906)
It seems like only yesterday that I used to confuse him with Justin Verlander

I still don't know the difference between A J Burnett and Josh Beckett. When I hear one name, I can't think of the other.


Hell, even after the 2003 World Series, within a year I was back to confusing those two, until Beckett signed with the Red Sox and Burnett became a Yankee.

And don't get me started on all those Gonzaleses and Rodriguezes and Cabreras. Lost track of most of them sometime back around 2001.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: November 06, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4294938)
Riiiiight ... and Ryan Vogelsong will be back in the majors any day now.
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4294978)
Worst case is your own hotshot kids can see someone who reached at 20 and now at 30 has to beg for a job (good life lesson).


I think the worst case is that he assassinates Queen Elizabeth with a concealed handgun, but I'm a pessimist like that.
   18. Bruce Markusen Posted: November 06, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4295034)
Bonderman was long ago diagnosed with dyslexia, and I wonder if that has had any effect on his career. Not on his pitching, mind you, but perhaps on his psyche and confidence. A few years back, the owner of the A's put down Bonderman by saying he didn't want to sign a pitcher who couldn't read or write. It was a unfair and insulting remark, which Bonderman did not appreciate.

Bonderman has always been reluctant to talk about his dyslexia, which makes me wonder if this is an underlying concern.
   19. depletion Posted: November 06, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4295039)
for some reason, I used to mix up Don McMahon and Ted Abernathy

Ted was the SubMariner.
Now Don Mossi, here your talking mixed up.
   20. smileyy Posted: November 06, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4295130)
Maybe the A's will sign him, and Billy Beane will throw another chair through a wall.
   21. Juan V Posted: November 06, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4295192)
I too kept Bonderman and Verlander confused for a long time. On the other hand, I could always tell Alex Gonzalez from Alex Gonzalez.
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 06, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4295206)
I could always tell Alex Gonzalez from Alex Gonzalez.

that's funny--Bob Miller couldn't
   23. flournoy Posted: November 06, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4295474)
Players who I've had confused:

Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto. Easier now since Volquez is a Padre.

Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn. Easier since I had Blackburn on my Strat team this year - he's terrible and Baker is hurt.

Wilson Delgado and Wilson Valdez. I think one of these nondescript middle infielders has long since retired, and the other is active, but I don't know which.

Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Still don't know the difference between these two.

Travis Snider and Adam Lind. I have these guys straight now.

Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe. I figured out which was which while both were still relevant.

Aaron Hill and Russ Adams. This one is pretty easy these days.
   24. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 07, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4295801)
Candy Maldonado/Carmello Martinez
Ron Hansen/Russ Snyder
Lenny Green, Gene Green, Gene Stephens
   25. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: November 07, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4295827)
There's always that one young pitcher whose arm or shoulder couldn't hold up to the rigors of major-league pitching, but who should have, dammit.

There used to be a pretty active Rangers email list out of Texas A&M, and the running joke there for several years was you could always tell when it was February because former first-round pick Dan Smith was once again throwing without any pain.
   26. JJ1986 Posted: November 07, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4295966)
Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn. Easier since I had Blackburn on my Strat team this year - he's terrible and Baker is hurt.


There were 6 or 7 of these guys. Baker, Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing and at least one I'm forgetting.
   27. Lassus Posted: November 07, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4295983)
I remember always getting Bonderman and Maroth mixed up, so I hear you, JJ1986.
   28. Jolly Old St. Overreacting Redneck Homophobe Posted: November 07, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4296184)
Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto

I know what you mean. Which one was it that kicked a Cardinals reliever (or something) in the face when they had him backed up against the fence ? I remember Carpenter being a complete tool as well.

For me, I never really got to grips with which one was which with Bobby Kielty and Mark Kotsay. And Miguel Cairo and Enrique Wilson were the same person.
   29. Lassus Posted: November 07, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4296458)
wrong thread
   30. Walt Davis Posted: November 07, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4296643)
Clay Buchholz

See, now I can't keep him straight from Taylor Buchholz (for obvious reasons) and Daniel Bard (for less obvious reasons). Daniel and David Murphy give me trouble but I always seem to get them right.

And I don't imagine I'll ever know which Jeff D'Amico was which -- in fact I'm pissed at their parents for giving them the same Anglo name. Two Tony D'Amicos at the same time I could almost believe but two Jeff D'Amicos? C'mon. Selig should have disallowed it in the best interests of baseball.
   31. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: November 07, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4296661)
I still don't know the difference between A J Burnett and Josh Beckett. When I hear one name, I can't think of the other.

AJ Burnett, Josh Beckett, AND Brad Penny.
   32. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 07, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4296691)
Bobby Kielty and Mark Kotsay

Me too.
There were a raft of long-forgotten infielders whom I confused with a young Orlando Cabrera.
   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 07, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4296721)
Calling it now: Bonderman ends up with the Pirates. Sooner or later, every ex-Tiger that Greg Smith scouted ends up drifting through town.
   34. BochysFingers Posted: November 07, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4296726)
Trot Nixon and Troy O'Leary
Ricky Nolasco and Chris Volstad
   35. JJ1986 Posted: November 07, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4296733)
Right now, there are two David Carpenters. They are both right-handed relief pitchers, both in their mid-20s, both look similar (white, no mustache, average height and weight), both pretty crappy. The only real difference is that one is with his first team while the other is on his 4th already.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: November 07, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4296933)
And I don't imagine I'll ever know which Jeff D'Amico was which -- in fact I'm pissed at their parents for giving them the same Anglo name. Two Tony D'Amicos at the same time I could almost believe but two Jeff D'Amicos? C'mon. Selig should have disallowed it in the best interests of baseball.


I gotta disagree. I think the fact that the only two D'Amicos in the history of MLB were both righthanded hurlers named Jeff pitching at the same time in 2000 was a thing of beauty (I didn't realize the other Jeff only ended up throwing 13 IP in his big league career).

   37. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 07, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4296939)
Jose Guillen and Juan Rivera
Al Levine and Ben Weber
Martin Prado and Gregor Blanco
   38. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: November 07, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4296973)
Even now I think he could be a perfectly serviceable middle relief/setup guy. When he last pitched, he could still hit the low-90s on occasion with a nasty slider. He never seemed to have much of an answer versus lefties, which I assume is why he was just an average starter (and obviously a poor one more recently with diminished stuff).
   39. Sweatpants Posted: November 07, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4297002)
Martin Prado and Gregor Blanco
This one's weird to me, as a fan of the Braves, because Prado's always been way higher on the totem pole than Blanco. Even in 2008, when Blanco qualified for the batting title and Prado didn't come close, it was only because the Braves had a really good infield (especially for a 90-loss team) and absolutely nothing in the outfield.

Al Levine and Ben Weber
Then there's this one. You can add Scot Shields and Brendan Donnelly to the list for me. Donnelly's the one who scuffed the ball, and I think Shields had a year in which he went 10-10 all in relief, but that's as far as I can distinguish between these four guys.

I guess that's how this sort of thing is, though. Confusing Prado and Blanco seems odd to me, just as there probably are Angels fans who don't understand how I could confuse Scot Shields and Brendan Donnelly.
   40. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4297005)
For me it was Gene Larkin and Tim Laudner.
   41. JJ1986 Posted: November 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4297013)
Then there's this one. You can add Scot Shields and Brendan Donnelly to the list for me. Donnelly's the one who scuffed the ball, and I think Shields had a year in which he went 10-10 all in relief, but that's as far as I can distinguish between these four guys.


Weber was the one who balked on every pitch.
   42. flournoy Posted: November 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4297086)
There were 6 or 7 of these guys. Baker, Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing and at least one I'm forgetting.


Yeah, you're right. And if you're like me, the one you're forgetting is probably Boof Bonser.

I saw a couple of guys here confused with the "wrong" people. For me, Jose Guillen's stunt double was Jermaine Allensworth. And Troy O'Leary and Ricky Nolasco go with Lee Tinsley and Anibal Sanchez, respectively.


EDIT: There's also the closely related notion of players associated with one another, but not confused. Biggio and Bagwell, or Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, or Griffey, Buhner, and Martinez, for example.
   43. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4297160)
Troy O'Leary and Trot Nixon seemed like distinctive characters on the Duquettte Red Sox to me. The harder part was Darren Bragg and Darren Lewis. Yes, one was a short LHB white guy and one was a tall RHB black guy. But, you know, box scores.

Also the influence of Glenn Braggs means I thought Darren Bragg's last name was plural for his whole career.
   44. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4297183)
And Miguel Cairo and Enrique Wilson were the same person

... as Juan Castro.
   45. Perry Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4297185)
John D'Acquisto and John Montefusco.
Carl Everett and Carl Crawford.

McMahon and Abernathy were easy. Abernathy was the Reds' submariner, McMahon was the one whose daughter was in my 1st grade class.
   46. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 07, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4297197)
Brent Abernathy and everyone else on the Devil Rays.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: November 07, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4297453)
(I didn't realize the other Jeff only ended up throwing 13 IP in his big league career

Me neither. Which means that for most of his career, I couldn't tell the difference between Jeff D'Amico and himself.

   48. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 07, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4297503)
The same thing that happened to Bonderman, actually -- he had a rib removed to help with thoracic-outlet syndrome, and he never showed up again.


Um, that's not why guys have a rib removed, from what I hear. It must have worked, and Bonderman didn't leave the house for a few years.
   49. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: November 07, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4297508)
The harder part was Darren Bragg and Darren Lewis. Yes, one was a short LHB white guy and one was a tall RHB black guy. But, you know, box scores.

I've got all of you trumped because it wasn't until THIS MOMENT that I had any idea this was two people. Which one is supposedly white?
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4297630)
Which one is supposedly white?


Darren Bragg. Acquired by the Sox for Jamie Moyer. Kind of a Trot Nixon type, though not the hitter Christopher was.

I could see confusing Lewis with former teammate Damon Buford, but I don't really see the two Darrens as much of a bewitching duo.

   51. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 08, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4297641)
Back in the days of the Red Sox newsgroup, the Damon Buford/Darren Lewis was called Lewford. The Red Sox drafted actual Lew Ford next year and it took me months to realize that they were actually different people.
   52. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 08, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4297646)
I was getting Ryan Kalish and Josh Reddick confused before the former was traded and broke out.
   53. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 08, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4297649)
I also could never remember if Brian Giles was on the Padres or Pirates. Ditto Jason Bay, especially since/because they were traded for each other.
   54. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2012 at 01:25 AM (#4297651)
Interesting to look back on confusing two players for each other early in their careers, when one then eclipsed the other a hundredfold.

Matt Holliday and the aforementioned Brad Hawpe, for me. And Michael Cuddyer and Michael Restovich. Fernando Rodney and Franklyn German.

As for Damon Buford, it was also possible to confuse him with Donnie Sadler.
   55. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 08, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4297658)
Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Still don't know the difference between these two.

Granted, I'm a Red Sox fan, but this is weird to me. Lester is lefty, Buchholz is righty. Lester is stocky, Buchholz is lanky. Lester beat cancer, Buchholz stole laptops. I suppose they have both thrown no-hitters.
   56. flournoy Posted: November 08, 2012 at 03:14 AM (#4297680)
Well they're both young Red Sox pitchers who I've never seen pitch, so there's that.
   57. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 08, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4297739)


Darren Bragg. Acquired by the Sox for Jamie Moyer. Kind of a Trot Nixon type, though not the hitter Christopher was.


I read this and was all "Uh-uh, Darren Bragg was a muscular black guy"... and realized I was thinking of Glenn Braggs.
   58. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: November 08, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4298404)
Sean White and Sean Green.
Jack Wilson and Josh Wilson.

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