On Friday, Angel Nesbitt became the fourth baseball winner of the James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (sponsor pending).
A few minutes after that was official he accepted my request to follow his private Instagram account. His reign off to a roaring start. But before he goes any further, it”s time to take a step back. Nesbitt should let the past be his guide. He should look to former James Mungro Memorial Award winners, especially the OG of the competition (outside of the original James Mungro, of course): Chris Bootcheck.
I kept waiting for the Twitter announcement, for Chris Bootcheck in his @RHPBOOTCHECK way to announce he was a late addition to spring training for the Twins or the Rockies or the Pirates. It never came. A trip to the Dominican Republic winter league didn’t ignite interest. Now with opening day just a week away, this appears to be the end for Bootcheck. He hasn’t signed with any team, and at this point, why would somebody give a chance to 36-year-old when you can take a random 23-year-old and hope he pans out?
For the first time since he was probably around eight years old, Bootcheck won’t spend the majority of his year playing baseball.
It’s a sad reality for the guy who made this stupid idea fun. If it wasn’t for Bootcheck’s dominance in the first competition, if he didn’t continue his dominance in Triple-A Toledo, if we never made him the leading vote getter for the Triple-A All-Star game and if he didn’t respond to his Twitter messages and take thinly veiled shots at me, I never would’ve had the fun I did with the competition.