Just when you thought the Mark Prior story couldn’t get any weirder.
Prior is now in Reds camp with yet another comeback attempt at 32. 32? It seems just like yesterday he was a sky is the limit 22 year old.
Is this a classic case of irony or what? Prior is asking the guy who likely helped end his career to help resurrect it.
To Prior’s credit, he isn’t blaming Dusty Baker now.
"I have an open and good relationship with Dusty. I hold no ill will against him," said Prior. "By no means do I think it was his fault with how my career has gone, it's no one's fault. I had a good career, I've enjoyed my time playing baseball, I don't feel like I'm done and I still feel like I can make a difference."
Or he could just be telling Dusty it’s the least he could do for him. Will the ever be a day we don’t discuss this guy and his saga?
Prior will always be a symbol for me, a reminder. A reminder to never again put that much stock in a player’s future. He wasn’t just another top prospect, he was supposed to be the prodigy the Cubs would build around for years. I thought he was going to be one of the greats.
He was even more promising than Kerry Wood because of his supposed flawless mechanics. We all know now that was far from the case.
He also seemed to have ice water running through his veins. Prior’s performance in the 2003 playoffs was so un-Cub. He was a ballsy young man on a mission to drive the wooden steak right through the goat's heart.
Even after the 2003 letdown the future was still ultra-bright with Prior heading up a stocked rotation. Until that game in early 2004 when Prior walked off the mound. We knew deep down the jig was up then. After that i would never let myself ever get that disappointed again.
There are no saviors it turns out.
Then you have the PED angle to cloud things up even more. A GM once told me during the 2007 offseason that “once Prior was off the shit he couldn’t pull himself out of the hot tub”.
How much of what Prior showed us can we be sure was real?
Was it just a question of him being healthy? I still look at pictures of him and reminisce as if he was the one that got away.
Was he really?
Part of me still wishes to see him with a better ending to his story. Is that still wanting to be right about him?
Also follow Tom @ ChicagoNow.com/Loxas-factor