Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bad day for Walker

Todd Walker fits the definition of well-traveled baseball player.

After Saturday, he is the position of having to make a decision whether to find another baseball home or call it quits after parts of 12 seasons in the big leagues.

On Saturday, the Oakland A's designated Walker for assignment, ending his six-week tenure with baseball's version of Animal House. On the surface, it doesn't seem to be a personal move. Few in baseball these days are.

It appears Walker was the victim of a numbers crunch. When he caught on with the A's in late March, after being cut loose by San Diego, Oakland was not expecting first baseman Dan Johnson to return from an injury until around June 1.

That didn't happen. Johnson's back and is off to a fast start, hitting better than .400. The A's have been nicked by injuries and, now that some of the players are returning to action, someone had to be the odd man out. Apparently, that was Walker.

Who knows what Walker will do? If he stays in the game, he has plenty to offer in a clubhouse leader position and as either a pinch-hitter or a left-handed platoon option. If he retires, he can look back on his major league career with a smile, 1,300-plus hits and one heck of a postseason run in 2003.


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