Jim Edmonds was released by the Padres today, and it’s hard to envision someone picking him up. If he’s done, it’s a too-soon and too-drastic end to a brilliant career.
I’ve never seen anyone play better for a stretch of more than a few days than Edmonds did for the middle portion of 2004. He was truly spectacular. Cripes, the dude SLUGGED .952 in July of that season. Plus the defense, of course.
Edmonds was at the heart of the best series I ever saw, and likely ever will see, the 2004 NLCS. His Game 6 homer stands as probably the most exciting moment I’ve covered, even ahead of the heroics at the end of Game 7 in 2006. His catch in Game 7 was as good as I had seen — until I saw Endy Chavez rob Rolen in 2006.
Personally, Jim was a tough nut to crack for me. For the first couple of years I covered him, I didn’t get him and sometimes didn’t like him. But the more I dealt with him, the more I got where he was coming from. I definitely grew to like him, to the extent that any of us actually knows any of the people we cover. He was insightful and thoughtful; though I’d note that he was absolutely useless when you wanted a quote about his OWN successes.
For me, he’s a Hall of Famer. Eight CF Gold Gloves, 363 HR, lifetime 377 OBP and 526 SLG and plenty of October highlights.
Good luck, Jim, whatever you do next.