At some point in May it becomes slightly absurd to keep insisting that the season is young and results don't yet matter. The surest sign that this point has been reached is that players are losing work. Is it early? Ask Minnesota Twins second baseman
If it isn't early, then lousy play means something, and the sad fact is that some of baseball's most famous names have been about as lousy as Casilla or Ramirez. These players aren't necessarily shot, but they've played a bit too bad a bit too late in their careers for anyone to assume that they'll do what they're being counted on to do. It's the sad thing about baseball: The ascent of every brilliant young player like
The prime example may be the San Diego Padres'
If he isn't as badly off as Giles, Oakland's
More worrisome, at least for his team, is Red Sox designated hitter
While the Red Sox have their concerns, though, they can at least console themselves with the notion that the Yankees have a worry of nearly equal size. While he hasn't rated, as these other three players have, as among the worst in the game so far this year, New York's shortstop is nonetheless starting to look crisp on the edges. Consider this:
Early as it may not be, you can be fairly sure that none of these players, no matter how he performs, is going to meet with Casilla's fate. Which is in the end what you can take from watching any of these four right now: Tying on to older players is a way not only of laying the odds against you, but of ensuring that money and reputation keep you from doing much about it when your bets sour. Mid-May is a poor time to suddenly realize a dead bat isn't coming back, especially when it belongs to your No. 3 hitter.