If you took a ling cod and kept it in a laundry hamper for two weeks, then opened the hamper to take several deep breaths, you could sell that ride at Six Flags as The 2005 Grissom Experience. Marquis Grissom was designated for assignment this week, meaning the Giants have 10 days to do something with him. A trade isn't so likely, so he'll probably just be released. Not the most noble of retirement ceremonies, but that's just how bad he stunk. However, even though the news was met with synchronized shrugging across Giantsvania, let's not forget how much the Giants were able to wring out of Marquis Grissom. It wasn't always like this....
Let's see if I can reconstruct part of Grissom's career in a few words: Fast and bad, fast and good, slowing and bad, average speed and awful, one out-of-nowhere good year for the Dodgers. Then the Giants came-a-knocking. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The signing was dulled by the other signing of the day, Ray Durham, but at the time it was the first acquisition of the Giants offseason. The Giants had just come off a World Series appearance, and the first move was to get a 36-year old outfielder who had enjoyed exactly one good year out of the past six. That's what the team was missing? Bleah.
He became acceptable because the Giants were able to fill other holes quite nicely. Edgardo Alfonzo was a super-productive player, and the Giants won out the bidding war with the Red Sox and Padres. Yeah, that didn't really work out. Ray Durham was a speedy on-base machine, and one who averaged close to 600 at-bats for his career. Yeah, that didn't really work out either. Alfonzo has just been awful compared to what the Giants were hoping for, to be blunt, and Durham started skipping curfew to hang with the slow and fragile crowd. Grissom, though, he gave us everything we could have expected and more.
There are ways to tolerate a .322 on-base percentage. The first is to play a position not really stocked with great hitters around the league, and the second is to hit .300 with 20 homers. Grissom came close to his career high in home runs both years he was with the Giants, and while his defense was not exactly stellar, it was not an obvious problem. He always hustled, and loved being a Giant. This all adds up to a player you're sorry to see go, even if it is absolutely the right time for him to do so. Call it the Rueter Effect.