Where have you gone, Chuck Knoblauch?

Adding a whole new meaning to "Cowboy Up"
Ventura's ankle transplant

Of all the names in the Mitchell Report, two of the bigger stars named have remained fairly silent. Until today, no one had heard neither hide nor hair from Paul LoDuca or Chuck Knoblauch. But that changed when Knoblauch spokes to a Times reporter at his home in Houston.

The interview and Knoblauch’s words are more interesting for what he has to say about baseball than the Mitchell Report. To get the steroids stuff out of the way, Knoblauch, as Thayer Evans relates, called the report “interesting” and “crazy.” That about sums up this whole farce. “I have nothing to defend,” Knoblauch said. “I have nothing to hide at the same time.”

So that’s that. Believe what you want about Knoblauch.

More compelling are the indications that baseball still haunts. Chuck Knoblauch’s story in baseball had a sad ending. An offensive lynch pin on the Yankees for two seasons, he was seemingly destined for 3000 hits when in 2000, his third year in the Bronx but his second with throwing problems, he simply lost it. Suffering a meltdown that Rick Ankiel would imitate in 2001, Knoblauch simply could not throw the ball from second base to first base.

The Yankees tried to keep him around. He tried left field for a bit in 2001 and still managed to rack up 600 plate appearances. But his offensive production that season was abysmal. A 1-for-18 showing in the 2001 World Series punched his ticket out of New York. He would try to latch on with the Royals in 2002 and was out of baseball the following year. A promising career had been derailed by mental demons.

“I’ve got nothing to do with any of that, I mean, any baseball. And I don’t want anything to do with baseball,” he said to Evans.

Knoblauch doesn’t want a job in baseball; he doesn’t want a spot in the Hall of Fame; and as he asked the reporter not to tell anyone where he lives, he doesn’t want to be bothered. It’s sad really to see someone who was among the tops at his position fall so hard and so far so quickly.

Adding a whole new meaning to "Cowboy Up"
Ventura's ankle transplant
  • jsbrendog

    what coould’ve happened to the poor guy that made him a surefire first ballot hall of famer once he got to 3000 hits, which seemed inevitable, that made him just lose it like that? was it booze, the steroids, did he do hard drugs? its just so sad to see that.

  • jsbrendog

    i still love you chucky knobbs

  • E-ROC

    I guess Chuck has officially moved on with his life. I have no problem with what he said. Chuck’s just being honest. It’s kinda refreshing.

  • Bo

    he was a sure fire Hall of Famer when they Yanks traded for him.

    Maybe if he stayed in Minny he would have been.

    He does have 3 rings though

  • Donnie Baseball Belongs in the Hall Of Fame

    No way Knobby ever belonged in the hall even if he just compiled the hits. As much as he helped when he first came over, outside of that trasbag dome he was never the same type of player.

    On another note I went to a game in I believe 2003 or 2004 and he was at the game and they showed him on the big TV and everybody cheered and he looked happy and sad at the same time.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Considering your user name right here, I’m surprised you’re so against the argument than Knoblauch could have played out a Hall of Fame career. Certainly if you think Mattingly belongs in the Hall, you could at least understand why Knoblauch could have ended up in Cooperstown too had his career not taken a turn for the worse in 1999.

      • Donnie Baseball Belongs in the Hall Of Fame

        I deeply worry about people and the players they think are hall worthy. The reasons I think Donnie is worthy are the following:

        Was THE best player in baseball for a 4 year period of time (during an era when it appears most of the players at his postion were on roids, and I think everybody agrees that Donnie was not)

        Donnie was the best firstbaseman with a glove I have ever seen. If you do not agree he is the best ever in that respect you have to agree he is top 4 or 5 at worst.

        Donnie was a great baserunner (with no speed mind you)

        Donnie always had pitchers changed every time he came up late in the game. This is a time period when the Yanks stunk, and had nobody to protect him, and he still would come through a good percentage of the time.

        Donnies career was hurt by injury and if not, do the math. But I could put him in for the level of greatness he had before that. (and for all you stat nerds Donnies career numbers are about the same if not better than Kirby who played in a park where I could have hit 300, and I love Kirby but Kirby was no Donnie)

        Now on to the Knobby front. NO NO NO no way he was ever close to one of the best players in baseball. He was not every a GREAT player. He was a very good pinball player for a couple or three years in Glad Bag Field.

        Was Steve Sax hall worthy? How bout Pat Kelly? Obviously I am kidding but come on guys Knobby filled a need on this team and helped win but he was not EVER a great player.

  • barry

    Some of the quotes you gave of what he said are troubling, he seems to still be under some type of mental duress.

  • jsbrendog

    i looked up his history and its crazy, never had a 200 hit season and only came close in 96 with 197. He only hit over 300 three times in a ten yr career and only had an OPS+ over 110 4 times…….it seems he never was really great….wow

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    Well remember, he played 2nd base…a 110 OPS+ up the middle’s nothing to snuff at. It’s certainly very good, even if it isn’t great or Hall-worthy.

  • Bo

    Knobby had some of the greatest offensive seasons for a 2b in history. Hes not that far from Roberto Alomars numbers and we can all agree that Alomar is a Hall of Famer. If he didnt fall off the cliff after ’99 he would have been a lock. He would have got 3,000 hits in his sleep.

    Which would have made him automatic.

  • Mr. Dynomite

    I second what E-Roc said. Why are people sad for Knobby? The guy has a bazillion dollars and is living a quiet life with his family. I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t sign up for that. I think it’s great to see a former player who isn’t consumed with trying to prolong their ties to MLB. He had a very good career, collected a few rings, earned millions, and retired at a young age. Good for him.

  • Rich

    Chuck still seems a little out there.

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