Friday, May 26, 2006


Bring me the head of Edgardo Alfonzo

NEWS FLASH: Toronto signed infielder Edgardo Alfonzo to a minor league contract. The 32-year-old was released by the Los Angeles Angels earlier this month after batting .100 in 18 games.

Is that our "Fonzie"? The affable ex-Met 3B who they decided not to resign in 2002 and wound up playing alongside Barry Bonds in San Francisco? One of the key components of the Mets' 2000 World Series squad? The Venezuelan native who rose up through the Mets' minor system as a second baseman? The man who drove in 108 runs in 1999 and hit .324 in 2000?

What the hell has happened to Edgardo Alfonzo? Last season, his production declined dramatically with the Giants. He had just 2 HRs in 109 games. So the Giants traded him in the off-season to Arizona for Steve Finley. Alfonso was supposed to fill the Angels' void at 3B. But Fonzie failed to produce in his AL debut. On May 20, they waived him.

At that point, the Angels had lost 15 of 20 to fall 8 games below .500, and were batting just .247 as a team - the third-lowest average in the majors. Alfonzo's 5-for-50 start was part of the problem.

"Edgardo still can play," contended Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "He's an extraordinary professional. It was tough on him. His role wasn't something he was used to. It was tough to produce. I'm sure he's going to get an opportunity to play elsewhere."

"I don't think it makes sense for them to pay me that kind of money to go down to Triple-A," Alfonzo said of the Angels. "They've been good to me. They gave me an opportunity to try to find a team that would like to have me. I felt like part of this team and I tried to keep guys positive here, even when I wasn't in the lineup. They have a lot of great players, so it was kind of hard at the beginning to see action. It's too bad it didn't work out the way it was supposed to. I still believe in myself and I still believe I can play. But it's tough when you're used to playing every day, and then you're playing every 5 or 6 days or sitting there for 7 innings and then coming in to hit. My body is used to playing every day."

It's not going to get better for Fonzie anytime soon. Today, the Blue Jays asked him to report to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League in Double-A.

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