Thursday, May 22, 2008
Samardzija To Be The Next Drew Henson?
Longevity. Something that every athlete hopes for in their careers, no matter what the sport. While it's something you can count on more if you're a golfer in terms of physical wellness, in the 3 major US sports it could be here today, gone tomorrow. Of these three, football takes a greater toll then it's mainstream counterparts.
While I can't speak for their reasons, I could imagine that fact played a role for players such as Drew Henson and Joe Mauer who chose the diamond over the gridiron. However, I would argue that baseball is not as clear cut a path as football is, and these two are the perfect examples. Mauer and Henson were top level quarterbacks in high school (Mauer didn't play college football). Look where they are today. Mauer is an all-star for the Twins, and Henson had to retreat back to football after toiling around in the Yankees system. Henson is now looking for work in the NFL after being cut in late October last year by the Jaguars.
Whether former Notre Dame receiver Jeff Samardzija will stand out as a Chicago Cub some day has yet to be seen, he's hit a bit a rough spot right now at Double-A Tennessee:
Tuesday, however, he gave up six runs in five innings to Mississippi in his third consecutive start of allowing six or more runs. Over his last six starts, Samardzija has allowed 27 runs in 251/3 innings for a 9.59 earned-run average, with 26 walks and 17 strikeouts.
This is not to say that he won't or can't turn thing around at this point. He's only been in the Cubs system for about a year now. However, think about the money he turned down when he signed a 5 year, $10 million dollar deal with the Cubs. In 2007, Calvin Johnson signed a 6 year, $64 million dollar deal as the number 2 pick in the draft and first receiver taken. Where Samardzija would have went in the draft is speculatory, however scouts had him as a mid-late first round pick before he inked his contract with the North siders. At the fourteenth pick, Darrelle Revis signed with the Jets for 6 years, $36 million.
That's alot of cash Samardzija missed out on to get 20 bucks a day for food in Kodak, Tennessee. While the path is not as clear to a starting spot in the MLB as it is in the NFL, it appears as though Samardzija could be at a crossroads soon. Joining the ranks of Mauer and others in the mid-July classic, or shuffling from NFL roster to roster hoping to prove himself as a possession receiver who can still go over the middle. Only time will tell.