Monday, July 21, 2008

So Long, Ray-Ray

Some people--in any business--are what you call "professionals". You're looking at one of them.

Ray Durham has plied his trade for the last 6 years here in the Bay Area--briefly for the A's and recently for the Giants. He's not a Hall of Fame candidate, but he's the kind of guy you want on your side.

Durham is now a former Giant. He'll get a chance to compete for a playoff spot with the Brewers while the Giants accelerate their rebuilding plans.

I'll always remember Durham for one meaningless at-bat. It happened earlier this month in New York. The Giants were trailing the Mets in the top of the 5th. Rain was falling heavily at Shea Stadium as Durham came to bat with 2 out.

It would have been easy for Durham to take three quick swings and bail out. But the pro in him wouldn't quit. He ground and battled and hung in long enough to work a walk. If the umpires had been doing their job, they'd have halted the game even before Durham stepped in.

Yet Durham knew if he made that third out, the game would become official and could become a Mets win if the rain kept falling. In the grand scheme of things, another Giants loss in this dismal season would have barely been noticed. But that's not how a pro approaches things.

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