Nobody survives till age 49 in the major leagues without making enemies. Hence Jamie Moyer's dustup with whippersnapper Chipper Jones this weekend. And before that, the middle-aged mushballer talked to Westword for a feature story. In one of the outtakes, he explained that he had come close to signing this year not with the Rockies but with the Baltimore Orioles, for whom he went 25-22 from 1993 to 1995, in what had seemed at the time to be the late middle of his career. Baltimore let Moyer leave as a free agent after 1995, and he went to the Boston Red Sox, then run by Dan Duquette.
Moyer told Westword's Caleb Hannan that he believed he had proven he deserved to be a full-time starter, but the Sox were using him as a swing man:
"I was miserable because I was the sixth man in a five-man rotation," he says. "I had no job description."
So one day Moyer called Duquette in hopes of gaining an audience with his boss. The two set up a meeting for 3 p.m. the next day in the clubhouse. Only Duquette never showed. Not long after being stood up, Moyer found out Duquette had traded him to the Seattle Mariners, where he would go on to make his first All-Star team and become the franchise's all-time winningest pitcher.
Flash forward to last fall. Moyer and the Orioles are negotiating and, Moyer thinks, close to a deal. Then on November 8, the Orioles announce that after a search that saw them rejected by nearly every capable candidate in baseball, they've hired Duquette. Suddenly, the offer to Moyer goes from promising to nearly non-existent.
Sixteen years and 202 wins later, Jamie Moyer still can't get a meeting with Dan Duquette. Every other member of that 1996 Red Sox roster—save only Jeff Suppan, who got called up from Triple-A last week for a comeback start at age 37—is gone from the majors. When Duquette was hired in Baltimore, people scoffed because he'd been away from the game for so long. Everything about baseball is different now, mister! Except you're still pissing off Jamie Moyer.
Photo via AP.