Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Wait, When Did He Play There?" Wednesday

Maybe I'm cheating a bit with this week's post.  After all Matt Stairs played everywhere.  But I would still venture to say few think people think black and gold when they think of Stairs. 

Stairs, lefty masher extraordinaire, spent 2003 with the Bucs.  His defensive limitations undoubtedly impacted his playing time, as did the presence of Reggie Sanders and Craig Wilson, who displayed strikingly similar skill sets.

Satirs his 20 homers, taking advantage of the Clemente Wall, in just over 300 ab's, putting up a godly .561 slugging percentage.

Better yet, he was just flat out fun to watch.  Every at bat looked like Satirs just wanted to hurt the baseball.  At 5'9", a generously listed 200lbs, he may have looked better with an axe in his hands and helmet on his head than wooden bat and gold P logo.

But maybe the most impressive part about Stairs black and gold adventure isn't what he did with the Bucs, but rather what he did after.  Stairs was 35 in '03, and like many power first mashers, it wouldn't be out of the question to think that losing just a tick or two off his bat speed could send his numbers plummeting (see Burnitz, Jeromy just three years later). 

Instead, Stairs went on to play almost another decade, hanging it up after 2011.  Perhaps equally surprising is that he saw steady playing time until 2009.

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