Jim Edmonds: Why the Former Cincinnati Red Is Back to Being a Jerk Once Again

Michael HammonsCorrespondent IApril 2, 2011

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 19:  Jim Edmonds #15of the Cincinnatti Reds pinch hits in the seventh inning against the Housto Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 19, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Finally, once again, Jim Edmonds is the villain.

All is right with the world.

Admittedly, I felt extremely uncomfortable trying to embrace him with the Reds.  I've always felt that Edmonds was an extreme "hot dog" in his prime.

I won't question his talent, but he always struck me as a guy who worked hard to get on the nightly highlights (hence, him playing a shallower center field than he had to in order to make those dynamic catches.)

Of course, beyond that bitter hyperbole, the man was simply a Reds killer, first and foremost.  His miraculous catches, clutch hits and that damn grin of his are everlasting images.  

In the nine years that Great American Ballpark has been open, I can't think of a center fielder who knew the angles of that vast terrain better than slim Jim.

After finishing off a brief run with the Reds to end his long and successful career, Edmonds opened up about his Cincinnati experience:


*On his lingering foot injury and not being able to go to spring training with St. Louis: “Awful, it’s still awful. I still can’t do so many things I want to do. It’s really frustrating. I don’t know the right words to use towards the Cincinnati doctors. I’m in a situation I thought I’d never be in. I can’t walk and I chase my kids around. It’s not healing. Surgery is the option right now. That would be a year rehab. I’m not looking forward to that. I still think I can play."

My take: Really, Jim?  You are 40 years old, and with your style of play over the years, you are going to blame the team doctors?  We all are slower to hear when we get older, face the facts.  If you felt their diagnosis was wrong, maybe you should have gotten a second opinion.

*On the trade from Milwaukee to Cincinnati: “I think I left Milwaukee hitting .295 (but playing hurt) I was driving the ball more and really playing more. The worst thing I did was accept that trade for Walt (Jocketty)…I should have shut it down and went home…I’d be healthy right now and probably playing.”

My take: first off, you admitted playing hurt, so that goes back to my first point.  Why are you blaming the Cincinnati team doctors if the injury was already lingering?  

Also, it sounds like you accepted the trade to appease your old buddy, Walt Jocketty, and for no other reason beyond that.

You got a chance to play for a winning team in your final go around.  Would you rather have stayed in Milwaukee, who was going nowhere?  Honestly?

Maybe you should have just shut it down. 

*On the Reds this year and last year: “They are still pretty young. I kind of a had a feeling that playoff experience was going to play out the way it did. They didn’t seem like they were ready last year. It’s a different monster when you get in the playoffs. You need some veterans and guys that really step up…and you need to be ready to play. You see they weren’t…They were really young and really naive. I hope for their sake that helps them a little bit.”

My take: I can't argue with this point, although he was supposed to be one of the veteran leaders, and did nothing of consequence to help the team.

I will say though, he had a positive influence on the young outfielder on the team, who took off at around the time Edmonds came to town.

*On the makeup of the Reds: “They have a bunch of good guys…other than that one situation (fight w/Cards) and that one player (Phillips). It’s a really young, nice group of guys. It put a black eye on the rest of the rivalry. They are all pretty good. I kind of looked at it like my Cubs experience. I went in thinking God these guys are gonna be a pain….but they are all actually pretty good…except that one guy. There are a few guys that have chips on their shoulders. Overall, the 1B, their young CF, their young RF are great guys. Their LF Jonny Gomes I think is very misread. Obviously Scotty is over there and their catcher is pretty good. And they have some good backups. I don’t know they are as talented as we would be in St Louis…but that’s why they play 162 games.”

My take: I find it funny that he can't be bothered to name anyone, other than Jonny Gomes.  How strange.

His comments in the beginning part reek of sour grapes.  Just shut up and go out with some grace and dignity, rather than speaking ill of a situation you were a part of just a short time ago.

It makes you sound like a whiner, and it makes you sound petty. 

Can't say I'm surprised, though.  Look who his manager was for the majority of his career?  It's proof you can remove the player from the Cardinals, but you can't remove the Cardinal from the player.

Finally, Edmonds is a probable Hall of Famer, and he did great things for that St. Louis organization.  I hope for his sake that he can heal up and play with his kids, but drop the pity party.