Saber folks love him. Watching him play the outfield for the World Series bound San Francisco Giants is fun and enjoyable. But is Angel Pagan the right player to go after in center field for the Atlanta Braves?
First of all, the first option for most folks is still Michael Bourn. He's first. The Braves need to re-sign him, and hopefully they will. But if they don't, or they decide they need a lower-cost option in center field, then everyone and their beat writer is suggesting it be Angel Pagan.
Happy and chatty during a breakout season in 2010, Pagan wore headphones and a scowl during most of his time in the clubhouse the next year, often sitting at his locker and staring at an iPad instead of interacting with teammates.
Those teammates noticed, and many were aggravated on July 24, when Pagan left a game in Miami with what he called dehydration.
"He’s ( f------) soft," one player said that day - which might have been unfair, but was the internal opinion at the time.
That reminds me of the sentiment that afflicted a certain Braves shortstop, before he was shuffled off for a "change of scenery" (and might be shuffled off again this off-season). I'm not saying that Pagan is the same as Yunel Escobar, but the Braves clubhouse certainly seems sensitive to players who don't appear to be "with the program."
I've always thought Pagan was a good and dynamic player -- and a thorn in the Braves side for many years. I certainly wouldn't mind him joining the Braves if Bourn cannot be re-signed, but a story like this does give one pause that he could co-exist harmoniously in the Braves clubhouse. If nothing else, it gives me pause that a long-term contract is a wise decision.
Of course, I'd probably be in a bad mood if I played in Queens too.