Well, so much for baseball heaven. When he was rescued by, er I mean traded to, the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle of the 2002 season, Scott Rolen announced on leaving Philadelphia that his new zip code was located squarely within the borders of baseball heaven whereas his previous address was decidedly south of that region. A native of Indiana, Rolen grew up a Cardinals fan. Now, he would be their starting third baseman. It didn't get any better than that, Scott allowed, at least at the time.
During the intervening years Rolen lost a World Series, won a World Series, won several Gold Glove awards, suffered a few injuries along with a well-publicized falling out with his manager, the self-anointed genius Tony LaRussa. Oh, and he made a ton of money; let's not forget that. Surely, Scott thought upon heading for the city under the Gateway Arch, any place would be an improvement over one that boasted both Larry Bowa and Dallas Green.
Apparently not. Heaven, it turned out, wasn't all it was cracked up to be and after suffering what he thought were one too many indignities, Rolen let the Cardinals know he was ready to move on once more. The news that he will be swapped for Troy Glaus of Toronto, pending both players pass physicals and the Commissioner's Office OK's the financial details of the the deal, comes as a little bit of a surprise only insofar as the destination. I assumed Rolen had a no-trade clause in his current contract and it surprises me to learn he'd consider going to the Blue Jays, who appear to have little chance of overtaking the Red Sox and Yankees in their division, if not holding off the up-and-coming Rays of Tampa Bay. Maybe the idea of occasionally DH'ing appealed to Rolen, who isn't getting any younger and whose shoulder ailments have cost him a fair amount of playing time the last few seasons. Or maybe he decided that baseball heaven no longer included the National League at all; the All-Star games certainly would suggest that was the case.
No matter. In the end, Rolen comes off as a guy who wears out his welcome, which is what some of us though nearly six years ago when he complained bitterly that the Phillies just didn't care enouigh about winning and, by extension, about him.
Out with a whimper.