Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Terminator strikes out

Suppose you were the sixth-leading relief ace in the history of Major League Baseball.

And suppose you robbed a jewelry store, and when caught, you blamed your actions on some medication you're taking.

But I repeat myself.

Jeff Reardon, who retired 11 years ago after notching 367 saves for six major league clubs — most notably the Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins, and Boston Red Sox — walked into the Hamilton Jewelers shop in Palm Beach, Florida's Gardens Mall, handed the clerk a robbery note, and walked out with a bundle of cash. Then he went to a restaurant and had lunch.

According to Reardon's attorney, the former pitching star — whose nickname was "The Terminator" — had been taking antidepressants since losing his 20-year-old son to a drug overdose nearly two years ago. Reardon also recently underwent a cardiac angioplasty. A police spokesman said that Reardon told the arresting officers, "it was the medication that made him do it and that he was sorry."

This story is so bizarre that it's tough to know exactly what to make of it. If the medication angle pans out, you've got to feel badly for the guy.

At least Reardon won't have to worry about how this incident will affect his chances in the Hall of Fame balloting. He was eliminated from future HOF consideration when he garnered only 24 votes — a mere 4.8 percent of the total cast — in 2000, his first year of eligibility. Candidates need five percent of the vote to stay on the ballot each year.

If it means anything, I wouldn't have voted for him before.

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