Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HOF Can Wait

Pepper James
Age: 37B/T: R/R
Born: Polson, MT
Position(s): CF/CIF/2B/OF/DH
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Future Hall of Famer, Pepper James, has signed a one year deal with the Boston Patriots worth $1.7 million. The deal ends speculation that James may hang up his cleats after the eight time All-Star struggled last season in Houston. James hit .259 with an OBP of .335 last season, while hitting 15 home runs and driving in 74. These numbers aren't terrible compared to the average major leaguer, but when you're talking about a player like James we've all come to expect the .317/.437 32/108 line he put up just two seasons ago during his MVP campaign in season 11'. One major league scout said, "He's still talented, still driven. He's just 37 years old."

The $1.7 million owed to James is a far cry from the $15 million he was scheduled to make this year, before he and Houston agreed to a buy out. James confirmed today that it wasn't the money he was after. "I love this game, and I still have a passion for it. I wasn't sure what opportunities would be available to me, but I'm still close with Raul [Tatis] and we talked about how cool it would be to play together again. When [Boston GM] Nate called and offered me a job, it really was a no brainer." Tatis and James were teammates on the J5B champion Tractor Pulls of season 6.

The Patriots All-Star Center fielder, had this to say about his friend. "I'm thrilled to have him here. He's a great talent, a great teammate and a great friend. He's just happy to be here and whatever kind of role he's in, he'll embrace and work as hard as he can to help us win a World Series."

James projects to primarily contribute offensively off the bench and have occasional DH duties. Though his invaluable leadership ability and experience will play a much bigger role in helping the defending AL Champion Patriots get back to the World Series.