Give Johan Cash For Camp
The personal acquaintance and connections of Camp to Santana is like any in the "age of technological Google'ings," none at all. They are simply two men, both pitchers, that had the same dream around the same time - the MLB. However, if you put their names next to each other and do a Google Search, you will see they are connected in a true "Baseball Web" - Chat rooms, blogs, trivia, etc.. Ask any true Marlins fan or true Twins fan about "the trade," and I am positive the infamous six-degrees of separation will bring jubilee and laughter to the North, and tears of shame to the South.
Back in 1999, Camp, a then rocket-throwing prospect, was traded from the Twins to the Florida Marlins for cash, and some dude named, Johan Santana. Obviously, there are a few things Florida would like to hit the reset button on; Ozzie's interviews, the green wall and center field bonanza in the new stadium, Piazza, 2000 voting and most definitely, this trade!
Florida had scouts that liked Camp's 98 m.p.h fastball and upside for the future. The deal made sense and only cost cents - It doesn't matter what Dionne Warwick says, there is no predicting the future. If that was the case, the movie "Good Burger" would never have been made, and trades like this would have been nulled, immediately. But, it happened. Signed, sealed and delivered! The rest is history, and useless knowledge to impress your boss's daughter with at the company picnic. Johan joined the Twins and became a solid force on the mound for years to come. Jared Camp bounced around from a few teams in the early 2000's but never got any higher than triple-A.
It was around this time I met Jared in Huntington, WV., his home town. He would spend part of his off-season with the Marshall Baseball team, training and helping out the pitching staff. - It was the first time I was able to witness what 98 looked and sounded like from the hitter's perspective, and not the T.V screen. Hiss, pop! Go sit down and have some bubble gum, you will never make contact.
He was the first person that would share his "Crash Davis-like" stories with us. In the show, you never have to pay for your chewing tobacco, there are vending machines that dispense it free-of-charge. Ever wonder what they do out in the bullpen during a game? Apparently a lot of singing. Jared claimed he once sang songs for 7 innings, consecutively, with no breaks. He was the first to tell me that power comes from chest-to-glove, not the arm-tuck every pitching coach would try to sell. Long toss should never be more than 100 feet, and the five-dollar "all you can drink special" was always on him, if I chose to join on a school night.
After one final arm injury, Jared left the game, thus, penciling his name into the "one of the worst trades ever" category of MLB history. The funny thing about this was the secrecy in which it was kept. Out of all the stories, conversations and questions, this little slice of info never made over the plastic red cup Jared was drinking from. It wasn't until a lazy Saturday on the ole internet that I found out about "the trade," and Camp's part in it. And, it wasn't until yesterday, while watching Johann's pitching masterpiece, that I thought. "I wonder if Camp is watching this?"
Bavarian Creams all around. sir! The hunger may be gone, but, like Danny DeVito said, "Since when do you have to be hungry to eat a doughnut?"