A Farewell Letter to Kevin Slowey

Kevin,

It feels like we were just getting to know you. I guess that’s because the Rockies acquired you a short month ago, only to trade you to the Cleveland Indians today for relief pitcher Zach Putnam. I can’t help feeling cheated! Here I am, left to pick up the pieces and wonder: how will I remember your tenure with our beloved Rockies?

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure. Let’s talk through it together. 

On a basic level today’s trade makes sense. The Rockies already had an overcrowded competition for the starting rotation and were able to use you to add a bullpen arm.

Sorry, that was a poor word choice, saying that they used you. Nobody likes “feeling used.” Really, you meant more to us than that Kevin.

Let’s back up to when the team first acquired you. On the surface it made sense to me. The Minnesota Twins are notorious for developing good pitchers. It is natural to feel good about adding a player from that system. I welcomed you with open arms!

Just to be safe, I texted some of my Minnesota friends and asked them: “How should I feel about Kevin Slowey?” Not that I doubted you Kevin. I anticipated nothing less than enthusiastic endorsements. Why would I expect anything less?

The first reply was from my friend Matt. His text read: “Well, the Twins desperately need pitching, and yet they were happy to get rid of Slowey. I would say you shouldn’t feel too great about him…”

What a buzzkill, right? He must harbor bad memories of a game in which you pitched or something like that. That hardly seemed fair, so I ignored him. I figured the other responses would cancel out that negative one. Next was my friend Mark. He said: “he has underachieved so far, but he still has potential.” That’s more like it, right? We all just need to find the right environment to reach our full potential, and Colorado was going to be that place for Kevin Slowey!

Then I heard some unfortunate accounts that you were mean to the media, and that some Minnesota reporters were celebrating your departure. Those guys are so sensitive, am I right Kevin? Just to be sure, I checked with Mark. He confirmed that you did seem “a little grumpy.” Yikes! That might seem OK at first, but let’s remember one thing: Mark was born and raised in Minnesota. He is “Minnesota nice.” In those terms, “a little grumpy” translates to a string of nasty curse words describing your vicious disposition.

Did you really refuse a role in the bullpen last season? That seems worse than a “little grumpy.” In fact it seems outright selfish, besides being a gross overestimation of your own abilities. In case you have any doubt, let me make this clear: that kind of incident makes you far less appealing to fans. On a team like the Rockies that sought a change in clubhouse culture this offseason, I started to wonder if we were ever such a great match after all (as a single tear of disappointment ran slowly down my cheek…).

But hey, a fresh start cures many ills. A new place, a new team, a fresh take on things for one Kevin Slowey. With renewed spirits and a refreshed attitude, you could become the answer to the rotation woes of the Rockies. I clung to my hopes for you; I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt for as long as possible so that our relationship started off on the right foot. We had so much to look forward to!

Then a third Minnesota resident, my friend Dave, said this about you: “I don’t hate Slowey, I just don’t think he’s very good.” 

Hmm….

Kevin, you and I both know that the opinions of fans should be taken with a grain of salt. We are a volatile bunch, prone to hasty overreactions and unfairly stubborn views. But when I have a number of die-hard Twins fans to contact and cannot find a single one who has a nice thing to say about you (your performance or your personality)…that’s a problem. I would imagine that by now you are willing to concede that point. Either that or you’re directing obscene gestures towards me through your computer screen.

It hurts my heart to say this, but…Get out of here! Good riddance! If we heard such a disproportionate number of negative things about you in a little over a month, I can only imagine what a downer you would have been over the course of a full season.

*Sniff…we could have had something special, and you threw it all away before it even started! How could you?! You and your (allegedly) mean attitude and (sometimes) underwhelming pitching performances. I should have known better. I should have learned by now. Well…I won’t be fooled anymore! It’s time for you to leave, Kevin Slowey.

To conclude, let me borrow a phrase from the only Red Sox fan I know:

See you never, pal. 

Regards,

Hayden W. Kane

P.S. – If you are actually mean (which none of us know for sure), you better not take it out on Ubaldo Jimenez. He is arguably the sweetest man in the world. Being mean to him would be like kicking a puppy, waiting for it to get up, comforting it, and then kicking it again. Thanks in advance. 

***

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Topics: Kevin Slowey, Zach Putnam

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  • modizzle1126

    Loved this article! While a player’s performance can change year to year (especially in the pitching position), his personality most times is set for his career. For that, I was glad that you focused on Slowey’s short comings as a teammate. The atmosphere in the clubhouse can greatly impact the team chemistry and having MN fan and reporter accounts of his poor attitude makes me happy that he is on his way out. This fact is emphasized by my excitement (and Twin fans lament) that the Rockies were able to acquire Cuddyer (a player known for being a good teammate and leader). Maybe Slowey can take some behavior lessons from Ubaldo during his time in Cleveland and realize that no one likes a bad teammate. (See Barry Bonds).

  • hwkane

    Thanks for the comment! If it was only a matter of one or two negative incidents we might be able to overlook them. It looks like a trend with Slowey and his apparent bad attitude. Like you say, I would much rather embrace a player like Cuddyer then try to talk myself into a guy like Slowey.

    Plus it’s easy to trust Minnesotans when it comes to questions about attitude and being a good teammate.

  • modizzle1126

    Loved this article! While a player’s performance can change year to year (especially in the pitching position), his personality most times is set for his career. For that, I was glad that you focused on Slowey’s short comings as a teammate. The atmosphere in the clubhouse can greatly impact the team chemistry and having MN fan and reporter accounts of his poor attitude makes me happy that he is on his way out. This fact is emphasized by my excitement (and Twin fans lament) that the Rockies were able to acquire Cuddyer (a player known for being a good teammate and leader). Maybe Slowey can take some behavior lessons from Ubaldo during his time in Cleveland and realize that no one likes a bad teammate. (See Barry Bonds).

  • hwkane

    Thanks for the comment! If it was only a matter of one or two negative incidents we might be able to overlook them. It looks like a trend with Slowey and his apparent bad attitude. Like you say, I would much rather embrace a player like Cuddyer then try to talk myself into a guy like Slowey.

    Plus it’s easy to trust Minnesotans when it comes to questions about attitude and being a good teammate.

  • esplett

    Great article yet again. However, this “Mark” character sounds awfully gingerific, and thus ought to be discredited as such.

    All in all, as a MN resident, I’m sad to lose Cuddy (as you have since pointed out. Thanks for the salt in the wound) to a park where I know his power and versitility will come into play. But as for Slowey, I don’t know. MN pitching coach Rick Anderson (sp?) has a history of knowing when to let go of pitchers (2 points for letting Santana, and not the Carlos variety, go). So I doubt Slowey would have been good for the Rockies, let alone Coors Field.

    Again, soild reporting. But this “Mark” and “Dave” MN contributors could use a liittle “Erik” supplanting…

  • esplett

    Great article yet again. However, this “Mark” character sounds awfully gingerific, and thus ought to be discredited as such.

    All in all, as a MN resident, I’m sad to lose Cuddy (as you have since pointed out. Thanks for the salt in the wound) to a park where I know his power and versitility will come into play. But as for Slowey, I don’t know. MN pitching coach Rick Anderson (sp?) has a history of knowing when to let go of pitchers (2 points for letting Santana, and not the Carlos variety, go). So I doubt Slowey would have been good for the Rockies, let alone Coors Field.

    Again, soild reporting. But this “Mark” and “Dave” MN contributors could use a liittle “Erik” supplanting…

  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    Good move for the Rockies, because Slowey would never have fit in Coors anyway. Putnam is a groundball first pitcher without much upside, but he has the ability to be a decent middle reliever who can help this team out in the ‘pen- he keeps the ball in the park.

  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    Good move for the Rockies, because Slowey would never have fit in Coors anyway. Putnam is a groundball first pitcher without much upside, but he has the ability to be a decent middle reliever who can help this team out in the ‘pen- he keeps the ball in the park.

  • hwkane

    @esplett You’re absolutely right, and I have updated my ‘Minnesota Twins’ sources accordingly. The ‘k’ in Erik is instant credibility.

    I like your point about Rick Anderson, I hadn’t thought of that. Now I am even more comfortable with their decision to trade him.

  • hwkane

    @SorianoJoe You’re absolutely right Joe – I would much rather have a pitcher like Putnam that makes sense for the Rockies than a pitcher like Slowey that we had to work so hard to talk ourselves into.

  • hwkane

    @esplett You’re absolutely right, and I have updated my ‘Minnesota Twins’ sources accordingly. The ‘k’ in Erik is instant credibility.

    I like your point about Rick Anderson, I hadn’t thought of that. Now I am even more comfortable with their decision to trade him.

  • hwkane

    @SorianoJoe You’re absolutely right Joe – I would much rather have a pitcher like Putnam that makes sense for the Rockies than a pitcher like Slowey that we had to work so hard to talk ourselves into.

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