This morning I stepped onto the train, along with a crush of other people, and encountered the most annoying train commuter in the universe. This particular guy himself wasn't the most annoying train commuter, but he fit the most annoying group of commuters that we all face.
Let's set the stage. When a train is packed, where do you stand when you enter the train? You push your way in as far as you can. You remove your backpack, put your belongings at your feet, you try to reduce the space you're filling. OR. Or, you stand right inside the train doors and continuing wearing your backpack.
When is it okay to stand right inside the doors? The times are few. When you're running to catch the train and you step into the crowded train and that's where you entered. It's also okay if you're getting off at the next stop. If you have two stops, or eight stops, you should move into the center of the train car as best you can. The likelihood of not being able to get out from the middle of the train is so small, that you never hear about people not being able to exit a train at a stop. This is because the entering and exiting of passengers is fluid and it's always possible to get out. Alas, we always encounter that person who thinks it is fine to effectively block a portion of the train doors.
In baseball, there are players who resemble that door blocking passenger in their own ways. The player with just a few games at the major leagues, they fit the metaphor where they're just on the train for one stop, before getting off and heading back to the minors. Other players fit the metaphor as the door blocking passenger because perhaps they never tried to push into the train and embrace their new team, their new city. They struggled to find a spot, so they stayed right by the entrance, ready to leave even though they have a long way to go.
Julio Lugo fits that latter description. He hit well for the Red Sox in the 2007 World Series, but his overall season leading into it and the subsequent partial seasons after it were relatively a dud. Though he signed a four year deal prior to the 2007 season, it felt almost immediate that a tremendous mistake had been made. He was shipped out of town in the middle of the third year of the contract after missing half of the second season.
Lugo bounced from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians before finally getting off the train for good and hanging up the cleats. He turned 42 years old today, and though this might seem like a crappy birthday post for him, his numbers in the 2007 World Series alone show he was solid when it mattered!