Worthless Wells and the Ghost of Zoilo: There is a Part Two

Stunned. Aghast. Stupefied. WTF? Mr. Worthless, the $21 Million-Dollar leach, who had three runs batted in over his last 94 at bats, come up in today’s yankees’ game to pinch hit with the bases loaded, and doubled in three. The man whose run-producing futility echos that of the legendary Willie Davis who in 1968 came to bat 643 times over 160 games in the third spot in the batting order and who despite collecting 161 base hits managed to drive in only 31 runs, has doubled his RBI output for almost 100 trips to the plate, in a single at bat.

But enough about Mr. Worthless. The real story is New York’s photo copy of Yasiel Puig, their Ghost of Zoilo Versalles, the second major league ballplayer ever to be named Zoilo, Zoilo Almante. In Puig fashion, The Ghost has had two amazing games as a starting



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outfielder, going three-for-four with his first home run and RBI yesterday, and following that up today by driving in his own three runs, on one hit in two at bats. The Ghost is now hitting .625 with four RBI in eight at bats. Not bad for a 42 year old ghost, and certainly enough to keep Mr. Worthless on the bench, despite his 15 minutes of fame today.

On a serious note, Zoilo Versalles died almost 20 years ago, at age 55. His post-baseball life was not too kind, and he did not fare well financially in his later

years. He did not benefit from the largess baseball owners, and all major sports team owners, now show even mediocre, or worse, players, such as Mr. Worthless, throwing out $21 M/year contracts. In 1965 Versalles was the America League’s Most Valuable Player, and a seven year major league veteran. He was rewarded with a contract to play the 1966 season for the sum of $42,000. Salary reporting was sketchy back then, neither routinely reported nor always accurate, but it appears he never made more than that in any one season. Clearly, though, Worthless Vernon Wells makes more in a month than Versalles made in his entire 12 year career.

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