Mayberry R.I.P.


The Phillies have traded John Mayberry Jr. to the Blue Jays for Gustavo Pierre, an AA third baseman with decent power but who walks less than Juan Pierre (but more–though not much more–than Ben Revere). In other words, a Ruben Amaro Prospect.

Mayberry’s name came up a few times in e-mails to Writer Friend and Royals Fan Rob in Iowa last summer, mostly because I was 5-1 at Citizens Bank Park thanks to two Mayberry walkoffs but also as a potential Royal-in-waiting; see last July 2:

The Royals would do just as well trying to pick up John Mayberry Jr. from Amaro (too bad Francoeur’s not still a Royal, it would be perfect) and platooning him with somebody who could hit RHP (David Lough??); Mayberry’s making $517K this season and won’t become a free agent before 2017.

and most recently last August 31:

I’ve always been convinced [Mayberry] would follow his father’s footsteps and be half of a decent Royals’ platoon outfield someday, although Dayton Moore has apparently followed my advice down to everything including the same initials but with the wrong trade partner, acquiring Justin Maxwell, who is basically the same player a month younger and without as drastic a platoon split, curiously enough also from Houston, who gave the Royals John Mayberry Sr. in 1972.

Mayberry Jr. (R) 1086 AB .249/.309/.437 45 HR age 29 — OPS vs. righties: .679, OPS vs. lefties: .861
Maxwell (R) 732 AB .230/.317/.433 33 HR age 29 — OPS vs. righties: .716, OPS vs. lefties: .802

Dayton can cut me that check now.

Both Mayberry (along with his former doppelganger Maxwell) had an off year in 2014, but we’ll always have this.

The other reason to root for Mayberry is the fact that, outside of baseball (with any small sample size warnings that apply), he appears to have a clue. When answering the question “What do you associate with the 1960s?” from the Phillies Ballgirls for the recurring player videos shown during games at Citizens Bank Park (e.g. “What was the first concert you ever attended?”, “What’s your favorite chick flick?”, etc.), Mayberry was the only current player to mention the Civil Rights Movement. (Gary “Sarge” Matthews did as well, but he was born in 1950. Jimmy Rollins probably would have too, but I don’t think he was included.) Similarly, Mayberry’s walkup music for much of this season was “100 Black Coffins” by Rick Ross, from the DJANGO UNCHAINED soundtrack, as opposed to, e.g. Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” (Ben Revere, which totally fits), or for that matter Ted Nugent (Cliff Lee) or Tyga. (Granted, DJANGO may have been fun–it’s a Tarantino film– and arguably consciousness-raising for some, but it’s also an ahistorical neoliberal slave fantasy, and how does “100 Black Coffins” compare with “Black Skinhead,” the walkup music for A.J. Burnett, who isn’t even a brother? But we digress.)

With an outfield-first base mix of Revere, Brown, Sizemore, Byrd, Ruf, and the Immovable Object, all of whom (with the exception of Sizemore, who at more than a spring training invitation is probably a mistake) are on the roster for 2015 barring a trade, Phillies had no room for Mayberry, who’s still officially injured. 1.1 bWAR across six total seasons (though only 1252 AB) is underwhelming, even for a platoon player. But if nothing else, he was worth more than Greg Golson.


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