Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Report from the Morgue

"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," Mark Twain once wrote, and the Astros' Willy Taveras might argue the same thing. None-the-less, it says here that the Houston centerfielder may soon find himself among the rolls of the dearly departed. He's on a trajectory to become the brightest flash in the pan since the Cubs' promising Dwight Smith flamed out a decade ago after batting .338 in his rookie debut., then all but vanishing. The handwriting was on the wall for Taveras during the September playoffs when he was suddenly benched in favor of Chris Burke. Despite finishing second in rookie of the year balloting, Taveras' had suffered a precipitous and severe second-half decline, suggesting the league was quickly figuring him out. The Astros' recent signing of veteran outfielder Preston Wilson signals that the Taveras centerfield experiment is rapidly drawing to a close.