clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Where are you, Jose Morban?

New, 28 comments

Following ex-Orioles like Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard is easy, because people talk about those guys and how they lie about their age, do steroids and don't want to be aces -- anything but an ace! -- and it's easy to follow ex-Orioles like Jeff Conine because they're retired.

But what about some of the flameouts, bums, schmucks and geeks that have passed through the orange and black halls in this last adventurous decade? What are they up to?

Ph_235494_medium

Matt Riley, LHP, Las Vegas 51s (Dodgers)

Mr. Electric Stuff himself. Think of him as a the caveman whose place in evolution led us to Adam Loewen. Riley, who turns 29 in August, was a third round draft pick in 1997 and shot up our prospect lists for a couple years before having Tommy John surgery in 2001. While TJ surgery is almost a rite of passage these days, they unfortunately could not go in with any tools and fix Riley's "immaturity" issues, as they were called at the time.

Not that TJ surgery helped his case, and the second one in 2005 (after he was sent packing to Texas for Ramon freaking Nivar, a trade that still bothers me because it was just stupid) absolutely didn't help. And if those two weren't bad enough, he had a third TJ surgery after screwing up his arm again attempting to come back from the second one.

These days, Matt Riley is your average non-descript lefty reliever at Triple-A, too old for prospectdom and too worn out to ever catch fire on the major league level unless he starts getting out basically every single left-handed batter he faces. He's got a 2.93 ERA this season for Vegas.

Ph_237346_medium Brian Falkenborg, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

At 21 years of age, Brian Falkenborg pitched three shutout innings for the 1999 Baltimore Orioles. A second round draft choice in 1996, Falkenborg had the size (6'7" frame to work from) that any scout would love.

Then he had TJ surgery in the offseason and missed all of 2000. He didn't return to the majors until 2004 with the Dodgers, having bounced around the Mariners system as an oft-injured, unproven free agent signing. He pitched in six games for the '04 Dodgers, 10 games for the '05 Padres, five games for the '06 Cardinals, and 16 more for the Cardinals last year before returning to the Dodgers, starting out at Vegas this season before sort of earning a call-up a couple weeks ago.

Good for you, Brian Falkenborg. Long may you run.

5721_medium Sir Eugene Kingsale, OF, Beer League

I have no idea what Kingsale is up to now, as he's been out of Major League Baseball since 2003. I just wanted to re-live all those crappy Aruban signings the Orioles made. While other teams were looking at places like, you know, Japan, or the Dominican Republic, or Venezuela, or Cuban refugees, or Taiwan, or wherever, the Baltimore Orioles thought they were really kicking some major tail because they were out scouting and signing the Aruba Mafia.

Ponson is the most famous, of course, 'cause he's a fat slob who punched a judge and just drank his way out of Texas, which is damn hard to do for any number of reasons. Kingsale, like Ponson and Calvin Maduro, was knighted in Aruba. The last anyone's seen or heard of Eugene, as far as I know or care, was his participation in the World Baseball Classic in 2006.

The Arubans. Come on.

Ph_275928_medium Luis Matos, CF, Leones de Yucatan

I am amused by your situation, Luis, you no-hustle bonehead. I am sure that Leones de Yucatan are a very proud and prestigous organization, but even still, Liga Mexicana de Beisbol is quite a far cry from Major League Baseball. Or one of the Japanese leagues. Or the Pacific Coast League. Or the International League.

Haw, haw, haw, haw to you, Luis, you bumbling jerk. If you haven't followed Luis' post-O's life, he went to the national's capital to play for those bums, then he bummed his way over to Pittsburgh before getting released in two months after a spring training of being Luis Matos, and then after that he signed with the Mets and played, like, 10 games in 2007 at New Orleans.

Now he's a Leones de Yucatan superstud. I bet he sucks there, too (he's hitting .290/.373/.405, for the record).

9ce62ae1-c29c-9570-f86b6e96d50f797f_medium Ivanon Coffie, 3B, Lancaster Barnstormers

Great name. No ballplayer.

Coffie hit .217/.284/.317 in 23 games as a 23-year old rookie in 2000, and never returned to the show. He now storms barns, mostly in Pennsylvania, rockin' the indy circuit for ... what reason do some of these guys have?

I mean, I get the Todd Williamses of the world, or even a guy like Clint Nageotte or Abe Alvarez. Maybe those guys turn up somewhere. Tike Redman did a little bit. But Ivanon Coffie? He's 31 years old and had a cup of coffee in his life.

Granted, Ivanon Coffie has led a cooler life than me. He'll have better stories for his kids and grandkids than I will. While Ivanon talks about playing for the 2004 Olympic team that represented the Netherlands, I'll talk about talking about Ivanon Coffie having played for the 2004 Olympic team that represented the Netherlands. Aren't you glad I'm here, running this stupid blog?

My life is in ruin.

6813_medium

Geronimo Gil, C, Diablos Rojos del Mexico

Gil is hitting .276/.351/.410 for Diablos Rojos, which seems pretty amazing for Geronimo Gil until you look at the rest of the team's numbers and, if you have one brain cell, you might guess that the Mexican League is good on hitters. The worst batting average on the team for anyone with 50 or more at-bats is .275.

I'll always remember Geronimo Gil for what he was. I can remember those clear summer days, the sun washing over Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the man in the "joker costume" was none other than No. 9 himself, Geronimo Gil.

I'd sit down, get ready for some Orioles baseball, and reflect on what a useless player Geronimo Gil really was.

Ph_406428_medium Tim Raines, Jr., OF, Tucson Sidewinders

You can give your son your name, but you can't give him your talent. His dad should be in the Hall of Fame. Little Rock should be...well, in Tucson, I guess.

So far in 2008, Raines is hitting .306/.338/.506 for Tucson in another hitter-friendly environment.

In a case like Little Rock's, I guess you have to admit to the ugliness of nepotism. They really wanted this dude to be a ballplayer, and he's just not.

The eternal highlight of Tim Raines, Jr.'s, entire career will be the day in 2001 that he played the outfield with his dad. What a genuine thrill that must've been. So it didn't work out too well overall. He's still got that. We got more out of the four games Big Rock played for us than we did in the three major league stints we gave Junior. Oh well!

Ph_150305_medium Damian Moss, LHP, Richmond Braves

Damian Moss was, of course, part of the package we got from San Francisco for King Aruba. He was known as a wild pitcher with good stuff if he could just keep the ball over the plate.

I'm happy to report that now 31 years old, the Australian Moss has still not learned any command of the strike zone, having walked 46 batters in 66 2/3 innings for Richmond.

Way to keep your free spirit alive, flower child. You might also be interested to know that playing alongside Moss in Richmond is none other than Jorge Julio, former hairpull-inducing closer extraordinaire.

I'd like to see those two guys play some darts in a crowded bar.

Ph_425660_medium Jose Morban, 3B, Somewhere

One of many attempts at finding a third baseman, Morban had a career similar in stature to that of Ivanon Coffie, hitting .141/.187/.225 in 61 games in the 2003 season.

The photo to your right is the last known photograph of Jose Morban, taken when he was a member of Aguinas Cibaenas of the Dominican winter league. Mr. Morban has been missing from baseball ever since.

Jose is known to smile frequently, though with a nervous look about him. He may have a pencil-thin goatee, a black baseball cap, and a white button-up shirt with gaudy print.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Jose Morban, please call 1-800-876-5353.

Gibbons-web_medium Jay Gibbons, OF, Long Island Ducks

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

He plays for a team that greets you with a quack! when you visit their official web site.

Currently playing alongside Todd Williams, Nook Logan, Abe Alvarez, Carl Everett (yes, him), Pete Maestrales, Alay Soler, Joe Valentine, Damian Rolls, and other retreads. Talk about your all-time scrub patrol.