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Jay Gibbons Resurfaces in Florida

Continuing with the theme from yesterday's Kris Benson post, we take a look at where former Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons has landed.

Gibbons, perhaps the most tragic figure to come out of the Mitchell Report saga after an impassioned letter to the 30 major league teams was made public last year, is currently in spring training with the Florida Marlins as a non-roster invitee.

Gibbons hasn't been up in the big leagues since the Orioles chose to release him last year and eat what remained of the four-year, $21.1 million contract he signed in 2006.

The Orioles cited a dip in performance rather than his appearance in the Mitchell Report as the reason for letting Gibbons go, and it is this sentiment the 31-year-old outfielder hopes carries true.

"I attribute me not playing in part because I hit .230 in '07. If I didn't play terrible in '07, I believe I would have had a job in '08," says Gibbons in this story by mlb.com's Joe Frisaro.

It's likely that a combination of both led to Gibbons spending parts of 2008 in the Atlantic League playing for the Long Island Ducks and in the Milwaukee Brewers' minor league system before playing this winter in Venezuela.

Even before being named in the Mitchell Report, the Orioles had been waiting on Gibbons to reach his potential as a slugger yet the disabled list always seemed to be around the corner.

In fact, Gibbons has said it was a nagging wrist injury that led him to using HGH. Yet still, since breaking into the majors with Baltimore in 2001, Gibbons has played in over 100 games just three times (2002, 2003 and 2005).

Now healthy, Gibbons has his chance to make a major league club but it may still be an uphill battle as the Marlins are populated with young outfielders with only one (Alfredo Amezaga) over the age of 30 currently on the active roster.

Which may mean that for the second straight year, the best way to see Jay Gibbons on television in a major league uniform will be in airings of Wedding Crashers.

By CJ Holley  |  February 21, 2009; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  Marlins , Orioles  
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Next: Braves Sign Garret Anderson

Comments

I'm really rooting for him. I met him a couple of times when he was with the O's and he was just such a nice guy. Godspeed, Gibby!

Posted by: ac42 | February 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

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