Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cory Snyder: Benched Power Hitter

Hi, I'm Cory Snyder. You may remember me from such teams as the 1984 Olympic Silver Medal Team and the Cleveland Indians. What you may not know is that I was also on the Chicago White Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays, the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. What do you mean, "What happened to me after 1990"? I just told you.

The White Sox were supposed to be a new start for Cory. He had been a little underwhelming at the plate since belting 33 home runs in his rookie year in Cleveland, but still had solid numbers. He struck out more than average, but that's usually true with power hitters. He was just hitting a comfort zone when he was traded to the White Sox. Everything was looking up until he came in contact with one uncompromising man by the name of Walt Hriniak.

It was Walt's way or the highway. Cory was unable to adjust to becoming a line drive hitter. He was told that he was going to be playing everyday, mostly in right field, but sometimes in left. Sammy Sosa blasts two home runs for the White Sox on opening day and Cory was the odd man out after getting only a couple of hits that day. The Sox made Cory a bench player after that. Being a bench player is one of the hardest things to do in baseball. Some players thrive on that, others need to play everyday to get consistency. Cory needed to play everyday to get through slumps. Manager Jeff Torborg thought otherwise.

Luck was not on Cory's side though. It seemed that every team he would stick with would sign someone after they committed to Cory, and that player would play instead of Cory. I remember being very psyched when I first heard the Sox got Cory. He was one of my favorite players on the Indians in the late 80's. I really hate the fact that the Sox misused him and refused to let him hit in a manner that brought him earlier success.

It's interesting the sort of dirt that surfaces many years later that the normal fan would be oblivious to back then. That sort of thing would be all over the blogs nowadays, but back then there wasn't an immeidate outlet for that. I wish they would've used Cory properly. He may have had a longer career. He may have been with the White Sox longer. The Sox may have won it all in 1993, instead of being beaten by the Blue Jays.

Even after all this time, I still have fond memories of Cory playing. I just wish the White Sox knew what they had and how to use it to its full potential.


Klokard said...

Cory Snyder was used to his full potential. He was not benched for other players arbitrarily. He was a power hitter only. He did not have the RBI's or on base percentage required of a #3 hitter and did not provide consistent power for the #4 and #5 slot. Yes he dinged 33 one season. He was also just mediocre in the field. JMHO.

Steve Gierman said...

Very valid opinion. Even his power numbers went down after he was forced to change his approach to the plate by the Sox hitting coach. He was there because he was a power hitter, but Hriniak wanted to turn him into a line drive singles hitter. It just didn't work. When Cory didn't conform, he was given less playing time. I think the Sox screwed him. But I do agree that he was a mediocre fielder.

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