Monday, June 13, 2005

Where are they now - Jay Payton

Interesting story about what Jay Payton is going through, not being an "everyday player" with the Bosox when he clearly wants to be just that.

''I'm not going to have much bargaining power next year the way things are going," said Payton. ''I'm just trying to have good at-bats now. I'm hitting .200, I think, but I feel like I'm having some pretty good at-bats. I've probably lined out more than I have hits, but I've had my fair share of crappy at-bats, too. It feels like when you're not playing you have to be that much finer, and if it doesn't work out the way you want it to, it makes it that much tougher.

''I'm a strong person. I know myself. Nothing anybody can say is going to change the situation, anyway. I think I do a pretty good job of preparing myself and staying ready."

In reality, the only way Payton will play more is if one of the starting outfielders gets injured. Nixon is a candidate because he has said he will require surgery on his leg at season's end.

''I don't want to sit here six months from now and nobody gets hurt and be like something's going to happen and you'll play or whatever," said Payton. ''If something doesn't happen and I don't play and have only whatever amount of at-bats, I'm out in a position where I get into the offseason trying to find a job with not much to show.

''I have an option for next year, but I don't think they're going to pick up a $4 million option for a guy who might get 200 at-bats. I'll basically be a free agent at the end of the year."