Note: Today’s article is by Mark Cunningham, friend of philliesnation.com.
"Who is Karim Garcia?" Asked a fired up Pedro Martinez after hitting the Yankees outfielder in the back during the 2003 ALCS. Garcia is no stranger to controversy. He was also involved in the infamous bullpen fight at Fenway Park with teammate Jeff Nelson and a Boston grounds keeper. While playing with the Mets, Garcia was fined $5,000 after roughing up a pizza deliveryman who caught him urinating on the outside walls of the guy’s pizza joint.
On the field, Garcia hasn’t had much staying power, calling many cities and countries home. The left-handed outfielder has played for seven franchises (Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Tigers, Orioles twice, Indians twice, Yankees twice, and Mets) in 10 seasons before honing his craft in Japan for the last two. Playing for the Orix Blue Wave, he batted .281 in 191 combined games. His last Major League action playing here in America was in 2004 where he split time down the 95 corridor for the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles in a utility outfielder capacity.
If Garcia makes the 2007 team he brings a flash of power in late innings for a seemingly powerless bench. But, in a stadium that made Jimmy Rollins have the offensive stats parallel his idol Ricky Henderson, Karim Garcia could look like Jack Parkman from the Major League films.
For those people who are anticipating Pedro v. Garcia II you may be out of luck. Martinez will be inactive until well after the All-Star break. And as for Garcia? He’ll likely have been traded by three other teams by the end of July.