Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne has signed with the Quebec Capitales of the independent Can-Am League. This is quite a fall from grace for the Canadian pitcher that was at one time the most dominant pitcher in the game. Too bad that the Ottawa Rapidz folded. It would have been great to go to Lynx Stadium for a chance to heckle him behind his back and try and hang out with him and be fake to his face.
Gagne began as a starter while in Los Angeles but was a colossal failure. I remember that he was referred to as a "Piece Of Crap" weekly if not daily on the Jim Rome Show. He was then moved to the pen where he became the Dodgers closer and quickly began dominating the National League, rattling off a record 84 consecutive saves. He was basically untouchable during that stretch. At this point he was praised for turning his career around and becoming a dominant force. If the storey ended there he may have had some play for post career awards, sadly it does not. A series of arm issues and shoulder problems kept cropping up and made him very vulnerable to the opposition. After teams kept wasting big money on this known risk and signing him on the basis of long past good performances they ended up getting what they deserved . Texas, Boston, Milwaukee this means you.
On December 13, 2007, Gagné was listed in the Mitchell Report and has been linked to HGH. So it is now pretty clear on why he was so good during that stretch and why he was so bad early as a starter and then all of a sudden he was "re-discovered" as a dominant closer. I guess that is what happens when you are cheating (allegedly). We will see if his attempted comeback as a starter will work out but he has one huge hill to climb.