2005 Topps #631 Raul Mondesi Braves 8 - NM/MT | eBay

Starting with 2 posts from the past:

January 14, 2005 at 4:00 pm: I think we are fixing to miss Reggie Sanders’ esteemed tenure as an Atlanta Brave.

Matt Davis

Amen Brother! And for a different take…

January 14, 2005 at 5:36 pm: i’m going out on a limb here and say that this move is great for raul and great for the braves. i feel with the positive dominican influence the braves have in the clubhouse, it could be a life changing (not just a career changing) year for raul. maybe raul has had some time to humble himself and realize his position. please, raul, for the love of all things holy, don’t make me eat these words later.

ryan c

That one will leave a mark.

Braves One Year Wanker: Raul Mondesi, How did we get him?

Signed to a 1 year free agent contract for $1M. Money well spent!

Braves One Year Wanker: Raul Mondesi, Why we hate him

In 2005 he appeared in 41 games before earning his release with a .211, .271, .359 line that hardly told the whole story. His outfield play was grotesque. For example, in one early season contest with a runner on second, the batter hits one toward the gap. Raul cuts it off and throws an absolute seed — to third base. He had a play on the runner at home or the guy legging it into second and he threw…to third. Missed the cutoff man too.

“Missed the cutoff guy” may as well have been his Braves Journal nickname. Did Bobby notice? Yeah, Bobby noticed. He was not one to show up the players except for that 1 time with Andruw, but I remember at least 3 instances of Raul being met at the end of the dugout for a discussion. I don’t believe polite language was employed. The inevitable release came at the end of a grueling road trip where he actually hit as well as he had all year but just completely alienated everybody in the clubhouse from Chipper to the towel boy. Langerhans came in mid-inning as a defensive replacement and he was never seen again.

Braves One Year Wanker: Raul Mondesi, The Head Case

Mondesi earned the reputation of being a “colorful” teammate while still a teenager in his home country of the Dominican Republic. He disappeared from the Dodger’s Academy for a week at one point and was rumored to have other issues. For this reason the Dodgers signed him 11 months into the J2 signing period for an undisclosed small sum. They, at least, got their money’s worth.

After reupping with the Dodgers after his arbitration years for a 5/$55M contract, the team soured on his (unspecified) anti-social behavior and traded him to Toronto for Shawn Green, where he was largely injured or ineffective although he did manage a 27 homer/30 steal campaign in 2000. It was in 2004 in Pittsburgh that things came to a head. Raul took a week off during spring training for unspecified personal reasons before leaving the team entirely in May claiming his family had been kidnapped/were threatened to be kidnapped/were having a bad day or something (he told multiple accounts…)

Somehow and unbelievably, this got him released and put on the MLB Restricted List before the Angels unaccountably decided they couldn’t continue without somebody to miss the cutoff man and gave him another contract. That brings us full circle to Atlanta in 2005.

I’m beginning to enjoy this guy — what came next?

Would you believe politics? Mondesi was elected to the DR’s Chamber of Deputies (parliament) in May 2006. Continuing his unpredictable ways, he switched political parties the next year over charges of corruption in his old party. He then served a 6 year term as mayor of San Cristobal which ended when he was charged with corruption in 2017 and received an 8 year prison sentence. He is currently out on parole. Does it say something about me that I get to write up all the criminals?

Thanks for reading Braves One Year Wanker, Raul Mondesi. Our entire wankers and wonders series can be found here.