Former shining hope of the future of the Giants’ offense John Bowker has been released, according to numerous reports around the vast web of tubes (here’s the Phillies’ official statement). Bowker is reportedly planning to pursue an opportunity with a professional team in Japan.
In his first season with the Giants in 2008, Bowker managed to hit 10 home runs and 14 doubles good for 43 RBI, leading to an epidemic of the highly infectious Bowkermania throughout the Bay Area. Unfortunately, Bowker hit just five more home runs in a Giants uniform over the next year and a half and put up an OBP that would have made him only moderately successful had it been his batting average instead and was shipped off to the Pirates, along with one of my favorites, Joe Martinez, for Javier Lopez at the 2010 trade deadline. The case could certainly be made that, without Javy, the Giants wouldn’t have won the World Series, so in a backwards kind of way, he was partially responsible for the glory of 2010. If you squint and tilt your head just right.
In any event, best of luck to Bowker. We’ll always have a fondness for you, kiddo, and don’t forget to hit up Ryan Vogelsong for some packing tips before you head off to the Far East.