Friday, August 12, 2005

The Continued Adventures of Brian Lentz

Former Crimson catcher Brian Lentz has gotten a lot of press recently, although not all of it is the kind you'd like...

Brian Lentz was a tremendous athlete at St. John's Prep in football and baseball. In 1997 - the year the Eagles had perhaps their best football team in a generation - Lentz did it all ... even overshadowing future BC quarterback Brian St. Pierre.

He was on everybody's list of "can't-miss" prospects as a catcher, was headed to Harvard to play ball, and - with apologies to Timbuk 3 - his future was so bright he had to wear shades.

Well, what happened? Lentz, at the age of 25, had a cup of coffee with the North Shore Spirit within the last month, but was released by manager John Kennedy last week - basically for taking an "it's all about me" attitude. And if Kennedy needed further proof that he was right, all he had to do was read what Lentz had to say after he left.

Lentz could have chosen to leave quietly (as any player with a shred of self-respect might have done after being unceremoniously cut from a Single A level team). Instead, he not only burned the bridge, he blew it up ... a classic case of being hoist with one's own petard.

---From Steve Krause's "Lentz Burned Bridges," the Daily Item of Lynn (8/9/2005).

The Globe has a more charitable take, as the reporter rides with Lentz himself:

As he drove from his home in Manchester-by-the-Sea to Little Falls, N.J., last Friday in a Honda Accord without air conditioning, Brian Lentz was asked how much longer he planned to pursue a professional baseball career. The day before, Lentz, a catcher, had been discouraged by his release from the North Shore Spirit, but now that episode was in his rearview mirror, another obstacle in the bumpy road he has traveled in pro baseball.

''You just keep trying and trying and don't get discouraged," said Lentz, who for his five-hour drive to join the New Jersey Jackals was rewarded with one game and a plane ticket to Pensacola, Fla. The Jackals traded the 25-year-old Manchester native to another independent minor league franchise, the Pensacola Pelicans, last Friday.

---From Christopher Gasper's "A Catcher on the Fly," The Boston Globe (8/11/2005).

And so continues one of the more fascinating storylines Harvard sports has seen in recent years.

No comments: