Ha, I told you to hold onto your butts. Now, Karim Garcia was not someone that would be seen in great esteem as a player. He was a long-time veteran, with good power but inconsistent play. He was called up in 1995 at the age of 19 and played sporadically for the Dodgers through the next three seasons.
He’d move on to Arizona, Detroit, and then Baltimore before joining the Indians for 20 games in 2001. He’d end up showing his power in Triple-A, hitting 31 home runs for the then-affiliate, the Buffalo Bison. That wouldn’t be good enough to keep him and Garcia then went to the New York Yankees but was released early into the 2002 season.
That’s when the Tribe would again acquire Garcia and he would end up playing 51 games for the depleted and rebuilding Indians. Garcia showed what he could do, hitting .299 with 16 home runs and a whopping 52 RBIs.
The city thought that at 26, Garcia had managed to finally “figure it out”. It is the game of baseball. Because of that strong showing at the tail-end of the season, many in the league and around the city expected Garcia to showcase similar numbers in 2003. There was a buzz that with Ellis Burks, Jim Thome, Karim Garcia, Omar Vizquel, and up-and-coming prospect Jody Gerut, the team might make noise.
Garcia was benched in May for Gerut. So, that potential didn’t last too long.