Lenny Faedo – 1984 Topps
March 10, 2011
Step Forward If You Are The Shortstop Of The Future. Not So Fast Lenny…
Ah, to be young and a Minnesota Twin. Well, in 1982 that meant you got to play. And play. And play.
Faedo was the first round pick of the Twins in 1978, and had two cups of coffee for the big club in 1980 and 1981 as a fuzzy cheeked youngster. He debuted for Elizabethton in the Appy League in ’78 (been to that ballpark, it’s pretty and cheap but I think it’s a dry county. All of the booze is in Johnson City), then moved to AA Orlando in 1979 and 1980. As a 19 and 20-year old in AA he did OK. In 1981, he moved up to AAA and was loaned to Cleveland for a bit. But he still was in the Twins plans.
1982 was the year of the rookie in Minnesota. The ‘old time’ regulars were John Castino at 27 and Bobby Mitchell at 28. Ron Washington was the utility man at the grizzled age of 30. But the regulars were guys like, oh, Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, Tom Brunansky, and Tim Laudner. They weren’t ready for the spotlight quite yet.
Faedo never did hit much in the minors, but in the scheme of things he wasn’t supposed to supply offense. He was to make the plays at shortstop. And really, he did. In 1982, he did what they wanted him to do. He missed about a month in the season with an injury but was considered the optimal regular.
So Faedo was 23 going into 1983 and ready to fully establish himself. He started opening day, and the was the regular until mid-May. Then, he got hurt again while he was batting .311. Yes, he had a low OBP and SLG, but .311 was better than .250.
He didn’t get back into the lineup until September, and his hitting tailed off. His defense tailed off as well, and this card shows that his hairdo wasn’t the best either.
There was no reason not to think Faedo wasn’t going to be the shortstop in 1984. Lenny probably didn’t think he was in competition for the job.
But he reported to spring camp after one too many cheeseburgers. The Twins managers and staff rather much soured on him them. Faedo started the first 15 games of the season, then vanished. Gone. Poof. His defense wasn’t up to snuff, and Billy Gardner decided that playing a totally overmatched Houston Jiminez (32 OPS+) was preferable to an overweight, injury-prone lazybones.
And when I mean Faedo vanished, I mean, vanished. Exiled. He spent the rest of 1984 being loaned to other organizations, then signed minor league deals with the Royals and Dodgers before ending his career.
One wonders if, during the 1987 and 1991 World Series, if Leonardo Lago Faedo (his given name) felt he was disrespected and passed over. Greg Gagne was in the shortstop position that could have been Faedo’s. Did he feel like Fredo?
You gotta wonder.