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Monday, December 29, 2003
Ex-Mariner looking for work
Having been cut loose by the Mariners and Cubs, Charles Gipson landed on his feet. Until his feet did him in.
Gipson, 31, who spent parts of five seasons as a Mariners' utility man, was not tendered a contract by Seattle after the 2002 season, and signed with the Chicago Cubs.
Gipson, however, never made it out of spring training with the Cubs, who told him before the start of the season he hadn't made the club. They offered a part-time minor-league job, but Gipson asked for, and received, his release.
Out of work, Gipson mulled over a Tampa Bay offer from his former Seattle manager, Lou Piniella. Instead, he signed with the New York Yankees, who sent him on a trial to their Class AAA team in Columbus, Ohio.
There, Gipson showed his versatility in a seven-game span, playing second, third and all three outfield positions. After a week, the Yankees called up Gipson, who appeared to be in a great position - pinch-runner and defensive replacement for a team that was headed for the World Series.
But Gipson was picked off three times, most damagingly in the ninth inning of a one-run game at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. Shortly after, he was designated for assignment by the Yankees.
"If Charles was guilty of anything with the Yankees, it was probably trying too hard," said his agent, Barry Praver. "When you're not playing very much, you try to make something happen. He was a little too aggressive."
Gipson cleared waivers and returned to Columbus for the end of the season, marred by a broken finger late in the year.
Now, says Praver, Gipson is at home in Texas, looking for a team to sign with for the 2004 season.
"A player as multi-talented as Charles shouldn't have a difficult time finding a job," Praver said.
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