Travis Hafner, man of the people

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Last year, the once prolific Pronk became an enigma wrapped in a sucktastic season wrapped in millions and millions of dollars. Many questions emerged. Mainly: What the hell happened? Hafner murdered the ball in 2006, to the tune of a league leading OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.098. So why did his 2007 stat line read like one of an aging slugger on the slippery slope of the downside of his career (24 HR, 100 RBI, .385 OBP, 30.7 VORP, .836 OPS)? Did the Indians just ink a four-year, $57 million extension with a slightly above-average DH? And, most importantly, which Hafner will show up for 2008? ... The latter question will make your brain explode if you think about it too long. I find it easier these days to wonder what Travis Hafner eats for breakfast, or whether he enjoys cream with his cofee. Tell me, who is Travis Hafner the person, not just the baseball player? Thankfully, we have two nice profiles on the Pronkster this week courtesy of Amy Nelson of ESPN.com and Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com to take our collective minds off worrying about Pronk’s performance, at least for now. Interesting tidbits abound: - Hafner revels in killing David Dellucci in Grand Theft Auto when the two play. (Editor's note: Why not in real life?) - According to Mark Shapiro, Hafner has the best text messaging skills in the league. (OMG Mark!! STFU!!)
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- Pronk thinks he looks just like Javier Bardem from No Country For Old Men. (You make the call.) - Pronk sends Dellucci for popcorn at the movies. Hafner was a Mathlete in high school. (Then he can tell me the difference between 42 HR and 24 HR, right?) - He’s afraid of needles. (Well, at least we know he’s not ‘roiding.) -- Vince Grzegorek

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