Potential. That’s the word that may eventually haunt Lastings Milledge most. Not now. No, he is still only 24 years old, and has the time and, er, potential to silence his naysayers.

Potential has two definitions in sports: one, for a prospect, rookie or young professional like Milledge, potential is a hopeful, optimistic word. The second definition is reserved for mostly former first-round draft picks, ballplayers well into their thirties, lingering on a bench in Peoria, Syracuse or Las Vegas, hoping for one last opportunity. The latter is an ugly word, often shadowed by a question mark.

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