February 2, 2009

Izturis way better than a yawn

The way Baltimore received Cesar Izturis with a "yawn," as one forum poster put it, it reminds me of how much major league baseball has cast aside defense as a priority in the game.

The business side of the game got greedy enough to allow juiced baseballs and juiced ball players for a decade or two. For whatever reason, the collective ownership didn't feel as if the "balanced" form of baseball was enough to satisfy fans.

Maybe they were right.

Hard to tell, but today's fans seem split between those who understand and enjoy the defensive side of the game and those who can't seem to pry their butts out of their box seats unless there's a long ball or seventh inning stretch.

So it sort of ticked me off when the Orioles faithful felt they got slighted by the acquisition of Izturis. How soon they seem to have forgotten the days of those Robinson fellows and even Cal. Of course, those O's could hit--really hit. But they could field their positions pretty darned well, too.

It doesn't hurt any team, on any level, to be strong up the middle. Catcher, shortstop, second baseman, center fielder. If any of these positions can hit over a couple bucks in average, that should be considered a bonus.

The pitcher not included, if you're one of the "middle crew," you'd better be able to field; if you're hard left or right, you'd better carry a big stick, or a high-average stick, anyway.

Cesar's all right with me. Liked him as a Cardinal, and I'm sure he'll contribute to the O's.
photo by Barbara Moore