Thursday, July 10, 2008

Orioles come up short, continue to get disrespected

So the Orioles lose their first series against the return of Cito Gaston.

Remember Cito? The AL All-Star manager who wouldn't pitch Orioles ace Mike Mussina in the 1993 All-Star Game in Camden Yards? I have a feeling a lot of fans, including myself, will never forgive him for that. Granted, he didn't pitch his own ace Pat Hentgen, but the game is in Baltimore, let the hometown hero pitch. Can you imagine Mariano Rivera not pitching in this year's All-Star Game?

This series is hurting a number of fans in many ways. Two one-run losses, both of which could have been different had a few more plays or calls gone their way. But, the fact is they didn't, and the Orioles couldn't overcome it. The Orioles now have a losing record at 44-45 after losing four straight. We should at least be happy that Roy Halladay was scratched from tonight's game, and instead the Birds will take on former Oriole John Parrish. Parrish is pitching in his second start, and he'll go against Jeremy Guthrie, who's looking for his 6th win.

Last night, I was watching "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" on Comcast SportsNet, and they were running down the All-Time All-Star Team. For example, Johnny Bench at catcher, Lou Gehrig playing first base, Hank Aaron playing right field, etc. They had experts Harold Reynolds, Ken Rosenthal, and Rollie Fingers on, a solid crew to analyze this. Apparently, the team itself wasn't chosen by them. I'm not sure who chose the team, but I'm guessing it was by fans. The shortstop chosen: Alex Rodriguez.

So, apparently you can put a third baseman at shortstop. Rodriguez has spent 1/3 of his games at third base. He was a great shortstop, but he moved positions. One of two players should have been chosen: Cal Ripken (who all three analysts agreed it should be) or Ozzie Smith. It is bad enough that people and the media love to salivate over Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees in general, but this is ridiculous. Why was he even considered at shortstop? Completely passing over two Hall of Fame shortstops to put in a player who probably will spend more days at third base than at shortstop is absurd. For a stats argument, Cal Ripken has 19 All-Star Games to Rodriguez's 12 (five of them at third base). As a player, Rodriguez will go to the Hall of Fame, and will be one of the best ever players, but the fact is that at this point in time, you can't put him as the greatest shortstop ever when he isn't playing there. Let's put Mike Piazza at first base or Babe Ruth at pitcher while we are at it. Someday Rodriguez may get on this team, but for now, put someone on who is more deserving. I prefer Cal Ripken, but Ozzie Smith would have been fine too.

I'll have more All-Star Game grief later when the break comes.

(Photo credit: Mario Grech, Baseball World (Mussina), Tom Jones (Ripken))

No comments: