Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Omar? Yes, Please

Damn you, Todd Zolecki. Damn you right to hell. Why would you do this to me:

Names to watch to replace Bruntlett are John McDonald, Omar Vizquel, Jamey Carroll, Ronnie Belliard and Juan Uribe.

Dammit. Why would you get my hopes up like that? Everyone knows that Omar Vizquel is one of my favorite players ever. Now you're floating around his name as a possible replacement to take over Eric Bruntlett's job as the utility infielder? Don't toy with me like that.

For starters, Vizquel would be an insanely huge upgrade over Bruntlett it's not even funny, even at age 42. Vizquel can still pick it with the best of them, even if his range isn't what it once was, and his bat is miles upon miles ahead of Bruntlett's. Last season, in 62 games for Texas, he batted .266 with a .316 OBP, 47 hits, 7 doubles, 2 triples, a homer, 14 RBIs, 17 runs and 4 steals. Those aren't the most impressive numbers in the world, but very solid for a veteran bench player who can also field shortstop, second and even third. And compared to Bruntlett last season, Vizquel looks like Babe Ruth. Bruntlett batted a measly .171 with a .224 OBP, 18 hits, 7 doubles, 0 triples, 0 homers, 7 RBIS, 15 runs and 2 steals in 72 games, most of which he didn't even get at-bats, just pinch-ran, because he can't hit worth a lick. Plus, even in his advanced age, Vizquel is better in the field than Bruntlett. This would be a huge upgrade.

I certainly don't know if the Phils are actually looking at Omar, but if they are, I'd be thrilled if they got him. Growing up, there was nothing more beautiful to watch than seeing Vizquel and Roberto Alomar — the greatest defensive double play combo I've ever seen — turn majestic double plays. These two were artists, and for my money, there's never been a better defensive shortstop this side of Ozzie Smith. The guy was incredible, getting to every ball humanly possible, throwing perfect strikes and making some of the most athletic plays ever seen at shortstop. If watching Omar Vizquel field didn't get you excited, you hate baseball. Simple as that. And bringing him to Philadelphia would give us the chance to watch him at his craft, even in a lesser state, on days that Jimmy Rollins — an incredible fielder in his own right and certainly a superior one than Vizquel at this stage — needs a rest. Plus, imagine the magic he and Rollins could perform when Chase needs an off day, putting Omar at second. Just picturing the possibilities gets me excited.

But chances are, the Phils won't get Omar Vizquel. He's up there in age, and you'd have to think they have their radar on a guy like Mark DeRosa, a younger player and better hitter than Vizquel. And that is why I'm angry at Todd Zolecki. There's no reason to toss out Omar's name and get me all excited about the possibility of him becoming a Phillie. Damn you, Todd. Damn you.

BallHype: hype it up!

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