Monday, October 20, 2008

Graduating Class of '08: Orland Cabrera

Orlando Cabrera has almost unanimously been voted out of the White Sox by the fans. The blogs, the forums, even the journalists all are announcing that Ramirez is our new short stop, the era of Chris Getz has arrived, and Orlando Cabrera can go back to the free agent market uncontested. So, then, let’s analyze Cabrera’s year with the Sox.

A little background on OC: he’s 33 (turning 34 in a couple of weeks), 5 foot 9, and a 2-time Golden Glove winner. Of course, one of them was in the National League, so it doesn’t really count for much, but I digress. He has played with Montreal, the Red Sox, and the Angels before arriving on the Chicago scene to drain the White Sox budget by $10,000,000. Career average? .274. Oh yeah, and he was supposedly a big partier and has an Ozzie-Guillen-like gift of gab.

So, why are we going to miss him? Like I said, 2 Gold Gloves. He’s a good short stop, and along with Alexei Ramirez made for excellent midfield defense. Not to mention that he lead the team in stolen bases. He understood small ball, let’s put it that way. Had he not been in the lead-off spot, he would have been the most “clutch” guy on the team. Okay, I might be making that last one up, but it certainly feels true. His 2-out AVG is a decent .260ish.

Yet we’re not too broken hearted to see him go. Why’s that? Well, first off, we have enough money black holes (See: Konerko, Thome). There is a nonsensical trend in baseball for players to make more and more money as time goes on regardless of correlation to skill or agility. I’d rather give that money to something that is a necessity (See: Third base, pitching). Furthermore, he’s tallied quite a few errors (although not out of synch with his normal career numbers) and has been caught stealing quite a bit, to the aggravation of his teammates. And since he wasn’t on the 2005 team, he has no excuse for not being perfect.

What are some reasons Joe Cowley thinks we shouldn’t be sad to see him go? First of all, he doesn’t get along with people. He has ‘mastered the 5-second shower’ and is the first one out of the clubhouse, has had words with Jermaine Dye, and has no business trying to take on a leadership role. Plus, he had some words with professional crazy man, Balfour of the Rays. The Sox are not the place for people with bad attitudes. They were single handedly responsible for taming the feared mouths of Pierzynski and Guillen, weren't they?. [eye roll]

Personally, I think the Sox will be fine without Cabrera. Unless he can play third base, there is no need for him here. We already had an infield full of shortstops, time to move some unnecessary pieces out of the club. The sad truth is that his time with the Sox wasn’t very appreciated. I’m sure many a south sider will shed a tear upon Griffey’s departure. Cabrera’s, on the other hand, will be met with shoulder shrugs, despite the fact that his contribution was much, much greater. He was the only man who stepped up to a lead-off role this year. Don’t worry, OC, I appreciate you.

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