So, who wants to play shortstop for the Orioles? While the position has been a revolving door of offensive and defensive futility for this year's team (five different players have started at short, led by Freddie Bynum's 32 games and sparkling .443 OPS), I watched Miguel Tejada shine on a very public stage last night in the All-Star Game. He played one of the greatest games of his career, singling twice, walking, wreaking havoc on the base paths, scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and fielding his position with a flair and competence not seen for the past few years. But then, Miggie has always had a penchant for the dramatic at All-Star Games. His first two years in Baltimore (2004 and 2005), he won the Home Run Derby and the ASG Most Valuable Player award, respectively. So as I observed his success last night, I was torn between wanting him to do well and not wanting him to be the reason for a National League victory.
I still realize that it was for the best that the Birds and Tejada parted ways when they did. They avoided the headaches that came with his appearance in the Mitchell Report and the revelation that he was two years older than he had claimed to be. He was beyond frustrated with losing in Baltimore (aren't we all?), and it was affecting his personality. Besides, three of the five players we received in return for him have made big contributions to a team that has shown signs of life. But it's beyond painful watching the O's shuffle through a thin deck of below-replacement-value impostors at the position that Tejada vacated. My kingdom for an adequate, a mediocre shortstop!