Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Alex Cintron, 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH283
I have to admit that nothing readily comes to mind when I try to recall Cintron's 61 games as an Oriole in 2008. I do remember thinking that of all the O's weak options at short that year, I thought he was the best and should have gotten more playing time than he did. The stats show a pretty empty .286 average (.321 OBP, .361 SLG), with an 81 OPS+ indicating that he was below average by a healthy margin. Of course, a glimpse at his cohorts indicates that he was a damn sight better than the likes of Juan Castro (43 OPS+), Brandon Fahey (57 OPS+), and Freddie Bynum (18 OPS+), at least offensively. I do remember him being kind of clunky with the glove, but you would think that a team fielding Ramon Hernandez at catcher and Kevin Millar and Melvin Mora on the corners wouldn't be so picky about defense.
I had to jump to Alex's 2008 Game Log on Baseball Reference to jog my memory. He had four singles in four at-bats in his first start, a 6-5 win over the Nationals on May 17. He delivered a walkoff single against the Yankees in a wild 11-inning game on May 27, after New York manager Joe Girardi walked two batters to get to him. And I was at Oriole Park for his only home run with the Birds, a June 19 solo shot that gave them a 3-2 lead in a game they would win 7-5 over Houston. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn't remember that, but it goes to show you how the years and players run together when you're dropping 90-100 games each year.
So enjoy your retirement, Alex. Maybe you can take up woodworking, or book yourself on a few cruises.