Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gimme the Ball

It has been a long week.

I spent last week in Toronto with my new team. The team that I was on before disbanded at the conclusion of a very successful project. I am still learning how to participate with my new team. I was lucky to land on this new team. I know I was.

I guess I had always considered myself to be a utility player on my last team. We brought in Java and I led the early projects. We brought in new modeling and documentation standards and I adopted and molded those new methodologies into our environment.

I always thought of myself as our ‘third baseman’.

Hit the ball hard at me. I will field it – bare hand it if necessary – and get that guy at first. Get the job done. Hopefully with a little pizzazz to boot.

Hit the ball to me.

On my new team, they do not know me yet. I don’t think they know how I can fit in. I guess it will take some projects under our belts together. This is fair, yet frustrating. Until this happens, I will watch the ball be given to my counterpart – who by the way is no slouch – quite capable – and enjoyable to work with.

But …hey … hit a ball to me?”.

While our team was in Toronto last week, my other team – the Tigers – made some big trades.

Seems we picked up Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for Calvin Maybin and Andrew Miller.

Maybin and Miller are both expected to be all stars of the future.

Cabrera and Willis are all stars of today.

So we basically traded what could be for what is. And that is a hard deal to not make.

But Cabrera is a third baseman. He bats in the .350s. He is a good third baseman.

Currently our third baseman is Brandon Inge. And Inge is one, if not the one, of my favorite players. He is listed on Alannah’s T-Ball baseball players card as her favorite player. I have written about Brandon a couple of times here.

Inge is – as Detroit fans call it – my Tiger.

Brandon is – in my opinion – an excellent defensive player. Diving stabs behind third, short bare-handed plays off his shoelace. Usually with a little pizzazz to boot.
He was considered an excellent fielder by those who critique – until this week. Suddenly he is just “all right”.
You see – Brandon’s bat was streaky – with more slumps than streaks. And many in town had been wishing for a power hitting third baseman for some time now. It was Brandon who was the final at bat with men on in the bottom of the ninth of the final game of the 2006 World Series – striking out to end the season. And some just did not forgive that.

Right now I can identify with Brandon, who has asked to be traded rather than sit the bench or play a utility role. I don’t blame him. He wants the ball.

But the frustrating part is that we don’t know how an overweight Cabrera will handle slimming down to defend third. Will he be as good as Inge?

How many Tigers do ya have to lose before they stop being the Tigers?

I will give Cabrera a chance. But I will root for Brandon where ever he travels to. Even if Inge lands in San Francisco – he will still be myTiger.

Because he wants the ball.

And I think that to me is the most endearing trait any player can have.

That and a little pizzazz.

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