Cal Ripken, Jr. joins the Hall of Fame this weekend. When he came up, in 1982, it was understood that shortshop was a position for a midgety defensive specialist with a banjo bat. Ripken (together with Robin Yount and to some extent Alan Trammell) changed that forever. He was the Orioles’ best hitter for years and a lion in the field, setting an all-time record for shortstops with 583 assists in 1984. And he didn’t do it with diving stops and circus catches. He did it by standing in the right place and catching the ball when it arrived there.
Unfortunately, he’s not famous for reinventing the shortstop position, or the assists record, or his two MVPs — he’s famous for showing up to work every day. But the Hall of Fame is the Hall of Fame, and he deserves it, and congratulations to him.
Tom points out the great fact that the all-time career leaders in sacrifice flies are Eddie Murray with 128 and Ripken with 127.
Meanwhile, the 2007 Orioles have scored 456 runs and allowed only 447. But they’re 6 games under .500. This is nothing new for the O’s; they’ve suffered through nine straight losing seasons now, but in three of those (1998,1999,2004) they scored more runs than they gave up. And this year might be the fourth. What are we doing wrong?
This reminds me of the most awesomely dumb thing I ever heard a sportscaster say, about the 2006 Yankees: “They’re either going to outscore you, or they’re going to lose.”