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May 14, 2010

No question, Miggi is clutch

There was a debate in spring training as to who should be the Orioles cleanup hitter, since the lineup was devoid of a true power threat.

My answer, and the Orioles’ eventual decision, was Miguel Tejada. Even though he doesn’t hit many home runs, he drives the ball. And the veteran is clutch.

Tejada is batting a solid .288 on the season. But he is hitting an impressive .324 with runners in scoring position.

Friday night he did it again – basically helping to turn a squeaker into an Orioles’ 8-1 win over the Cleveland Indians.

The Orioles had runners at second and third and one out in the sixth with Cleveland’s Justin Masterson on the mound. Instead of bringing in a lefty to face Nick Markakis, Cleveland manager Manny Acta intentionally walked Markakis and loaded the bases for Tejada.

“I think (Acta) did the right thing because (Masterson) is really tough on righties and I think with one out he was probably looking for a double play,” Tejada said. “I had to make an adjustment. I didn’t look too good against (Masterson) the first two at-bats. I made an adjustment and it turned into a hit.”

Tejada’s two-run single up the middle ignited a four-run rally that gave the Orioles the victory. Orioles manager Dave Trembley said that hit was the reason Tejada bats cleanup. Tejada said he absolutely relishes those opportunities.

“I love it. I love that situation. When we have that situation, I want to be in there. I’ve been doing it for a long time and it takes a lot of concentration in a situation like that and I think I do that,” Tejada said. “It doesn’t (tick) me off, but in those situations I (am) more relaxed. With runners in scoring position I like to be relaxed and not try too hard. I think that’s why I love it … I love seeing the people cheer when that situation comes.”

Posted by Dan Connolly at 11:53 PM | | Comments (4)
        

Comments

Wait a minute. Isn't this site full of people who were adamantly opposed to Tejada coming back? Over the hill, bad attitude, will never learn third, etc. Instead, Tejada is doing what he always does, playing every day at the highest level of skill and professionalism. Remember, he was a legitimate all-star last year, and led the AL in doubles. As for making the switch from short to third, the negative commenters were probably remembering how badly the O's got burned 15 years ago, trying to make a third baseman out of Ripken, Should have traded him when he lost a step at short, right?

Orioles Insider: No question, Miggi is a liar and a cheater.

Thankfully I was one who wanted Tejada to return here. But not just for the hitting and winning attitude.

I had the pleasure to go to the D.R. a few years back and the locals loved him because of all he does for his countrymen. Sosa was a different story, and not very good.

Tejada personally taking relief supplies to Haiti over the mountains while others like the U.S. were climbing over mountains of paperwork tells the real story. He is truly a difference-maker.

We need more people like Tejada, and I don't care if they can swing a bat or not.

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: Great post, Dennis.

The Migi bubble gum fan club will not die. Check the O's record and place in the standings. There are no clutch situations in last place. The telling fact is that, once again, they walked the mighty Markakis to get to Migi. When Roberts returns, Wigginton can move to third.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.


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