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February 3, 2009

Orioles: Wigginton in his own words

Here are some excerpts from an interview that Sun baseball writer Dan Connolly conducted with new O's infielder Ty Wigginton earlier today. Wigginton was speaking by telephone from his home in North Carolina:

Why Baltimore?

“A lot of reasons. For one, when I was in Tampa, I enjoyed playing in the AL East. I believe it is the toughest division in baseball, you have to compete on a daily basis in that division. And that’s a lot of fun.”

wiggintonap.jpgWhat position do you like playing the most?

“I would say second base. I played second base all throughout the minor leagues. My first start (in the big leagues) came as a second baseman. I really enjoy second base. But it really doesn’t matter where I play on the field. Basically, it is just getting in the lineup and getting to compete.”

Are you concerned about getting consistent at-bats without a regular position?

“That’s not really something I have worried about. A player goes out there and does what they are capable of and everything works out for the best. I believe if I play the way I feel I should play, I’ll be out there somewhere. I’ll go out and play the game and let everything take care of itself.”

Were you worried about the slow-moving free agent market?

“I was a free agent one other time, in 05, when Pittsburgh non-tendered me. That was when the date was late in December and in two weeks I had a job (with Tampa). This was a little different. At the same time, any show you watched they would talk about all the free agents that were available, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Orlando Hudson, (Ben) Sheets. And you know all those guys will get jobs. There were a lot of us that can help their future clubs.”

What do you know about Dave Trembley and his style?

“I don’t know a lot. I know he has that old-school baseball mentality … I spoke with him on the phone last week and he seems like a real high-energy guy and wants his guys to play right.”

Are you aware of the Orioles’ recent moves and their desire for hard-nosed, gritty players?

“I’ve gotten to play with (Ryan) Freel in the Arizona Fall League and against (Gregg) Zaunie and pretty much every one on that team (the Orioles). And you’ve got to respect guys who play the game right. A lot of guys over there have respect for the game, just the way they play the game of baseball.”

What can fans expect from you?

“I’m not the kind of guy that sets goals on the season, to hit .300 or have 20 home runs. My goal is to step on the field and respect the game of baseball and all those numbers will take care of themselves. I’ll try my best, play through any bumps and bruises I may have and I’ll give it my all.”

Associated Press photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 5:17 PM | | Comments (33)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

This transaction happened because Melvin Mora is all but done. Stick a fork in him!

Why Baltimore? "6 Million reasons why!" Is the Real answer!

Not that we know or will know for a while, but he likes 2B the best, Roberts gone?

I like his addition. Still adds alot of ? about the makeup of the team leaving Spring training. Some of that clears up if any trades happen with current players. Keeps me interested in the Spring.

Good points have been made about who backs up SS. Gomez?

To many "good" players, not a bad problem.

Not blocking any position players, with a two year deal.

He is not "young" but do we really have any prospects that he is blocking? I say not really.

Nice 2 year deal that fills a right handed mid power bat. Waiting for a Rowell or any of the Slow to come along prospects to take over. (not that we have many)

Wiggington is nice, tough, old-school player, but I'd rather see that $6M spent on pitching! Did we really need another 1B/DH??? If Wiggington gets AB's, either Huff, Scott or Roberts sits...and it won't be Roberts. To me, the O's are on the verge of trading one of those 3, or they already know they can't re-sign Roberts...otherwise this deal makes no sense. Pete, what's your take on this signing??


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Pete's reply: I gave a partial analysis earlier. I think they keep all of them for the time being, because somebody always gets hurt in spring training.

Pete has he ever played for the Cubs? Or maybe there's a way to link him to the Cubs like you can link Kevin Bacon to every movie haha.


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Pete's reply: I'll do some research.

Pete,

Very quietly, Andy Mac has had a pretty decent offseason. The latest three deals- Nick's extension, getting Hill for nothing, and signing Wiggington are all shrewd moves. The Yankees have become Kings of the Hot Stove league, but that doesn't necessarily translate into wins. Andy Mac is looking for guys who are hungry and want to play. Here's hoping for an exciting season and perhaps a sniff at .500.

I like his attitude.

he'll be released by june (i know its a 2 yr deal)

And was Susan Sarandon waiting for him when he got off the phone?

Hey Peter,
I know there's been a lot of talk about filling in at middle infield spots, backing up Cesar and Brian, in addition to whatever time Ty gets at first, third, DH, and left. At 6'0" 225, I think of him way more as a corner infielder, more developed Oscar Salazar type. What do you know about his athleticism? Thanks.
Go Heels! Sorry everyone.


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Pete's reply: I think he is serviceable at three infield positions, but will probably play mostly first.

He seems like a cool guy--and it's a good pickup for the O's. I hope he's our regular first baseman, and Huff would DH. But then we just wasted a year on Scott. I don't know. I still think it's a good pickup.

Pete, any chance this may be a precursor to trading Brian Roberts, especially because of the 2nd base comment? I hope not, but it does intrigue me.


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Pete's reply: I don't think so, but it is insurance. The precursor to trading Roberts will be Roberts telling the O's he doesn't want to sign an extension.

Pete...good signing to get Wiggington at 3 mill a year, a guy who destroyed left handed pitching the past 2 or 3 years.

However, doesn't Ryan Freel & Wiggington essentially do the same thing? And for that matter, when throwing Scott into the mix the situation becomes even more confusing, no? (speaking to the DH/LF position with him)


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Pete's reply: I don't look at it that way. Depth and versatility are never bad things. What Andy has done is improve the team's overall talent dramatically in a fairly short time. He has not, however, improved it enough to make the O's a .500 team. At least not yet.

this was the biggest pick up in the off season for the Birds I am excited for the up coming season. The are puting together a good ball club. The should pick up Ben Sheets and I am looking for playoff tickets.

As an Astros fan, I'm gonna miss Wiggy and his tough attitude. He's a baseball player to the core. There's no fancy lining like other AL East third-basemen (refer to NYY) Baltimore is getting a quality player and I wish him luck. I wish he could have stayed in Houston.

can't ask for more than that. Big upgrade over Millar in my opinion. What do you think Pete?


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Pete's reply: I don't know about a big upgrade, but I think it's a good two-year pickup because of his ability to fill at first or third when Mora and Huff become eligible for free agency.

just when you think it's over. i like the last two moves. Ty is a good bat and will help in a lot of ways. Hill has control problems'but his upside really interests me. go OEO's

Sounds like he'll be a fine player. Maybe that's why he's so consistent, he doesn't set goals and worry about reaching them. Maybe he just plays the game because thats what he loves to do. If only all athletes viewed pro sports this way instead of viewing it as a job.

One of the most important factors in what the O's are doing, is ridding themselves of guys with bad reps, like Miggy, Bedard, Payton (not an issue in 08, but years past) and Ramon. This may or may not lead to a lot more victories, but when you look at the teams that have won the World Series in the last couple of years, they were teams where guys actually liked each other and they all had players that could play multiple roles.

One of the many big flaws with the O's, they never had that pinch hitter to come off the bench like other teams did, because the 3 man bench and the guys on the bench, were not very good assets, so you have to believe that Dave is loving the fact he has options to go to.

Pete, you've covered baseball for a long time, so don't you think that on any team (especially one as bad as the O's have been) that you can't have enough competition or depth? Pete, I am not saying that everyone will get a surplus of ABs, but in my mind, this a really good problem to have, not one where you start to look to trade this guy or that guy, as the season is too long for guys to play all the time, so guys that you think will get stiffed, end up with a lot of playing time like with Jay Payton last year.


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Pete's reply: Yes, in principle, though I suppose that could go too far. Players need sufficient ABs to perform well, so it is possible to have the roster too crowded.

This signing has made several players expendable. I look for a trade (or two) before opening day.

Pete-

While I admire Melvin Mora as a good guy and family man, the harsh reality is that he is in the other side of the slope. I see quite a bit of playing time at third this year for Wigginton, especially if he has a respectable spring training. With what is shaping up to be a formidable lineup, I still harken back to the late Rex Barney mantra: "pitching and defense".

sounds like Roberts is soon to be gone. 2b is his favorite position and he has already talked to Trembley? Hmmmmmmmm . . . .

I like this guy's attitude.

I don't understand the vitriol directed towards Mora. He hit .285 with 23 HRs and 104 RBIs last year.

the guy's versatile, and can play more than 1B/DH like a few of the O's, I think being flexible enough to go 1B/2B/3B/LF/RF is a huge addition when you look at the numbers he put up last year and how flexible that lineup is going to have to be at times

Good move. Ty sounds like a righty version of BJ Surhoff. O's need righty for balance since they are unable to hit lefty pitching (eg, Scott). On the inside angle, this move puts heat on all the unsigned infielders and a little insecurity may move them to the table.

i like wiggy already. welcome to the oriole family, wiggy! happy to have you and your attitude.

As others have said, I don't understand the disdain being shown towards Mora. The guy has been nothing but to to The Orioles. Tries hard, plays hard, even learned how to play a new position and actually enjoys being in Baltimore even though the entire time he's played here the team has finished in the cellar.
On the other hand, I'm sick and tired of Roberts and his prima donna attitude and was actually hoping this was a precursor to his departure.
I'm glad Wiggington signed with the Orioles, you have to be. When someone comes from a team that has succeeded in the past and actually seems glad to sign with us...what more can you ask for at his point?...it's not like Wiggington has jumped onto the AL East gravy train...last stop World Series. Glad to have him

Can't believe people are actually concerned that we have too many good position players. We need everybody, and everybody we've got who's worth having will get 450+ ABs.

Now. Sign Roberts long-term!

Why is everyone so down on Melvin Mora? The man is a gamer and quietly goes about his business and produces!Yes he gets injured,but most do that takes a 95mph fastball to the wrist.I've read this blog for a year now and catch alot of good opinions now and then,but come on,lay off of Mora already.

Pete: Everyone is lamenting that we have to get rid of Freel or Scott now, because we have to keep Gomez to back up short.
Mora played short for us before he moved to the OF. Do you think he's too old now to fill in there in the event Cesar needs a rest or is injured?Or since Montanez is sure now to be sent down, couldn't he possibly get back to playing some SS at Norfolk?
To me if either of these or both is an option, this just makes us more versatile.

These questions asked are very weak. Where are the tough ones like

1. Ever been in a turkish prison?
2. Does he like movies about Gladiators?
3. Ever seena a grown man naked?

By the way I forgot to say nice job Dan!

Mora did have to go in one game at Short last year. Jones played it in the minors, before being converted him. I think Freel played in high school and was signed as a shortstop. I guess the issue is do you take a risk not having a good back up shortstop, because if the O's were in the bottom of the 8th down by a run and they had runners at second and third with two out I would hope that there was a pinch hitter available and a shortstop that can field to play the top of the ninth. Just a thought and a reason to have the best possible defensive shortstop backing him up. Is Gomez that guy?

Wasn't sure where to post this, but since you wrote an article about Michael Phelps, I thought this would do, I sent the following in an email to kelloggs.com.

I for one, am dismayed not at Mr. Phelps' actions, but at the RE-actions from companies like yours and for the media components that turned this incident into a circus.

Not only is Michael Phelps a clean upstanding young American, he is probably the most well known and respected American in the world today - except for possibly our new president.

With dropping your sponsorship, you can also expect to lose my "sponsorship" of your products. I will also share my thoughts and actions with as many family and friends as I can.

I don't know Mr. Phelps' financial situation, but I'm very certain that losing your endorsement money, while possibly substantial, will not distroy him. You will be tarnishing his reputation, not bolstering your own.

Sincerely,
An ex-user of Kelloggs' products

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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