(Note: For the last couple of weeks, BRM has held a guest post contest among its readers. Last week, it was open season so to speak where the post was to be about anything that was Reds related. This week, I wanted to centralize the topic a little more. I asked that the fans write a post about a Reds player. I realize that some may think that’s still a bit vague. It was…to an extent. My purpose was to see which entry provided the most thought, not so much in the content of that post, but in the subject. Sure, the content in relation to the subject would command a major factor in the selection.
All that being said, we did receive a couple of entries that really intrigued me. One was about one of the stars of the team, the other, not so much. That’s when it hit me. One thought that was included in the winning entry explains why this entry was selected. I hope you enjoy this week’s winner penned by Scott Shrewsberry.He titled his entry as “Egypt”. I believe you know where this is going, too, bit I’d like to see if you can pick the thought that swayed my decision to choose his entry. – Steve)
When Blog Red Machine gave fans the opportunity to submit an observer’s opinion post about a specific Cincinnati Reds player that we thought was of some significance, I jumped at the chance. At first many players came to mind. I thought about the plethora of “stars” that will roam the field at Great American Ballpark this summer.
How could I choose just one? It would be easy to write about Joey Votto, Aroldis Chapman, Jay Bruce or several of the other potential All-Stars that have garnered so many of the headlines this off-season. I thought…they get plenty of recognition, as they should, however I tried to be a bit more creative.
Should I talk about a bullpen reliever? Nah. How about a starting pitcher or a top draft pick? Nope. The one player that kept popping up in my mind as I looked over the roster was a guy that will never be MVP, will never lead the league in home runs, will never win a Gold Glove or ever lead the league in batting average. The gentleman I want to talk about is so versatile that we almost take him for granted, which tends to make us overlook all the great and wonderful things he did for the Redlegs in 2010. The unsung man that I want to highlight is utility infielder Miguel Jesus Cairo.
Cairo did receive a small bit of attention this off-season when he signed a 2 year contract to stay in the Queen City. I could almost hear some of the groans from beat writers and Twitter fanatics echo all the way to my small house in South Central Kentucky. “This is not the star player we need to put us over the top, Walt”, I’m sure was said a time or two.
Personally, I thought it was a great signing. Granted he has only been with the ball club since the start of last season and 2011 could prove to be much different from 2010, as far as his personal accolades and playing time goes, but he really could be the silent assassin again this season.
At times during any baseball season, we could have several injuries that almost seem like they are going to be completely detrimental to the team. No fan wants to see a starting position player out with an injury regardless of how the team is doing. With Votto being out for a time and Scott Rolen coming up lame or needing a rest, I almost felt a calming comfort come over me when I perused the lineup and saw that ’Egypt” was penciled in for the evenings game.
I’m not in anyway crazy enough to think that Miguel is even in the same stratosphere as Scotty or Joey when it comes to performance on the diamond, but I will say that he does a fine job of holding down the fort when duty calls. Last year he spent a considerable amount of time at 3rd and at 1st base, however we know he has the skill to fill in at 2nd also. I honestly think, if need be, he could strap on the catchers gear and hold down the backstop position for an inning if it was required. He would probably do it without any complaint whatsoever. Heck, he is even built like a catcher really.
He has an above average glove and a nice, accurate, relatively strong arm. Not only does he hold his ground with the leather, but he is more than reliable if a pinch-hitting situation comes up. As proof of his .290 avg./.353 obp./.410 slg./.763 ops show. All rank near his career highs no less. I don’t know about you, but I would take that any day from a “part-timer.”
If I have to point out one negative with Cairo it would probably be that he will turn 37 years old in May. That’s getting to the point where he may have some break downs physically himself. Maybe even a split second slower in reaction time at 3rd. However, with regular rest being a substitute player, he should be able to stay in pretty good condition in my opinion.
Miguel Cairo is a veteran ballplayer that is, I’m sure, helpful to young, up and coming prospects; a good clubhouse guy and an all around “team first” type of player. I look forward to seeing if he can duplicate the success again this year. Even if he doesn’t quite reach the solid numbers of last year he can still be a worthwhile contributor. I am thrilled to know that he is on the roster for 2011.
So let us not forget about our role players because they truly do an invaluable part to help bring home the World Championship that we are desperately seeking. All that’s left to say is…..Go Redlegs!!!!
We’ll give everyone a week to get their brackets together by taking a brief time off from our fan guest post. In two weeks, we’ll be back. That should give us enough time to get past the first weekend of college hoops.
In the meantime, I’ll put forth a recommendation for the next fan guest post. Here goes!
With Opening Day arriving quickly, what one Opening Day memory (whether you were there or not) best lives in your memory. That’s a thinker! Send your entry to email@example.com for its consideration. It only needs to be about 300-500 words. Who knows? We may offer you a permanent gig out of it!