Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mora wants to play, lashes out at Trembley

Unhappy with his recent lack of playing time, Melvin Mora felt that it was reasonable to share his feelings on the subject today with the media:

"I don't appreciate the disrespect, because I've been playing hurt for a guy who won't respect you. I don't deserve it. I need to have my respect. This is not a guy who just came to the Orioles. This is a guy who's been here for nine years.

. . . I need to sit down in my house, see what team [is] thinking to win. I know here they're rebuilding and they bring a lot of young guys here, good players. I know it's time for me to move on."

. . . Mora insisted the benching wasn't as maddening as the reason he was given for the move.

"Don't give me the excuse that I cannot beat John Smoltz, that I cannot beat Josh Beckett or I cannot beat [Jon] Lester or I cannot beat Pedro Martinez or I cannot beat nobody here, because I've been here for nine years. I've been here for nine years and all those guys in the East, they know me. You don't make the All-Star team for nothing. You deserve respect."

So basically, Mora is saying that because he was a good player in previous years, he should be playing everyday now no matter what -- or something like that. Here's Dave Trembley's response:

"If I give a guy a day off -- guys who are up there in age, they've played a long time, guys who are struggling -- I'm trying to help them. I'm not trying to hurt them. It's easy to look at things from the negative. You've got to be a team guy here."

Trembley is, more or less, saying that Mora shouldn't be getting regular at bats because he isn't the same player -- which is true because he's not.

This season, Mora is hitting .256/.321/.330 with three home runs and 27 runs batted in. In 285 at bats, Mora has collected exactly 15 extra base hits. Fifteen. His fielding at third has been about average -- 0.4 UZR, 0.6 UZR/150 -- so it's not like he's been making up for his woeful hitting with extraordinary defense.

I can't comment on whether or not Trembley respects Mora, but I do know that lots of other players around the league are hurt and are playing through pain just like Mora. First of all, if Mora really is hurt, then he shouldn't be playing (especially not as an everyday player). Second, hurt or not, his hitting numbers are very bad. At this point in his career, he's just a singles hitter, and it's difficult to believe that he was actually hitting fifth earlier in the season.

For comparison's sake, Wigginton is hitting .257/.304/.392 with seven homers and 27 runs batted in. He also has 19 extra base hits in 245 at bats, which really isn't that much better than Mora, but it's still four more in 40 fewer at bats. His defense at third has been pretty bad, but he has been better than average at first. He hasn't played many games at either consistently this season, so take that for what it's worth.

As far as playing time goes, neither Mora nor Ty Wigginton deserve regular at bats in the lineup. And after his outburst, Mora pretty much sealed his fate of looking for another team to play for next season.

1 comment:

  1. Wiggington hit his eigth homerun in the massive loss to the Redsox; it was part of the comeback when the score was only seven.