(Editor’s Note: This was written before today’s 4-3 victory in Philadelphia. It was to be posted pregame, but circumstances prevented it from happening, mainly, the Editor sucks. However, the meat of the article is fresh enough, though it may be a little cold. My apologies to Dr. W.)
I will preface this by saying that I am fully aware that we are only four games into the 2015 season. Nevertheless, there is a great deal to be uneasy about. Every single run thus far has come off of home runs. However many runs each home run brings in has been the totality of the runs for each game. This is simply not how you win ball games.
The defensive woes are unbearable particularly in the middle infield. I am not going to use names but let’s just say these errors were committed by a certain shortstop who, at one point, rocked a porn mustache. This has made me consider breaking out my personalized Nationals jersey and suit up myself. But one thing would have been better than me getting in on the action: holding onto Steve Lombardozzi.
I know we dealt Lombo in a trade that landed Doug Fister in Natstown, and I am more than satisfied seeing Doug on the bump. However, I can’t help but think that a lot of our defensive woes and controversies could have been avoided had we found a way to hold onto him. Lombo was regarded as the “ultimate utility player” for a reason. He could do anything. You need a middle infielder? Call Lombo. You need someone on the hot corner? Call Lombo You need a left fielder? Call Lombo. Not only was he primed to play just about anywhere in the infield and out in left field, his bat was solid.
In 2012 he played in 126 games and had a solid average of .273 with 22 extra base hits including 3 home runs. In 2013, his batting was not quite as good but he still put together a .259 average with 18 extra base hits including 2 home runs in 118 games. I could see Lombo batting at 7 or 8 in the lineup or batting leadoff if the situation called for it. And perhaps best of all, he is not error prone. In four seasons played at second base, third base, shortstop, and left field he has tallied a grand total of nine errors. In four seasons, with significant game time, he has tallied as many career errors as the previously referred to shortstop who, again, shall remain nameless tallies in the month of April.
The “what-ifs” are enough to drive you crazy. But Lombo is gone. Just like Morse. Just like LaRoche. He is another statistic of players who should still be here but are not. Oh well. I miss you Lombo and I am sure I’m not the only one in Natstown who does.
Best of luck in the Pirates organization.