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When Exclamation Points Attack
by Derek Smart
As the Patterson talk swirls and a deal seems imminent, even if we have no idea who the partner might be or what is to be exchanged, there were some words buried in Sun-Times articles today and Saturday that, if unsurprising, are nonetheless discouraging.
"Neifi Perez is the projected starting second baseman for '06."
- Chicago Sun-Times, January 7, 2006
"...but now the double-play combo for 2006 appears to be Cedeno at shortstop and Neifi Perez at second."
- Chicago Sun-Times, January 9, 2006
Again, it should come as a surprise to no one with the failure to land Rafael Furcal and the Tejada fiasco apparently at a predictably fizzling end, that what we're left with is a team unwilling to give Todd Walker another shot, and apparently unable to do anything else to fix a middle infield that might be very sharp defensively, but with Neifi! in the daily lineup and, if past transgressions are reliable predictors of future sins, wailing away in the second spot in the order, will only serve to perpetuate the offensive horror show we were a party to last season.
If there's a bright spot - and it's a small one, like the pinhole in your shoebox you used to view that solar eclipse - it's that a middle infield made up primarily of Cedeno, Neifi!, and Jerry Hairston will almost certainly be one where Cedeno gets a lot of time, since Hairston was far from being an organizational favorite.
Still, I am reminded of something I said in early November when discussing the pending shortstop situation.
There are few events that would make me give up on the 2006 season before it even began, but signing Neifi! with the express purpose of playing him everyday at shortstop just might be one of them.
Well, signing Neifi! with the express purpose of playing him at second is actually worse, so while I'm still enough of a glass-half-full-fool to not surrender before a game's played, you'd best believe, unless something happens to fix this, that I'll have my towel (or grenade, I can't decide) in the air, ready for the tossing when play begins.