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Omar Vizquel, upon having officially signed with the White Sox for one year and $1.375 million, spoke to the media at a press conference, where the team made a big deal over what uniform number he would take and how he would play a part in a legacy at shortstop.
I don’t remember the Sox making a huge deal when they traded for Alex Cintron. But hey, it’s always nice to see Luis Aparicio.
Amid the pomp and circumstance, Ozzie Guillen mentioned an unanticipated (at least by me) consequence of this signing that bears watching:
“We will try and find [Vizquel] a lot of playing time, especially early in the year because everyone knows Ramirez struggles early either because of the weather or over-training.”
This is valid criticism, and hopefully it’ll turn into an effective motivational tool. Through the team’s first 30 games last season, Ramirez had a line of .198/.240/.260 — and yet he had started in 27 of them because Brent Lillibridge was the sole alternative for most of that stretch.
Let’s just hope that Vizquel’s presence doesn’t make Ozzie jump the gun too quickly in case Ramirez starts 2010 with a bad first week. After two weeks? Then it may be time to make a change.
I wouldn’t worry about Vizquel getting that much playing time, if only because he took No. 17. The last three players to wear it — the injury-prone Chris Getz, Darin Erstad and General Soreness.