I get bored the other day so I figured what the hell and daydreamed that Buddha stopped over. Let’s see. I was watching a Milwaukee Brewer’s game and Buddha knocked on the door and I opened it and said “Oh, what a surprise. Come in Buddha.” He smiled and pulled up a chair beside mine.
He asked if there was any way we could see the Brewer’s shortstop-Jean Segura before the ball was pitched. I told him “not on this TV, but if we watch on mlb.com, I think they have more camera angles.”
Buddha was interested in watching the fielder’s first step instinct toward the ball. He never told me why. “Look how fat I am,” he said. “Even I could be a perfect fielder because I would never get close enough to the balls. I would never get the opportunity to make a mistake.”
Buddha’s words came at the perfect time or maybe I was being paranoid or enjoying a self fulfilling daydream because I had just been thinking about what might have been the most incredible defensive performance (s) on a baseball diamond during any season, any time, any where.
The Braves’ Andrelton Simmons and Orioles Manny Machado-one of the youngest player in baseball redefined what it means to be an Ozzy Smith wizard on the left side of the infield. This was all fresh in my mind from the 2013 season.
Simmons is 24-years old and from Curacao, Kingdom of the Netherlands. He was credited with 41 runs saved last season, the most ever by a shortstop in the brief 10 year history of the runs saved statistic. He also tied Terry Turner (1906) for the highest single-season defensive WAR (5.4) in baseball history. WAR stands for Wins over Replacement Player. Don’t ask. I don’t know, but it’s definitely good.
And then there’s Manny Machado; 21 years young and from Miami, Florida. He scored a 31.2 Ultimate Zone Rating in 2013. That was nearly 7 digits higher than Simmons, but like I said, don’t ask, just click anywhere on the photos and enjoy both of them for yourself.