Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)
I'm not saying it is right, but the years he had in San Francisco didn't hurt, especially 2001. He had proven to be a servicable player for the Giants. Up untill last season, knowing that there are no sure things in baseball, what had Felipe proven? 48 errors all told in 269 Major League games. 33 of them came while in 183 games at SS. 48 errors in 983 chances coming into 2005 for a .951 fielding percentage. Not exactly great. It gets just slightly better if you narrow it down to the time he spent at SS. He had a .956 fielding percentage at SS (33 errors in 750 chances). All of that, plus the money factor, is why I think that Rich got the nod. You have to remember who was in power at the time. Again, not saying its right, but it just boils down to the fact that it was Rich's position to lose, and Felipe did nothing to take over the position.
I do believe, however, that the competition caused by the signing of Rich, if nothing more, proved that Felipe has the drive it takes to make it on this level. If Felipe was handed the position, do you think he would have had the type of year he did. It is one of those things that is a personal belief, and there is no way to prove one way or the other, but I think that Felipe raised his level of play because he knew he had to win over the position. Again, just one man's opinion, make of it what you will.