Peter Gammons' latest piece on espn.com once again sings the praises of Miguel Tejada and identifies Big Mig as the force behind the Orioles' great start to 2005:But the players point to one man as the main reason for the club's turnaround. "There's no doubt in my mind that Miggy [Tejada] is the best player in the game," Roberts says. "Start with his position. He's by far the best at a [the] middle-infield skill position. Then, if you watched us every day, you'd see [Tejada's] RBI are not a fluke. He has an uncanny ability to knock in runs. Then, most of all, there's his energy. He is always up, pushing everyone and making the entire team better."
"I've never been around anyone like him," B.J. Surhoff says of Tejada.
"I played with Pete Rose and coached Kirby Puckett," Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley says, "and Miggy is just like them. He is the best player in the game, hands-down. Like Rose and Puckett, he puts it out there every day, and they are those rare players off whom teammates feed. You can crunch every number you want, you can't put a premium on the energy one player can bring to an entire team. This franchise changed the day he arrived."
More, and the poll, after the jump.
More from the Gammons article:Adds a Red Sox official: "We watched him from the stands during BP. And we could not believe his energy, his enthusiasm, and how teammates feed off him. He is special."
Not to mention durable. "If some kid comes to the park to see me," Tejada says, "I had better be on the field." In the last five years (2001-2005, as of May 1), Tejada had played in 548 games, most of any player, and his 500 RBI rank third behind Albert Pujols' 504 and Alex Rodriguez's 501.
I agree. Sure, hindsight is 20-20, but I think Tejada was worth the long-term investment and we all knew that, even at the time he left. Doh!
Take the poll.