"Can Do" Cantu
I know I probably missed the official announcement Jorge Cantu -- Tampa Bay Devil Rays second base sensation -- was going to blog this season... But I just found his blog on MLBlogs. Quite a happy find indeed with how much I admire the guy.
Cantu is another reason I think the Rays on-field team has a bright future, but he's also the epitome of what was wrong with the past regime. Not Jorge personally -- it was the franchises treatment of him after his rookie season in 2004 that put me off.
It's easy to forget Roberto Alomar being signed by the Rays last spring before his retirement and being given the 2nd base job by default from manager Lou Pinella and General Manager/Fourth Stooge Chuck LaMar. After Alomar's retirement during spring training, LaMar would trade pitcher Jorge Sosa to the Atlanta Braves for infielder Nick Green... Sosa would go on to be a wunderkind under pitching-coach-supreme Leo Mazzone while Green would prove to be a good utility man but Cantu's production would prove him the starter at 2nd.
With a .289 average over his first two seasons in the majors and 28 home runs to his credit last year, Cantu's been overshadowed by names like Crawford, Baldelli, even prospects that aren't on the Rays yet seem to get more press than Jorge... But then again, who's the guy that eliminated Team USA from the World Baseball Classic?