Miguel Tejada has the unenviable task of coming to San Francisco, replacing a World Series MVP-winning shortstop (whose postseason heroics vastly overvalue his actual play in 2010), and doing it all while being incredibly overpaid at $6.5 million.
Which is to say, he's starting well behind the eight ball when it comes to pleasing the people of San Francisco. And apparently he's doing himself no favors during spring training, managing to draw the ire of several Giants' beat writers on Tuesday.
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News started the party off with a not-to-be-mean-but-still-mean statement on Twitter:
Not to be mean, but if I'm Tim Lincecum watching Miguel Tejada play short, I'm thinking I'd better strike out 400 this year.
And then Henry Schulman cut lose on Miggy at his San Francisco Chronicle blog:
Everything you might have heard about Miguel Tejada's difficulties this spring is true. He rarely barrels up a baseball at the plate. On the field, his range is nonexistent and most of his throws to first are weak, even on routine plays. He looks his age and then some.
Schulman also said he'd cut Miggy some slack and "say he'll be better when the games count," but that's a pretty relative term.
See, Tejada is really old, and just not that good. Granted, he was substantially better in his 59 games with San Diego than his 97 games with Baltimore last year, but that's not saying much, especially when "better" equates to eight homers, 32 RBI and a pair of stolen bases.
Look, no one expects him to repeat his 2002 MVP season -- after all, he'll turn "37" in May -- but it's going to take the 2009 version of Miggy (a replacement-level player who still made the All-Star Game and somehow managed to garner three MVP votes!), and not the 2010 version in order for folks to actually get off his back.
And even that won't matter if his defensive range is impeded by him needing a walker out on the field.