Mets SS Ruben Tejada bobbled a ground ball in the field today, then made a high throw to first, botching a potential inning-ending play at first or second base.
SNY’s Keith Hernandez, Bob Ojeda and Kevin Burkhardt then had the following exchange on air about the shortstop position:
Burkhardt: “He needs a shot of confidence, Keith, there is no question about it. He made that error the other day, he made a couple of misplays in that game, and he just doesn’t seem as confident. You know, he’s doubting himself and I don’t know that things have been helped by the shots put out by the organization. I really don’t think that has helped, to be quite honest.”
Ojeda: “He just looks like he’s in between at the plate and in between defensively. It stems from not knowing who is yet. He doesn’t have a basis for who he is and he’s searching. The game starts moving real fast at this level.”
Burkhardt: “If you’re Tejada, you come in, you do what the organization asked – he clearly wasn’t in the shape they wanted, he didn’t have a good year – so he goes to camp in Michigan, gets in shape, does everything, gets to camp early, then immediately upon camp starting there are shots in the newspaper about Tejada not being in the shape they want. I don’t know that that was the best way to start things with him when he did everything you asked him to do.”
Hernandez: “Look, he’s in the doghouse last year. … If you feel like you’re not liked by the front office, you’re not going to perform up to peak unless you’re a real hard-nosed guy and the attitude has to be: ‘I’ll show those son of a guns, watch me.’ That’s the kind of attitude you’ve got to take.”
Burkhardt: “Here’s the thing, if they don’t think he’s the shortstop, they’ve got to find someone else who is. That’s the bottom line.”
Hernandez: “Well, I don’t think he’s in camp.”
Ojeda: “They’re gonna try Wilmer Flores later on this week. Is there enough time left in camp to make that decision?”
Hernandez: “I don’t know if Flores is gonna have the range. I have to see his arm. I don’t think he’s got the arm from shortstop. We’ll see.”
Sandy Alderson said Tejada looked rusty in his return last week.
“I don’t want to put a microscope on Ruben at this point,” Alderson said (ESPN NY, Mar. 9). “Let’s let him play a little bit and see where we are.”