Relationships are tough.
They’re especially tough when they’re coming to an end.
So what’s the best way to tell Ryan Roberts of the Arizona
Diamondbacks that we, the fan base, need to start seeing
other third baseman?
We’ve tried to hang on. We occasionally get reminders of
the glory days of the relationship — like last Friday
night when Roberts jacked a three-run walk-off homer
against the Oakland A’s.
But mostly, we just spend a lot of time thinking about
what happened to the Ryan Roberts of 2011 — how he used
to routinely deliver clutch hits and make tough plays at
the hot corner that helped the Diamondbacks win games.
The walk-off only served as a painful reminder of happier,
more consistently productive times.
Wednesday was the last straw. Wade Miley was slinging an
absolute gem against the Texas Rangers — one of the most
potent lineups in baseball. The rookie had allowed two
hits and was facing Texas nine-hole hitter Craig Gentry
with a runner on
second base and two outs in the 8th inning.
Gentry hit a sharp one-hopper
to Roberts at third. Despite the hop being at belt-level,
Roberts was unable to make the play. The ball bounced off
his glove and into left field, allowing Mike Napoli to
score from second base. Despite Miley’s mastery of the
Rangers lineup, Texas won the game 1-0.
The play was scored a hit, but this is a play a starting
third baseman needs to make — especially in a scoreless
tie in the 8th inning. Ok, we would have settled for him
just knocking the ball down and keeping it in the infield,
which would have held Napoli at third base.
Incidentally, after the run scored and Miley was lifted in
favor of reliever David Hernandez, Roberts made a tough
play on a sharply hit ball off of Ian Kinsler’s bat to end
the inning. Too little, too late.
Look at Roberts’ numbers — they’re down across the board.
Batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage,
Roberts’ transgressions haven’t been egregious. Hell,
they haven’t really even been transgressions. He’s just
simply not the player he was a year ago, and we deserve
had a good run and some great times. We’ll remember them
fondly. But this relationship just isn’t progressing like
it should and it’s time to move on.
And we don’t hate you — don’t even think that. In fact,
if you want to still be
our backup utility guy or go grab a beer sometime, we
think that would be great.
So sorry it didn’t work out.