Cintron or Bynum? The bat or the glove?

ROCH AROUND THE CLOCK

June 22, 2008|By ROCH KUBATKO

I'll ask whether you think Alex Cintron or Freddie Bynum should get the majority of starts for the Orioles at shortstop. And yes, those are your only two choices.

In other words, is offensive production from the position more important than defense?

Cintron swings a better bat - at least he does at the moment. From everyone I've talked to, and from what I've seen, he might be a notch below Bynum with the glove.

It sounds as if manager Dave Trembley is thinking platoon, though he went with Cintron on Thursday night against a right-hander and kept the left-handed hitting Bynum on the bench.

Trembley said he wanted to be fair to Cintron, who was removed after six innings the previous night. The guy deserves four at-bats.

Remember how Trembley got Kevin Millar to relax at the plate by joking about the squeeze sign? Well, he was up to his old tricks again Thursday night with Cintron.

"An interesting sidelight is, on a recent road trip, I played him and I thought he played a good game, but he didn't at the plate," Trembley said. "We were on the road and everybody had left - it was in Toronto, I think - and he wanted to hit extra that next day by himself.

"He came up to me and said, `I'm better than what I'm showing.' I saw the same thing [Thursday night] that I saw with Millar [Wednesday night], trying so hard and squeezing the sawdust out of the bat. So [Wednesday night], I said something to Millar. [Thursday night], when [Cintron] got the hit and he came back in, I said, `I got the ball for you.' He said, `What do you mean?' I told him: `It's not your first one. You have to relax.' Well, I'll be darned, the next time he comes up, he hits it out of the ballpark. I guess I should be talking to these guys a little more in between at-bats."

Hey, whatever works.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

For more Roch Around the Clock, go to baltimoresun.com/roch

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