Tigers' Magglio Ordonez notches 2,000th career hit

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magglio ordonez swinging.jpgWith a single off Carl Pavano on Thursday, Magglio Ordonez because the 19th active major leaguer and the sixth native of Venezuela to reach 2,000 career hits.
The active list:
1. Ken Griffey Jr. – 2,775
2. Derek Jeter – 2,773
3. Ivan Rodriguez – 2,735
4. Omar Vizquel – 2,706
5. Alex Rodriguez – 2,551
6. Manny Ramirez – 2,511
7. Garret Anderson – 2,506
8. Johnny Damon – 2,450
9. Chipper Jones – 2,420
10. Vladimir Guerrero – 2,277
11. Edgar Renteria – 2,209
12. Todd Helton – 2,153
13. Jim Thome – 2,149
14. Bobby Abreu – 2,139
15. Miguel Tejada – 2,133
16. Jason Kendall – 2,106
17. Ichiro Suzuki – 2,060
18. Mark Grudzielanek – 2,017
19. Magglio Ordonez – 2,001
The only other player with much chance of reaching the plateau this year is Jim Edmonds, who is currently at 1,898. Luis Castillo (1,848), Orlando Cabrera (1,837), Carlos Lee (1,831), Scott Rolen (1,826) and Albert Pujols (1,745) should all get there in 2011.
At age 36, Ordonez is quite a long shot to reach 3,000 career hits. However, both he and Abreu do have a chance of overtaking Vizquel to become the all-time hits leader from Venezuela:
1. Omar Vizquel – 2,706
2. Luis Aparicio – 2,677
3. Andres Galarraga – 2,333
4. Dave Concepcion – 2,326
5. Bobby Abreu – 2,136
6. Magglio Ordonez – 2,001
7. Ozzie Guillen – 1,764
8. Manny Trillo – 1,562
9. Cesar Tovar – 1,546
10. Edgardo Alfonzo – 1,532
Ordonez also had a shot at reaching 300 homers this year, as he’s currently 19 away. At 399, Galarraga is the all-time home run leader from Venezuela. Ordonez is second place on that list, though his Tigers teammate Miguel Cabrera is at 214 and charging fast.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.