Farewell, Omar Vizquel
Omar Vizquel, the magically graceful shortstop employed by the Giants for the last four seasons, has turned his last double play for the team, General Manager Brian Sabean said in an extensive interview Monday with reporters. Asked about the future of the 41-year-old eleven-time Gold Glove winner, Sabean said the chances of Vizquel returning to the team were “zero.”
Vizquel’s last at-bat in Sunday’s final game was a satisfying slap hit, raising his career total to 2,657. The rennaissance man and well-known dandy — who also dances, sings, and paints — broke the record this year for most games ever played at the shortstop position, finishing with 2,680.
The Giants are transitioning to a more youthful team, moving from 2006, when they had the oldest lineup in the league, to this year when they had 18 rookies make their major league debut with the team, including 23-year-old Emmanuel Burriss, who is slated to take over Vizquel’s position.
Vizquel will be fondly remembered by Giants fans, who gave him a long standing ovation and curtain call Sunday when he was removed from the game after taking the field in the top of the fifth inning. He is even more revered in Cleveland, where he played eleven seasons, leading the Indians to a World Series championship. When the Giants played the Indians there this year, it was Vizquel’s first return in another uniform, and he was given a highlight tribute and several long ovations.
Vizquel has said he wants to continue playing — if not in the U.S. next year, perhaps in Japan.