Sep 15, 2011, 11:10 PM EDT
Omar Vizquel was once one of the best – if not the best – defensive shortstops in baseball. He’s little more than an aging utility man these days, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to call it quits.
Vizquel, who turns 45 in April, tells Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com that he hopes to land a spot on someone’s roster next season.
An easy-going sort, Vizquel said he’s not worried about playing time, but thinks he still has the ability to compete.
“I would love to have the opportunity to play another year,” Vizquel said. “I think I have the ability to play. I don’t think there’s much difference between me and the other guys on teams. I’m not expecting to play every day, but I think I can still play.”
Vizquel said he’d love to return to the White Sox, but doesn’t expect to, given Chicago is a high-payroll, veteran-laden disappointment of a team in need of new life. In fact, he said that poor body language by his teammates is inspiring him to keep playing.
“I feel 35 (years old). I look at players on this team right now that are around that age or less. You look at them playing, and it’s made me want to play more because the body language is not what you’d like to see. I don’t think I have that kind of body language and I don’t like to show it even if I’m tired. That is why I want to continue,” Vizquel said. “I feel great. I have a lot of energy. I still have the passion, and I still have the legs. That’s the main reason why.”
He didn’t point the finger at any players in particular, but said he didn’t think it was an issue of fatigue. “They don’t have that spark.”
Vizquel has played only 57 games this season, hitting .245 with a .282 OBP. He has split time at shortstop, third base, second base and first base this season.
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