March 09, 2010
But that's the nature of the beast and it's not hard to see why Aroldis Chapman(notes), Stephen Strasburg(notes), Jason Heyward(notes) and Bryce Harper have followed in Wieters' footsteps as the Internet's it-boy. Our insatiable hunger for being on a superstar's ground floor now growls on a second-by-second basis
The unfortunate byproduct of that technological progress is that today's savior is easily turned into tomorrow's afterthought, even if he has less than 100 big league games to his name. Such seems the case with Wieters, who played in 96 contests for the Orioles, assembling a split line of .288/.340/.412 with nine homers and 43 RBI.
Fantastic rookie stats, but considering the hype suggested we should expect three homers and six RBI a game, a little bit of a letdown.
All of that is to say that I'm glad to see Wieters on the front of Sports Illustrated — the first Oriole coverboy since Roberto Alomar in 1996 — and an extended profile on the young O by Tom Verducci within its pages. The article is entitled "Rare Bird" while the cover is emblazoned with "Matt Wieters: The Orioles' Tower of Power, The Game's Next Joe Mauer(notes)."
Perhaps both are reminiscent of the cyber palm fronds that greeted Wieters arrival in Charm City last summer. But in an age where we lose focus once something doesn't immediately match our outsized expectations, it's nice to receive a reminder that Wieters is still only 23 years old and that he's still on a path to be one heck of a baseball player.
PS — Andy Behrens of Roto Arcade agrees.
A big BLS head nod to Mr. Irrelevant for the tip