my admiration for him is deep--he really is (or was) an all-around star.
however, in explanation of my disdain for this player, he stands so close to the plate...SO CLOSE, and he wears that newfoundland dog on his right arm, daring the pitcher to throw in on him.
stand close to the plate and get hit. that's fine. i respect that. biggio does it all the time, takes it like a man. olmeido saenz did it for the a's last year. fine. but they're not sporting the winter parka on the pitcher-side arm. it's just not fair. and the looks he gives pitchers when he's hit...i could climb through the tv and wack him with a folding chair. ok, that's over the top. but i get extremely annoyed.
this manipulation, so liberally tolerated by mlb (because the man puts butts in the seats) is what really pisses me off. if you mummified me in a thick rubber and nylon, i could take a good bean, too. that basically *gives* the batter the plate. the only strike a pitcher can throw without *hitting* him is the outside half. that sure narrows it down, doesn't it?
but i do respect his numbers, work ethic and longevity. let me dislike the bastard, and i'll let you like him.