The birthday boy is the one on the right, for those of you who, like Steven Cobert, don't see colour. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Our favorite backup shortstop slash utility player slash good guy John McDonald turns 36 today. Mac has set a career high for home runs with 6 this year. Kind of makes you wonder how many he would have if he played everyday. Well...6 homers in 149 at bats would be 24 in 600 at bats. I can't imagine he would keep up that rate. He is hitting .252/.279/.468. If he would take some walks, he'd be doing great.
Of course, defense is his calling card. He has made a few errors this year, 5. 3 coming at third base, giving him a .914 fielding average there. His errors all seem to come the same way, trying to make that sensational play that we all have grown to expect from him. Course focusing on 5 bad plays when he makes so many great plays is just wrong. Every game he gets into he seems to make at least one highlight reel type play.
One of the little treats of going to Boston was getting to watch Mac take fielding practice. He practices at full speed and stays out there longer than anyone. What I noticed most, this time, is that he makes sure to throw straight over top every throw. Not one side arm or 3/4 arm throw, but every throw was straight over top.
For a guy who has never hit, the PMoD has had a nice career, 12 seasons long so far and he has a contract for next year. Tells you a lot about how good his defense is and how nice a guy and good a teammate he is.
Happy Birthday John, hope you have a great one. Cito, put him in at short tonight, k?