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“I suck. For real. I’m getting old.”-Orlando Cabrera

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I saw Orlando Cabrera play a lot with the Boston Red Sox in the second half of 2004. During that amazing championship run, I admired him for his good ability to get on base and his general peskiness. It was truly hard not to appreciate his hard work and all-out play.

Unlike a lot of today’s stars (read: juiced freaks who flourish as they get older), however, Cabrera’s career seems to be on a dramatic downturn.

This is probably an error.

After an off year with the Chicago White Sox last season, many teams were hesitant to pick Cabrera up prior to the 2009 season. Oakland eventually took the plunge, and they’re probably wishing they hadn’t.

The 34-year-old Cabrera is playing like a shadow of himself. Only two years removed from a MVP-worthy campaign with the Angels where he finished 15th in the vote, Cabrera is currently batting in the .230’s, has already made 11 errors, and is getting on base at a paltry .285 clip. Instead of an able leadoff man and Gold Glover, the A’s bought themselves an expensive middle-to-bottom of the order liability.

Cabrera knows he’s failing. After dropping an infield popup last night, Cabrera was visibly shocked. After the game, that shock invaded his post-game interviews, where he told reporters, “I suck. For real. I’m getting old.”

Maybe Cabrera just needs a day off. Maybe he needs a few days off. Or maybe he really is getting old.

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