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Sarah Morris talks about the Dodgers' shortstop of the present and future
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04/29/2002 01:12 am ET 
Sarah Morris talks about the Dodgers' shortstop of the present and future
By Sarah Morris / Dodgers.Com

"At 22, Cesar Izturis has been amazing. He has committed only two errors while demonstrating fabulous range and instincts for the shortstop position." (AP)

When Jim Tracy named Cesar Izturis as the Los Angeles Dodgers' Opening Day shortstop, I was excited.

During Spring Training, Izturis was impressive both offensively and defensively. As most young players have, Izturis, "Izzy" as his teammates call him, showed enthusiasm for the game. I believed that Izturis would provide exactly what the Dodgers needed.

Then, I started reading newspapers and other media reports. Instead of relying on my own instincts and knowledge, I started believing so-called "experts'" reports. They said that Cesar Izturis was not mature enough to handle one of the most demanding defensive positions on a baseball diamond along with an important offensive position in the lineup.

I believed them. I should not have, but I did not have access to Izturis' minor league statistics as the "experts" did. Because Izturis was a Toronto Blue Jay last year, I never saw him play.

I have always marched to my own drummer.

I believe that people who stick to their own convictions will be successful. Teenagers who do not bend to peer pressure are less likely to smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs, and have premarital relations. I have accomplished more than many people believed I would because I did my own thing. I am proud of my ability to make my own decisions. These decisions usually work out well for me.

With Izturis, I did not make my own opinions. Thus, I wrote an article predicting doom for the Dodgers citing the inexperienced shortstop as one of the contributing factors. I look stupid now, as I should.

I am a strong believer in young players' abilities and confidence. With the right manager and coaching staff, I believe that a rookie can handle anything that he needs to. Jim Tracy and his coaching staff appear to have the right personalities to help young players learn their jobs in the major leagues.

During the 1990s, the Major Leagues saw an emergence of many  great young shortstops, such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Nomar Garciaparra. These players would not have become great if they had not gotten an opportunity to play. Regardless of the expectations of their team, young players should have an opportunity to play if their manager believes that they are ready for the major leagues.

At 22, Cesar Izturis has been amazing. He has committed only two errors while demonstrating fabulous range and instincts for the shortstop position. Offensively he has done well. When he has batted in the lead-off position, the Dodgers have won six and lost one. I think Cesar Izturis soon will become a fan favorite in Los Angeles. As he matures, he will improve, and he is good now.

It appears that the Dodgers have found their shortstop. It also appears that I should listen to my gut and not those "experts."

Sarah Morris is the editor of Dodger Place. She lives in Anderson, Texas.
 





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