With the 2010’s ending next week, I wanted to take some time to look back on some of the best players and aspects of the decade for the Baltimore Orioles. These will be “quick hits” in a sense, but I digress. I thought I’d start off with utility players, because quite frankly they get next-to-no respect.
And with that, in my view the best utility player of the 2010’s for the Orioles was Ryan Flaherty. This distinction isn’t so much about statistics or anything along those lines, because utility players are always going to have slim stats. However Flaherty was an instant fan favorite in Baltimore, and I would bet that as time goes on he’ll be very well-remembered as an Oriole among fans.
Ironically, Flaherty was a Rule 5 draft pick. He made his big league debut as a defensive replacement at third base in the top of the ninth inning in game two of the 2012 season. He made something happen every time he was on the field, and he did everything that was ever asked of him.
I suspect that Flaherty is so well-remembered in Birdland mainly because he showed up right when the team started winning. So the fans equate him with good tidings. But again, he became an instant fan favorite. And I know that I speak on behalf of Orioles fans worldwide when I wish him the best as a San Diego Padres coach.