As the Baltimore Orioles close out the decade of the 2010’s, there’s one player I would submit is being forgotten: J.J. Hardy. That might sound a bit strange to say, however for one reason or the other it seems that people remember the Machado’s, Jones, et al, of the world, but not the Hardy’s. Not that those other players shouldn’t be remembered, but you get my point.
J.J. Hardy was a quiet leader. He was a driving force in the clubhouse, and helped to tie things together. Furthermore his prowess with a glove could be unquestioned.
I suspect that Hardy gets forgotten on occasion because he wasn’t there at the end. His contract expired after the 2017 season, and it wasn’t renewed. Hardy’s been out of MLB since then. One also has to wonder if that’s part of why 2018 went as far south as it did.
As I said, Hardy was a clubhouse leader. When you remove an influence like that, things can come unraveled easier. It’s tough to say what would have or could have been. All that we know is what happened.
Personally I think J.J. Hardy would make a decent coach. If he’s willing, it would behoove the Orioles to bring him back in that type of capacity. However that’s up to the organization and up to Hardy.