He may have been thought of as more trouble than he is worth in St. Louis. But Seattle has embraced Brendan Ryan.
The former Cardinals infielder has been named the Mariners starting shortstop, displacing another former Redbird, Jack Wilson.
When Seattle traded for Ryan the thought was that he would have the best chance to win the starting job at second base, a position he played quite a bit during his Cardinals days. But Ryan outshined wilson, an excellent defender in his own right, with his glove work and Mariners skipper Eric Wedge annouced it was Wilson who would shift to second.
Part of the decision to install Ryan at short might be health concerns. Wilson has had trouble staying off the disabled list in the past. So it's possible that the more durable -- and considerably younger Ryan got the benefit of the doubt.
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I've always liked Ryan's hustle and grit. But apparently the Cardinals couldn't deal with his lack of focus at times and his manic ways.
While it was well known in Cardinals country that manager Tony La Russa was driven up the wall by Ryan, several of the club's players have taken pot shots at Ryan on local radio waves since he was dealt away.