Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Jeff Deters: No Need to #VoteOmar, Infante Leading Royals Race for Second Base

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Jeff Deters: No Need to #VoteOmar, Infante Leading Royals Race for Second Base

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With all the hoopla of the 2016 presidential election going on, it can be hard to find a distraction, a release, if you will. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have certainly taken the nation by storm, each of them in their own unique way, which I guess is a good thing.

The Donald seems to be well on his way to winning the Republican nomination and it appears Hillary is getting closer and closer to the Democratic nomination with each passing day. Bernie is still Bernie, hoping to be the darkhorse candidate who rides to victory on a golden steed of late momentum and vigor.

About 1,200 miles west of here there is another race that has caught my eye -- the battle for the Kansas City Royals second base job. There is a leading candidate, and here's how the polls look right now: Omar Infante .261, Christian Colon .182.

Yes, looks can be deceiving. Just a couple days ago the polls actually looked like this: Omar Infante: .313, Christian Colon: .000. So as you can see, Infante has fallen a bit while Colon is on the, uh ... rise.

Somewhat like the Democratic presidential race, the race for the Royals' second base bag began as an open competition and then looked like a blowout. Well, until Infante slipped last week and Colon finally got a hit.

Still, Infante, is the incumbent and the odds-on favorite to win the job. This is partly due to the fact that Hillary ... err ... Infante began with some advantages. For starters, the 34-year-old Infante has more experience and also was armed with more money -- about $7.75 million this year compared to $518,425 for Bernie ... err ... Colon.

It's not totally a case of the haves vs. the have-nots, but players with Infante's salary usually don't ride the pine when they break camp. Is that fair? No, but that's how baseball works, even for the Royals. And money aside, though he's not exactly Trumping anyone, Infante is currently winning because he's outplayed Colon so far.

Infante hasn't played much defensively this spring, but by most accounts Infante is the better defensive player, which is something the Royals put a premium on. That alone might be been enough for him to get the job even though Colon is widely considered the more versatile player, having the ability to play shortstop and third whereas Infante really isn't a utility infielder.

When Infante signed with the Royals following the 2013 season, they were in dire need of a second baseman not named Chris Getz. In 2013 with Detroit, Infante hit .318 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs, not great numbers but certainly an upgrade over Getz.

In 2014 Infante drove in a career-high 66 RBIs in 135 games but missed time after being hit in the face by a pitch and later going to the DL with back problems. …

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