Zobrist a shining example of quality shortstop play

Zobrist a shining example of quality shortstop play

ANAHEIM -- Ben Zobrist is back at shortstop for now, and the experiment is paying off.

Zobrist turned a big double play in the fifth inning of Thursday night's 7-0 win over the Angels. After the game, Rays manager Joe Maddon couldn't say enough nice things about Zobrist.

"How about Zobrist at shortstop?" Maddon said. "He's done a really nice job, very simple. I like boring out of a shortstop. And I mean that as the highest compliment possible, where he just comes in very fundamentally, picks up the ball, and zip, a nice, accurate throw to first base. He's been very boring at shortstop and I love it. Zero chrome."

While Maddon allowed that he does "dig chrome," particularly where his renovated 1967 Galaxy 500 is concerned, he added, "I really prefer a non-chrome infield."

When asked what it felt like to have no chrome, Zobrist, shifted to shortstop more to bolster the offense than for defensive purposes, smiled.

"I never thought I had any chrome," he said. "I guess that's a much better way to describe it than boring."

Zobrist clearly understood the "boring" comment and agreed that being in the field is sometimes like being an umpire in that the only time you get noticed is when you blow a play.

However ...

"There are plays that you have to be a little bit exciting and you want to be able to make those plays, too," Zobrist said. "I think I've made some of those plays in my career. But overall, you want to make the pitcher know that if the ball is hit to you, it's going to be an out. And if it means that you're not making errors and you're out there making the play everybody expects you to make, then I'm good with that."

Zobrist appears to be having fun while playing the position that he played when he arrived to the Major Leagues in 2006.

"I really like it," Zobrist said. "When I felt really good about it was when we turned that double play yesterday, because I hadn't felt really comfortable at shortstop yet, and I felt very comfortable with that one. And it was quick and it helped David [Price] save a possible run situation there. So I was very encouraged by that."

Again addressing the lack of chrome issue, would Zobrist consider asking Maddon to get him some chrome?

"No, they pay me enough to get chrome if I need it," Zobrist said.