(KMOV.com) - To this day, one of the greatest defensive shortstops in the history of the Cardinals organization is Brendan Ryan. Everyone knows Ozzie Smith. Not everyone knows about Marty Marion. But there’s an argument to be made that Ryan was in the conversation to be as valuable as them on the defensive end as both.
No, Ryan never hit. The shortstop is a career .238 hitter with just a .300 on-base percentage. And after the Cardinals underachieved by missing the postseason back in 2010, he was shipped off to Seattle for pitching prospect Mikael Cleto – who has since been released.
Looking back on that move, which ended Ryan’s time with the team that drafted and developed him, he still has some weird feelings about it.
“It was strange,” Ryan admits. “It seemed like some negative things were said that didn’t seem all that warranted. You can’t control everything. I know what my teammates thought of me. That’s what matters. You play for one another.”
The 32-year old refers to reports that Ryan was not a well-liked player in the clubhouse and his departure was part of a move to increase the team’s chemistry.
But hitting barely above .200 for a large portion of time probably had more to do with anything than that.
“It almost felt like there was some blame. For the guy that’s hitting behind the pitcher that’s tough,” Ryan said of former manager Tony La Russa hitting him 9th.
For now, Brendan Ryan hopes he’s found a home in New York. After spending 2011, 2012 and part of 2013 with the Mariners, he went to the Yankees late last year. He backs up Derek Jeter and could be the starter in 2015 if things go well.
Either way, Ryan says he’ll always remember the organization that gave him his first chance at the big leagues.