The hype surrounding Orlando Cabrera’s signing pegged him as the locus of fan dissatisfaction at the demise of scrappy David Eckstein. And while there were scattered boos for a game or two, Cabrera’s glove, let alone his own scrappy bat, managed to win over fans. Cabrera played three solid seasons for the Angels, two of them (’05, ’07) division winners and the other an 89-Win juggernaut in its own right. In 2006 he set an obscure but powerful record by reaching base safely in 63 consecutive games. Steve Physioc had a nightly orgasm comparing Orlando to DiMaggio and Ted Wiliams before launching into rambling pointless monologues about the minutia of those Hall-of-Fame careers.
In 1,960+ Plate Appearances wearing a Halo, Orlando Cabrera reached Top Ten single season milestones six times:
His 638 At-Bats in 2007 is tied for 10th all time
His 192 Hits in 2007 is 8th all time
His 148 singles in 2007 is tied for 3rd all time
His 11 sacrifice flies in 2006 and 2007 are tied for 7th all time
His 45 doubles in 2006 is tied for 3rd place all time
His 446 Games played at shortstop is 5th most in franchise history, listed under the names Eckstein, DiSarcina, Schofield and Fregosi as he is rightfully listed under them in our Top 100 countdown.
Cabrera’s contributions with the bat in the clutch earned him the nickname “CABFARE” on Halos Heaven. His glove, though, assisted the franchise 2nd and 3rd best single season pitching staff ERA+ of 115 and 113 in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Dumping David Eckstein in favor of Cabrera was one of Bill Stoneman’s least popular General Manager decisions at the moment it occurred (reaction at my old blog for posterity). In hindsight, none complain.