Man’s Got to Know His Limitations

In 1973’s Magnum Force, Clint Eastwood uttered this memorable line as inspector Harry Callahan:

Man’s got to know his limitations.

I don’t think Cameron Maybin is familiar with this quote. Or maybe he is familiar with the film but he doesn’t believe the sentiment on account of his supreme athleticism. I tend to lean towards the latter.

Cameron Maybin probably doesn’t believe in limitations of any sort as it pertains to his feats on the baseball diamond. Oh, I know he said that he would limit his reckless abandon when he spoke to Darren Smith last week but did anyone honestly believe him? It’s very difficult to just turn things off when you are endowed with amazing abilities and possess a determination to shine. Cameron Maybin wants to shine, wants to be the guy in San Diego. Unfortunately Cameron Maybin doesn’t know his limitations and he now finds himself sidelined for the next few months with a ruptured left biceps tendon.

I witnessed the injury first hand during the split squad game at Camelback Ranch against the Dodgers on Sunday. Four things immediately flashed through my mind when the ball flew off Juan Uribe‘s bat:

  1. How does Juan Uribe hold down a job? I am vexed.
  2. Why is Cameron Maybin even trying to make a play on that ball hit by Juan Uribe , a guy who shouldn’t be able to hold down a job?
  3. Rymer Liriano is right there . . . in right field . . . why isn’t he making a play on the ball hit by Juan Uribe, a guy who really shouldn’t be able to hold down a job?
  4. Damn, Cam’s hurt and he’s gonna be out. But not Juan Uribe. He’s holding down a job.

This is not a revisionist account. I mean I really dislike Juan Uribe. But I’m mostly talking about what I witnessed with Cameron Maybin’s decision to go after a ball hit to Rymer Liriano’s neighborhood.

Watch the video of the play again or click on this annotated screen grab. It’s not 100% precise but it should provide you a proper visual of player positioning on the play.

Cameron  Maybin Injury Annotations 2

According to Dennis Lin of the U-T, Rymer Liriano said that Maybin called him off, which is really just crazy. Look at how far Cam ran to get the ball.

Cameron Maybin is young, fast, and powerful, blessed with abilities mere mortals like us can not fully comprehend. He’s always been described as an impact defender as illustrated by the 2008 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which listed him as the Marlin’s #1 prospect and a top 10 prospect in baseball:

Defensively he has plus range in center field . . .

Plus range? Ridiculously plus.

But BA also noted this about Cameron Maybin:

He takes bad reads in the outfield, though his straight away speed usually allows him to recover.

A scouting report written long ago, the second half of which, bears closer inspection. Cameron Maybin’s speed is what allows him to take chances and chase the baseball to places others might not be able to go. But Cam must know his limitations if he is ever to survive the pitfalls waiting for him in a major league outfield. He’s got to see that a ball hit by Juan Uribe*, a player who really should not be able to hold down a job, should have been played by Rymer Liriano in right field.

Here’s to better health, Cam. Keep playing hard** and I look forward to seeing you later this summer.

* I’m like Tom Hanks in Big when it comes to Juan Uribe.

** Seriously, play hard. Just use that vision and field awareness.


I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired by Juan Uribe. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM. The dusty archives of AJM are located at

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