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May 5, 2010

MacPhail puts hitters on notice

After back-to-back 4-1 losses to the New York Yankees, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has seen just about enough from his struggling offense.

"There is going to come a time where we’re going to be obligated to keep making changes in terms of offensive personnel and they’re going to get the opportunity to head to [Triple-A] Norfolk and hone their swings because they’re not doing anything to help us now," said MacPhail. "I would say there isn’t a great deal of time left before they have to start doing more than what they’re doing now. I’m not staying with them forever. It’s not a suicide pact. They either have to start performing or they’ll go to Norfolk."

MacPhail didn't single out any specific hitter, but he doesn't need to. Luke Scott is hitting .177, Nolan Reimold is hitting .179, Adam Jones is batting .225, Cesar Izturis is hitting .230 and Julio Lugo is hitting .125. After a three-hit day on Tuesday, Garrett Atkins is hitting .270, but he has no home runs and only five RBI.

"The offense has been weak and I think the numbers will bear that out," MacPhail said. "We have some guys who are just, to put a kind word to it, underperforming and we’ve ended up having to push some people toward some roles that they are probably not ready for. While you can give them some allowance for the quality of pitching that we’ve faced, our patience isn’t inexhaustible."

Overall, the Orioles have scored three runs or fewer in 18 of 27 games, and one run or fewer eight times. Amazingly, they are not last in the American League in runs with 92. Seattle and Cleveland have scored 88 and 91 runs respectively.

MacPhail acknowledged the problems that the loss of Felix Pie and Brian Roberts have caused, and he understands the tough pitching that the Orioles have faced, but said that only goes so far.

"Sometimes you have to take in account the other half of the equation which is the other guy on the mound, but still, we’re not producing," he said. "If we’re going to have to rely on our pitchers to pitch a shutout to win a game, we’re in for a long season. There will come a time where really, sometimes you have to make a change for the sake of change if you’re not getting performance at this level. "

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 12:06 PM | | Comments (91)
        

Comments

I find this kind of funny from the man who assembled this mess. Threats don't motivate players; better talent does, and MacPhail has failed miserably with his "grow the arms and buy the bats" philosophy. If you want to compete in the AL East, you need to spend the money and for whatever reason MacPhail and Angelos just don't get it. Perhaps Angelos is starting to wake up??

I didn't notice anywhere in the article where Andy took personal responsibility for selecting the players on the team. Is it too much to ask that he say he is personally responsible for the failures on the team instead of just pointing the finger?

Andy,

"Crow has to GO!"
"Crow has to GO!"
"Crow has to GO!"

Come on, join me loyal O's fans!!

We need a hitting instructor who knew how to hit.

Ed in Alaska!!

O.K., so what players are headed to Norfolk?

OK. So what players are headed to Norfolk?

"Sometimes you have to take in account the other half of the equation which is the other guy on the mound.."

He should have said, "Sometimes you have to take into account I have complied a team that looks like an expansion roster."

Fire Crowley...that's the change that has to happen. He has been here for the entire 12 year debacle. How does he keep getting a pass? Even if his message and teaching are good his deliverance had become STALE.....FIRE CROWLEY and bring in some fresh eyes...

How about he send himself to Norfolk for assembling this crap-tastic team. Lets see, we needed a SS, Clean-up hitter, and top of the rotation starter when he first got here....and we still need a SS, clean up hitter, and top of the rotation starter years later.

MacFail was foolish to start the season with Trembley as manager. Trembley managed early games like a fool and set the tone for the team and the season. MacFail should resign, but first fire Trembley. Let the team pick a player coach. It might bring some interest back to an otherwise dead season

I should just go back to a comment that I posted a a couple of weeks ago about the horrible offense the O's have been putting up this year. This is directed to a majority of the writers at the Sun, many fans that post on here and many of the sports talk show hosts in this area. Just in the past 2 years when the O's were possibly looking at signing a free agent position player, the people that I mentioned above would say that the O's aren't in a position to sign player X. They shouldn't sign him because we aren't in that part of the rebuilding phase. My comment is wouldn't it be nice to have a Texiera (I know he didn't want to play here but all of those people said that we weren't in the right position to sign him), Matt Holiday and others. Not saying that these players would have signed here but why should we limit ourselves to specific players at certain intervals during the O's phase. It never hurts to have too much talent on a team and it always hurts the O's to not have enough talent.

Here's looking at you Adam Jones....

Seriously, if this guy hadn't made the All-Star Game last year, wouldn't everyone be all over him? His performance this year is totally unacceptable, and the fact that Trembley continues to hit him anywhere higher than 7th in the order is perhaps the most outrageous decision he's made as a manger.

For the record, Adam Jones this season:
Double+Triples+Home Runs+RBI+Runs+SB+Walks=31

Strikeouts=27

I know some of those stats are a bit antiquated, but I think it's safe to say that those two numbers are not supposed to be anywhere near each other. He's only 24, there's still time to save him. But send him down to Norfolk where he can learn because he most definitely has quite a bit of learning to do.

Good.

So, is MacPhail basically saying, "I crapped the bed this offseason?"

Jeff-
Is there anybody in AA or AAA producing who could replace any of these ham and eggers?

Jones has no plate discipline.
Scott looks clueless out there.
Riemold is crippled.
Lugo does not care.
Atkins sure could use some steriods!
Montanez looks overwhelmed.

I am just so happy I have tickets to 11 more games.
Any takers?

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Jeff Z's reply: No, and that's a big part of the problem. You look up and down Norfolk's lineup and it's not a pretty picture.

You are all nuts blaming anything other than a rebuilding process for the O's inability to win ballgames. If you were asked 1 year ago today, how long would it take the O's to successfully rebuild, no one in their right mind would have said we can complete the following year (which is right now), rather we need at least 2 or 3 years to let the young guys grow and develope into the stars they will be... So we are currently 1 year into MacPhails rebuilding process and all of a sudden we have to win AL East and heads need to roll. Really people, REALLY!!

How about a reality check ....

Also... Please tell Tampa that they are not supposed to win games in the AL East without spending money. Its confusing me and making me think the Orioles are actually on the right path, which according you all... could not be farther from the truth.

FIRE KRANTZ too.

Fire Trembley and get a manager in their , that can motivate. I like some Triple A guys come and show the regulars how to play with heart. There are lot of players in Triple A will show how to win. BRING THEM ON !!!!!!

Dear Mr. McFail,

Hey blowhard, what the hell are you telling us for? Why don't you have a team meeting and tell your players...do you know they are in N.Y. today?

This is what you should have said to make us happy...

"Today I assigned the entire Major League team to Norfolk, and the entire team from Norfolk is now YOUR BALTIMORE ORIOLES!! Oh, and I quit!"

OK, I totally get what MacPhail is saying, but if he sends guys to Norfolk to "hone their skills", who is he going to replace them with? Corey Patterson? Joey Gathright? Robert Andino? Scott Moore? There is a reason that they cannot even make the major league roster of the worst team in the league!

Don't try to make sense, Lee. All it does is get you in trouble here.

Why is MacPhail or anyone else surprised by the results of these hitters? Lugo and Izturis are NOT major league hitters and these averages are in line with their careers. Atkins obviously couldn't catch up to fastballs anymore and neither Scott nor Jones has enough plate discipline to grow as hitters. It's MacPhail who brought them together and has these ridiculous aspirations for them. It's not the rebuilding plan or the lack of spending money that's killing the Orioles, it's the inability to properly evaluate player talents. The ONLY people who thought Atkins, Izturis and Lugo were good hitters were the Orioles. Just like last year when MacPhail was the only one who thought Koji was a starter. Until the Orioles get better at talent evaluation, it doesn't matter who the coaches are.

Funny he should say this isn't a "suicide pact," because I think that's exactly what it is. MacPhail has made a number of good personnel moves since coming here and overall put the organization on a stronger long-term footing (admittedly, the previous baseline was low). However, his failure to also improve the coaching part of the equation and his stubbornness to make any big, fan-pleasing moves like making a credible run at Teixeira last year are hanging like a rock around his neck.

I don't think this hitting is through lack of effort, something for which a threat through the media like this would be targeted at. Instead, MacPhail needs to admit that these were the players HE put together, and the coaches HE put and left in place have been responsible for developing and coaching. I view these comments in the media as an uncharacteristic and defensive play from MacPhail, who surely recognizes that HE is the one ultimately accountable for the performance, or lack thereof, of this team.

Besides, what would MacPhail propose should the hitters he chose and his managers coached continue to struggle? Who exactly do we have in Norfolk ready to step into 5+ underperforming positions in the batting lineup? Or would he lobby the league to allow the Orioles to run out a 3-man Markakis-Tejada-Wigginton lineup every night?

Which is why in my view it is preferable that 2/3 of the Os lineup spots are weak- it will make the team and management accept the weaknesses that are clearly there rather than blame it on Peter Schmuckian version of "dumb luck, take 524" ("if only Roberts and Pie weren't hurt!"). It will force the team to address the persistantly weak coaching sooner rather than later, and it will force MacPhail to come through on his promise to "buy the bats" and Angelos to come through on his promise to open the pocketbook.

Sorry, Andy, but this is very much a suicide pact and it is one that you have created with the personnel and coaching staff decisions you've made. Blame flows upward, so you had better make some REAL moves soon- nobody in Bmore will accept "wait a few more years" any more.

And yet Jermaine Dye is still looking for a job. I say trade the whole damn team for Adrian Gonzalez. Can't get any worse.

Lee, are you serious? MacPhail will have been here 3 years in June. How many more excuses are going to be made for this organization. After 13 years, enough excuses and false hopes.

Rebuilding Lee? where have you been the last 2 years--this is the year of some results--NOT going backwards---where in the O's office do you work??

Can Xavier Avery hit major league pitching?

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Jeff Z's reply: I can't respond to all these comments because I'm trying to cover a game and there are plenty of things going on with Jones' injury, Kranitz's ejection, MacPhail's calling out of the offense. But Avery is 20 years old and is in High-A. The mere suggestion that he should be called up is ridiculous.

Lee: 1 year rebuilding? The other 2, 3, or 10 don't count?

The level of supposed talent is far better then the current production, hence the problems all point directly to management this far in. There are serious management changes forth coming. Like the old saying "you cant fire the team" or can you?

Yes, McPhail also has some responsibility for the poor offensive performances.

But many of you are twisting what he said to fit your "Can the Plan" campaign.

"We have some guys who are just, to put a kind word to it, underperforming..."

Underperforming means that they were expected to perform better. These projections are usually based on historical results & scouting projections.

Yes, you can blame Andy for making a poor judgement of the expected performance of some players (Atkins, Lugo, Gonzalez). The expectations were too high based on their history.

It is a real stretch to blame him for the cases of underperformance (Jones, Scott, Riemold, Montanez) where their is a real basis for higher expectations.

It appears to me that MacPhail has been growing the bats and buying the arms, which is the exact opposite of what he has said he will do all along.

Wow Andy, too bad you didn't know last year that you needed a decent DH and a 1st baseman with power. Oh wait, you did, and we still have Scott as DH and acquired Atkins as our power hitting 1B. How many HRs. does he have? Too bad nobody ever thought Roberts would have any problems with his back when he came to ST telling you about his herniated disc.
Oh wait, that's right, lots of people were concerned about Robert's back, too bad you waited till the last possible moment to get is Lugo as a plan B. How's he working out by the way?
It's not approaching time for something to be done, it's past time for something to be done. This team needs a serious wake up call, that means a new manager and coaching staff, and some ML players being demoted or released.

Jeff,

Do you have any idea if the O's Dominican facility actually exists ? I want proof. Where can one go to research MLB international signings? Have the O's signed anyone ??

I agree with Lee to a point. This is year 1 for many of the key players in the rebuilding project to start paying dividends. Guys like Bergesen, Tillman, Matusz, Wieters, Reimold, Jones, and Pie are either in their first or second full year in the majors.

MacPhail has been here three years, but considering he was cleaning up a decade long disaster from top to bottom, he has made incredible progress. Atkins and Gonzalez have been failures so far. Millwood has been a success in comparison to what Chris Ray would have provided. At least now we have some young players to enjoy watching rather than the parade of journeymen over-the-hill players of the past.

Lee is right that you are all overreacting. I want the O's to win as much as the next guy, but I also realistically know that it's going to take at least one full season of seeing AL East pitchers and hitters before this team will mesh.

How about fire the manager & allow the new manager to select his own staff. Can Angelos handle that ???

I don't care that Garrett Atkins is hitting .270. The relevant number is his .289 on-base percentage or his .338 slugging percentage.

You do not need to fire Trembley-you need to get a new pitching coach and a new hitting coach.

Then you need to get rid of Albers and keep Johnson in the minors or trade him.

You need some long relief pitchers and need to have your starters last 7 innings.

Milwood is a good example of a starter- works hard and pitches deep.

The final thing- renegotiate all contracts and base the new ones on performance- you do perform you do not get paid.

Luke Scott looks like a fat elvis. Send him to Memphis not Norfolk. Jay Gibbons is back.

I'm sure that all of you that are critizing McPhail for putting together no talent were just as loud last year about how terrible Reimold, Jones, et. al. were. Get a clue. The talent is there, the coaching is not. I like Crowley, but it is obvious that the hitters are no longer responding to him. Trembley seems to be a nice guy, but we all know where nice guys finish.
So enough with the imbecilic comments about lack of talent. We need better coaching.

Jeff Z's reply: I can't respond to all these comments because I'm trying to cover a game

Jeff, let me save you some time and help you out. Yankees score runs, O's don't, again. But stay tuned, it is a rebuilding year Baltimore!!

Why in the world would they want to fire Kranitz? You can't blame him for Albers being Albers or the signing a hurt Gonzo.

The starting pitching has been one of the only bright spots of the season minus Porky the Pig finally hitting in a contract year.

I don't know how many seasons of losing baseball is needed before firing the frigging hitting coach... Yes, ultimately it's up to the player to hit, but I've never been totally satisfied with the team's approach at the plate. Look at the Yankees - as a TEAM they have great plate discipline and take tons of pitches...

Fire the Crow. It's time.

Here we go. The blame game starts. Angelos should put MacPhail on notice. These hitters are doing what they do: they suck. They were never good. This is who they are. MacPhail should have recognized that. MacPhail was arrogant enough to think that he could win without guys like Tex, Holliday, Halladay, Figgins and others when they became free agents. You get what you pay for Mr. MacPhail. This is not the 80s Mr. Macphail. This is the time when money talks and BS walks, or strikes out I should say. You're a joke MacPhail. So you're going to blame this on the hitters. Who do you blame your past 3 seasons on? Huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. You're a pathetic loser

While I'm not one of the certified AM bashers on these pages, this is clearly on him. It was clear throughout this winter this team needed at least one more professional hitter (regardless of Pie or Roberts) to protect against 1) Atkins might not produce, 2) Reimold's injury might keep him from repeating his 2009 success and 3) Scott would continue his slide. Atkins might get some hits but has no power and the other two have happened. While I maintain there were no FA's that were permanent solutions, AM made no effort for the likes of Vlad, Matsui, LaRoche etc.... all of whom would be a huge upgrade from Luke Scott. Vlad in particular would have helped against lefties and would put someone in the lineup that opposiing pitchers feared. This would then have moved younger guys like Weiters to less pressure packed spots in the line-up to permit their development to continue. I guess in that sense it was a suicide pact.

Um Terry Crowley?? Besides you can't send a lot of those vet guys down, maybe Reimold though.

I know this - MASN will keep airing those lame AJ commericial even if they sent him to AA Bowie

wow...somehow everyone has missed the point, as long as Angelos owns this team the Orioles will never win again.

Remember, 13 years ago when he fired/pushed (Dave Johnston) off the team because of his ego. I wrote Angelos that day and told him to sell the team because the Orioles would never win with his ownership. Boy, I hate when I'm right...

Under Angelos leadership the once proud Orioles are now pernnenial losers. McPail can't do anything because Angelos won't let him. Don't believe anything else.

The Orioles no longer know how to win. I have a fifteen year son that has never seen the Orioles have a winning team.

please, please, please sell the team. free the birds.

Where's Roy Hobbs when you need him? This is certainly a last-place, dead-to-the-neck-up ball club.

Jeff Z: I am not on the offensive by that question, but I will throw out another question: Heyward of the Atlanta Braves is 19 and performing very well.

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Jeff Z's reply: Heyward entered the season as the No.1 prospect in all of baseball. He also played some at Double-A last year. Avery is not yet even considered one of the Orioles' top five prospects. You cannot compare the two. Look at the numbers.

I agree with the other posts...The Crow Must Go. How does a coach last 12 straight losing seasons? If Cal Ripken Sr and Earl can be fired, Terry Crowley sure can. So tired of seeing first pitch outs with runners on base.....that is as undisciplined as it gets.

This team is an embarrassment to the city! Adam Jones single handedly played a single into a triple last night with an ill-advised dive on a ball he had no chance of catching. And he's done nothing at the plate this year! Nolan Reimold can't hit, there's no production from first base and short, and our DH might as well be a pitcher! I'd say lets fire Trembley and McFail - but who in their right mind wants to come work for Angelos? It all starts at the top. If he sells then maybe, just maybe, we'll get some talented management in here for the first time since we had Pat Gillick running the show!

Everyone please get off the lack of free agent acquisitions like Teixeira or a front-line pitcher!

Until there is a salary cap, top-tier free agents will be able to get their cake and eat it too. They'll get top dollar to sign with contending teams. In sports with salary caps, the top-tier players generally have to choose b/w a lesser payday with a contending team and a big payday with a mediocre (or worse) team. Translation: John Lackey, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Tex, Matt Holiday, Jason Bay, whoever, NOT COMING HERE! Get over it.

Now let me address some of the other flawed assertions from folks who know nothing about baseball:

1) Failure to acquire a frontline starter. We have one, his name is Matusz. And while Millwood is no Lincecum, if we had Lincecum and gave him the same run support that we're giving Millwood, his record would be the same. As of now, Millwood's era is 3.15 and he's top 12 in the majors in innings pitched. And guess what? Guthrie's up there too as far as innings pitched and maybe his ERA would be a touch better if he could catch his breath in between innings instead of having to go right back out after the O's set records for fastest time to make 3 outs.

2) We need a long-term solution at SS. Obviously. But people take MacPhail to task for it like he signed Izturis over Hanley Ramirez or Troy Tulowitzki. Next time, before you criticize, take a look at the ever-present MLB Free Agent tracker, which has all FA info since 2006. Any idea how many marquee shortstops have hit the market since 2006? None. How about merely good shortstops? Also none. But guess what, Jeter's a FA after this year. I'd love to poll this knowledgeable fan base to find out both 1) how many actually think we have a shot, and 2) how many will criticize MacPhail for not making a more concerted effort "to appease the fans."

3) The lack of a power bat. I agree, but that's not only MacPhail's fault. It is his fault that the last homegrown O's prospect before Markakis to put up 20 HR in a season was probably Chris Hoiles? Hopefully Josh Bell or Brandon Snyder can prove that the fields of power are fertile again. But as for signing a FA cleanup hitter, they don't grow on trees and, stop me if I've said this before, they don't want to come here! Therefore, the only way we acquire one immediately is thru a trade. And we finally have enough chips in our farm system where Adrian Gonzalez might be acquirable. Before now, our farm system had nothing (or would not have been in this predicament in the first place). So maybe we go get Gonzalez and maybe he's the cleanup hitter we desperately need.

But for everyone who says, "go get a cleanup hitter, go get a SS, go get a front line starter, etc..." First ask yourselves if you have any idea how that's done or what currency you have to have in order to do it.

In my opinion, there's only one goal for the season. Finish strong. For the last 10 years, the O's winning % in Aug.-Sep., if extrapolated throughout a whole season, would rival the worst performances in the history of professional baseball. If you can't finish strong, then there's no momentum going into next season. If there's no momentum, then free agents won't even consider coming here. If you do have some momentum, maybe then a free agent will believe that he can truly help take us to the next level.

Macphail should demote himself to AAA for the dysfunctional group he has assembled. The soon to be 7 and 21 Orioles are the worst team in Major League Baseball and Andy has been on the job since early June 2007.

Call the Orioles and demand change at the GM position now.

Jeff Z's reply: No, and that's a big part of the problem. You look up and down Norfolk's lineup and it's not a pretty picture.
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Jeff,

We've heard it for 4 years that thanks to MacPhail we have tremendous amount of talent in the minors. That we have depth. What you're saying contradicts that. Are you alluding to the O's front office feeding us a bunch of propaganda? We the real fans saw this BS from a mile away. And there is more coming. This mess cannot be fixed in half a season. This needs a real and complete rebuilding. This is Chicago Cubs the Sequel, and it looks just like the original. MacPhail and Angelos are impostors

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Jeff Z's reply: The depth that has been spoken of resides on the pitching side. The Orioles have lacked position player depth for years. And their two top position prospects - Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell - are struggling in Triple-A.

Now everyone knows why this town loves the Ravens, as they understand what it takes to make a winning team.
I guess Peter the Great just cannot part with this team, so as long as he ownes it you will NEVER see a winning baseball team

The fact that the Nationals are now a "good" team while the O's get worse each and every year speaks volumes about the lack of leadership on this team...at every level. Trembly is a joke and the lack of accountability exibited is a concern. McFail making idle threats isn't going to motivate anyone. There is nobody in Norfolk who can do a better job. Finally, Crowley has been here since the 1990's. Why does he have so much clout?

Ace,

Please do not insult our intelligence. Teams like the Yankees and the Redsox are loaded with talent and just never stop acquiring or growing new talent. We don't have talent, not because we cannot afford it, but because Angelos is cheap. Angelos keeps saying that he can't compete with the Yankees or the Redsox, but in reality he can. He is filthy rich, filthy, that's right. He's got enough revenues from the team and Masn to have $180-$200 payroll. I don't buy what you and the front office mumbles about not being able to outspend them, because he can.

To play to your tune, why is Tampa Bay so successful despite the low payroll? And don't tell me the O's are trying to do the same thing, because these O's are not good enough to be Tampa's minor league team.

Stop spinning. I can feel the earth stopping it's rotation.

The players don't know how to work the count, that much is for certain. Too many first pitch outs when they should be making pitchers work. Also, when was the last time Mr. MacPhail built a club and took it to the World Series? He hasn't. Why people look at him as a savior for making us competitors again is beyond me.

I am a Baltimore native and grew up a rabid Orioles fan. I had season tickets until I moved to San Francisco in the late 1990's. I am now a Giants season ticket holder and have lost track of the O's for the most part. I will say that what McPhail is doing is being noticed even here in San Francisco. In general, the sentiment is that there is a whole lot of talent in the system now and it is just a matter of time before this team is competetive. It is hard to lose and particularly hard to do so for 13 years, but I encourage you all to be patient. Outsiders are quite enamoured with what is happening there...

Given the way Weiters has performed at the plate this series woould he be a candidate to go to Norfolk?

The focus on the very poor hitting has masked the fact that the pitching hasn't been that great either. Beter than last year maybe, but very diappointing.

The only pitcher that's performing at Norfolk is Arrietta the rest have been disappointing. There is no one in Norfolk who's hitting well but hell at least we'd be looking at differnt guys leaving runners on base.

This is the most depressing, soory team I've seen in my 56 years following this team. What makes it so bad is how very far below their capability this team is playing.

One final thought, please Trembley never, ever put Montenez in CF again. Also, Atkins falure to run would have resulted with him on the bench were he on any good team.

Meso,

Can't start a fire without a spark. It was, among other things, Jeter, Posada, Petitte, and Mariano Rivera that rebuilt the Yankee dynasty. Before then, it was the stomping ground of the Toronto Blue Jays with the occasional AL East crown going to the Red Sox.

Angelos most certainly is cheap, but as the Rays have proven, you don't need to spend a ton of money, but you do need to get lucky. The Sox spent money (Pedro & Manny) AND got lucky (David Ortiz from the Twins for a song).

They Rays got lucky. That team is not as formidable without Carlos Pena in the middle of the lineup and they brought him off the scrap heap. They also traded bust Delmon Young for a legit ace in Matt Garza. They've also drafted extremely well.

Again, Angelos is cheap, but he paid Wieters & Matusz's price when those two were probably in the higher priced options. And hopefully we'll be able to say the same thing about Tillman as the Rays can say about Garza.

it should have not been andy macphail saying that things are not acceptable. it should have come from peter angelos,then dave trembley to put a fire in this team it should have been done long before ago.

capn ,

Glad to see that the MacPhail smokescreens can be noticed from Sanfran. The reality is, that's all they are: smokescreens. There is no talent on this team, just overblown prospects. We live here, we see it every day, and we are not fooled.

Andy, starting pitching has been abominable on the Orioles for years. I am surprised the offense didn't walk off the field at some points last year.

Cough up the bucks, and hire good starting pitching. Otherwise, just fold. You have had more than enough time to create change.

Maybe Dan Snyder needs to wake up and realize it is not just players - It is managment and their inability to bring in talent at the pitching spot.

Why is McPhail making these comments? Shouldn't this be Trembley's job, behind closed doors? Trembley is gutless and can't muster up the cojones to intimidate his own players. He should be removed ASAP, and McPhail should bring in someone who is man enough to discipline the junior millionaires for him.

Ace,

What you call luck, I call MLB advanced scouting, something the O's have lacked for years and continue to lack. Look at Boston. Pedroria, Yukilis, Paplebon, Del Carmen, Elsburry and on and on and on. Markakis and Roberts I say are the only legit prospects the O's have come up with in decades. And maybe Matusz if he continues to get better.

Why should we mimic the Rays? As far as I'm concerned they were a one hit wonder. Mimic the Redsox. Proven winners, year in and year out.

I am very glad to see Andy step up and make this statement. The hitting has been awful, and I don't understand why. I guess the Orioles don't either.

If McFail doesn't perform get rid of him...these are his players...he is an idiot

They all need to go...the manager, the hitting coach, the GM, Owner... the marketing dept... The whole Organization sucks!!!!!

How clueless are some of you guys? Vlad or Matsui? If you think that they would of ever came here as free agents you're on something. As far as Tex, we made a legitimate offer to him. He chose to go to a ball club that was winning right now.
Someone also said that these guys have always been terrible. Just to refresh your memory: Jones was an All Star and a Gold Glove winner last year. Reimold put up very solid numbers for a rookie.
Again, these guys are no longer responding to Crowley or, so it seems, anyone on the current coaching staff.

The only thing more comical than watching the Orioles play baseball is reading the messages on this board! Thanks to everyone for keeping me laughing... It helps me not be so depressed about the Orioles..

But look at the bright side- Ravens Minicamp starts Friday!!

Terry Crowley needs to be fired. He has failed year after year. He must have pictures of someone. What gives

Words ,, that's all McPhail can offer. He needs a manager who can get this team thinking that if they stay close, the manager will find a way to win. Trembley is so complacent, allowing so many leadoff men to be doubled up instead of moving them along. The team has no clue how to hit in any situation. And he keeps switching the lineup around so no one has any idea what kind of pitches they'll see, which is often a byproduct of consistently hitting behind a particular guy. This team is very bad and there seems no way they will win 60 games. They have to win 53 of their last 135 games and they look challenged to do that at this point. At least us old guys have some decent memories of the O's. The young people must be so bored.

MacPhail needs to put his little buddy, Trembley and his ineffective coaching staff on notice! Then maybe someone needs to put Andy on notice that other teams don't take five or six seasons to rebuild.

Miggie, Markakis, Wieters and WIgginton can stay. Swap the rest of the position players with the Tides. Shake up their world a bit and make a little history in the process.

Or we can scan the list of recently cut players. That seems to have worked well for us .. NOT!

As for Roberts, let's stop forting around and get his back fixed.

Hughes should play at first base
Lugo for the time being play second base
Tejada should move back to shortstop
Adkins to third base

Wigginton to DH

Release Luke Scott or send to AAA
Send Montanez to AAA

Macphail just does not care about the fans.
He is the most stubborn man in the universe. Dave Trembley has a losing record managing high school, college, and minor league teams. What makes us think he is going to have a winning record ever in the majors? Everyone saying not to blame trembley needs to see the bigger picture and plus last season Trembley admitted he had a set lineup as much as three games ahead. What kind of managing is that? I love the Orioles with all my heart, but its not worth getting frustrated anymore because no matter what we say as fans, Andy Macphail is not listening to or hearing us.

The Orioles made one major mistake going into this year........too much hype. A general rule should be to under promise and over deliver. The Orioles came into this season with Big Big promises of major improvements in the win column. We are now seeing one of the worst teams in the remarkable run of losing seasons. I agree with him that these Major league players need to start hitting, but also the organization as a whole needs to come back down to earth about their expectations. I mean really, did anyone really think that this team would be any good with garret atkins as your first baseman and izturis as your shortstop?

Peter needs to spend some money!

The third pick in amateur draft this year; hoping for number one in 2011. Chill out, people. Drink some Natty Boh, and pick some crabs, take a deep breath and hold it.

Remember when the brass said that this is the year to measure the team strictly on wins and losses? But they gave no alternative, if failure occured.

So it is the fault of the fans not to question the "wins-losses" concept AT THE TIME THE STATEMENT WAS MADE. Did we all assume that such a bold statement of accountability was aself-fulfilling prophesy?

The promise SHOULD have come with a money-back guarantee....if we don't come through for you fans this year, with a respectable team, after all those re-building years of the past, we'll let you exchange your tickets for cash!

McFail has some serious issues to resolve with this team.He needs to look at some of those FA on the list, pay the league minimum and find a few hitters. There is no one in Norfolk who can help!They couldn't even make this poor club. So, here we sit dead last in AL East watching a Tampa team make the O's look so stupid. Fire Crow, Kranitz and get bordick up here. please God save this club!

If they send Adam Jones, Luke Scott, Garrett Atkins, & Nolan Reimold to AAA Norfolk, as they should, who would ever replace them??? More players only good enough to play AA ball would produce one of the worse seasons in MLB history. Which may happen anyway.

A lot of comments here make sense. A lot reflect frustrations I share.

But the most grotesque issue here is a cancer that has consumed the top of the organization.

Take a step back and think how maligned an organization must be for - not the batting coach, not the Manager, but the PRESIDENT to use the media to threaten - threaten - the professional personnel he has put in place. A last ditch effort to collec the scraps of fan loyalty less than a quarter through another season of pathetic performance? A horrendous attempt at motivating a team? A shamelessly selfish attempt to elevate himself above the misery of his organization's performance? Something equally ignorant and sad?

Whatever it is, this performance by macphail is typical of a professional organization that is closer to outright implosion that repair.

Ladies and gentlemen who remember well the orioles of success, competitiveness and hope: brace yourselves. It indeed is simply going to get worse. The "personnel decisions" for which we blame macphail, while well founded and accurate, are the same ones that put him here. We are now a historically bad organization in bad organization, in baseball terms and beyond.

Jeff,
Almost every organizational ranking I have seen puts the O's in the top 10 in terms of talent. Keith Law said this in January:
6. Baltimore Orioles
A top-10 system despite the graduations of Matt Wieters and Chris Tillman as well as several lower-tier young arms speaks volumes about the organization's turnaround under GM Andy MacPhail and scouting director Joe Jordan.

Is it not possible that some of those arms will become position players? I do not follow closely at all, but the perception is that there is real depth in the system. Is this not the case?

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: As I said to a poster earlier today, the Orioles are known to have a very pitching-heavy system. They are not deep at all in position prospects. They also haven't done a good job over the years in developing a lot of hitters in the minor leagues.


McPhail Is An Idiot Terry Crowley For Some Reason Left The Orioles As The Hitting Coach After That Now Infamous 1988 Season And Went To The Twins With Minnesota They Posted Their Worst Seasons in The Teams History Came Back To The Orioles in 1999 And The Bats Died. Side Note Minnesota Just Won Their Divison Last Year And Most Of Those In The First Decade Right After Crowley Came Back To The Os.

Oh And Who Made Crowley The Hitting Coach In Minnesota Read An Old Article Here On The Baltimore Sun To Prove I Am Right Andy McPhail The GM of The Twins At That Time Bye Also To Andy!

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Minnesota Twins general manager Andy MacPhail called Terry Crowley last November to talk with the former Baltimore Oriole about becoming Minnesota's hitting coach, Crowley was slightly skeptical.

He was content in his job as the roving hitting instructor for the Boston Red Sox and was unsure about the prospect of joining a Twins team that had finished last in the American League West standings and 12th in the league in hitting.

"But then they told me the pitching staff would be very much improved," Crowley says. "When I heard that, I lit up. I figured if I could help the hitting, and the pitching was as good as they said, we would have a pretty darn good club. I figured maybe we could surprise some people."

Does This Sound Very Familiar

You all need to take a step back and chill. I conquer, let's turn this coaching staff on its head. Trembley is the mild mannered minor league manager that norfolk needs. Crowley's only successful "project" has been Felix Pie.

There is no need to blame Andy Mcphail ffor this teams struggles. He has to try and recover a team, that has spent the last 9 years before he came in drafting and signing retreads and crapshoots. Rome wasn't built in a day, and this team certainly won't be rebuilt in one year. I say rid the world of our coaching staff, send the struggling bats to the minors to work stuff out and hold on for dear life. When the smoke clears this team has the pieces in place to have a dominate pitching staff. Just need the bats to wake up TOGETHER.

Stephanie,

Interesting post. I didn't know that history about Crowley, Twins and AM. Just reinforces what has become obvious here--Crowley is a terrible hitting coach and AM is a terrible judge of talent. Both need to go, along with Trembley, who is looking more ineffectual and helpless by the day.

However, since none of this looks likely at the moment, and to try to rescue what's left of this season, how about the following changes, in the hope of strengthening the offense:

Send Lugo (.194), Montanez (.114), and Jones (injured, and a mess at the plate) down to Norfolk. Bring up Patterson, who's hitting over .300 and has speed. Move Miggy back to SS, which he would welcome, and move Atkins to 3B, his familiar position. Use Izturis, whose hitting is even worse this year than usual, only as a defensive replacement off the bench. Play Wigginton at 2B, putting up with the occasional defensive lapse to keep his bat in every day.

1B Hughes
2B Wigginton
3B Atkins
SS Tejada
C Wieters
LF Reimold
CF Patterson
RF Markakis
DH Trade for a legit bat from
outside the O's system, NOW

This team would score more runs and the O's would win more games.

The whole team should be put on notice that they will be demoted or let go. We are 1 month into the season and look at all the players on the disabled list. Either they did not prepare for the season adequately or they lack the professionalism to play in the majors. We need to get rid of the dead weight no matter what their name is.

Lots of Crow bashing. Pretty easy to comment when you’re on the outside looking in.

Hitting coaches don’t just instruct hitting, they keep tabs on all the opposing pitchers the team faces. Breaking down tendencies, types of pitches, and overall analysis of the pitcher. A little more to than telling someone to adjust your stance or hold the bat a certain way.

They need to make sure you check the man’s resume before they hammer away at him too. He’s one of the game’s all-time top clutch hitters. Incredible since he was not in a consistent regular at-bat lineup. Also add that the position of pinch-hitter is almost non-existent in today’s game. The man has six, if I remember right, World Series rings. He was a part of the Big Red machine in Cincy, part of the O’s, and coach for the Twinkies. Find another batting coach with that resume. For that matter, find another manager with that resume. Don’t cry that he can’t convey his message to today’s players. If you don’t listen or chose not to do what he says, then whose fault is that?

If you’re a pro ball player, you got there for a reason, because you are one of the better players and someone took a chance that you will continue to get better. You’re a pro! How much help do you need. It’s all on you to get better. There are guys with all the right ability but, still need to take it to another level. Then there are guys who will always be average, but still key to a team.

The average modern day baseball player is not the same as the ones we grew up watching. Those guys were men. They worked at their craft. They busted their nuts every play. These guys today throw tantrums and never recover. Just not mentally tough. They expect the world because they can do one thing well and forget about working on everything else.

Start with Adam the "all star" Jones. What exactly has he done since the All Star game last year, except spend more time trying to look cool blowing a bubble than anything else. He still is a sucker for the pitch in the dirt and swings at it all the time. If I were an opposing manager I would fine any of my pitchers that throw him a strike until he learns to lay off pitches in the dirt. Three years now and he still hasn't so I think a month in Norfolk would do wonders for Mr All Star.

Lou Montanez? A minor league lifer, nothing more. Every chance he's had in the majors he tanked.

Reimold? Are we still going to use the bad achilles as an excuse?

Luke Scott? Pitiful; plain and simple.

Exchange Norfolk's outfield with the O's, except for Markakis and see what they can do. If they don't perform, what did we lose? MacPhail wants to send a message? Start sending with Adam the all star Jones and take it from there.

The O's need to obtain some players big bats, but no one wants to come here.
The major problem is baseball needs a salary cap.

Whoever is playing MUST hustle....run hard on every ground ball....how about stealing some bases....putting more pressure on opposing pitchers.

Many of our losses could have been overcome with more hustle and better base running.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.


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