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August 23, 2011

Pie speaks about being designated (with Adam Jones quotes)

As Felix Pie walked out of the clubhouse with his stuff, he stopped to talk for a moment about being designated for assignment by the Orioles on Tuesday.

Once thought to be the club’s left fielder of the future after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs for left-hander Garrett Olson and a minor leaguer in 2009, Pie struggled with injuries in 2010 and never could get things going in 2011, batting .220 with no homers and seven RBIs in 164 at-bats. His playing time dwindled dramatically in the past month as Nolan Reimold received the bulk of playing time in left; Pie had just 21 plate appearances in August.

“It’s a business. I know that. It’s better for me, because here I don’t play. And I know I can play every day. I showed the team I could play every day last year, and I did my job. This year, I tried to do my job, too. But it’s difficult, tough not to play,” Pie told The Baltimore Sun. “I know I am the kind of player that [if] I play every day, I’ll do better and better. I think it’s much better for me to be put on waivers and see if another team will take me.”

The Orioles have 10 days to trade, release or ask waivers on Pie.

When the left-handed-hitting Pie wasn’t in the lineup Monday against right-hander Carl Pavano despite being just one of two pure lefty hitters on the roster, it was another sign that his time here was coming to an end. Still, he said, he was surprised when he was told the news.

Pie, once considered by Baseball America to be the best player in the Cubs’ farm system, has never realized his five-tool talent in the majors, partially because he seemed handcuffed by a lack of baseball instincts. Only 26 – the same age as Adam Jones and younger than Nick Markakis and Reimold – Pie feels he still has time to meet his potential.

“Nothing is wrong with me. I am the kind of player [who needs] to play every day. That didn’t happen with me. And you put Markakis in that situation or Adam and whoever, and they’ll do the same thing because they are players that need to play every day, too,” he said. “Me, I played 85 games, but I started like [36]. I don’t got a chance. I don’t know why, what I have to do to get a chance to play every day. But that’s the business, and I have to take it.”

Popular among teammates for his intense but playful personality, Pie said he’ll miss the Orioles players and the organization that gave him a second chance.

“Those guys are my friends, and that was my team here. They gave me an opportunity in 2009, 2010 to play,” he said. “So I am going to miss them, but if another team takes me, I have to look at it that way and go play every day.”

Pie showed flashes during his Orioles career, hitting for the cycle in 2009 and beginning 2010 as the team’s hottest player before ripping a muscle in his back that cost him roughly three months of the season.

“Everybody was given an opportunity, but I think what hurt him was getting hurt [in 2010] and missing three months,” center fielder Adam Jones said. “And that moved everybody up. I just think he needs to play, and I still think he can play at this level.”

In parts of three seasons as an Oriole, Pie batted .259 with 14 homers and 67 RBIs in 704 at-bats. He had a .303 on-base percentage, a .391 slugging percentage and stole nine bases in 16 attempts.

His defense ranged from spectacular to downright unwatchable, and his base running was confounding for someone blessed with his speed.

“I have been wondering for the longest [time] who is going to play every day in the outfield, left field, especially. And I wanted to see him play every day. And I think the best opportunity for him now, and my first hope, is that somebody picks him up,” Jones said. “He’s a tremendous talent, and I think he can help out any ballclub, especially an NL ballclub, because he is a very talented player. But he needs to play. The thing is, I think everybody has seen in the last month, he’s probably had like 20 at-bats. So he needs to go play somewhere.”

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:02 PM | | Comments (15)


Did Pie basically try to compare himself to both Jones and Markakis?

Thanks for the laugh Felix, though it wasn't quite as funny as your LF play on Sunday.

Oh, and School of Roch is awesome.

Clueless on and off the field. Good luck chasing helmets in Norfolk, or Medicine Hat, or who the hell cares. As long as it's not in Baltimore.

I was a Felix Pie fan as well, I'll give him that he didn't get alot of playing time this year, but he did the end of last year and he didn't produce.

Glad to see Pie go. Pitching and defense used to be signatures of the O's. We now are so desperate that we have sacrificed defense for offensive potential, and get neither offense or defense. Even if the O's do not hit and score runs, we should be able to play sound defense. We have gotten too far away from that. If a player cannot field his position, he should not be in the majors. You can carry maybe one player such Pie, Bell, Blake, Reimold, etc. But you cannot have a good part of your roster made up of these types of players if you expect to win. They cost you far more run than they score or drive in, and sometimes it is downright embarrassing to watch.
Pie seems to be a nice guy and you can only wish him the best.

Wow! Andy MacPhail must really be on his way out if Pie's finally been DFA'd...

The important part of this move, in my opinion, is that it tells us that Andy Macphail is a lame duck and Buck Showalter is now calling the shots. I'm sure Buck cringed every time a ball was hit to left field with Pie in there. Pie played his way off of this team and Buck forced the issue. If it were up to Andy, he not only would still be on the roster but splitting playing time. A good manager has to try and put his team in a position to win, and Buck just could not count on Pie. Pie's play in the outfield Sunday closed out his Oriole career. Buck had seen enough, and it sends a message to the rest of the team going forward. If you can't perform the fundamentals you won't play here, even if you are not a perennial all star. Respect the game. Pie was clueless about what it takes to play at this level, and by listening to what he had to say after his release, he just doesn't get it. If you are not hitting go out and play defense. Pie was worse than Jeff Stone, and that is saying something.

Better Headlines (somebody had to say it);










Sorry to break it to him, but Pie will not ever be an everyday player. If he ends up in the NL, he will be a classic left-handed pinch-hitter and Sunday outfielder. Then someone will cut him next year, and we'll hear it all over again. Bottom line is he didn't earn the right to play every day.

Goofus: Felix Pie.
Gallant: Robert Andino.

He was given every chance in the world by a team with almost no other options. I know his injury was a setback for him, but 2 good months of baseball out of 3 seasons isn't enough.

I hope the best for him. He bettered himself as a teammate and took strides to becoming a better ballplayer under the mentoring of Jones and Scott.

Unfortunatley, he's a day late and a dollar short... as it stands, the O's are better off.

Is there any possibility that the Mets would want Pie and the Orioles pick up Jason Bay. I am not sure how much the Mets would pick up with regards with salary. For argument sake in this case, lets say they pick up enough salary for the Orioles. Would Jason Bay fit in here? He did devastate AL East for awhile. To me it's an interesting proposition. Any thoughts here?
Bay did sport a .323 Batting Avg and 1.056 OPS in Camden Yards. I really don't see Angle coming in and becoming a starter. Reimold hit a beautiful home run tonight. My problem with him is consistency. At least, that's the way I feel about it.

Anon, you're killing me! I love it! Maybe alitttle cheesy, but I love it.
Only problem with this move is that it should have been done atleast a month ago, if not before the All-Star break. I believed that the O's were holding on to Pie because they still thought he had some trade value over the winter. I hope that were not holding on to him because they thought he still had potential. Even if Pie could hit, he is not a very good player. You can help people improve their skills, but it is hard to help someone make better decisions.

Why is there so much celebration over Pie's release. According to all his teammates, who by the way really like him, Pie worked as hard as anyone, gave 100% of himself but was limited baseball talent-wise. Celebrating his failure is just bringing out the meanest in a person. I wish him the best and hope he can reach his dreams with another team and I assure you that his former Orioles teammmates do also.

Byrd-Man is right. We should not allow our outright despise of the way the Orioles are being run interfere with our feelings for a man who tried very hard, but honestly, just isn't good enough (even for the O's).

I showed my wife anon's terrific headline list and she immediately came up with.....


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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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