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November 24, 2008

Today's featured comment

Today's featured comment comes from Ryan, who is concerned about the pace of the Orioles contract negotiations with Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis:

Ryan's take: What have you heard about the SI posting that says the reason Markakis and Roberts are not yet signed to extensions is that both of their reps claim they will not decide what they are gonna do until they see what happens in the Teixeira and Burnett situations? If that is the case, I have come to the conclusion that beat reporting for the O's, going to games, watching games, and everything else is pointless. They just will never win. Can't sign talent, can't keep talent. What's left? People on the net are freaking out because nothing has been done yet. I think they are waiting for the Rule 5 before committing to a SS, to see who is available. I wonder what the excuse will be this year. Do you think local media is way too forgiving to the O's and way too hard on the Ravens?

Pete's take: Welcome to a special episode of Mythbusters. I don't doubt that Brian Roberts would like to see some sign that the O's will be more competitive next year, but Markakis has been waiting impatiently for the Orioles to sign him long-term. I have seen nothing from his agent (Jamie Murphy) to indicate he is hesitant to sign for that reason, and I believe he wants to get something done sooner rather than later. That only makes sense, since he has three more years under reserve. I don't share your fatalism about the future of the team, but I agree that it is difficult to sit through the offseason waiting to see if anything good is going to happen. Now, as far as the local media is concerned, I don't think that the Orioles get more favorable coverage than the Ravens. I just think some commentators are looking for any sign of hope with the Orioles, because fans have suffered so long, while being more analytical about the Ravens, because they actually have a chance to do something this year. I think that's fair.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 3:11 PM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Today's featured comment


Ryan: The problem is alot of the local media is on Angelos' payroll. Roch,Anita,T Davis,everybody that writes for PressBox due to Stan Charles' buddy buddy relationship, and even some of the Sun writers who've seen the way some in town have been denied access and press credentials(WNST,B Harris at Comcast) are afraid to take the O's to task while the Ravens are extremely media friendly and the columnists and talk hosts know they can write what they want without fear of petty nonsense like the O's administer.

With that being said, when do you think they will sign Markakis? Before of after the Winter meetings.

Pete's reply: I would say after, just because the Orioles never do things quickly.

I've read a few times in your blog that Markakis is waiting to be signed to a long term contract. What is long term, and why is Markakis itching to be signed in Baltimore? He's under reserve for three more years, so I'd assume long term has to be at least double that time. If he doesn't sign, he'll make a decent sum in arbitration and then a ton more once he hits free agency. A guaranteed contract would certainly guard against injury. Is the guaranteed money the attraction?

There isn't much attractive about Baltimore baseball. Yeah, Andy MacPhail is making some small strides and the outlook is not as pathetic as the previous decade. However, the gap between the O's and baseball's good teams remains wide. Perhaps the farm system will continue to be built up, but it will takes years for it to get deep. In the meanwhile, Baltimore is not a free agent destination. History tells me that you cannot assume the organization will stick with a sound front office making good baseball decisions. Impatience and churn for churns sake is the norm. Perhaps the leopard has changed his spots (or gotten to old to care and just wants to rectify his reputation), but I won't believe it until it is done. The Orioles do not deserve any benefit of the doubt.

Pete's reply: Yes, the guaranteed money is the important thing. He hasn't made much at all yet, so going year-to-year isn't very appealing to him or his agent.

Bottom line is, I'm well past disgusted with the Orioles (wishing it were otherwise), and I'm puzzling why Markakis would look to be tied to the organization for reasons other than financial security, which I certainly understand.

Is it so bad that we have a guy in charge who takes his time? The rush decisions have ruined this team. I have no doubt that Andy will get Nick signed, but his lack of hustle, shouldn't be seen as "here goes another winter with the O's doing nothing." Everyone does things their own way and until Andy messes up, he deserves the support of the fans because his track record in the short time that he has been here, speaks for itself.

Pete, do you have a hunch that we will get AJ? I honestly believe the O's will sign him. AJ wants to play here and if the O's are close to the asking price, I think we get him. I have no doubt that if the O's signed Tex, he would put up his usual great #s, but in my opinion, AJ gives the team a 2nd starter to go along with Jeremy that can be as good of a 1-2 punch that there is in the AL. Pete, we've seen too many guys get rushed up here and too many guys put on the hot seat before they were ready so adding AJ also gives us time to develop the young pitchers, not ruin them and with the potential we have for a good BP, a chance to win a lot more games without burning the BP as well.

Pete's reply: Sorry to say, I don't think the O's will sign A.J. Too much money. Too much risk. Too little chance to win this year.

Pete- Let me ask you something. Do you think a 10 year deal is too long for Markakis? Here are my thoughts...
A-it tells him, for good or worse, you are our cornerstone of the next decade.
b- It is what Longoria got from the rays, and regardless, until you do it 2 years in a row against an updated scouting report, nothing in MLB is certain(see Rodrigo Lopez, Angel Beroa, and many others)
c- We want to reward talent with security.
Or, do you think that maybe Nick is not interested?
Anyway, whats your take?

Pete's reply: Ten years would be too long for both sides, unless the money was so ridiculous Nick couldn't pass it up. He can get rich signing for six years and have some options at that point, so I don't see him giving the O's much off a break on 10 years. Can't imagine the O's doing that anyway.

Markakis is already signed for another 3-4 years under his original contract. They are just talking about restructuring that to give him more money. He's not going anywhere people. Why should there be a hurry? Let's sign guys who are not here first and then worry about Nicky's feelings and give him more money.

Pete's reply: To be precise, Nick is under reserve and eligible for arbitration. He is tied to the team for three more years, but will be under three separate contracts if they don't sign him long-term. That means if he gets hurt, he's out of luck.

I to believe Nick will signed, just later then sooner. Of course, if its a three year deal we can be bummed.

Brian Roberts has earned the right to be picky, patient, realistic. Whatever you want to call it.

I dont think the Orioles can make a rule 5 pick since their 40 man roster is full. Can anyone confirm that for me?

Whether AJ or Tex sign here is going to take a lot of factors. AJ will require a 5 year deal but still will have to sweat out the Yankees or Red Sox.

I thought going all in on Tex was 7 years at 21.5. Now I am thinking its 8 at 22 and if the Yankees wind up with confederate money because CC, AJ and Lowe all take deals elsewhere its going to be hard to see the Yanks pass on Tex unless the Angels go balistic. I mean they have never done that before (scratch head on Torri Hunter, pause and hold breath to stifle Gary Mathews JR giggle).

Pete, I really do think that the reward of signing AJ is worth the risk. Jeremy, AJ and a journey man SP like Paul Byrd along with a duke it out spring training contest amongst Olson, Liz, Baez and D Cab for the remaining 2 spots, gives the Birds a shot at .500 and when you are at.500, who knows where you can go from there? I think it's risky to enter the season without 2 proven starters to go along with Jeremy.

Why don't the O's just give the same deal to Nick that the Jays gave to Rios? They are two of the best young outfielders in MLB.

I believe it is imperative that the O's sign Tex. He sets up the whole deal. He makes the O's serious. I believe BRob & Nick both sign and a couple of high profile SPs will come on board. Tex is the "straw that would stir this drink".

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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