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December 10, 2008

Ramon redux

During the news conference yesterday to announce the deal between the Cincinnati Reds and Orioles, Reds GM Walt Jocketty used the terms "good leadership" and "good defense" to describe Ramon Hernandez, which made me wonder if he was talking about the same Ramon Hernandez that we've been watching the past couple of years.

Our Ramon lacked intensity and forgot how to block pitches in the dirt. Our Ramon fell into bad habits handling the young Orioles pitching staff and didn't hustle on the basepaths. Our Ramon didn't seem like a leader or a particularly good catcher at the end of his brief Orioles career. And, believe it or not, Jocketty acknowledged all that.

"Yeah, that was part of our report that we got from our scouts, and not from just one,'' he said. "We did notice that -- they had seen him in the past and saw him again this year and felt that there was probably some level of frustration that he was experiencing, and we talked about it. I did some research on it with other people that I know that have had him and got great reports, so we do think that a change of scenery will help him immensely."

I'm skeptical, but Andy MacPhail did not argue with that assessment during his media briefing later in the day and said Hernandez is still a quality offensive player at a position where the value of offensive production is at a premium.

"If you rank him offensively, you're going to see Ramon is in the top half,'' he said. "It's hard to make the case the Reds didn't improve their offense with Ramon."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:00 AM | | Comments (29)
Categories: Just baseball


Yeah, Ramon had one good year, gets injured, gets frustrated and sits back taking a paycheck. He will really shake-up things for the Reds, for sure - NOT!

What do you think the odds are that Ramon will have his contract for 2010 bought out by the Reds? Lets round down the decimal to a whole number and say 99%.

Good Riddance

Time to bring back Sal Fasano to provide back-up. Never quite sure why the Orioles cut him loose after 2005 in the first place since he's probably been the best back-up during this 11 year odyssey. Not sure if the Orioles have much of a shot at Zaun and probably none at Pudge, so why not?

Pitching, shortstop, 1st baseman and remove Hernandez was the top priority of the FO. They have yet to focus on our biggest problem at all! Or are these little tidbits they are throwing just more kool aid? I bet no pitchers are signed and Tex is a Yankee or Red Sox before it is all said and done. Again....because Ole Pete is all about the profit!

Great job on reporting unbiasly during these meetings. The problem with Roch is that he is now an employee of MASN and thus is nothing more then a messanger for AM and PA. Tell it like it is, not what you think we want to hear

Of course Ramon will do well this year. But after that, he'll be back to his old lazy self.

Rotsa Ruck Reds...he is a deadbeat, and certainly will not be missed.

I am confident that new Admin guy from the Reds we hired, had very good insight into these acquired players.

It looks like another smoooth MacPhail trade, and another positive step for the O's, with the possible exception of some of these bloggers who love the negative as it realtes to PA and the Birds.

It is a very good beginning for '09, and at least offensively, we should have a very good lineup.

Also the expected return of so many pitchers that "went down" with injuries, and whomever we can acquire, as well as another year for the young arms, does seem to bode well for the reconstruction.

Pete: Wait until they see Ramon almost block a runner at the plate

Other than unloading salary, we probably didn't get much out of this, but sending Ramon packing while freeing up a little cash is likely worth it. The outfielder we got doesn't sound like an upgrade over Payton, except in attitude. The middle infield prospect sounds like a Rex Hudler type--limited ability but lots of effort. Having guys like that can't hurt. 1 in 100 turn out to be David Eckstein. The third baseman sounds like another Mike Costanzo. 1 in 100 of them turn out to be Jack Cust (too bad he didn't turn out while he was here). All in all it sounds like Andy did a workmanlike job getting a reasonable return on an expendable player with baggage.

Now I hope they find a better option than Greg Zaun to keep the seat warm for Wieters. I'd rather have a guy like Quiroz play than get a weak hitter who also cannot throw anyone out. If you want someone to mentor Wieters, bring back Etch as a coach. Greg Zaun is not the answer. I see ESPN is reporting the O's are talking to Michael Barrett. I don't know how his fielding is, but I know he has hit before and he can't be worse defensively than Zaun.

This is a good deal for the club. Being able to get rid of Hernandez who has fallen out of favor with fans and the media as well as Trembley and to be able to pick up a right-handed hitting outfielder to spell Scott and who can also spell our infielders on occassion is tremendous.

Obviously this paves the way for Wieters. However, reading the trade column it seems that AM wants to wait a few weeks into the season before bringing the rookie up. Then who do we sign to start the season and be his mentor after he is called up? Would I-Rod be too expensive for this purpose? This is pretty intriguing.

Once again AM has addressed a need. Lets sign Izturis and then get some pitching.

Ok Peter worse signing: Javy Lopez or Ramon Hernandez?

My now-6th grader once enjoyed catching, until he saw Ramon's "effort" at playing the position, inspiring him to move to the outfield. His assessment: Ramon doesn't even try to run the bases, block the plate or dig out the low balls. Out of the proverbial mouth of babes....

Teixeira must happen!!! we must bring him home! This organization needs a face for marketing purposes. That is almost dare I say it more important than pitching! Good marketing brings business. Good business brings operating expenses. More operating expenses meens, retaining our home grown talent, -expanded scouting, and more money for the occasional free agent. All of that equals improved pitching! Teixeira must come home! Do not let him go pinstripe!!

Hernandez may show a little bounce, but I'm a bit skeptical. Playing for a crummy team mired in last can't be motivating. That very likely contributed to some of the attitude problem. Problem is, the Reds aren't exactly positioned to provide the incentive winning brings. They better hope the contract year is a motivator.

Getting rid of Hernandez is great,but picking up Freel tells me 2 guys who did a great job in the minors and majors this year,Salazar and Montanez,will get little or no shot here even though they are younger,cheaper versions ofFreel and Millar.Same old,same old.

I've never seen such a pathetic excuse for a major league player as Hernandez. Good riddance! Not good at calling a game, handling young pitchers, blocking balls in the dirt and steadfastly refusing to get anywhere near home plate with a runner approaching. Other than that, he was pretty good defensively. Oh, add in a don't give a s**t attirude, lack of hustle and failure to run out ground balls, and you have someone who, almost single-handedly made me stop watching Orioles games. Doctos have yet to find a cure for cancer, but the Orioles just got rid of theirs.

I agree with the sentiment on this board: It was definitely time for Hernandez to go.

It was aggravating to watch him wave his arms half-heartedly at pitches that were barely out of the strike zone, as they whizzed past him to the backstop. And pitches in the dirt? I've never seen a catcher in his crouch have so many low pitches go between his legs.

Hernandez would not have been a good example for Weiters. I hope the O's can do better than Zaun to bridge the gap until Weiters gets up to speed.

How about a one year, $5M deal for Jason Varitek to mentor Wieters?

I know that Scott Boras is looking for a Posada-esque deal for Varitek, but there's absolutely no way he's going to get it considering Varitek's average stats over the past three seasons: .238/14/55

Pudge Rodriguez could be a one year deal kind of guy as well.

The only thing is, I doubt either of these guys have any interest in serving as a mentor/backup.

Pete's reply: O's have completely nixed Varitek already. He isn't going to be satisfied to play 60 games this year and then sit at the end.

getting Mark Teixeira would be biggest boost to O's in a loooooong time. i'll look forward to seeing him play in Yankee Stadium with "Baltimore" on his chest.

We should have kept Ramon and started him at 1B. Out from behind the plate, he would have become a .300/30/100 guy in the middle of our lineup..... and a bargain compared to Tex.
We got nothing of equal value for him and now as someone already said, Montanez has competition he doesn't deserve.
Freel two players in one?
Ramon would have been two players in one.... Starting first-baseman and backup catcher. It would have saved a roster spot.
This is just a dumb deal.

Pete's reply: Did you really say "competition he doesn't deserve?" That doesn't make an ounce of sense.

Micheal Barret? Oh no, please don't even joke about that. He hasn't played well in two and a half seasons now and isn't a good clubhouse guy at all. He doesn't just get into fights with opposing players, he gets into fights with teammates over trivial stuff.
I can see Zaun signing soon and Quiroz being called back up before the season starts (if he accepts his assignment, that is) to start things off. I'd like to see Pudge in an O's uni, but he knows he's on the downslope of his career and he's going to want to sign with a team that he knows is going to win this year.

Originally posted by "Bear the Birdfan": "We should have kept Ramon and started him at 1B. Out from behind the plate, he would have become a .300/30/100 guy in the middle of our lineup..... and a bargain compared to Tex."


Ramon Hernandez's career highs in the categories you mentioned: Avg: .290 in '05; HR: 23 in '06; RBI: 91 in '06.

Ramon Hernandez's average over the past two seasons: .257/12/64.

So, as a 33-year-old, Hernandez would surpass all of his career highs and completely turn his career around after two awful seasons just by switching to first base, a position that he's played all of seven times in his big league career? One question for you: How?

And Pete: Bear said "competition he doesn't deserve". Makes a little more sense than "competitive he doesn't deserve", if only because it's grammatically correct.

Also, thanks for the reply regarding Varitek. I couldn't imagine he'd be happy in the mentor/backup role, but I hadn't heard anything about it so I wasn't sure. What do you know about Pudge?

Pete's reply: Sorry about the typo. Those 5 am radio shows are getting to me.

Ramon was overpaid and overvalued. Our expectations for him were too high. He was another example of a poor signing by O's management prior to the MacPhail era. Next should be Baez, Huff, Mora, and Walker. I don't see it happening, but if we can get them off the roster for more prospects, it will help us get to where we need to be quicker.

I like the moves MacPhail has made since he became GM. He may not do what we want and sign Tex or Burnett, but his judgment in talent and sense of direction for an Organization is unparallel. What he's doing makes perfect sense. All the overpaid free agents we signed previous to him coming here will be off the team in exchange for younger talent. Once we get the younger talent in place, then we will make a huge run at free agents. I think Peter will trust MacPhail and spend on a high priced free agent that is worth the money without overpaying.

We have the longest list of young talent in the O's Organization since I can remember. With the likes of Markakis, Weiters, Jones, J Johnson, Ray, Patton, Albers, Montanez, Tillman, Bergensen, Liz, Arrieta, Reimold, Snyder, and Matusz we have a bunch of pieces in place. If only MacPhail would trade Baez, Walker, Mora, and Huff we should be where we need to go much quicker. Add Roberts to those 4 and we will have more young talent stockpiled than ever before. We can't do much worse record wise without them right?

Ramon at 1st is what doesn't make any sense. Say what you want about Kevin Millar but at 1st base for his entire stay here if a ball got by him it wasn't because he didn't give 110% effort trying to make the play or at least knock it down and avoid the extra base awarded. Ramon at first would give the opponet a unearned runner at second base 5-6 times a game with all the errors and his lack of effort. No bodys bat could make up for the damage he would cause.
I won't even get into the adverse effect he would have on the rest of the infield who would quickly have no confidence to even attempt a throw to first that wasn't routine and would start to not attempt the hard play.

The fans who are clamoring for Teixeira should look back to the experience the Rangers had when they signed ARod away from Seattle.

The Rangers paid ARod a gazillion dollars in a 10 year deal and he put up great individual numbers for them, but, with all their money spent on one player, the rest of the team had to be composed of minimum-wage types and the team finished near the bottom of the standings despite their one superstar.

Rich teams like the Yankees and Red Sox can afford a ridiculously expensive player and still have money left to field a good team. The Orioles, especially with their miserly ownership, cannot.

So do we really want Teixiera if it means the rest of the team will be composed of has-beens, never-beens, and AA call-ups?

Also, we shouldn't kid ourselves. Teixeira will never come to Baltimore for one penny less than the absolute max that he can get, just because he's "from the area". Even if he did entertain such thoughts, his agent (who works on a percentage) would quickly set him straight.

Q: Who dresses up as a catcher, but can't move his arms or legs?

A: Ramon Hernandez

there is a baseball god who is smiling
down on the O's the trade was an
addition by subtraction...he was a
lazy, slow footed catcher who had
no arm...we are better off without him.

Anyone who thought after watching Hernandez play that he belonged on a major league ballclub doesn't know jack bout the game. He was an idiot on the field. BUM.BUM.BUM,BUM,BUM.

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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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