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February 13, 2009

Orioles: Andy speaks (updated)

andyandueharaAP.jpgIf you haven't done so already, take a look at Jeff Zrebiec's Q&A with Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. Though Andy is never going to give up the farm, there are some interesting insights and confirmation of something we've been talking about for a couple of months now -- the fact that Mark Teixeira and agent Scott Boras made it clear to the Orioles early on that they weren't high on the list of teams in the running for the All-Star first baseman.

"I would say to that we made our offer, indicated that we were flexible and there was never any engagement back on their side. They never came back to us to alter the deal. As I said earlier, I'm pretty confident that they got the deal they were looking for, where they were looking for it."

MacPhail also confirmed that Teixeira and Boras never misled him or hid their intentions when he met face-to-face with them in Washington early in the process.

TV update: MASN released its TV schedules for the Orioles and Nationals today. The network continues to increase its high definition offerings and this year will present a total of 210 games in HD -- 104 regular season games for each team and two exhibition games.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:54 AM | | Comments (35)
Categories: Just baseball


I don't know why everyone continues to beat the dead Tex horse.My question is why didn't we go after Abreu for LF instead of Pie.$5 million would have been a cheap upgrade and you wouldn't be blocking Reimold down the road.Abreu is good defensively also.

Pete's reply: Would have been a great acquisition for that price, but do you really think he would choose the O's over the Angels?

He clearly never had any intention to play for the Orioles... I think he just used the hometown team as leverage. As far as I'm concerned, he is right where he belongs... in the bright lights of NYC making way too much money and losing in the ALDS.
I'm glad Andy didn't make a huge push for him... he would have thrown our rebuilding out of whack.

I don't know about you or the rest of the Orioles fan base, but to me, the Orioles are better off without Tex. Hearing what has been said about the contract negotiations, its clear that he never seriously wanted to be an Oriole. Its just sad that he said he'd love to play for his "home team" and ended up signing with the evil empire. Sometimes I ask myself what I would have decided to do in that situation. I know its easier said than done, but I'd rather play for the Orioles for $160 mill than the Yankees regardless of how much they offered me. I guess no player in MLB will ever be as classy as Cal when it comes to loyalty.

After reading the article, I must say that I came away prretty impressed with McPhail. He seems to have a game plan, especially with the pitching staff and I like the fact that he isn't going full bore on the patch-work approach which failed miserably in the past.
It's also nice to see that he isn't finger-pointing/showing sour grapes etc over the Teixeira case. I hope the debate can end soon and we move on(and realize that he never really wanted to come here AND that it may well be a blessing in disguise in the long run!).
McPhail also made it clear that he has more authority than many give him credit for and that King Peter may finally be backing off, which can only be a positive!
I look forward to more open discussions from McPhail and maybe it's because it's spring, but I feel more positive about the 'state of the O's'.

yes, cal and his private part of the clubhouse, and his private hotel away from the team and his private transportation.
don't look to close at a star,or you might not like what you see!!

Pete, Of all the questions that Jeff Z asked Andy, you settled on the most meaningless. Texera and Bor-Ass are water down the toilet (Yankees). Jeff asked all good, safe questions. No contriversy. Why didn't he ask AM if they had upped the offer to BRob instead of "How do you want to see this work out?" or "Where are the long term contract negotiations?" Those were easy to answer by not giving any kind of answer. Does everyone (the press) have to walk around on tip-toe around the brass of the O's and the Ravens?

Pete's reply: If you knew Jeff Zrebiec, you would never question how tough he is during an interview. And no, we don't walk on tiptoes with the brass. If we did, I'd still be getting my phone calls answered at the law office.

"there was never any engagement back on their side"

That says it all to me.
You have to hope that once the Os break the ice with a winning season their perception amongst FAs will improve.

Mark Texiera was in that 2003 Texas clubhouse. '04 38HRs; '05 43HRs. The HR numbers have dropped off since steroid testing.

Of course I would never have mentioned that had he become an Oriole.

As for Andy MacPhail, he is the most important signing of decade. In Andy I trust!

Tex's home team was the Yankees, not the Orioles. He may have lived in Maryland, but rooted for the Yanks.

He was a child fan of the Yanks, not the O's. He is where he always wanted to be.

I actually think that MacPhail is doing a decent job . Especially when you consider the improvement of the organization as a whole.
Now re: Tex . Maybe we are better off without him , but it's hard for a fan to disregard his comments about playing for his "home" team . I've also read some things that have led me to believe he is a borderline prima donna, like Pete . ( Just trying to see if your'e reading Pete ;)
It's too bad Daniel Cabera isn't still an Oriole . He'd "take care" of Tex for us ......wheather he meant to or not .

Give me back HTS (Home Team Sports) with Mel Proctor and John Lowenstein. HTS would show like 20 preseason games a year. The O's own MASN and they are only showing 4 games. What's up with that?

When you talk about Oriole loyalty
Do Not Forget Palmer. Maybe it was not the huge contracts offered today, but ht yankees wanted him. It was a decent offer at the time.

At first I wanted Tex here but the more I read about him the less I like him. The way he talked about going to Oriole games wearing the Evil Empire cap was just a kiss up to NYY fans. Texas Ranger people have said he never was a team leader. He gave a cop out answer recently about supporting A Rod but said he was just a rookie when A Rod played on the same Ranger team. He would have only done to the Orioles what A Rod did to the Rangers, tie up all the money and make it hard to sign other players.
Hopefully the spot light in New York will be too much for this guy to handle and he will regret the way he treated the Orioles. In the meantime boo him everytime he steps on the field in his home town.

Scott, I don't think Tex's decision was lacking class in any way. If you dedicated your entire life to being one of the best in the world at something why would you not want to then reap the benefits of playing with the most talented roster in the world and one that gives you a real chance to win a championship? It would be foolish to dedicate your entire life to something and not take that chance.

I just hate it that while a lot of normal people are struggling in this economy, Texeira has the nerve to turn down a perfectly fair $140 million offer because he got a bigger one. Now he's hated everywhere except NYC. I hate that anyone expects to get over $100 million in these hard times. But no, the Yankees don't care that even some of THEIR fans are losing their homes - they just want to win. It sickens me. And I agree with Scott, unfortunately I don't think there's anyone out there as loyal as Cal was. It's all about money. So Sabathia can stay what, half a season and since the Brewers can't compete with the damn Yankees because Milwaukee is a struggling city, he thinks he can win. And the saddest thing of all is that all the sportswriters are wrong. Money WILL buy the Yankees a championship, and they'll just get to savor the win.

Regarding John's post about Abreu instead of Pie:
Why would you want a 35 year old outfielder over a 23 year old with all the potential in the world. Sure, he may never live up to the potential, but chances are Abreu would quit on the team 1/2 way thru the year anyway. I am hoping that Pie turns into a solid major leaguer, but even if he doesn't, if he hustles and plays hard, I would rather see him play than another washed up veteran.

now that we know the real teixeira, we're better off without him. he's a weak character and a traitor.

The only reason it would would of made sense is because we do not have legit corner player in our farm system of his caliber. We would of had to give up vital draft picks for these type of freee agents. That is why we have shined away from these type of high profile players. The plan is good and we still get high draft picks. when we make the turn next year i beleive and go after that elusive 85 win mark then will have peices in place to sign some bigger names and enough depth to make that key trade we need. Until then stay on course.I still beleive we need a bid bat (Jim thome) would be nice innthe middle of the order.

Scott. TRUE very well said. There will NEVER be another Cal. Just wish some of these new guys coming up would look at what he did and what he meant and still does mean to all of us, and strive to even attempt to leave up to the legacy he left in Baltimore.

Its nice to hear confirmation that Tex was never coming here. I never thought he would and there were so many people on here saying he would be our savior.

Quite frankly as much as I would have loved to see him hit HR's here for the next decade, mortgaging the teams financial ability on one player never made any sense. Offense isn't our problem anyway and Tex can't pitch!

104 regular season games in HD? Thats it? I don't get it. It sure is a start, finally, for MASN to broadcast more HD games. Albeit, they are still a few years behind. I have a hard time watching the Orioles, let alone, watching them on standard definition on a 52" television is just beyond boring. Please, give us SOMETHING to be excited about!

The bottom line is that the Orioles need a lot of luck in avoiding injuries to their top pitching prospects and hope several of them become very solid ML starters in order to compete in the near future. They also have significant holes in the infield in the minors which aren't going to be fixed for several yrs.
I'm not sure you can say they have made any significant strides forward but at least they haven't taken steps backwards by overpaying for players past their prime. Guys like Pie essentially cost nothing (Olsen was not in demand by anyone) and may have high potential with a good minor league track record and being young.
Abreu is a solid player but one I don't think you sign unless you believe you are close to competing which isn't the case. They have a number of LH hitters in the OF/1B positions.

I'm with Scott: for the same money (truthfully, I'd be okay with $150 million) I'd rather play for the Orioles, as uncertain as the future is than with the Yankees, regardless... but then, I also didn't grow up in Maryland cheering for the Yankees. Still don't get that one.

I'll take Ripken over Mattingly any day...

Still not good enough MASN...100% !!

I'm not particularly disappointed about Tex signing elsewhere. In fact, didn't think he was a particularly good fit here to begin with. Tex is a good ballplayer, but a bit overrated. Huff had identical numbers to Tex last year, and we still landed in last place. Of course, it's far more likely that Tex will continue to put up those kind of numbers (while I believe Huff's year was more of a fluke).

That said, while Tex may produce 20-30% more than Huff this year (if Huff regresses to his mean, which is likely), there is no way that he is worth that relatively small difference. Heck, his presence didn't even help the Angels all that much after the trade last year. He would have been a fun player to watch, but that's not what I want -- I want a *team* of fun players.

Have fun in New York with the rest of the mercenaries, Tex.

If in fact the Boras camp made that comment then why not say so up front? It is water under the bridge but the O's save so much face with fans if they come out in early December and say "We inquired and their interest are not mutual". Done deal and everyone moves on. Tex said he wasn't sure he wanted to go to NY until his wife convinced him, but if reports are accurate the Yanks did not make an offer until very late. I think what we have is a whole lot of partial truths.

Pete's reply: The reason the O's left their deal on the table, I think, was in case he had a change of heart. I think Andy really wanted to sign the guy, so he kept the option open.

The players union would have reamed him if he didn't sign the with the highest bidder. The Union rules this game. He may have wanted to play in Baltimore but the unwritten rules of the game would never allow it.

I think they are better off without him at this point. Too much money for one player. I think they should stick to the road map and hope some of the moves they did make payoff.

Pete, what I want to ask Andy is if he knows any other MLB teams besides the Cubs? It seems we've just been sending them minor leaguers and, in return, getting players they were going to have to cut anyway. BTW, what did the Mariners see in Garret Olson the O's didn't?

Pete's reply: I don't know. Maybe they just didn't see him as much as the O's last year.

This team will be nothing if not interesting. I love the lineup. They have speed, can play D way better than our recent teams, and should still have a good balance of power and average in this new era of MLB.

Pitching, I know, the big ???, but I love the competition and the mix of players. I think it is possible, not necessarily probable, that the competition atmosphere will push players and give us spurts out of enough of the players that over the course of the year, our rag-tag unit might be ok. Maybe, and you never knOw's!!!

Who cares. It's a business decision. Are you going to tell me that you'd work the same job for less money with a less successful company? I don't blame him at all. I think it's a completely different story if the Orioles were contenders and had a similiarly competitive team as the Yankees. If that were the case and Tex chose the Evil Empire over the O's we'd all have something to whine about. As it is, because he's a local guy, I wish him the best unless it's against the O's.

We are better off without Tex...but yo Peter!! Since you've beeen banging us all $2 a month ( MASN ) whether we like it or not, how bout a player or 2 to help win some games

As usual the Schmuck gets it wrong. he is offering more excuses for the O's when he should be worrying about what they should be doing to make progress. At the rate everyone else in the AL East is improving the only thing the O's can be grateful for is that they can't finish worse than last place.

Pete's reply: And, as usual, Schmuck lets you voice that opinion unfiltered. Have a nice spring.

Tex ended up "where he wanted to be and with the contract he was looking for" so O's fans, let's bid him, and the mindset of today's ballplaya fair adu, and let us keep our eye on the prize, which if I believe what I'm seeing and hearing from MacPhail are the days of old. Can't hurt in this economy right? Who couldn't use a $1 dog, or $2 Natty Boh? Yeh, sure, Tex will get his share of homers and hit probably for as good or better than his career average in Yankee stadium/w that lineup, but lest we not forget, pitching and defense wins more often than not in baseball, note the most recent example: your American League East Division Champion Rays. Ooooh Yeh, the good Ohz-dayz hon! The Magic on 33rd. I know, I know the pitching isn't ready, yet weren't they saying that about the Marlins a few years back in their year of World Series Victory? Surely ,crazier things have happened, no? Who's with me besides Wild Bill Hagy?

No doubt 21st century athletes lack the fortitude and character of their predecessors. Think about the tex situation for a moment, throw out the money, what is the easiest choice? NYY/BOS hands down, title contender until retirement. It would have taken balls to come to BMore. Now that we know he doesn't have any, we should be grateful he's in NYY.


Why do you hold Reimhold in such high regard? Pro scouts don't seem to. He seems to be a AAAA player, a tweener so to speak. McPhail has had 18 months or so to evaluate him and he clearly thinks Pie, who he knows well from his Cub days, has more of an upside.

Besides Pie is young and is supposed to have a great glove. If Pie, Jones and Nick develop like they should then the Orioles will have a pretty nifty outfield for a long time.

I know Tex was never coming regardless but I still marvel at the logic of those who say a 20 million dollar difference is nothing compared to the chance to be near Severna Park. Well the last time I drove to New York it took me about 3-4 hours. I bet 20 million buys a lot of small plane or limo driver time Tex will have plenty of time in Maryland, if he wants it.

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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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