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April 30, 2009

Random thoughts

Woke up this morning hoping the past two days were a bad dream. Many great people -- including sports columnists Rick Maese and David Steele -- were laid off as the Sun continues to suffer the effects of this horrible economic downturn. Of course, this recession is hitting home everywhere, but it was surreal to watch Rick and Dave pack up their stuff in the press box at Camden Yards during yesterday's game and head into an uncertain future.

Lefthander Rich Hill gave up just one hit over 3 1/3 innings in his injury rehab start at Norfolk last night, but he gave up two runs. He walked a guy and surrendered a home run and that was enough to get tagged with the loss. With that kind of luck, he'll fit right in with the O's pitching staff.

The Orioles open a weekend series at Rogers Centre in Toronto tomorrow with Mark Hendrickson facing Roy Halladay in the opener on Friday night. The matchup fulfills all the requirements for a classic "reverse lock," but I can't in good conscience predict an Orioles victory. Not sure the reverse lock rule applies outside the continental United States.

The drumbeat continues to increase for the Orioles to pull the plug on the Felix Pie experiment, but I wouldn't hold your breath. Andy MacPhail said Pie would get at least a couple of months to see if he can settle into the starting lineup and become a productive and dependable player. MacPhail is a stubborn guy and he's probably going to let the thing play all the way out. In a weird sort of way, I like that about him.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 10:14 AM | | Comments (77)
Categories: Just baseball


That is extremely disappointing to hear about Mr. Maese and Mr. Steele. They were very good writers; I always enjoyed reading their columns. I wish them the best of luck and hope they end up coming back to this paper eventually.

As somebody who is attending college to become a journailst, it is both sad and scary to see two writers as professional and talented as Rick Maese and David Steele laid off. I can only hope that journalism, now or in the future, finally adapts to this new time.

Oh by the way...

The people who correct you for making a writing mistake here or there need to get a life. Those people are probably so excited when they see their chance to call you out on something because they have nothing more productive to do. Also, they damn well know that they aren't half the writer you are so they should just shut up.

I think your "True Colors" column is right on. Bloggers act shocked at how things are going, but I haven't seen anything that really surprises me (except maybe Izturis on defense). I too like that Andy is going to stick with his plan. Let Pie play at least half the year and see if he can emerge. Most think he can't and maybe they will be right, but it makes no sense to bail on it a month into the season. Let Reimold prove himself at AAA and maybe it ends up that he and not Pie is our LF of the future. At least we have two or three contenders which is more than can be said about what we have had for the last decade. As for the pitching, Eaton and Hendrickson have been no worse than expected--probably better. Bergesen made his debut earlier than expected, and, as I would have expected, has been a mixed bag. Hopefully Hill will be more than just a filler and he should be here in a couple of weeks (sending Hendrickson to the pen). Having Eaton as a fifth starter wouldn't be the end of the world while Tillman et al. gain experience in the minors. If anyone really thought we were heading for 80+ wins this year, they were kidding themselves. Relax and enjoy the big years Robers, Jones and Markakis are having. Enjoy the great effort Koji gives each time out and enjoy watching Bergesen's development as a legit starter. The fallacy underlying all the complaining posts is that we would be winning this year if something was done differently. That's just not true and, if a few of the young arms turn out to be good ML starters, this plan has a good chance to work.

I like that about him too, although I hope it doesn't lead to a counterproductive, Peter Angelos-type stubbornness. Given his track record, I'm sure it won't. We need to prove to whoever else we might bring into the organization, and whoever else we might promote, that you will have a legitimate opportunity to earn a job. I'm foaming at the mouth to see Reimold as our everyday left-fielder, but I can wait for a little while longer.

How do they decide to layoff Rick Maese?? That guy appears to be the hardest working guy in the sports department, not to mention one of the better writers. It's a shame, but I'm sure both guys will land on their feet somewhere.

that just sucks the way your mgmt treated maese and steele. laying them off at camden yards. no class at all shown.

even though this economy has taken its toll in your industry. the newspaper business was hurting long before this recession.

best of luck to rick and david.


Glad you survived this round of purges. Unfortunately, I do not foresee things improving. The owner of your paper is a business man not a journalist. I wish you luck in the future.

The only hope for the Orioles is if Canada closes its border because of swine flu fears. The extra rest would be good for the team.

I agree Andy MacPhail will give Pie at least a few more months. It's the right way to go. With the O's current pitching staff I doubt Pie's shortcomings will have much of an effect.

Hi Pete,
I am very sorry to hear about the layoffs in the sports department

It's not the sports department's fault that the "Sun" is going out of business in slow motion. The far left political theme the paper has taken over the years has been a major factor in the dwindling circultion, as has the economy and the internet. The Sun has always had first class sports coverage and frankly, that is all I read. The rest of it is garbage.

As far as the Orioles are concerned, they are simply playing bad fundamental baseball and there is no way to sugarcoat it. I am getting the feeling that Dave Trembley may have the team's attention but not their respect. At the very least the team should be able to make routine plays.

I am so sorry for Dan and Rick and the other two. It is a terrible economy, but things will get better. I am sure as good as they are, they will land on their feet quickly.

Re: the Felix Pie experiment:

1. It has become a self-fulfilling circular prophecy: There's no way Pie can be expected to perform under this sort of pressure, yet for how long can the team tolerate an automatic out in left field, especially when considering what's waiting in the wings?

2. Why is everyone so sure that Felix won't clear waivers? If he does - as .190 hitters tend to do - that would solve quite a few issues all at once, wouldn't it?

How long can they leave Pie in there with Reimold tearing it up at Norfolk?

Wow! I can't believe that...those are two very good writers, I hope they land on their feet.

Time for Weiters experiment?

pete my guess is that if you want to remain at the sunpapers you'll probably have to cover sports and sports media since ray f. is leaving the sun, local news and the middle east (which to some baltimoreans would mean israel, jordan etc and to others ohio, and michigan). daily newspapers along with horse racing and boxing are dying quickly

Pete's reply: I'll do whatever I have to do to keep you informed.

Unfortunately I think it is less the economy than it is the state of newspapers. I grew up looking forward to reading the sports and comics, especially on Sundays but unless I'm traveling I can't recall the last time I got a paper.
News, sports, etc. are just more timely on the internet. Throw in the diminishing quality of papers (due to the cutbacks) and there isn't a reason to purchase one.
Maybe the future is coupled with devices like Kindle where people might pay a small amount to get it delivered to the device.
Seems like most of the economy is having problems yet some are still gorging themselves such as the NFL. It was nice to see the Yankees get a slap in the face regarding the excessive ticket prices, wished it would happy more often.
I was going to ask why were they packing during the game until I read the link malbie provided.

Name of the game is pitching. The O's get one good game per week (and not from Guthrie). Need to get Guthrie straightened out first. Can't continue to blow seven and four run leads before the 6th inning. Bringing up Wieters now won't make a difference. Dropping Pie now won't make a difference. I suppose the people calling for dropping of Pie are the same people who were calling for the O's to drop Markakis in April 3 years ago. Hate to say it but the O's need to stick with Pie at least until mid to late May.

1 - My uncle & one of my best buddies were just laid off. the swine flu is coming

2 - Pie deserves ample opportunity....let the guy play. He's not even getting everyday AB's...PLAY HIM. Winning is not the objective right now...its evaluating talent.

3 - If the economy werent so bad, I'd bet my house we lose Friday to Halladay...chalk it up

Well said terpfan.

Even the worst managers call a player into their office to tell them they're out of a job. Someone should be held accountable for this lack of tact. This is one reason I got out of the newspaper business and sold out to The Man (and work for the government) three years ago.

OMG, laid off while reporting on a ball game? What next, Preston let go while consuming a double quarter pound cheeseburger?

Peter, Sorry about the SUN situation. That sucks. It would appear the previous O's blogger from this paper made the right move huh? Maybe they could take you on, PLEASE think it over. You or Roch should take over for Anita on the Scott & ... Show. That would be a huge upgrade.
How can a major city in this country possibly have no newspaper? I know it's the Net influence, but come on, each city should have at least one paper in it. Thomas Payne & Ben Franklin will roll over in their graves.

You stated this... Pete's reply: Montanez isn't tearing it up either. The Pie experiment will last at least another month.
Did you get this from someone in the FO, or is it your opinion? I ask bec/ in another blog, this topic is hotly debated. No time frame has been offered there for the Grand Experiment.
I for one think Pie is just Bynum light. At least Bynum could play the infield too. Pie has NO baseball instincts. Those can't be taught. I don't care about his athletic "tools", the guy is clueless on instinctual baseball. I would like to see Montanez get this trial time. he shows a much better bat & even plays D better than Pie, supposedly Pie's forte. It would appear Reimold is the new favored guy & he might be here by Aug. If so, this leaves 3 months at most & I would hope they would give Montanez some solid time out there before this time frame is up.
Pie would pass through waivers. He is hitting .160, making gaffes in the OF, who would give him a roster spot? He can go to AAA & get used to LF, if that is truly the problem. I don't guy that one either, he freezes on balls in CF too, particularly ones hit at him. He won't be a CFer here, LF is the open spot. So send him to AAA & see if he can cut it there. If he gets claimed, no real loss.

Pete's reply: The one-month estimate is mine. The club originally planned to give him until the end of June, I think, but I doubt it would last that long if he doesn't improve.

Hey Pete,
I am glad you survived the Sun's purge. I hope Rick lands on his feet he is a good writer.
Isn't it a good thing we did not trade Roberts to the Cubs last year for Pie? That would have been a horrible trade.

Sorry to hear about your colleagues. Sounds like a pretty awful way to find out. Hope things are well with you. I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

HELLO, stop wondering about Pie. Compared to Zaun he is a star!!

I have a philosophical question for the Orioles front office and owner:

If a once proud baseball team, now underachieving and comprised of the WRONG players at their disposal, continually gets swept at home, but no one is there to see or hear it. Did it actually happen?

Only way the Tribune Co. can get out of debt is to start selling ad space on their websites and to sell the Cubs. The ads alone would give the company about a few more million a year, maybe even more. Selling the Cubs should give them around $800-900 million to work with.

I feel like the Sun has done a decent job of keeping with the times, but fact of the matter is, people aren't buying newspapers anymore, so companies aren't placing as much emphasis on printed advertisements, except in magazines.

Pete's reply: Tribune Co. already sold the Cubs for about $900 million.

Gil??!! Left, right or middle, all newsmedia is suffering because no one is advertising in them. Period. Keep your disjointed, antisocial politics to yourself, unless what you speak is accurate. Even your beloved Fox outlets are suffering and they're what?? Right?? yeah.

Well, Pete if you're not going to do it I suppose I'll have to step in for you and predict a Mark Hendrickson perfect game.

Ouch! Sorry to learn about Rick and David, but I fear that newspapers as we know them are just doomed. I hope they find another venue soon. I enjoyed reading them, as I enjoy reading you Pete.

Pete's reply: Thanks very much for the kind thoughts.

A message for Felix Pie, Ty Wigginton, Dave Trembley, Andy McPhail and Peter Angelos.

Something I learned while trying to fix a golf swing with years of bad habits built into it. One of the definitions of insanity is as follows:
"Continually performing the same action over and over, while expecting a different result."
Just as a side note, insanity can also be defined as "a: extreme folly or unreasonableness b: something utterly foolish or unreasonable"
Maybe the people from Sheppard Pratt could have some productive sessions at the warehouse.

I am very disappointed on hearing the sad news. Its unfortunate that the economy is doing so bad and businesses everywhere are facing this same situation. We've taking everything for granted for too long now. I foresee the print media continue to be reduce in the future. Paper sales are down and thats what pays the bills. Even the Washington Post killed their Oriole coverage and made lots of business cuts that laid off employees.

I'm sorry for both writers and wish them the best, I really liked Rick's style, he'll really be missed.

I have to agree with Gil Jr in that the far left leanings of the Sun has been a major cause of the drop in circulation, that's the reason I stopped.

It's terrible enough to be let go when you're good at what you do. To be let go in the middle of doing it ... ugh! ... that is sad.

With some newspapers going strictly online and many others in trouble, I don't know what the solution is.

Norfolk is doing very well so the future does look bright. I see no reason to rush anyone to Baltimore, though. The Oriole record is not going to be that exciting anyway unless the organization is willing to make wholesale changes.

Those changes should have been addressed pre-spring training, so I am all for being stubborn at this stage ... even if it means 54 wins.

Very sad news about the layoffs.

As for the O's, you are right, and so is Andy--we have nothing to lose by waiting on Pie, because Reimold isn't going anywhere. But the bush league stuff gets under my skin. How does Trembley excuse the kind of bone-headed basrunning that would get a little-leaguer a tongue-lashing? If they can't win, at least the team owes the fans a decent effort, and that means, at a minimum, fundamentals.

I'm sorry for Rick and David and for Ray Frager, who provided great insight on the local sports media scene. Hopefully, all 3 will find work elsewhere soon.

Pete, looks like you're going to be a busy guy. Keep up the good work with the blog and the columns.

I know everyone is down on Pie, and for good reason, but whenever I start feeling bad I look at the HR he hit down in Texas. The kid flew around the bases for his solo shot. He's got the talent, he's got the speed and the build, and he hustles his butt off. He just needs to find his groove. That's the frustrating thing, the kid is so talented and he just can't seem to get it together. Hustle and athleticism doesn't win games, but it gives you a great base to build a player on. McP knows that, and that's why it's such a sturggle with Pie, b/c he could wind up tearing the leather off somewhere else once it clicks! We're not going anywhere, McP is right to give him as much time as possible.


Was it absolutely necessary for the Sun to humiliate Maese and Steele in this way?

I understand having people leave an office or newsroom immediately after being let go, for security and personnel reasons, but in this case, could they not have waited till the end of the game and helped these guys maintain a little dignity, instead of having to pack up and walk out in front of their peers?

Seems a little cold, especially for hard-working and respected writers such as these.

Pete's reply: Well, it wasn't quite like that. The guys had all their friends consoling them. I guess I used the pack up and walk out in a way that sounded like they were evicted. They weren't. They stayed as long as they wanted to and we all had a chance to talk. I think they probably prefered to have it happen with friends around than being escorted out of the building by a security guard.

Len. it's a real stretch to compare Pie to Markakis! Pie hasn't done much and likely won't and he's been around almost as long. MacPhail won't budge on this so we are going to see another month or 2 of Pie. I know it's not a big deal but does anyone really think the light bulb is suddenly going to go off?
The Jays must be licking thier chops to face Hendrickson and co. this weekend. I follow Toronto on a regular basis and they have a potent attack 1-thru 9. They have really been hit with injuries but through it all, keep bringing in an endless supply of arms. Their 'pen is lights out-even with Ryan out and Halladay is a true ace. I wouldn't be surprised if they hang in there all year.

I'm not a Steele or Preston fan at all,I always wondered how either one got through journalism school.The guy at MASN writing about the Raven sis terrific and insightful.Still I hate hearing about anyone losing a job. It's a horrible experience trying to find a new one.It's also a very cold world,they will leave you hanging on a hire for weeks until you call them.

Pie is a waste of time the best he'll ever be is a punch and judy hitter,he'll never provide enough pop for a corner OF. Pitchers aren't going to throw him crap to hit and he's not going to take many walks.Mcphail must not care that much about attendance if he keeps running Pie,Eaton and Hendrickson out there when there's replacements for all of them that would be a better investment of innings. Hill will be a bust also,make book on it.

PIE sucks! Get him out of here and give time to Montanez

I've got to go along with Gil Jr. & Dave Wagner - the far left slant adopted by the Sun & most newspapers for that matter is leading to the rapid demise of the newspaper business.

That being said, I'm still rooting for an Oriole renaissance.

Pete: I know first hand what being "let go feels like" ..very tough. Rick and David will need support from friends like you .. which I am certain they will get ....businesses showing no class like the Sun mgmt I am afraid is becoming the norm , no the exception. Both those guys are terrific writers and will rebound.
Oh, and you are one fine sports writer Mr.Smuck .... You are the first place I go every morning when I read "The Sun."

I can't say I'm a big fan of Steele or Maese. Steele interjected race into everything. Maese was a poor man's Preston, a writer whose job is to criticize a team. Neither will be missed. To think Eisenberg lost his job before those guys was just wrong. (let's be honest, we all know he was bought out)

RE: Felix Pie experiment...

I believe at this point Pie's appearance in the lineup has more to do with MacPhail's credibility than it does Pie's chances of putting it together. I believe that the O's know Pie's true talent now, as it is just as poor as it was at Chicago. Pie has proven himself.

But if MacPhail pulls him now, it goes down completely on MacPhail as a failed acquisition. The longer Pie plays, the more it looks like Pie's failure, and less MacPhail's. True, it will be Pie's failure whether he be pulled now or in the future. But it is how much will 'stick' to MacPhail.

MacPhail has generally made great acquisitions as Oriole's GM. So this one didn't work. Accept it and move on, Andy. It won't hurt your credibility that much. We're more concerned with how you handle Reimold. Btw, was not Pie the bluechip prospect for Chicago when MacPhail was still GM there??

It's sad, but Pie's time with Baltimore has probably sealed his career to doom.

I don't read the Sun anymore except for the Sports pages which will probably shrink now. The best sports pages in the land for the 50 or so years I've been a reader. You guys were and are tops, but the rest of the liberal rag sucks, as do the socialist editorials.

Pete,I'm glad you're still here.I really enjoy your insight.

Pete , sorry to read about the lay-offs of David and Rick . Best wishes to them both as well as their families . Glad you are still with us Pete as I enjoy your blogging .
Unfortunately , the electronic age has contributed to the downfall of the newspaper industry .

When I lived in Baltimore it was a two paper city, and the Orioles and Colts ruled their perspective sports. Ah for the "good old days." The O's haven't done the city proud for eleven years now, and this year may be the worst of all. Attendance at Camden Yards is reflecting how O's fans feel. Keep up your good job of keeping us informed!


Over the years I have exchanged a few emails with you and others on the Sun staff. Please express my heartfealt sympathy for Rick and David. My field (Major Bank with a national name) has experienced much retreat as well. It is sad to see friends and co-workers leave on terms other than their own. It has unfortunately become too common.

Best wishes to them, to you and to me as we continue to hold on in these difficult times.

Thanks for being there for us!

Pete's reply: And thanks to you and all the Sun readers for being there for us.

This is sad. I liked Rick. I sent David Steele a couple of e-mails mocking him. I much preferred the guy who now reports for WYPR (can never remember his name). Funny thing. I started to enjoy David's columns (although to the bitter end, he was WAY off base on racial issues.

There is only one solution. Newspapers must be able to charge a subscription fee online. I boycotted the NYT when they tried subscription fees a few years ago. Now I know fees are needed for newspapers to survive. I have hated the Sun for decades for billing/delivery issues.

Many millions in this country are news/sports junkies. We love to read. It's time to wake up. The first part of the internet revolution gave us a lot of free stuff. But now we see newspapers struggling to survive.

This news/sports junky would be happy to pay a few bucks each month for the online Sun, a few bucks for the online Post, for the online Times. Etc.

This isn't rocket science. What we love is going away because we don't want to pay for it.

When all the true news gatherers are gone, what will the 'recyclers' do for news?

It pains me as a fellow journalist to see what is happening to my industry and more specifically, to my hometown newspaper. I learned to do math by calculating batting average and ERA in The Sun's box scores as an 8-year-old. I learned about my world by struggling through the editorial pages as a high school student. I will continue to visit sunspot as much as I do now (probably 15-20 times a day) but without the voices of such talented columnists I fear there won't be as much compelling content. We are sliding down that slippery slope.

Pete's reply: I appreciate the kind words. We're going to try and stop that slippage, but -- pardon the strange wordplay -- it will be an uphill battle.

I do not see any major lost of Maese and less over the lost of Steele. My ONLY OBSERVATION is how did SCHUCK ever get a job with the SUN and keep it. I am sure there are explanations however he is the queen of NO KNOWLEDGE and even less UNDERSTANDING.

Pete's reply: JJ, I thought you'd never chime in. Could you at least spell my name right when you're ripping me. It's right at the top of the page.

I will say this about the Baltimore Sun, I never found a writer that I disliked. I can't say that about the other papers that I've read. The sports writers at the Sun are all different, and I've enjoyed each. In just a short time, the Toy Dept. has become one of the best blogs on the net. In fact, when you give an actual journalist the forum the write a blog, it shows us why you guys are the professionals, and people like me (a "blogger") really just suck. While I am a part time blogger, I'm a full time father, husband, and Sales Manager for a Chevy dealership. So I understand the hardships and effects our economy is having on us. I wish Mr. Maese and Steele the best of luck, and I'm thankful that I can still check in each day with you Pete.

Pete's reply: Thanks. I know it's tough for everybody out there. Rick and Dave (and all the people who were let go) are great people as well as journalists. We're all still in shock that it has come to this.

I echo all the other commenters in that I'm also sad to see all of these people let go. In addition to the sports guys, there were others at the Sun whose blogs I also follow faithfully.

I wish them all the best of luck!

You too, Pete. Thanks for keeping us informed. I'm surprised that you publish snark like jj wrote.

Pete's reply: You know what they say. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

You continually crack me up. Johnjames, you're a moron. If you hate everything and everybody in the Sun, do us a favor and stay away.
Sorry to hear about the job losses. I had my issues with Steele and his constant racial ramblings but it's never good to hear of someone losing their jobs.
I think McPhail is too professional to be just covering his tail in regards to Pie. My guess is that Pie gets another month or will be pulled if Crow indicates he isn't progressing.
The only tough part in my mind is leaving Reimold in AAA with 7 HR's already. I would think by July we'll see Reimold and Weiters on the big club. We can hold out that long.

Its a shame that the innocents in the Sports Dept have to pay for the political leanings of a terrible editorial policy. I wish the writers and all the other folks that were layed off, lots of luck Two more weeks or two more years, the " Pie experiment" is a failure. There are other young guys, with a lot more talent and potential, waiting to be called up.

Sorry to hear about the layoffs. I fear for newspapers: I think they should perhaps be run as non-profits, since they provide a vital service to the nation.

Best wishes to Steele and Maese, and all others laid off.

Watch a Ball Game, Lose Your Job
Ejected: Cringe-Worthy Layoff Tale Is No Day at the Park
ABC NEWS Business Unit
May 1, 2009

Attending baseball games for a living was a dream job for three Baltimore journalists, until they received a rude wake-up call this week. While covering a game between the Orioles and Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, the three were informed that they were being laid off.

Three Baltimore Sun journalists learned that they were losing their jobs while they were covering a baseball game for the newspaper.
(ABC News Photo Illustration)
"They got me over the phone, while I was at the Orioles-Angels game ... It's a complete bloodletting there right now," one of the journalists, sports columnist David Steele, wrote in an e-mail to colleagues, according to Journal-isms, a column published on the Web site of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

The three were among 61 who were laid off at the Baltimore Sun this week, which is owned by the Chicago-based Tribune Co., the media giant that filed for bankruptcy protection in December.

Renee Mutchnik, a spokeswoman for the The Baltimore Sun Media Group, said the newspaper decided to call the employees at the game Wednesday while layoff announcements were being made at the paper's newsroom.

"Rather than wait for their return to our offices, we felt it was important that they hear the announcement directly from their supervisor before possibly hearing from others," Mutchnik wrote in an e-mail to ABC News. "While certainly not our intent, we do regret that we may have added to the difficulty the layoffs had on these individuals."

The Baltimore Sun job cut spree isn't the only cringe-worthy layoff story in the headlines: the Wisconsin State Journal reported last month that a hospital manager at Dean Health System in Madison, Wisc., violated medical protocol by pulling a nurse out of a minor surgical procedure to tell her she'd lost her job.

"Clearly there was an error in judgment on the part of the manager conducting the layoff," said Dean Health spokesman Paul Pitas in a statement to

Such errors in judgment may be occurring more frequently as the recession continues to force companies to slash jobs.

"You hear these stories and you think, 'What terrible people are doing this firing?'" said Jenny Schade, the president of JRS Consulting, a management and marketing consulting firm in Chicago, recently told "I think what it comes down to is everyone feels so uncomfortable in this situation. No one wants to fire anybody -- they feel uncomfortable so they goof up."

But experts also say that sometimes, the bosses doing the firing aren't uncomfortable -- they're just plain mean. Some readers, it seems, agree with that, wholeheartedly. We recently asked readers to send us their worst firing stories.


Andy McPhail appears to be a sound baseball man who works well in constrained environments (ie Twins and O's - Budget). Obviously he has a plan for bringing along the youngsters slowly and I find that is fine for the pitchers, but the reason are bottom 3 hitters are the worst in all of baseball is that Matt Wieters and Nolan Riemhold are in AAA ot of that very stubborness!

I too support the McPhail plan of letting the baby bird pitchers earn their way through the system and not rush them! However where I differ is that I wouldn't have wasted 2009-2010. In that I would have acquired some decent relatively inexpensive proven 1 year starting pitchers say Mike Hampton and Brad Lohse (eached signed for $1M for 1 year). Additionally Wieters would have been in Baltimore in April and based on the Pie experiment Riemhold would be up on 1 June if Pie doesn't come around. Winning, and playing as winners does NOT just happen. Learning how to win and put teams away actually requires some learning particularly after what will be 11-13 losing seasons. Andy has done a great job, but it hasn't been without its shortfalls.

Well Pete, sorry about Maise and Steele but more food for you in press box. Time for some of those "saviors" from the minors to take a ride north. Reimold should beplugged into the 6th spot every day and "Weiters should be in the 5 hole. Mora to 7. Let the kids learn on the job, get some kid pitchers up here and lets have them play together for one year so 2010 can be a year to look forward to.

Keith Rowe. Your pitching suggestions are a stretch at best. Lohse is a journeyman at best but even at that, I doubt that he's sign with the O's for a 'mere' mill/yr..
Whatever retreads we send out there are not much worse than what we ger trolling other teams waiver wires.
MacPhail is showing his faults by hanging onto guys like Pie and in the past-Patterson. Until he sheds the Cubs connection,l I'm suspect that he's the man to turn this mess around...

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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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