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May 20, 2009

Orioles: Sweeping indictment

It all comes down to Adam Eaton, who will be pitching Thursday to avert a three-game sweep at the new Yankee Stadium and, perhaps, to save his place in the Orioles starting rotation.

Doesn't look good on either count. The Orioles have run into the hottest team in baseball and gotten blown out the first two nights. Can't think of any reason why that isn't going to happen again, since Eaton will take the mound with one of the highest ERAs (7.93) of any major league starting pitcher.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:57 PM | | Comments (49)
Categories: Just baseball


I know it has been said many times--
but what is going on with Jeremy Guthrie.

He looks lost. And 2 hit batters and 3
consecutive gopher balls?

Something is wrong.

Did you see this about Cabrera in todays Sun:

Manager Manny Acta said Cabrera has never learned how to properly toe the rubber, placing his spikes on top of it instead of in front of it.

"I've been pitching that way all my life," Cabrera said. "It's wrong. You never can pitch from the top of the rubber. I've been doing it; I didn't know I was doing it. (Pitching coach Randy St. Claire) told me if I can put my feet where everybody puts it I can do better, so that's what I'm trying to do."

Really? The O's let him do this and never tried to change it? I don't get it.

...............................................................................................Pete's reply: The Orioles tried everything, including having him start with his foot just about everywhere. I vaguely remember this same situation being discussed while he was with the O's.

We all said there would be days like these coming. Just have to keep smiling and hope that this is just the climax of a very disappointing 12 seasons. Also, great point about Waters, Pete. Considering that he already has the big league experience and it doesn't appear that the Orioles need to be rushing young pitchers up to be bashed like Guthrie and Eaton, he may be the ideal choice to take another crack at the rotation during this early rough stretch.

Hey Pete,

Eaton will once again prove that the real new beginning of Orioles baseball will begin when the young pitchers arrive. Wieters will be a piece of the puzzle, but without a new rotation and a new bullpen, Wieters, Jones, and Markakis will be wasted. This staff is horrible. I'm not sure where all the necessary pitching will come from. Andy can't grow enough to replace this staff.

In the meanwhile, can the O's work on this strong defense and fundamentals we keep hearing about? I thought that was to be in place to help the young pitching. It's not happening. Right now, the team is just all around depressing.


This is a classic Reverse Lock, No? Just pulling your chain, he won't last 3 innings and should pack his bags tonight! Hey another effort taking a shot at someone elses cast off, they say one mans junk is another man's treasure, I would suggest the Washington Nationals, he would be an upgrade to Daniel Cabrera.

As the Babybirds continue landing in Baltimore, hope will as well. What we really need to see is a hungry team that makes fewer mistakes. Turning mistakes off just doesn't happen its mental and if nothing else Dave should be beating his guys up about baserunning and errors!

2011 isn't that far off, but watching the next year and 3/4 could be real exciting!

Good evening peter: wonder if you would be so kind to shed some light on the cabrerra article in today sun. I know it's old news but it seems so ridiculous to suggest mazzone wouldn't see that flaw. Also I'm a trembley fan but the more I watch the orioles the more undisiplined they seem is that a common perception. I hope your right about Eaton not only does he effect his starts but the starter before him has to go deeper into games and the starters afterwards are forced to pitch due to the six innings are bullpen are forced to pitch.Thankyou

Pete's reply: I agree about Cabrera. Everybody has tried everything. Now, Cabrera will win a couple of games and everybody will think the Nats discovered something, then he'll suddenly be right back where he started. I've seen this movie.

Thinking there is something wrong with the Orioles is admitting that they are playing inconsistently.

They are not.

They are losing because that is what they do best. They have done it better than most for 11 years.

Management accepts it. It will not change. Errors, shoddy defense, poor baserunning....

...they're barely going thru the motions. When they lose the first game in a series they quit.

...when they get behind in a game they quit.

The only place in sports where you can find less enthusiasm was in the infield during the running of the Preakness this year.

Say what you will, but these are the kind of losses and this is the type of play that gets managers fired, whether they deserve it or not.There is no excuse for what's happening right now. This is far more than an already below average team having a bit of a bad streak.
Nothing has developed but bad habits- consistent undisciplined and sloppy halfhearted effort marked by physical errors and a surprising lack of baseball sense, especially by those who should know better.
What do you think AM thinks, 40 games in? It's hard to believe he figured the play could and would be as bad as this. The Orioles remain as the laughingstock of baseball.
At this point, they deserve little or no respect, and stand as a team who's fortunes are not going to change any time soon.
As the saying goes, they gotta go up just to hit bottom.

80 wins? We can all dream.

Good evening pete. I know it's old news but I was curious if you had any further information on today sun column regarding seems obvious to me any of the orioles pitching coatchs would have tried that. Also I like Trembley but is it common perception around people closer to the game that this is an undisciplined ball club making fundamental errors that can be directly attributed to Trembley. I know he doesn't have a lot to work with but we at least need to see the game being executed properly. Not to be a pessimist but I hope the shelling Eaton encounters tommorow is a means to an end. Not only is he adversely affecting his start but the way the bullpen is used the game before and after that that's alot of stress on a five man rotation.

Pete's reply: I'm not in NY with the team, so I have no one to ask about DCab, but the concept is so simplistic that I have to believe they worked with him on that. That's like wondering why you're car won't run for seven years and never checking to see if it's out of gas.

Does Ozzie Newsome do baseball?

Two straight blowouts and now Adam Eaton, I bet Roberts, Jones, Markakis, and the rest of the lineup can't wait for tomorow's game.

Who ever said Guthrie was a number one starter? I don't even think he's one on the O's woeful staff. Poor Koji; the guy has been pitching decent and look at his record. Chris Ray? Can you say Jorge Julio? Come June I think Koji and Bergensen will be the only current pitchers still in the starting rotation. When the young arms come up, move Guthrie to the bullpen. Pretty sad when it comes down to Eaton to win one of three from the Stinkin' Yanks. Or a different vein, Todd Heap is hurt again. What else is new?

new lineup:

Brian Roberts-2B
Cesar Izturis-SS
Nick Markakis-RF
Adam Jones-CF
Melvin Mora-3B (until a new 3B comes)
Matt Wieters-C
Nolan Reimold-1B
Lou Montanez/Luke Scott-DH
Felix Pie/Lou Montanez-LF (until one assumes full responsibility)

Robert Andino/Greg Zaun/Brandon Snyder (bring him up from the minors)off the bench

New starting rotation with no specific order:
Brad Bergeson
Rich Hill
Troy Patton
Chris Tillman
David Hernandez

This can be the rotation until the others come up. Then the bullpen can be reshuffled. Guthrie may need to go there to work out his mechanics for a few weeks. Who knows, maybe he could work as a closer?

About your "pitching to contact" piece earlier, I believe that the O's entire coaching staff is completely clueless, lazy, and they don't care.
Kranitz and the pitch to contact theory is a joke. Not that I'm judging him by results, because clearly he does not "have the horses" as you would say to work with, but the whole idea is just stupid. I hate walks as much as the next guy but when you're last in the majors in just about every pitching catagory maybe you should try something else, or at least stop talking about your wonderful new plan.
Juan Samuel has got to be the worst third base coach ever. I really don't think any further explaination is necessary.
And Trembley is supposed to be the boss, but he really doesn't seem to care, have any passion, or anything to add to the equation. As a result, none of the players really seem to care enough to stop making stupid mental blunders.
They need to bring in a hard-ass old school manager. Not just to scream at the losers here now but to instill a winning attitude (and the true proper fundamentals) into the young talent coming up on the horizon.

I'm just wondering why we're holding some of our pitching prospects back. If we're going to lose anyway, wouldn't be better off giving Tillman and Arrieta major league experience? The Marlins continually seem to trot out a rotation of children and all it keeps getting them is championships. Tillman is 7-0 in AAA. Arrieta and Patton are both among the league leaders in AA in almost every category. Hernandez and Berken are rocking in Norfolk and even Waters is having success? I just don't see the benefit of pitching Eaton.

Pete's reply: I don't think they want to bring somebody up to pitch at Yankee Stadium. Tune in next week.

Pete, Since consecutive seems to be the word of the day (as in three consecutive homers served up by Guthrie, the second consecutive late inning implosion by Oriole pitching, the team's third consecutive loss, etc.), I have another consecutive feat to mention: For the second straight night, Dave Trembley failed to have a reliever warming in a timely fashion.

This time it came in the eighth when Danys Baez started getting roughed up. After the strikeout of Teixeira, it was walk-single-walk-single and a run in before Jamie Walker was summoned. Again, doesn't it make sense to have Walker start warming at the beginning of the inning, just in case Baez doesn't have it?

Trembley's has this policy of not wanting to get a reliever up and throwing unless he intends to bring them in, but that's not working and the O's are paying the price. Last night, just like Tuesday's game, it was the late inning meltdown that turned a close--possibly winnable game for the O's--into a rout.

Sure, no one can say what might have been, but with the bullpen struggling the way it has recently, it just makes sense to have guys ready to enter the game in a timely fashion, not when the it's already quickly starting to turn into a mop-up assignment.

I am not sure what is going on with Brian, but he has already had a year full of blunders on the bases and in the field, and we aren't even in June!

Would it kill the O's to DH Nick or sit him for a few games here and there? I could have sworn that Dave said this past winter that didn't want any of his players to play every game.

Pete, any reason to think that the WBC is some of the cause of Jeremy's problems or do you think that teams have seen him enough to know what he can and can't do?

Pete's reply: I think the WBC excuse doesn't fly any more. He's just having some confidence issues.

Well I can only repeat:
To put the full plan into effect, this misery is necessary. We will see some more until the trade deadline. At that time sorrifully we will see Huff and Scott moved. Baez likely with Sherril possible. I do not see anone interested in Wittington and Mora. At this point more of the cavalry will be brought up. By this time Weiters will be here.

So until then it may serve as a investment to send Ray down to get straightened out. Leave Albers there until the allstar break to get it right too. Let Eaton go NOW! I'd rather have DCab back than Eaton on the mond. He put the defense to sleep and is only batting practice for hitters.

It is going to be a 100 loss season maybe. BUT I think the "Kiddie Corp "may pull it out in Septmber to show us the future. So get the linament oil out and the bandageshandy for the bruises and cut from the misery here and coming. Hope is 2010? All Good Time must be paid up front with Pain.

Putting Waters in the rotation is a horrible idea. he's part of the stopgap mentality which will keep this team from improving. We need to keep filtering the kids in for next year. I wouldn't mind seeing Waters in the bullpen though Aparently Trembley has forgotten Bass is out there also.Don't know why he bought Baez in last night anyway,now he won't be avalible for tonight.If Eaton gets bombed tonight and Berken pitches well he should take his place in the rotation.

Pete: In retrospect, the trade for andino was horrible. I never ever liked it, and he is proving me right consistently. Look, I would have really preferred to keep Gomez as the utility guy. He has experience and is a lock to start at any position except: P, C, or CF. Andino's "defense" was why we traded for him. On top of that, if we were going to go with the Pie experiment, why couldn't we go with the Penn experiment? He couldn't have been worse than hendrickson or eaton. and if he ended up in the bullpen who cares? Palmer started his career there. I re-state my point, I didnt, still don't, never will like the trade for andino. Thoughts?

Pete's reply: I wanted Chris Gomez, too, but thought the Andino deal was a good deal at the time.

Oriole fans deserve to see major league baseball. In the division that we play in, it is okay for a rebuilding franchise with money to spend to put a club on the field that will project to only win 75 or so games as they rebuild, However, a team that projects to lose 95 is not a representative of major league baseball. The owner and management should feel obligated to stop cheating the fans. I have watched the Orioles since 1954 and I am losing interest fast. Think back to 1960 and the baby Birds and the years before the 1966 team. The entry level Orioles in 1954 were a better team to cheer for than the last 5 year's versions.

Pete, have you noticed that the Orioles minor league pitchers are being groomed to pitch a maximum of six innings? So, when they are finally promoted, is there any reeason to expect them to pitch a complete game?

Pete, on another note, do you watch the MASN post game wrap up?
Jim Hunter and Rick Dempsey have gone from cheerleaders to Angelos butt kissers on the MASN post games shows. They have no credibility when it comes to objective analysis of just how bad this team is. I feel sorry for them, and the dignity that they have relinquished. I know they are friends of yours, so plaese tell them to man up and stop groveling.

Pete's reply: I think the O's pitchers are being groomed in the minor leagues like every team's pitchers. They want them to go into the late innings, but won't work them hard in the minors. Different philosophy than the old days, but that's what is prevalent today.

Maybe I'm a softie but it is always a bit sad to me when I see a guy whose big league career is hanging by a thread, and then he proves he doesn't have the talent to stay. All those hopes and dreams of a man's life... the game is relentless and cruel. Now I know Adam Eaton has been around for plenty of time, but when he walks off the mound after getting creamed in the 4th inning or so tonight, I will be just a bit sad. Is that weird?

Pete's reply: No, it means you're an empathetic person. I hate to see guys fail like that, too, but at least Eaton goes home a very rich man. Lots of people getting laid off around this country right now with almost nothing.

Granted the Orioles are rebuilding BUT I think it is a bit unfair to put the entire future on these young guys who have never pitched in the majors. god knows I am pulling for them but I think eventually they (FO) will need to bring a front line starter in to show these young guys how to big a successful major league pitcher. Because if for some reason the young guys struggle (like most do in the beginning) I can't even imagine how long it will take to turn things around. This youth movement could be great or a disaster. Basically get these guys someone to take the pressure off of them and not Guthrie. A bonafide starter.

I never root for a loss I always root for the Orioles but I would love to see Eaton get bombed and then get fired. Bring up Waters or anyone from AAA not named Tillman and get Russ Ortiz 09 out of here.

Guthrie looks as bad as Eaton and Hendrickson. I wouldn't lament Daniel Cabrera or Garrett Olson, they are just as awful for another team. Bergesen looks good as a No.5 starter, I think we need the the front 4 now. As far as Tillman, Arrieta, Matusz and Patton ,without them there's no future with this staff. You don't want to rush them but these 4th string veteran wash ups won't make the whole year with an Era of 8.00! They just won't survive giving up 8-9 runs a game for 6 months.

Mr. Eaton might be making his last appearance for the O’s tonight. If so, I’m guessing his 2 wins won’t make the O’s hall of fame. If tonight’s a flub he will (as everyone knows) be replaced by David Hernandez, Chris Waters or David Pauley. I was thinking – just what kind of performance tonight would it take for him to keep his spot for now? I am guessing he has to go 5 innings with no more than 4 earned runs (I might have said 3 earned runs under normal circumstances - but increased it by a run since the Yanks are so hot and at home). He could give up 5 earned runs if he went 7… My prediction? I think he knows his back is against the wall and will pitch well enough to linger longer in the rotation. Definitively pitching is way off the team would make the decision too easy for the O’s – and nothing has come easy for the O’s lately. But the cavalry is coming…

Guthrie looks like he has little command of his fastball. I watched a couple of his starts and he appears to be struggling with it.
Also Eaton's last start as an oriole tonight? either that or he pitches a 3 hitter. Na what am I thinking


Any talk of breaking up the lefties, Markakis and Huff again? Mora seems comfortable lower in the order. What about switching Jones and Markakis?

Pete's reply: Couldn't tell you if there is, because I rejoin the team on Friday.

Wow, just wow. This team is playing like its September already. I expected the starters to be bad, we were all prepared for that during ST. The disturbing thing is that nothing else seems to have improved much. The bullpen is being lit up like a torch, there seems to be a critical error every game, and the offense is going to sleep in the late innings.
Generally speaking I think managers take too much blame for a failing team, and I've been a defender of Trembley's for some time, knowing what a lousy hand he has been dealt, but I'd sure like to see him do something to try and put a stop to all the sloppy play and poor fundamentals, that was supposed to be his big strength as a manager wasn't it, the focus on fundamentals?

I've kept my expectations modest for this season as we've been repeatedly told that this is a rebuilding year, but the amount of ineptitude exhibited by this team as of late is intolerable.

Only one player on this team has an excuse to be playing like Felix Pie, yet it seems like every player on this team has been having "Felix Pie moments" these days.

Cabrera is the same as dozens of pitchers who have failed to take advantage of their talents. Ben MacDonald comes to mind. The reason they are called 'prospects' is because no matter how much natural skill they possess there is no exact science to determine their big league success. I am tired of talking about this mystery wrapped in a riddle inside of a california roll with real crab. He is someone else's brain cramping player to consider.

Tonight, Eaton will go 7 innings giving up 4 ER and earning worshiping praise from Dave Trembley and a chance to flounder on the mound for 4 more starts. Orioles win 9-7.

What about Odalis Perez? He may want too much coin, but he did start Opening Day for the (g)Nats last year and is a "free" agent.

Every game is a reverse lock situation for our beloved Orioles these days.

I can hear Angelos saying," Just wait til 2014?"

I had a horrible dream last night that Sitting Bull attacked our minor league cavalry and wiped them out. What happens if these guys are not the answer. The thought makes me cringe!!

Should we be concerned that we are having several arms that are on the verge of coming up to the Bigs
Should we look into trading a few arms for some bats.

Pete's reply: No, the offense will be fine. They need pitching.

Before I go any further, I STILL think the Orioles are generally going in the right direction and doing the right thing. That is despite the fact I thought (and still think) they could have approached this season differently.

I will also say it does not matter much when (or if) they bring up some of their players -- most notably Wieters and the pitching future. As long as they get their proper work, that should help for 2010 and 2011.

But, I STILL stick with lowly win prediction for this year. I hope I am wrong. If I am right, I hope it desn't leave any lasting scars.

Now, the truth. The Sun under team stats has a month-by-month breakdown of the O's since 2001. So far, the Orioles experienced their worst March/April and are experiencing their worst May (over the last nine seasons).

Now factor in the average games under .500 for June, July, August, and Sept./Oct. over the eight year span (-4.25, -3.5, -5.25, -8.75) and "give" the Orioles a .500 record (actually -0.25 to round off evenly) for the rest of May, and the Orioles are headed to a record of 61-101 (or 40 games below .500), assuming they play all 162 games (which I didn't when making my win prediction).

What happens with Adam Eaton is the proverbial lipstick ...


Two extraneous questions that seem to be the biggest mysteries in the Warehouse.

1) Is Mike Flanagan on the payroll and in what capacity?

2) What did we ever get for Chad Bradford?

Inquiring minds still wanting to know!

Pete's reply: I've answered the Bradford question definititely many times. The Orioles got $20,000, which is the waiver price. Nothing more. They saved $4 million or so in salary. Flanny's status is still up in the air, though I believe he'll be back on MASN in some capacity and help with some pitching instruction in the organization, if he wants to remain with the team.

Hey Pete,

I know yesterday was ugly and Guthrie has been largely inept this season. There's no questioning that. But...I thought it was a real gut-check performance for Jeremy to stay in there after getting hammered and actually put up four consecutive goose eggs for his team. With Bass warming up as early as the second inning last night, it could have been a disaster for the bull pen. But, Guthrie toughed it out, got it together and actually looked pretty through 7. And now, Bass will ready to step in for tonight's bloodbath. Guthrie stepped up like a leader last night. It wasn't pretty, but I thought it was one mildly encouraging sign amidst a sea of misery and futility.

Pete's reply: I thought Jeremy was great after the three homers, but I wonder why he seems to have that kind of lapse in just about every game.

Pete, is there any chance of Jason Berken becoming one of the Orioles' next re-callsl? Or he another minor league star that has low potential in the majors?

Pete's reply: Don't know, but I never hear his name when the Orioles talk -- and whisper -- about the upcoming roster moves.

Pete -

Peavy's the 1st player to go on the block. Huff has the most "expendable" value on our roster. Prefer to keep him, but we ar rebuilding.

Any time soon or any others soon?

Pete's reply: I don't think they are shopping Huff at the moment, but that could change. If they want to be competitive next year, they might want to re-sign him if they can.

It makes no sense to keep playing Greg Zaun. Let Wieters learn while hitting 75 pts higher! As far as Zaun's in game experience, it's lost on this rotation and it seems that Wieters will know the new staff better than Greg anyway. Let's get on with it, Markakis's beard is getting gray!

Need some advice, Pete.

I'm moving to southern California at summer's end to pursue a PhD at UCLA.

1. Any good barbers in the area?
2. Best place to drink a beer and catch the O's?'
3. Will I ever get sick of 75 degrees and sunshine?

Pete's reply: I'm sure there are plenty of nice salons in West LA. I know for a fact there are plenty of good sports bars. I don't know of an Orioles bar, but I would bet there is one in the vicinity of UCLA. No, you will not get tired of the weather. You will, however, get very tired of the Bruins losing to USC in football.

I will go with Adam of Eden for the reverse lock win. Why not? (don't answer that!) I am sure AE is aware of what this game means to his career. He might pull off a decent start. It could happen...

Just win baby!


Sorry I missed the Bradford update, and the Flanny saga is truly amazing. Appreciate the updates!

I would love to see Chris Tillman up here, but I don't want the orioles rush him like they have so many other pitchers in the last 11 years like: Dcab, Lowen, John Stephens...etc

I think Brian Bass will take Eaton's spot

and they will call up Pauley or Waters as a long reliever

What am I missing, when there are better players in the minors then on the Orioles major league squad. The money excuse should be over by now. Where is Weiters and the calvary?

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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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