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May 3, 2009

Today's random thoughts

Maybe I'm the only one that noticed, but former rodeo cowboy "Bennie "Chip" Woolley didn't seem all that excited to win the Kentucky Derby yesterday. In fact, he seemed to find all the pomp and circumstance off-putting. I hope -- for the sake of the Preakness build-up -- he was just uncomfortable on those crutches, but he really came off in his television interviews as having some kind of chip on his shoulder.

Still, you've got to like Mine That Bird coming to Baltimore in two weeks. I wonder if Calvin Borel will wear Orange and Black.

Yes, I was being a bit sarcastic yesterday when I wondered if Peter Angelos had a hand in speeding up the Felix Pie experiment. It's not like Andy MacPhail and Dave Trembley couldn't see what everybody else has been seeing the past month.

I'm headed for North Carolina today for the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Convention the next two days, which will probably cut into my participation in the continuing discussion of the Orioles first international expedition of the young season. I'll pop in a little later today. but don't know if I'll be able to watch the game. Of course, if it's anything like yesterday's, I'll be the lucky one.

I had two of the three horses in that $41,500 trifecta. It's not hard to guess which one I didn't have. While we're on the subject, I only missed that big MegaMillions jackpot by six numbers.

If you want more of my rapier-like wit, you can also take a look at my column today on the Web site.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 7:05 AM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Schmuck being Schmuck


I'll continue the concept here, but WHY does anyone think Weiters needs to be up at the majors level right now, when he can't really handle the AAA level as desired at the moment?

He is still adjusting to that, and people want him to come up here and think he'll do better. GIVE ME A BREAK, O's fans. This flock of fans has 'fail' written all over it with this type of thinking. 13 seasons of failure is due if you can't straighten out your thinking.

This has "panic button" written all over it. I know Pie hasn't been good, but, if they pull the plug now, he is not getting a chance here, just like he didn't Chicago. I am not saying he would work out in the end, but I am saying 50+ AB is not a chance. I know there are lots of bloggers who are able to decide a player's outcome in just a week or two, but I don't think it really works that way. It doesn't matter who plays LF this year, we're fininshing in last, so let's evaluate these guys in order. Pie had no options, so he has to be evaluated here. Montanez and Reimold have options, so let's continue their development in AAA (where they haven't yet proven they can hit over a full season). Pie should be given at least 200-300 AB while playing against all but tough lefties. I like Montantez, but last year he started red hot when he was called up and tailed off tremendously as the season ended. He is hitting under .200 since being promoted this year. I am not saying we have seen enough of him either, but we should be seeing him at AAA until we determine if Pie can do it.

Wooley was plenty excited when he got to the winner's circle, tossed the crutches and hugged Borel. He was just done with the broken record bit about him driving his horse to the his jalopy...squeezed in between the stove and the mattresses...ate mush and fried lard for all his meals...helped the Joads fix a flat back in Tucumcari.

Pete's reply: I hope you're right and wrong, because it's a great story in two weeks. He's going to have to tell it a few more times.

So Sarfate is ging on the DL. One of the posters gave me a bit of a hard time for questioning Trembley's assertion that his numbness was no big deal. I hope it isn't a serious issue, but as I said then, it would fit perfectly with the way this train wreck of a season ( and yes, I also know the wreck started a while ago) is going,

Not a horse racing fan myself but yesterday's winner was an interesting case to be sure. He was driven 21 hours to get to Kentucky.The jockey skipped the after parties,good for him.They're aren't sure if he's going to run in the Preakness last I heard. But how funny would it be for a gelding to win the triple crown, not much in stud fees coming in but I think they can use DNA now for producing bloodlines

I wouldn't rule big Pete out of getting involved with Pie.The O's need fans in the seats and there's a lot of diisgruntled ones over Pie..

We knew you were being sarcastic about Angelos and Pie. You know as well I as I do that he has never met Pie and doesn't know anything about him.

I got a random thought too. I'm starting to see similarities between the O's and the cast of the movie "Major League". I was all ready to give the designation of Willie Mays Hayes to Pie because of the physical resemblence, but upon further review he's got to be Pedro Cerrano.
Pie crushed a fastball in the 2nd inning for a double to left center. In the fourth he whiffs badly on 5 straight curveballs with runners on first and third with two outs.
"Straight ball, I hit it very much. Curve ball....bats are afraid."
Maybe Pie should offer Jooboo some cigars and rum so we can get a win for a change!

Dave just got tossed from the game for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire. For everyone who thinks Dave is a problem for the organization or lacks a strong persona, take a reality check. Dave is smart. He sacrificed himself so the Orioles slugger (Huff) could stay in the game. He may be too vanilla for some, but I like Dave. you can't blame him for our short comings, and if anyone doubts his passion or commitment for the team or the game of baseball, that's just plain ignorant. He's a good guy, and a class act. I just hope after his having to be in charge of the Orioles for the past few years pays off and he is rewarded with staying on as the skipper to oversee our team's transition to competence as more young talent works its way up to the team.

Bring up Reimold and some pitching and dump Pie and Sherrill who is a lousy excuse for a closer. The party is over....the guy just goes in and blows games.

The Orioles are the 30th ranking team out of 30. Now does that define what kind of job McFail is doing? Sherrill and Pie need to be moved out.

Ugh, the Sunday struggles continue.

Pete, do you know if Jim Johnson is pegged as the long-term solution for our closer or do the O's have another plan?

Pete's reply: I think it JJ cuts down on the number of hits he has been giving up, he's got a chance to be the guy.

Since this is a free-for-all blog today, I have to ask; With the recent dismissal of two legitimate and pretty talented sportswriters, and other talented writers and editors, WHY do I still see a blog and column bit about professional wrestling in the sports section? I understand these guys are tough and work out, but it's middle school entertainment. I'm not seeing the logic in these moves by the Tribune Corp. I kind of feel stupid even subscribing to a paper that gives pro wrestling so much credence. Save some money there and put a real sportswriter back to work profiling local amatuer atheletes and teams. THAT would help boost subscriptions without too much travel and overhead.

You missed a 4-3 loss to Toronto.

It looks like the Orioles will DL everybody while bringing up 30-something pitchers before the real deals emerge.

Still think my 54-win prediction was made for effect?

Pete's reply: Yes. They will win 69 games.

Nothing against Felix Pie personally, but teams always seem to think that a failed prospect in somebody else's organization will play better in their own than a guy they already have under contract. Lou Montanez had a great year in the minors in 2008, played well when called up at the end of the season, and had a good spring training. And they gave the job to Pie! Why? That's got to hurt the morale of every O's minor leaguer. They have to wonder, "What do I have to do to make this team?" And it's not like we're talking the '27 Yankees here. If we're really trying to develop young players, why not have Salazar or Reimold here instead of signing free agent Ty Wigginton? If you're going to battle the Nationals for first pick in the draft, have your best (worst) team on the field, right?

Pete's reply: Well, that's a bit cynical, but it is the one good outcome from a terrible season.

Peter. We are exhibiting all the signs of a classic free-fall....Now we are 3-13 after a promising start so what's your take on this? Do we go 3-20 or does this team at least have enough guts to try and show some moxy and win a few?
My 'concern' is that we already have mailed it in..Yes, Roberts & Markakis are locked in a over 100 Mill but Roberts looked lost against the Jays-0-11 and he may be looking 'disinterested'..
Real sad!!!!!

Man, ...the O's are steadily coming unhinged and it's a real downer! Mora 's annual hamstring pull occurring much earlier than usual; pitchers flyin' to the DL; another glut of underperforming, unhappy LF's, but with different names; this is difficult to look at. We'll be 4 or 5 years before we see a playoff game around here!!

The Pie experiment lends well to the philisophy of the ownership of the franchise.....“let ‘em eat cake”.

Do you have any inkling on how long Trembley has if the orioles perform even lower that the low expectations? Does he finish the year regardless of how they play? I really liked him at first but I have to admit his in game management is becoming very suspect. His handling of the pitching staff (surely the most difficult part of managing) has seemed quite odd and much too predictable (in a negative way).

Pete's reply: No, I don't, and I would caution people that it's pretty hard to look like a great manager with that pitching staff.

I was just groaning after reading the tag about the O's closer "postion". Last time I checked, a closer is not a "position" Why baseball decreed that a team needs a closer still escapes me after lo so many years. If the guy that pitched the last inning is still effective, leave him in there to finish it, unless he loses it in the 9th. If a pitcher can't do anything except pitch one inning in a game, he has no business being in the Majors. Ditto with a "set-up" man. Wow, I sure do long for the days of Richert, Watt, and Co.

Are we waiting for our young pitchers to have Tommy John surgery before we bring them up,if they are not ready for the big show we'll know soon enough.Lets get serious about putting a good product on the field, send Pie and Freel packing.

Peter Do you think the O's are looking at going the trade route to obtain a badly needed starter? Any idea what the market might be for a guy like Luke Scott? I'm thinking maybe a 4/5 starter.
It's easy for the O's to say just endure another losing season in '09 but they should still try to send out some semblance of a decent team. I like Scott but we have a surplus of OF's.

Pete's reply: Right now, I don't know if Luke Scott brings a fourth starter. Not a lot of teams looking to dump decent pitching.

Who would have guessed at the beginning of the season that the O's would have this many injuries without a single oblique strain?

Sherrill can be effective, but only as a lefty specialist. Check the numbers:

In 2008 lefties had a .264 OBP and .270 SLG against him. Righties were .373 and .413.

This years lefties have a .214 OBP amd .154 SLG (.368 OPS) and righties are .429 and .758 (1.183 OPS!)

The problem is clear: righties kill him. Slot him as a lefty specialist only like he was in Seattle.

Sherrill can be effective, but only as a lefty specialist. Check the numbers:

In 2008 lefties had a .264 OBP and .270 SLG against him. Righties were .373 and .413.

This years lefties have a .214 OBP amd .154 SLG (.368 OPS) and righties are .429 and .758 (1.183 OPS!)

The problem is clear: righties kill him. Slot him as a lefty specialist only like he was in Seattle.

"If we're really trying to develop young players, why not have Salazar or Reimold here instead of signing free agent Ty Wigginton?"

Wigginton is only 8 1/2 months older than Salazar who will be 31 in June.

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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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