« Orioles: Ray rocked | Main | Pregame Dave (Koji and batting order updates) »

June 26, 2009

Bring on the Nats

The Nationals are supposed to be the elixir for whatever ails their opponents, but the Orioles can't take anything for granted when their designated interleague rivals come in for a three-game series that starts tonight at Camden Yards. The Orioles suddenly look helpless again. The Nats were no pushover in New York last week and they also won their weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays. They lost their most recent series to the Red Sox, but closed it out last night with a 9-3 victory.

It all depends on which Orioles team shows up, the one that swept the Phillies on the road over the weekend or the one that self-destructed in Miami. I'm going to guess that coming home -- and playing the team with the worst overall record in baseball -- should perk the Orioles right up.

More cowbell: In the meantime, if you need some cheering up, I've got a new "News Item" column posted on the Web site. Check it out here. If you still can't get enough Schmuck, I'll be cutting up on The Week in Review with Clarence Mitchell IV on WBAL(1090 AM) from noon to three.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 7:03 AM | | Comments (33)
Categories: Just baseball


Well Pete, I sure do hope you're right about the O's doing better against the Nats.
It has become painfully obvious that some O's veterans have already given up on the season and are just marking time until it's over. It's easy to assume that next year (or the next, or the next after that, or...) when the rookie phenoms, who are all either Ted Williams or Cy Young clones come up, then the Vets will suddenly start playing like seasoned Major Leaguers, the idiotic baserunning and fielding mistakes will stop, and we'll be standing in line to buy playoff tickets. I don't buy it.
This team may not be ready to compete for the top spot in the division yet, but there is enough talent on this team now that the usual second half collapse shouldn't be tolerated.
I've been very reluctant to jump on Trembley, realizing that he just doesn't have the horses to be in the playoff mix, but all the sloppy play and the many very questionable game decisions are changing my mind.
I think this team is good enough to play .500 ball at least from here on out, and if Trembley can't manage them to that level then I think it will be time to get someone else.

I would like to take a minute and talk about Trembley. I was a huge Trembley fan when I first heard him speak about no nonsense, fundamentals, etc.
However, I've seen this before and I believe the Orioles players have lost respect for him. Managers that lose control over the team usually have players that "go through the motions", hoping that management will make a change. Instead of playing hard because that is your job, they play enough so they won't appear to be a slacker and say all the things your hearing now.
There is no focus on this team that better managers would demand. I know others will write that trembley doesn't play and the players are responsible but all players play HARD for a reason. It appears to me that they have lost that reason.

I would like to take a minute and talk about Trembley. I was a huge Trembley fan when I first heard him speak about no nonsense, fundamentals, etc.
However, I've seen this before and I believe the Orioles players have lost respect for him. Managers that lose control over the team usually have players that "go through the motions", hoping that management will make a change. Instead of playing hard because that is your job, they play enough so they won't appear to be a slacker and say all the things your hearing now.
There is no focus on this team that better managers would demand. I know others will write that trembley doesn't play and the players are responsible but all players play HARD for a reason. It appears to me that they have lost that reason.


You know anything about Nick Johnson missing this series?

Also is Uehara still going to pitch Sunday?

Pete's reply: I doubt it.

everyone realizes that the orioles are hopefully going to start playing winning baseball next yr. that doesn't mean they don't have do win some games this year wihout rushing prospects. jones has hitting great when he batted 2nd. then trembley starts to flip flop him the line-up. jones goes cold. put jones in the 2 hole and leave him there. play wieters and reimold everyday. they don't need 2-3 days off a week. koji pitching his 10 innings a month is not helping the team as a starter. put him in the bullpen. mora hasn't had an extra base hit since the clinton was president. stop batting him 5th. and whomever is in charge of working with the players on base running..well that person needs to go because he either isn't getting through to the players or he has no clue..and you can't fire all the players. or start putting up traffic lights at each base.

Too bad Girardi didn't agree to come here. Girardi had the guts to sit A-Rod for poor play--in *Miami*!!!

DT barely had the nerve to sit *Adam Jones* for a few innings, and the guy has been terrible.

It's good Bergy is pitching tonight. Other than when Bergy's been pitching, well-pitched games have been as scarce as Governor Sanford on a Buenos Aires Booty Call.

fkterp--Well put.

Bring on the Nats? Careful what you wish for; also noting that on the same day you're saying bring on the Nats, the Blight For All Sun has a poll asking if the Nats are the worst team ever. On another topic, who said that Chris Ray worked on his mechanics and figured out what was wrong? Apparently Ray can get AA and AAA hitters out (just like Pie can hit AA and AAA pitching), but the Majors are another slice of "pie". Hey DT, please sit Mora down for a week and let Wigginton play.

Yeah…….. O's fans have no right at all to make fun of the Nats. Both teams are horrible right now and will probably share the same record as the season comes to an end. The whole thing is kind of funny though because if you compare the teams both share the refusal to assemble a pitching staff for the 09 season and differ in manager/GM issues. We don’t know if Acta is a decent manager due to the bad rosters he’s been given by a terrible GM that resigned over controversy. The O's have a decent GM and some talent but have a bad manager. Maybe if we merge both teams together we could be 500! After a 2 year rebuilding plan.


Do you think it would serve any purpose to change managers at this point? I have mixed feelings about it, but I am leaning towards a change to shake the team up a bit.

Also, if a change were made, who would be likely candidates? I know this is hypothetical but I think the time has come to at least start kicking it around.

Pete's reply: Can't imagine anybody has reached that point in the front office. I've got no candidate in mind, but if the Orioles decline in the second half, that kind of speculation will heat up in a hurry.

The post about changing managers was from me. My email address and name did not carry through.

Beating the Nats would be like winning a game in the NIT at this point lol.

Also look what the colorado rockies did after firing clint hurdle. This O’s team is nowhere near as good as the rocks but if there is talent on the roster shakeups can work. What is there to lose or are we trying to tank to get more draft picks?

Pete's reply: There's always a lot to lose when you fire a manager. I don't see the value in a shakeup when the team's pitching is improving and the offense is in a slump.

What does it say about the pitching staff that I am excited to see Bergesen pitching tonight, trying to end the losing streak? Without question, Bergesen is the stopper right now.

Yesterday's game was quite sad. Are the Marlins that good, or are the O's that bad? Now that their Florida vacation is over, hopefully they can go back to work and win some games. I'm dreading the Boston series because it might get ugly. Granted, I shouldn't be looking past the Nat's since they can probably sweep the O's just as easily as the Marlins did. The only consolation is the home field advantage.

this is all just part of the rollercoaster ride. trembley knows his stuff and andy knows his. whatever the particulars, it will all sort out for the best and the o's will be legit contenders by 2011.

I literally just posted my hopes for a .500 team by the All-Star Break yesterday, b/c, like I said, I'm delusional and optimistic. As long as they don't let this funk gain momentum and get psyched up to play some really good teams, it could still happen.

Anyway, I would like to hypothesize that the O's don't hit well in giant ballparks for some reason. I mean they're not really a HR hitting team, but it just seems to me that in Toronto,Oakland,Seattle, and now Florida, the bats really went quiet. Maybe the Marlins just have better pitchers than we realize. I guess it wouldn't have mattered in this game so much, but if they hit the ball earlier and made it close maybe Ray doesn't come in and do what he did.

It's kind of an excuse, but it shouldn't be. Melvin Mora really should be batting 9th at this point, or something. The last three games were hard to watch, except for the ninth inning of the first game.

Oy, Go O's!

I hope the Nats punish you O's fans like we did last night to the 45,000 Red Sox fans that filed into NatsTown. I predict within the next 5 years, we will go deeper in the playoffs much sooner and more frequently than you. At least you have that purple team to root for!

Bergesen will go out there and have a quality start tonight. Hopefully the O's can put up some runs for him.

That being said, the O's better win the first two games since they refuse to show up for series finales, and Trembley will have his D lineup in the game on Sunday to give everyone their "scheduled days off."

When Trembley was hired I was encouraged by his apparent commitment to fundamentals and "respecting the game". Now I'm not so sure. I think he needs to lay down the law regarding running out ground balls and start yanking people from games for mental screw ups.

Weaver yanked Rich Dauer from a game in his rookie year when Dauer missed a bunt sign. He yanked Doug Decinces from a game when (similar to Pie) DeCinces held the ball on a relay while a runner scored from second.

Maybe today's player can't handle that type of treatment. Or maybe player salaries limit the manager's authority, but something has to be done about bonehead plays.

Batting slumps, fielding errors and bad pitches are understandable, but baserunning blunders, throwing to the wrong base (or not throwing at all) and lack of hustle should not be tolerated.

Same old nonsense....lose a heatbreaker opening game in a series and the O's go straight downhill.

You did't need a crystal ball to predict a blowout in the final game against the Marlins.

The O's have talent, and need a swift kick in the butt...unfortunately, Tremley's boots are too small for the task.


Our offense has been in a slump for 11 seasons. 10th in runs has been a common ranking for the O's, and that's where we rank now. It's the result of an aggressive, often undisciplined approach at the plate, something we don't see from the Red Sox and Yankees, who stress working the count, forcing pitchers to throw strikes, valuing walks, and using the whole field. We need a hitting coach from a system like those.

As for baserunning, Trembley has said he wants his runners to be aggressive, which has cost us outs on the bases, and cost us games, as have the physical and mental errors. Unfortunately, he doesn't distinguish between guys who can run, and guys like Wigginton, Huff, Mora, et al., who can't. A good manager maximizes the ability of his players - Trembley doesn't.

Ok, we all know this team is inconsistent but I still have faith in them. There are 2 things that must happen with the line up...1. Sit Mora for a while and start Wigginton!! He is finally starting to hit like the player he is and at their respective places in their careers, Wigginton should be the starter. 2. Stop flip-flopping Jones and Markakis...Jones bats 2nd, Markakis 3rd..end of story. Lets go O's!!

Pete if you look at the current state of the orioles you will see that for the most part the young players have held there own. The real problem on this team is that the veteran players like brian, nick, huff, mora and yes jones even though you could still consider him one of the youngsters have been totally unrealiable. Pete i know you are a staunch supporter of dave t but i firmly believe that the players need a more respected manager with a proven track record. They can bring up all the young players that they want to , but the one factor that will always be present is this team DOESN"T HAVE A LEADER on it , They also don't have one player on this roster that has ever played on a winning team. You can't tell me that this isn't a factor . Watching this team is like getting rivered all the time when you have the best hand.

Pete's reply: It's more like the turn, actually. If they're leading in the ninth, they're okay.

Merging the Os and the Nats is the best idea. There just enough combined talent to contend AND have a winning AAA team.

All that is left is to decide whether to call them the ONs or the NOs.

blancione you hit a homerun with that last post

Unfortunately this is the type of year that a Kevin Millar type of player would have come in handy to have (keeps the locker room loose, but knows when to get serious and has been there, done that). None of our current veterans have ever been a contributor on any kind of winning team (Huff-TB, Wigginton-TB/HOU, Mora-O's, Zaun -Journeyman) so how can they be expected to lead a group of young players, when they've never been a part of a winning team themselves.

This team seems to like to bring in free agent vets every year, but they need to begin bringing in quality free agent vets from winning teams to begin a winning attitude around here. I'm not talking about big time free agents, but role players.

Until then, the O's will be the laughingstock of the AL and every year the battle of the beltways will be the battle of the two worst teams in baseball.

what is this? you all sound like the new york media! Players quitting? talk of firing Trembley? let's look at this season for what it is - a rebuilding year. personally, i'm excited to be watching all the young talent emerge. i mean come on! reimold is the most patient rookie i've ever seen at the plate, and weiters looks like he's gonna burst out of his shoes any minute!

bergy has been great, and i've honestly enjoyed watching with hope the other myriad rookie arms coming up and giving it the old college try. we're going to continue bringing up arms until there is some solidarity or at least stability in this rotation. and i'm going to continue to watch, and cheer on, every game. that's what FANS do! if you want to bitch and moan, move to NY where that attitude is status quo.

where is the loyalty? i know 11 sub .500 seasons is tough to swallow, but it's not like it's been 100 years since the WS like a couple other teams i know.

GO O's!!!

I hate the Rays for doing well last season. Because of that the O’s and small market teams like them are trying hard to mimic the success. That situation worked for the Rays in that season. You cant model a half@ss system on a whim thinking its going to work like that. The Rays have a real manager and had stockpiled draft picks it was just a perfect storm they caught the sox and yanks in a down year and pushed through. It may take them 10 years to repeat that success again even with the talent and a manger.
Northern VA/MD/DC are areas that many displaced sports fans from other areas live because the government and better economy it provides than a large part of the country. Because of that everyone already has their own favorite sports team and the locals are so angry at the local teams they end up rooting for the popular teams. I think because of this the Orioles cant and will not attract legitimate managers, big free agents, and even winners from the past to be leaders. Nobody wants to play for a train wreck team that attracts more rival fans. Sooner or later both of these teams are going to move.

Have you been watching the O’s lately?
Are you a MASN employee? Wait a sec…. Your Angelos aren’t you?!?!?!

you're right, the O's suck : (


What the O’s did over the years was exactly what GM and many other American businesses did. Little innovation scale back the product and horde every penny. Now the fanbase is redsox nation and the O's leech off the fact.

Maybe we merge the nats and o’s together and call them the parasites

Do the O's have a curse on them? We get rid of non-productive players like poson,gibbons,walker and their big contracts only to find more limited players (Koji/Pie). My son plays 10U travel ball in cf and he knows not to hold the ball in the outfield. The O's need to stop getting reclaimtion projects. If it didn't work in Japan/Chicago it a sure bet it won't work here ie D.Cabera on the Nats still stinks! Only sign quality free agents and hope your scouting dept is as good as the sox/yankees in signing quality players and we will win. Forget rule5 players the O's never signed a good one. High school player are nice people and we all wish them well but when is the last time the O's drafted someone in the 1st round from high school that panned out. They have a better percentage with college players. Stick with what you been doing right and abandon what you been doing wrong. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice and I'am a dumbass,.

Post a comment

Please enter the letter "v" in the field below:
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.

Schmuck column archive

Upload a photo of yourself or a friend wearing the new Peter Schmuck T-shirt, which is on sale at

Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to sports blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected