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July 28, 2009

Orioles: Final thoughts

There are a number of reasons the Orioles lost tonight, not the least of which is that they kept the Royals in another game until it finally blew up in their face. Don't tell me about Dave Trembley taking out Jason Berken after 88 pitches. Tell me about the bases being loaded in with one out in the fifth and nothing doing. Tell me about all those fruitless at-bats with runners in scoring position (though Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold obviously get a pass).

Tell me about reliever Jim Johnson giving up that game-tying home run to Willie Bloomquist, who came up to bat in the eighth averaging one home run every 216 at-bats over his career.

Oh, and your No. 9 hitter couldn't get a bunt down with a runner at first and nobody out in the 11th. When you're the No. 9 hitter who's known for your defense, that's something you're supposed to be able to do.

So, give DT a rest on the decision to pull Berken. Even in hindsight, it was the right move.

While I'm on the subject, I can't find a lot of fault with Danys Baez. He gave up one real hit after falling victim to swinging bunt that rolled about 40 feet down the first base chalk line and somehow stayed fair for a leadoff single in the 11th. John Buck delivered a two-out single to right to break the tie and keep the Orioles headed due south.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:47 PM | | Comments (90)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Pete,

You are right about Berken. Can't blame Trembley for that. I blame Trembley for keeping Huff in the lineup. I don't care they have to trade him. You put the best players that can give you a win.

I blame Trembley for bringing JJ into the game, when the guy is unreliable. I blame Trembley for not realizing that his hitting instructor is not noticing what's wrong with the hitters. I blame Trembley for not forcing the issue with base running, especially with Pie on first. I blame Trembley for losing to one of the worst teams in baseball for the second night in a rwo.

Finally, I blame Trembley for making me throw up watching his post game press conference

Slugger, so what then, we should cut JJ since apparently he's not reliable enough to bring into a close game? Get a grip.

Pete,
Why was Aubrey Huff batting 3rd in the line up tonight?
Shouldn't Nolan Reimold and Matt Weitters bat ahead of Aubrey Huff.
Why not drop Melvin Mora and Audrey Huff down in the order after Nolan Reimold and Matt Weitters?
Let me know your thoughts on the batting order tonight.
Thank you again,
Bill


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Pete's reply: I think they are soft-playing Reimold and Wieters for a reason. It's more about them than it is about Huff and Mora.

Why blame a dead man walking?

Sam,

If he gives up a home run every time he comes up with the game on the line as he has lately, and then no, you don't bring him in. He is the Felix Pie of our pitching staff.

Lets see… Os get swept by the Kansas City Royals at home then get swept by the red sox then get swept in Detroit yeah before we play the Jays Dave Trembley should be fired and should just stay in Canada in exile.

Could be worse. We could be a contending team like Boston, with the best bullpen in the AL, only to have 5 relievers give up 11 hits (Oakland has 20 hits so far, and counting) and Papelbon blows a 3 run lead in the ninth.

Feel better, now?

Pete -
I'm not sure batting Reimold 3rd or 4th rather than 5th indicates they are "soft-playing" him. In fact, he's likely to get better pitches to hit with Markakis behind him or Jones behind him. I agree they're leaving Wieters low in the order to go easy with him, but I don't think that can be said for Reimold any longer.

I agree that this is a tough loss for Baez. He actually looked really good tonight, just caught a bad break. When you can't move runners up and hit with men in scoring position game after game, you're not going to be very good.

Soria is one of the most underrated players in the game. Guy's got dominating stuff with pinpoint control. I assume he'll be wearing pinstripes somehow within a couple years.

For as bad as Huff is playing, Scott is equally if not worse. At least Huff plays the field, all Scott is asked to do is hit and he has 2 hits since the break. Pete, why do you think we are not making a package for Adrian Gonzalez? I think Arrieta, Patton, and Mickolio would be a good offer and then ship Sherrill for a young 3B. Our lineup could be

Roberts
Jones
Markakis
Gonzalez
Huff
Reimold
Scott
Wieters
Izturis

With Bergesen and Hernandez exceeding expectations, I think its worth sending a few pitching prospects the other way. What do you think?

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Pete's reply: No, I wouldn't do that. I would rather sign the next big first baseman on the free agent market.

Shrimptrawler,

You're right. It could be worse. Being a contending team like Boston with the best bullpen in the AL is kinda of scary. Uncharted territory for us. We're better off losing and down at the bottom of the AL. I'm sure we're the envy of the Redsox Nation tonight.

I don't think trading for Gonzalez is realistic, but I do think (and have thought - this isn't a "what have you done for me lately" sentiment") that Scott should be traded if he garners significant interest from a contender.

I've practically gagged every time I've seen/heard someone argue that Scott's indispensable given his production...the guy's a career .269 hitter, and in his two "full" seasons he managed averages of .255 and .257.

Scott represents a similar, though not as extreme, problem to the one now-departed Daniel Cabrera once did: the Orioles' semi-constant failure to sell high. Given the resounding success of the Bedard trade, I can't understand why they haven't been more aggressive in moving an inexpensive, 31 year-old DH in the midst of a career year.

Yes, maybe I answered my own question (i.e. other teams recognize Scott's flash-in-the-pan qualities), but front office reticence does seem to have played a roll in his sticking around...

7 A.M. bunting practice for Izturris. And Trembley to throw him the ball. A team that can't execute a sacrifice, the most fundamental fundamental in baseball, doesn't deserve to win.

peter you sure are right especially the fith inning. b rob was up. he swung at a low outside pitch that was a ball and pulled it to first base.those types of situations you either don't swing or else try to go with the pitch instead of pulling it. they need a real jolt in a attitude adjustment. fire and brimstone generally doesn't work in times like this,but they most definatley need something to wake them up. i am beginning to wonder if jim johnson is becoming a danys biaz giving up home runs in critical situations. i don't think i would like to show myself when i lose to the worst team in the american league

Baez did forget to back-up Weiters. It's those kind of mistakes that make this team what it is. The runner ended up at third, but it that kind of mistake this team constantly makes.

Mike,
No Way we trade any pitching prospects let alone 2 of our top 4. Especially not for a guy hitting .249 no matter how many homeruns he has. Pitching will bring this club back and we have to maintain all the depth we have.
Anyways, DT's decision with Berken was a good one to give the kid something positive to work with.

Grant,

I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Scott. I was scalded one of these posts a couple of weeks ago when I said that the Tejada trade in hindsight was a bad trade considering none of the players we got has done anything, and Houston got an 6 time AllStar. People we're going as far as saying that Scott is better than Tejada.

I don't want to start that argument again, but I agree that Scott is guy that will give you a good hitting streak or two and go in hibernation for the rest of the season. His fielding is average at best.

When you try to rebuild you're looking for consistency. You won't get that from Scott, Huff or Mora. I have the feeling Huff and Mora won't be here next season anyway, but Scott should go as well.

Not only didn't Baez back up home plate but he didn't even give the same runner a look when he was on first base which allowed him to steal second and get in scoring position in the first place. When you got half your lineup not hitting and runs are at a premium, this is the kind of stuff that losing ballclubs do more often than not. Shoot themsleves in the foot. Hasn't Baez ever pitched in a game before. What the hell was he doing out there tonight?

Pete, I know we disagree on whether or not, the O's should trade George. I know you aren't saying to give him away, and I completely agree with you in the fact, he is the most valuable trading chip (maybe the only one), but he is locked up for 2-3 more years and George, overcame adversity to show that he wasn't a one hit wonder. He should have been a two time all star, but regardless, the way he pitches, doesn't seem to cause the injuries that hurt the flame throwers like BJ Ryan. I truly believe that it's so demoralizing to the teams' spirits to be so close and have the game blown, especially with a young staff. I don't think JJ is a closer and I feel that the league has caught on to what JJ is going to deliver.

At the end of the day, neither of us will make the call, but with Perez and Ray, both hurt, I don't feel too good about giving the reigns to JJ, with no one behind him to step in if he fails. I still feel that you stockpile these young pitchers and use one of them to go out and get a 1B or 3B or sign a vet in free agency, but there aren't a hell of a lot of really good closers out there and the great ones, they aren't coming to Baltimore if the money is the same.

BTW, worst play of the game, Cesar's failed bunt attempt. The guy is a National Leaguer and he can't bunt?

Sorry, but I find more fault with a leadoff man who REFUSES to bunt than a number 9 guy who doesn't get one down.

This team does not bunt enough for the talent they have. They have (fairly) smart hitters and decent speed...they should be playing a bit more small ball yet they seem to rely solely on power that is spotty at best.

Perhaps Izturus would be a better bunter if it was more a part of the team philosophy. When your manager doesn't use it, and you see your leadoff man being selfish all the time and going up there swinging in obvious bunt situations...that's more of a concern to me.

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Pete's reply: Chris, the leadoff guy doesn't bunt because he's the best doubles guy in the major leagues. I like doubles better than bunts, so I'm not going to criticize him heavily for that. Have you noticed that when the Orioles score one run at a time (which is what you're doing when you're a big bunting team) they almost always lose?

Birdland,

The only thing I'll say in re: George is that closers are only valuable to teams that can compete for playoff spots. Free agency these days is a crap-shoot, and free agents have already demonstrated that they're much more willing to take huge offers from established teams than they are to take arguably "market" offers from the Orioles (in other words, you can't rely on free agency to cure this team's positional-player ills).

Yes, George is good, and yes, he'd be difficult to replace, BUT if the O's can get legitimate ML or potential-ML return(s) for him, they've gotta pull the trigger. It just doesn't make any sense for him to be sitting in the O's bullpen at-present...or even next year at the rate this team is going...

Ok, first thing -- Cesar Izturis not being able to lay down a bunt (TWICE) is absolutely unacceptable. An all glove, no hit shortstop is expected to be able to a) lay down a sacrifice bunt and b) hit a ball to the right side when necessary. But Izturis' form is horrible -- he comes up on the ball. Losing baseball, simply put.

Now, I was pleased with Berken. My basic philosophy is that a pitcher should stay in until he is ineffective (I know I sound old-school, but I'm 18). Berken was mowing them down after the first inning, but I understand why Trembley took him out.

Berken pitches with guts, which allows him to work out of some jams and minimize the damage most of the time. He's got heart. You can't teach that. That will help him in the future.

But the blame game tonight has to be the lack of clutch hitting. Jim Johnson should not have been in the position to tie the game with a solo homer. Just one more hit with men in scoring position -- and there were plenty to be had -- and it's a three-run lead Johnson is protecting.

As long as everyone is addressing the Luke Scott issue, I really don't have a problem with him being the everyday DH. Yes, he's streaky. That was his rap coming into Baltimore and it has stayed that way.

And yes, I realize that half of his 18 homers came within a week of each other (for the record, I have never seen anyone as hot as he was the week that Wieters was called up).

But what better options are out there?

I am not ready to Tar N feather JJ just yet , but maybe in a game or 2 if he keeps it up we will have too look at alternative setup guys. The O's Are running out of time I have been following them almost all year but if they keep losing I will have to let the team go till next year. Thankfully Tillman is starting tomorrow, should keep me watching through the NFL preseason atleast. unless matzus or Arrieta comes up in September.

i liked Postgame Lament better. Lots to lament. Go O's! 2012 will be here before you know it....

Dave Jauss will the O's interim manager by mid-August.


Anyone criticizing Jones is crazy. He is almost 24, in his 2nd season and has improved in virtually every batting stat (except triples). Every hitter has their flaws but if Jones were the biggest problem on this team they would be winning 90+ games.

Complaining about DT taking out Berken is stupid and just lame second guessing. Complain about DT regarding the team lack of improve over his reign in: hustle, base running, situational hitting, fielding, lineups, sticking with and in my opinion bending over backwards towards the veterans (none of which have won anything) are all valid issues.

Personally I think he is gone at the end of the year not for the losing record but for many of the items I listed above. To me the most glaring issue is that he doesn't seem to have anyone's respect. He went too far in trying to gain the veteran's acceptance that now they simply ignore him since he never does anything about it.

Top managers or coaches don't win all the time or right away but they generate an air of respect from the players and there is a certain atmosphere around them.

I think that JJ and JG and DB have the same problem. Their best stuff is a fastball, but if you can't locate the ball, it gets crushed. So either they need to work on locating, or they need to learn how to hide their pitches better.

1. Lay off Luke Scott! He is a streaky hitter who carried the team through May and June.

2. Lay off Izturis. As the Broadcast Boys pointed out, he has been a boon as a SS over last year, and his bat has not been as bad as expected.

3. Lay off Dave T. He will be laid off soon enough.

4. Pardon my antimetabole (does anyone else out there know what that means?)

I didn't catch today's game. But I really do not understand why Huff was batting 3rd.
Reimold, Markakis and Jones have all been hitting well enough to cover the 2-4 spots until Huff comes out of his horrid slump.
I understand Reimold is batting fifth to reduce the pressure on him, but he has handled it well and it couldn't hurt him or the team that bad if they tested him out in a higher spot for a week or so.
Also this terrible start to the 2nd half and losing to the Royals in this fashion can not possibly be well for Dave Trembley's future as manager.
I think Trembley should finish out the season, but not if they continue to play like this.
Tillman can't do too bad against the Royals. Unfortunately, he up against Greinke.

Pete
So much to say and so little time to say it! Where do we start, FUNDAMENTALS, failing to execute bunts, not sacrificing your leadoff hitter (NO ONE should be excused from bunting). Who made up that line-up, Huff shouldn't be batting hight than 7th! How bout some energy, are we still paying these guys because they seem to be going through the motions.

If I was AM, they would all be told to get their respective heads out of the @$$e$ and they are all playing for the right to brought back. Far too much complacency for a horrible team!

You can't blame Trembley for taking outBerkens after 88 pitches ?Well I can and do,I predictedthey would lose 3 out of 4 to the Royals and I'm looking good so far.Trembley has no idea what he's doing,as I've said for a year and a half.The hineymoon is long over.Baez might have been a little unlucky on the hit,but he never even looked at first base on the steal.And tell me again Pete how good Jimmy Johnson is right now?Between him and Baez look how many runs they have given up in their last 20 appearances.I think it will scare you,it does me.Then I read your article about being a little skeptical,lol.A little skeptical,try a lot,another off season will come and go and we'll be fortunate to have Melvin Mora and Huff at best.NOBODY wants to come here.We have a decent outfield,could be one of the best in future years,a very good catcher who is starting to swing the bat like he's capable of,an adequate second baseman who still dogs it too much for my liking,2 good starters,onw average starter,3 decent guys out of the pen,and a hirrible coaching staff.That pretty much sums it up.


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Pete's reply: Burt, I respect your opinion, but stop with the "I predicted" stuff. You predict they'll lose every series, and since they are a last-place team, you're going to be right more than wrong. That doesn't exactly qualify you to compete with Kreskin.

Boy, one thing about playing on this team - you had better never, ever go into a slump or the fans will put out a hit on you.

Huff is in a slump. He is not torturing dogs. Relax and let him work his way out of it in relative peace.

Andino is a team player: Izturis is selfish (A month for the surgery?). The SS job was given to him after Andino showed he could play. That is not right. Heart is missing on this team: Have they quit on the manager?

It's really interesting that the Nats are getting better and the Orioles keep getting worse. Actually it's incomprehensible, since the O's have a lot more good young players than the Nats and the O's should be the improving team.

I'm thinking, what could possibly be the reason? But, wait a second!! Didn't the Nats replace their manager recently? No, that couldn't possibly have anything to do with it....

Okay, I just spent the last half hour sifting through the comments being left on your blog, Pete.

I will have to just lay it out for all to consider: Some of you people ARE ABSOLUTELY ILLITERATE. Where did you learn to write? Clown college? I've never seen more butchered, fractured English in my life. Not all of you, of course. But if anyone reading my post takes the time to go back and read some of the drivel and dreck left behind like so many mounds of goat dung, you'd catch my drift.

It's hard to take you seriously WHEN YOU CAN'T SPELL, CAN'T WRITE IN COMPLETE SENTENCES, AND DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUNCTUATE "SEE SPOT RUN. RUN, SPOT, RUN!"

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead and call me out for being a squirrel about GRAMMAR. But WAY too many posts on this blog are pathetic.


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Pete's reply: Chris, I can't totally agree with you. I've taught writing in college and, on average, the grammar and spellilng here is pretty good compared to the average state college student.

the guy with the line lay off trembley he'll be laid off soon... best line of the week, too soon to start trading young pitchers. most guys can't bunt which is sad. watch how guys wrap their fingers completely around the bat and expose their fingers to the ball when they try to bunt. today's players have no idea how to bunt, how to slide properly and most have no idea how to move a man up by simply hitting a ground ball to 2nd when there is a man on 2nd. most pitchers don't know how to follow through the right way so they are squared up to the plate after releasing the ball. and the Orioles need to find a manager with good baseball instincts. my question will trembley sit wieters tonight after the rookie gets 4 hits last night. .it's the kind of thing he does.

I agree about Berken--good job for him, and I agree with DT's decision to pull him. I fault the O's bats--can't get a run with bases loaded and 1 out?!?! Against the Royals?!?!? Really?!??? Sigh--two games to go in this series. Hope we at least break even.

Gotta' love the fans who say that trading Arietta, Patton, and Mickolio for Gonzalez would be a good offer. *L* Ask the Padres what they feel about the offer. Why not just send Huff, Mora, and Scott to the RedSox for Beckett, Papelbon and Pedroia? Gee, that sounds like a good trade too. It's ludicrous blaming a manager for the failings of Huff, Mora and Scott. The fans who scream about why does DT keep them in the lineup are the same ones who scream when he plays Zaun, Andino and Pie. Go figure. Every single person who KNOWS BASEBALL knew the O's were going to be bad this year and end up in last place, yet that doesn't stop the eejits out there from blaming Trembley for everything. Look at the change in the roster since MacPhail has taken over. Reimold, Wieters, Jones, Hernandez, Bergesen, Tillman on the way. Until the team can get viable corner infielders they are going to struggle. Mora and Huff are NOT, repeat, NOT the future of the Orioles. Relax.

Well looks like DT can watch more ND foorball this offseason!

Is it just me or did anyone else get the feeling last night from the moment Billy Butler hit his 2-run homer that the Orioles had absolutely no shot at winning the game.

Let's face it. Dave Trembley is not the the mastermind behind the Orioles problems, but as much as I like him, he has to be held accountable.

This team cannot bunt. They play horrid fundamental baseball, and everytime they are faced with an offensive situation where they can potentially blow the game wide open, they fold like a cheap tent. Someone needs to pay the price, and unfortunately it has to be Trembley.

He is "The Enabler".

Chris you're a squirrel. And I'm up at this hour because I can't sleep, clowns will eat me if I do. How's that for grammar? I was going to call you a name but I would disrespect that name of the head blogger here, you get it? Stick to baseball.

Rich Hill apologized for his lack of production. Where is the apology from Mora and Huff?

The O’s need to send out a letter to the paying fans about the bad season like the Nationals did instead of blasting fans with MASN propaganda of an unrealistic future.
____________________________
To Fans of the Washington Nationals,

No one is more dissatisfied in the first half of the 2009 Washington Nationals season than we are. Like you, we had hoped that some of our younger players would have matured faster and that the addition of some of our new veterans would have significantly improved our record from a season ago. Our hope was that solid club leadership would emerge on and off the field and that some intangible combinations would begin to click resulting in many winning streaks.

We definitely do see significant pieces materializing for the future, and there have been many close, exciting games and optimistic bright spots: Strong outings by John Lannan, the home run and RBI production of Adam Dunn, the All-Star selection and 30-game hitting streak of Ryan Zimmerman and the recent addition of speedster Nyjer Morgan. Much of the season, however, has been defined by weak relief pitching, poor defense, and youthful inconsistency. We have tried to work through this period with patience and focus but now we are faced with mounting losses which are beginning to take a toll on our entire roster. Clearly, some changes are required as we prepare for the second half of the 2009 season and, more importantly, build for a competitive future.

Today, we announced that manager Manny Acta is being replaced on an interim basis by Jim Riggleman, veteran manager, and currently the Nats bench coach. Both the Ownership and the entire Washington Nationals organization have the highest respect for Manny Acta and the role he has played in the short history of the Nationals. However, it is our belief that a fresh attitude and approach is necessary as we set out to improve our performance for the remainder of the year. We want to send a strong message to our clubhouse and our fans that the status quo is unacceptable. We believe that more is expected of everyone in the organization.

Baseball operations will be reevaluating all our players and our options for improvement over the next several months. We hope to sign our 2009 draft choices by the August deadline. We hope these new additions will join an already exciting Nationals youth movement headed by the likes of Lannan, Jesus Flores, Alberto Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Craig Stammen on our current roster, and the likes of promising Minor League stars like Chris Marrero, Michael Burgess, Danny Espinosa, Derek Norris and Drew Storen, among many others. But, we also will be determining the viability of trades or roster upgrades that can be made without doing damage to the farm system or the developing talent we expect to blossom within the next two years.

When we bought the Washington Nationals in the middle of the 2006 season - just under three years ago - we committed to a patient, long term approach, building a strong farm system and core foundation that would deliver a perennial and consistent contender; to provide a second-to-none family entertainment value at Nationals Park; and to investment and involvement in the metropolitan Washington, DC community. Today we remain steadfastly committed to each component of that mission. We are proud to represent the National Pastime in the Nation's Capital, and we are proud to call the Capital area home.

We know we have a way to go, but the end result will be all the richer for the early days we've spent together at Nationals Park. We are getting better. We want you to be with us as the pieces of the puzzle come together. Your support is powerful to the Nationals and baseball in Washington. Thank you for your continuing patience and your commitment to a shared dream.

Sincerely,
Washington Nationals Baseball Club


Huff did say he is not getting it done and he is trying to get out of his funk. What do you want him to do. get on the Public Address system and apologize after every at bat?

Chris, You do not capitalize after the start of the sentence "Run, run, Spot, run!" unless of course run is Spot's last name. Does Spot play First Base?

Well said punk flamingo. According to the intelligent mind of "Chris", the posts on this blog are "pathetic." And yet, Chris still reads them daily and comments. What does that exactly say about Chris? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Well said punk flamingo. According to the intelligent mind of "Chris", the posts on this blog are "pathetic." And yet, Chris still reads them daily and comments. What does that exactly say about Chris? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

You can't put all the blame on Trembley as he's not the one actually playing the games, but he really has to step up. These line-up selections are ridiculous and so erratic it's like an event when they post the line-up everyday. Passion and hustle is what this team needs and some more fundamental help, which has been improving lately.

Move Wieters up in the order and drop Huff until he figures out this slump, obviously you don't put a hitter in a terrible slump in the 3rd spot. Is it really going to hinder Wieters' development if he hits higher in the order? I don't think so, actually I think it may help him bump up his production numbers.

The rotation is starting to round out as long as Berken can remain relatively close to how he pitched last night. With Hill gone and Tillman coming in, they should be playing much better than they have. Jim Johnson seems to be having a minor problem and I believe with Kranitz he'll work through it, but Baez needs to go. If you replace Baez with Mickolio, I think we actually have a pretty good bullpen. Meredith has looked very good in his short time here.

Two recent loses can be addressed with the following question:

Why has Jim Johnson's much acclaimed sinker stopped sinking?

I am starting to view Trembley as a "soft" coach. He gets the players that Andy MacPhail gives him. He constantly tinkers with the lineup. He defends them against the media and the calls from the umpires. Hmm... Seems like a manager's job, right? Well... He seems to lack the fire in the dugout. He can say what he wants in the pre and post-games. He can go out and turn red against the umps. But... he does not have his team in control. Players like to be defended when they're in slumps or feel they've been victims of wrong calls. But... this is their job, as multi-million dollar ball players, to play the game. Some of these guys look like they are not trying... at all. I agree with one of the comments I read on Roch's blog about players like Huff not wanting to get traded. It looks like he isn't swinging through anything. Play enough to make it look like your playing but don't try to be "winning" players. It is really dissapointing the way that some teams are playing these days. Nothing is "tough" anymore in baseball. It's all excuses. It's all the easier way for the buck. Again... it's just really dissapointing... especially for this team.

Pete, I told a friend before this series against KC started, that we'd lose three of four, and perhaps get swept. As you correctly pointed out, sending two pitchers to the mound on back-to-back nights with ERA's approaching 7 isn't exactly a formula for success. Tonight, they send a rookie making his major-league debut against a legit cy young candidate. That to me, that says three out of four. Maybe Bergy gets us a "W" tomorrow, but at that point what difference will it make?

Another disaster of a game from an execution standpoint. And since when did Markakis start to give away at-bats? He's 3-2 with the bases loaded, and he swings at ball 4 on an off-speed pitch near his shoelaces and rolls it to second. When he's in a slump he looks a mess.

Rebuilding teams need to execute and it doesn't seem like they are, or that there is a culture of doing that. Or is it that they are just checking out mentally?

Should be a great summer. Again.

I would consider moving Wieters up in the lineup to get protection. With Izturis batting behind him he will never get a good pitch to hit.
I would consider the following line-up for a few nights:
Roberts
Jones
Weiters
Markakis
Reimold
Scott
Mora
Huff
Izturis
If Wieters is everything they say he will be, then get him more at bats and protect him with Markakis to see if he takes off. We know Reimold is thriving in the 5 spot, so leave him there.

This team seems to always find their way into a major funk around this time. It got Mazzilli fired, Perlozzo fired, and now I can't help but believe that Trembley is not going to make it to season's end.

The problem is, Trembley is not the guy serving up dingers, or failing to lay down bunts, or running like a beheaded chicken on the basepaths. He should be held accountable however, as these mistakes are a constant for this dreadful team.

Now I am starting to lose hope in our future because well, we have sucked the same since the turn of the century; consistent 65-70 win team. No one can keep a job with that type of consistency!

Huff is ready to get out of Baltimore

B-Rod is tired of losing

Markakis recieved his big pay day

The league pumped Jones head up

Mora is washed up

all and all the offense is lacking a leader that can put up power numbers in the middle.

I tried to post this on Roch's blog on Mr. Angelos Stupid Network (MASN), but Roch and his cronies were too much of a .... lets say chicken, to approve the post, because it offends their fearless leader.

Here is my solution to the O's decade old problems. The state of Maryland should declare the Orioles eminent domain and end the suffering of O's fans everywhere. In other words: "FREE THE BIRDS"

Peter Angelos should be stripped of his citizenship and be sent to Guantanamo where waterboarding would be performed twice a day. He should be given a TV in his cell that runs the YES network 24/7, to remind him of what he failed to do in Baltimore.

Since we're offering suggestions for mock line-ups, here's one more. Can't be any worse that what we've got going right now, right?

Roberts 2b
Reimold lf
Markaikas rf
Jones cf
Wiggy 3b
Weiters c
Huff 1b
Scott dh
Izturis ss

Maybe the younger guys can provide better protection for each other in the line-up, and Huff and Scott won't kill as many rallys until they straighten themselves out.

Peter, I went to the game last night and was upset at the lack of positive attitude that exists with these professional atheletes that are being paid to do a job. It's not the lack of talent that is holding this team back but the lack of leadership and enthusiasum. Only about one third of the line-up looked like they even cared. They are playing with the attitude of trying not to lose instead of trying to win. They need someone that can get them fired up and they don't have that in either a player or a coach. The coaching staff may be good teachers but they don't seem to be motivators and they don't seem to have any players that are willing to lead or get in someones face when they are slacking off. It's time for Roberts, Jones and Markakis to step up and take the lead. They are going to be around for awhile. Even if they don't get into players faces, they should be leading by example. What we are seeing is not that type of leadership. Except for the callups, the rest are mailing it in already.

T. Moore, that is the batting order I would love to see only with Huff and Mora switching places. If this isn't the time to let the young guys take over this line-up as they have with the rotation, I don't know when is.

Reimold seems to be loving the 5th spot and Jones is best in the 2 hole, give Wieters a shot at the middle of the order. This is the perfect time while Huff is struggling, it's a win, win situation.

I would love to see Wigginton start at 3rd everyday but I believe there is some kind of attempt by Trembley to have a team with the least productive starting 3rd baseman...ever.

The guy is an everyday player for his whole career and I believe he has done a good job adjusting to this new role. He is signed on for next year, let him start and show what he can do everyday.

Last night was just as, if not, even worse than Monday night. Huff in the 3 spot was a head scratcher! Anytime when you have a 1/3 of your lineup in a slump (Mora, Scott, and Huff), you're not going to win too many games, not even against Bruce Chen and the Royals. Ironically, I knew when Jim Johnson got into the game, KC was going to tie it up. He doesn't have that dominance like he had last year. It might be time to look for a new set up man.

Why would you try to bunt with no one out in the 11th. Statistically, it's dumb

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Pete's reply: Izturis came up with a runner on first and NO outs.

Dan, Izturis' being out a month after surgery was SELFISH? I swear, some fans...

How long do YOU think he should have been out? And do you think it was even HIS decision?

Lord, it's a good thing being a fan doesn't require an IQ test...

Good point Bill. Trembley is not a savvy manager. And if he were a student of the game as he claims to be he should learn from the best like Earl Weaver who considered bunting giving up an out. Also, why would you have him bunt when Izturis statistically is one of the hardest hitters to strike out in the entire MLB. DT is a fraud.

Bench Huff. Play Ty
Huff can be traded anytime this year - nobody's going to claim him on waivers.
Huff better be benched tonight-
This is as close to a big game as the O's will sniff this year

I f I have to watch Huff leave men in scoring position one more time I might destroy something close to me. If allowed to play at all, he should be moved down to 6th or 7th in the batting order. He is a h---- s--- hitter. Also, have Melvin Mora give thought to ordering a different set of bats. I've never seen anyone have as many bats break off in their hand as MM. In some cases I think it could have been the difference between a hit and an out. He needs all the help he can get this year. Building a team from your farm system is admirable, but the O's need a proven hitter or two to knock in runs. As usual they go the cheapest way possible while their fans suffer through another losing year.

"We've got two months left, and we're probably not going to make a run at the playoff race, but we've got to kind of grind it out and play good baseball," said Huff, who went 0-for-4 and is 7-for-42 after the All-Star break. "Right now, there is a lot of pressing going on."


Geesh Aubrey, you actually had Playoff FEVER!?

Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine is available. He always reminded me of Earl Weaver. If there is anyone who could light a fire under these Birds it might be Valentine. What do you think?

Man, I don't even want to think about the depression levels in here if Tillman gets shelled tonight.

This team has no heart and is tanking bigtime. I can't believe that the Second Half Slide is starting already. Aren't they tired of losing???

A few more consecutive losses will inevitably end the Dave Trembly era. I would like to suggest that Jim Palmer be tendered an offer to manage the club for the rest of the season to evaluate what still appears to be our considerable, but under-achieving, talent base.
I know that he is over 60 and has never managed before. But, he is Jim Palmer and understands the game as few others do and is probably in better physical condition than 95% of Oriole fans.
His feedback to the front office at the end of the season could only be helpful for the future and, who knows, he may actually like the challenge and will want to continue managing next season. Someone with his talent and his obvious love for the Orioles should have high profile input to improve the play of the players.
Perhaps someone who knows him well could convince him to accept this two month challenge.

I can understand that this is O's transitional , rebuilding year 2 . I can even understand it when the Yanks or Red Sox win or sweep against us .
But the K.C. Royals ?????

Hey Huff and Mora , you guys want that $ 8 million salary next year ? Then you fellas both better wake your bats up !

Iv'e read most of the posts and don't recall anyone mentioning the run that actually won the game. We give Markakis credit for making some of the best throws ever, but no one mentioned that if he makes a "decent" throw last night , the winning run would have been cut down easily. I believe that he is a very good player, and is one of the best in right field, but the winning run should not have scored last night.


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Ralph, if Markakis was perfect, he would have thrown the guy out, but he's going to make a bad throw once in awhile. For God's sake, the guy leads the major leagues in outfield assists.

That would be great to see Palmer manage this team. A wealth of knowledge and a no-nonsense attitude is what this team needs. Something to shake up the zombie-like managing style of recent years. I would rather someone with experience like Bobby Valentine would be perfect, but at least someone with attitude should be sufficient.

Who cares? Let's just eagerly watch as this team finds new and exciting ways to suck donkey taint from one game to the next.

Groundskeeper- I dont know if the O's are tired of losing , you might as well ask them if they are tired of embarrassment?

Dave Trembley is apparently players' manager . I dont know if he is calling any private one on one meetings with team in his office behind closed doors . If he is , his messages doesnt seem manifest itself on the playing field . HOWEVER , i dont want Trembley get fired until after final game October 4th . Hopefully MacFail will complete his evaluation of Trembley and start interviewing canditates . Firing Trembley now will have little or no impact on the team . What another two month's wait would harm?
And if Trembley is your whipping boy , make sure Samuel , Shelby , Kranitz , Jaus and rest of coaches get the same treatment .

Good luck tonight Tillman

Firing Trembley and the ENTIRE coaching staff would send a clear message to the young Orioles that have been and will be promoted to the big leagues, that losing by playing fundamentally poor baseball will not be acceptable any longer. These kids are used to winning, have been in a winning environment on the O's farm, and don't have to accept the ghosts of the past. Baltimore doesn't need a player's manager, they need a game manager. A manager that recognizes strengths and weaknesses of players and puts the strengths to work and the weaknesses on the bench. He maximizes his team's chances to be successful. Trembley, Kranitz ,Samuel and the rest of this on the field management team is a disgrace to the Orioles uniform.

They shouldn't be allowed to take BP until each and every member of the team gets 5 bunts down correctly, That is pathetic

Reply to Keith: It should have been a 15 day stint. Andino was producing and playing with a lot more energy. He can bunt if it is needed and take care of the little things on the field.

Hey Slugger, I appreciate sarcasm and humor as much as the next guy, but your comment (which I hope was meant as a joke) that Angelos should be kicked out of the country and tortured was not funny and crossed the line of good taste. If I was Roch I would not have run it either, and frankly I'm surprised it made it on here.

It's interesting how for weeks everyone was ranting how Trembley never changed the lineup even when the team was slumping, and now that he is trying some different combos he is just desperate or "grasping for straws." I thought moving Huff up in front of Markakis was worth a shot. Try to get Huff some more fastballs to hit to get him out of this. Everybody just wants Huff benched, but the only alternative is Wiggy, who is not a lock to be any better offensively and you lose his versatility on the bench. I'm actually more down on Huff for his defense than his hitting.

With no position prospects ready to come to the big leagues right now, this is the lot Trembley is stuck with. All of the pleas to bench Huff, bench Mora, bench Scott, bench Izturs, etc., can't happen, unless MLB changes the rules and allows us to use a 6-man batting order. Until then, this is what we've got. I've come to accept the fact that we have major holes in our lineup, and unless we trade Sherrill (our one trade chip that can net us an ML-ready player) those holes cannot be addressed today.

As a lifelong O's fan, I am going to live with the fact that the offense is going to be unreliable for the rest of the year. Watching the "grow the arms" part of the MacPhail plan is what is going to keep my interest from now until October, while I pray that the "buy the bats" part of the plan is being formulated for 2010.

Is there any way to burn "The Book" regarding when to remove pitchers? I had no problem with the Berken move , go out with a positive. However , does JJ have to pitch the 8th inning after Hendrickson was perfect in the 7th ? Once again the O's must be leading the league in # of pitchers used. I certainly understand matchups but there is a point in time when you say this is the majors !

The thought of Sherrill being traded gets scarier by the minute. Of course, he may only get 4 or 5 tries for a save the rest of the year anyway.......

the reason the bird's lost was because Jone's didn't lay a bunt down in the 7th inning! With Brian Robert's on second with no out's and a 1 run lead. Now I know why Trembley lost over 1200 game's.

Pete...any word whether Andy & Dave plan on holding court to discuss the current state of Rebuilding Plan XIV on top of the dugout some nice Sunday morning? Those motovational talks 2 summers ago were so nice & relaxed & reassuring that all is now well in Birdland. I believe they had a different ending though...getting beat 2 straight by KC just doesn't seem to me (and I may be wrong here)to be getting us back. Back to what...the complete & total laughing stock of professional baseball??? Earth to the Andy & Dave show...guys, it still ain't working...any ideas, time is really running out...just like those few fans still left.

i think the posters calling for Roberts to bunt are referring to the 5th inning when he came up w/ 1st and 2nd nobody out. He didn't show bunt at all but ultimately grounded to first and moved up the runners anyway. After Jones walks, Huff blisters the ball to first. bad luck there

I was much more bothered by Jones' inability to get Roberts over after Roberts' leadoff double in the 7th. Jones showed no intention whatsoever of hitting to the right side, taking huge cuts and eventually grounding out to short - runner couldn't advance. I think hitting the ball 450 feet in the first inning went to Jones' head - he had bad ab's the rest of the game, especially in the 7th. But i'm sure after the game, buddy DT was all praise and positive reinforcement, appropriate w/ little leaguers, not at this level in my opinion.

We will never be competitive until you have power hitting from the corners and pitching. 98 Home runs for the year, poor! Trade Huff and waive Mora, anything is better than watching o-fers every night with men on base. You are wasting the best outfield in baseball by not bringing up young pitching that can go at least 7 innings every night.

Pete -

Random thoughts:

1. Why do all O's players rumored to be traded respond by saying they want to stay here? I'd really like to hear one say "Trade me. Please. I want to play for a contender. Nothing against the city, but I want to win and fight for a pennant". They remind me of greyhound dogs after a racing career.

2. 2 days left to trade with not much happening; losses mounting; thrill of Wieters' arrival gone. no more turtle pee stories from blog writer; Tillman's first game should be final anticipated 09 moment. What's going to happen on Saturday when there's nothing left to this season?

3. Do you credit MacPhail or Hendry for putting together current Cubs team?

4. Good article on O's earlier.

5. Is it possible to move Ravens training camps to May so we have some sports to follow? ok...cheap shot.

Congrats on 1st year - always an enjoyable time reading and discussing!

Drango,

Get a hold of yourself. You're reading too much into it. Of course it is a joke, albeit from a bitter fan after all of these frustrations, but if you take that seriously, you better check yourself in somewhere.

One thing I noticed about Trembley over the last couple years is that he gave clear and unmistakable yet subtle verbal signs to the press corp in July or August that the Orioles were packing it in for the year in order to preserve themselves for the next year.

This year, I see them doing the same thing but I don't see them getting away with it as easily this year due to recent comments by Palmer, Dempsey and others regarding their level of effort.

O's fans, lets hold them O's noses to the grindstone and not let them off easy this year!

They need to want to win now and learn how to do the things needed to win now, not next spring.

Peter,

you gotta do something about your blog titles lately. We, the faithful Schmuck readers, are getting paranoid.

"Orioles: Final Thoughts"??

"The Schmuck has stopped here for a year"??

By those titles I thought you may have tested positive and were getting suspended. :)


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Sorry, I didn't even think about that when I wrote those headers.

Can't blame Trembley for the pitching changes really. However, you can blame Trembley for allowing this team to constantly lose focus. He's responsible for preventing this team from mailing it in for the rest of the year. At this rate the O's will only win 55 games. I was hoping for somewhere around 70. I really think, even though it must be hard, a fire needs to be lit under this team.

I was a little puzzled that he pulled Berken who was still pitching well, but I was more bothered by pulling
Hhendrickson after a 3up 3 down inning. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Still, in the end, it was the continuing failure of the offense to generate any, you know, offense. C'mon, this is the Royals, not the Yankees we're playing here, and the O's are making them look like World Series contenders.
Huff should be moved down the order until he starts hitting gain, Isturis needs to spend the next two weeks in BP laying down about a thousand bunts, and AM needs to be looking to unload some deadwood. I thought we'd have to wait a little while to see if the second half collapse was going to occur again. Two weeks in and the answer is pretty clear.

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I don't know how clear it is. It could be a slump.

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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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