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August 25, 2009

And you were expecting....

Not anything else to say about this one. It ended like countless other games I've seen at the Metrodome over the years. The Twins hang around and hang around and find a way to pull that ugly rug out from under you.

If you've been reading the past few entries, you know that I knew this was the way it was going to go down, and the moment Michael Cuddyer reached on that ball off Brian Roberts' glove in the bottom of the ninth, I had the same bad feeling you did. The Orioles squandered at least four runs in this game and they were suddenly a walk and scratch hit from a walkoff loss.

It's almost better that it wasn't a cheap hit. Delmon Young had a great night at the plate and he topped if off with an opposite-field line drive to score Cuddyer with the winning run. Kam Mickolio was going to blink sooner or later, but he's going to toss and turn all night after getting both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to open the ninth and couldn't get that third out.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:36 PM | | Comments (78)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

fire trembley

Kam Mickolio may toss and turn but he was a real bright spot tonight.

The Twins--who I picked to win the World Series this season (Woops! Their devastated, disabled, starting pitching will keep them away from those hopes)--did not win this game. The Orioles handed it to them.

Peering into the Oriole dugout, it was another night at the wax museum.

ok, what's DT's sorry lame-ass excuse tonite? Or does he just pick them out of a hat.
I am far from a manager basher, but the piss poor bullpen decisions and the terrible approach by those hitters in the 9th gotta land at somebody's feet.

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Pete's reply: Only if you're so vengeful after your fifth-place team loses that you're willing to blame anyone for any reason.

Pete,

I knew we were going to lose the second we took the field. I still thought we were going to lose when we were leading 6-3. I expected them to get blown out, but miraculously they kept it tight. Nevertheless, I knew we were going to lose when Weiters came at the plate with runners on, just like the night before. We would have lost if we went to extra innings. The Twins knew that. They were just f-ing with them.

Hey Anonymous. I hope you have heard Trembley will be allowed to keep his clown job for the rest of the season, but I have to hand it to you, you're relentlessly consistent.

Nats are 6 games back! Roberts hurt? Limiting current rookies time pitching? Ahhhh the tank plan is in effect.

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Pete's reply: Yeah, I don't know why that stupid Trembley would limit the young guy's pitch counts. These games are way more important than those arms. The O's could have won tonight if Trembley had just burned up the best young arm in the organization, and it would have been worth it because this was a huge game that would have made the difference between the Orioles winning 66 and 67 games this year.

with the nats, pirates, padres, and royals all winning, the o's are inching themselves closer to getting the #1 pick in the draft. every day, it seems more likely they could get it. the way they hit with RISP is terrible. hopefully wieters will develop into the great hitter that all the "experts" said he would be, and he can start knockin in those runs instead of striking out in clutch situations

Wed, Aug 26 @ Minnesota 8:10 PM Guthrie (8-12) Blackburn (8-8) Tickets
Thu, Aug 27 Cleveland 7:05 PM Hernandez (4-6) Laffey (7-3) Tickets
Fri, Aug 28 Cleveland 7:05 PM Berken (3-11) Carmona (3-8) Tickets
Sat, Aug 29 Cleveland 7:05 PM Tillman (1-2) Sowers (5-9) Tickets
Sun, Aug 30 Cleveland 1:35 PM Matusz (2-2) Masterson (4-5) Tickets
Mon, Aug 31 NY Yankees 7:05 PM Guthrie (8-12) Chamberlain (8-4) Tickets
SEPTEMBER OPPONENT TIME (ET) TV BAL PITCHER OPP. PITCHER TRAVEL
Tue, Sep 1 NY Yankees 7:05 PM Tickets
Wed, Sep 2 NY Yankees 7:05 PM Tickets
Fri, Sep 4 Texas 7:05 PM Tickets
Sat, Sep 5 Texas 4:10 PM Tickets
Sun, Sep 6 Texas 1:35 PM Tickets
Tue, Sep 8 @ Boston 7:10 PM Tickets
Wed, Sep 9 @ Boston 7:10 PM Tickets
Fri, Sep 11 @ NY Yankees 7:05 PM Tickets
Sat, Sep 12 @ NY Yankees 1:05 PM Tickets
Sun, Sep 13 @ NY Yankees 1:05 PM Tickets
Mon, Sep 14 Tampa Bay 7:05 PM Tickets
Tue, Sep 15 Tampa Bay 7:05 PM Tickets
Wed, Sep 16 Tampa Bay 7:05 PM Tickets
Thu, Sep 17 Tampa Bay 7:05 PM Tickets
Fri, Sep 18 Boston 7:05 PM Tickets
Sat, Sep 19 Boston 7:05 PM Tickets
Sun, Sep 20 Boston 1:35 PM Tickets
Mon, Sep 21 @ Toronto 7:07 PM Tickets
Tue, Sep 22 @ Toronto 7:07 PM Tickets
Wed, Sep 23 @ Toronto 7:07 PM Tickets
Fri, Sep 25 @ Cleveland 7:05 PM Tickets
Sat, Sep 26 @ Cleveland 7:05 PM Tickets
Sun, Sep 27 @ Cleveland 1:05 PM Tickets
Mon, Sep 28 @ Tampa Bay 7:08 PM Tickets
Tue, Sep 29 @ Tampa Bay 7:08 PM Tickets
Wed, Sep 30 @ Tampa Bay 7:08 PM Tickets

OCTOBER

BAL
Thu, Oct 1 @ Tampa Bay 7:08 PM Tickets
Fri, Oct 2 Toronto 7:05 PM
Sat, Oct 3 Toronto 7:05 PM
Sun, Oct 4 Toronto 1:35 PM

Bass stinks. I wish he didn't get good for 8 weeks, otherwise the O's could be rid of him already. C'mon... someone HAS to be better in the minors right now. Give Arrietta a look in long relief. or Jim Miller or Waters...Don't we have an old catchers mitt down at at AA throwing better than Bass right now? O's are going to need some long relief for the long month of september.

Maybe this comment will help. Last time I B'ed about him, he went on that 1st run.

To paraphrase Slapshot, Bass should end up working at the (expletive) Chrysler plant!

whadya pissed off tonite?
Ok, no more blaming anybody for anything. Continue on.

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Pete's reply: Thanks for giving me a break. If all this blog is is a forum for mindless hindsight second-guessing of every move in every game, we all need a break.

Geez Pete,

So by your logic keeping the starter for an extra inning would ruin his career? By the same logic Earl Weaver would have ruined 2-3 good pitchers a season. "The best young arm in the organization" better have the stamina to pitch deep in the games when needed.

And to your point about "best young arm" vs. a win, I'll take a win any time. I though that is why the game is played. It the "best young arm" cannot hang as long as needed, maybe he doesn't belong. Why even play your "best young arm" if you don't want to win. Save him for when you're ready to win.

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Pete's reply: Congratulations, you're one of the few people honest enough to admit that you would run the club the same way Peter Angelos has run it all these years. I applaud your forthrightness on this subject.

Hey Pete do you do all of your reporting from the couch?

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Pete's reply: I've got a torn Achilles and a big zipper on my leg, friend. What's your point? Did you want me to limp to the Metrodome to keep you posted?

100 pitch counts are fine but this plan for the 6 man rotation and so on scares me.


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Pete's reply: Well, at least it gives the fans a chance to see these guys without burning them up.

Good one Pete,

At least your true feelings about Angelos came out. Finally something we both agree on. This must be a first.

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Pete's reply: Well, it might be if you just started reading me. I have quite a long history of calling out the ownership here, just not in the last year or two because I want to give MacPhail a chance to succeed.

Pete--Here is what I think was an exploding , frustrating moment tonight: Nolan Reimold, with two strikes, hangs tough and golfs a ball down the left field line. Running with an Achilles tendon injury he busts his gut from the get-go going for two, you can see him yelling out something as he drives himself to the slide at second.

And for all that--with no outs--Nick Markakis can not get him to third and Luke Scott and Matt Wieters go down.

All of us wanted to see the Birds bounce back and reclaim this game tonight.

We wanted to see smart baseball, that winning run delivered.

And, yes, I don't think too many Oriole fans liked seeing Brian Bass given the opportunity to allow five consecutive Twins to reach base.


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Pete's reply: I didn't like any of it, but the game was lost when they left eight guys on base in the first few innings.

Just heard Red Sox nation south is going to hit up Camden/Fenway Park Sunday to see Masterson pitch as an Indian hahaha

Hi Pete, hope your leg feels better soon. Quick question, what is the Orioles record this season in 1-run difference games? The reason I ask is that if it is lopsided against the O's (as I suspect it is) then we can at least expect that to change next season as those kinds of records tend to regree nicely to a mean which would at give us another one of many reasons to hope next season will be better...

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Pete's reply: They are 14-18 in one-run games.

Look lets be real. First no reason to post the schedule. Second, really why pitch a guy deeper into the game at this point. You have to keep a strict count on these guys. Why in the world would you want him to go longer. If Bass does his job, no one even mentions it. Pie and Scott both bone head base running errors. If Pie does not tag and try to get to third, that is another run they would have had, sometimes Pie looks and acts like someone that never played before, then he will have one awesome game and you have to wonder if he will ever completely get it. Fire Trembley for what, playing guys that do not have baseball savvy? The coach is only as good as his players. Not having Sherrill really hurt us tonight but what does it matter. When Jones is not in the lineup it hurts.

The toughest part was the camera crew kept locked on Wigginton in the dugout, he had such a disgusted look on his face. This is a difficult season for all.

This one was simply dreadful, no make that unacceptable. The Twins threw pitchers out there that weren't Major League calber daring the O's to beat them, and the Orioles couldn't put them away leaving the bases loaded 2 straight innings. Bass stinks, he should be at the Minneapolis bus station right now with a ticket to anywhere but Baltimore. Pie makes Mora look like a baseball genius, and we've all lived through 9 years of Melvin's lack of baseball acumen.

A pat on the back to Mark Hendrickson for a job well done in the 6th inning., and to Aubrey for a nice game at the plate. Still, as a whole, the game was uancceptable.

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Pete's reply: I agree.

Yeah thats true. Gotta keep them fresh for when they get good and become Yankees.

cb coach--"If Bass does his job?" I believe you follow every game as closely as I do. What would have led you--or Dave Trembley--to believe that Bass would do his job tonight? He has struggled badly lately; his arm looks dead. You have noticed that, no?

Why put this on Pie? He has played excellent ball in the second half.

If you want to be fair, you may want to consider why Markakis--my favorite Oriole (maybe yours?)-- did not have an approach to drive the ball to the right side to advance Reimold when no one was out.

The silver lining in the Orioles' poor play is that if they were to finish the season on the upswing, Trembley might be rehired. Let's be straight about this--of course this would be a losing team with the current talent level, especially after useful players like Sherrill and Huff were given away for future considerations. But in addition to the poor talent, Trembley is a poor manager: poor in teaching fundamentals, poor in motivating his players, poor in using his pitchers, and poor in overall strategy. The 5-10 games per season that he loses don't matter this year, but if the team improves as expected, that margin of error would make the difference between first and third place.

Pete, although I thoroughly enjoy reading this blog as an out-of-town Baltimore kid, I do not understand your steadfast defense against criticism of Trembley by simply calling it "hindsight." By that logic, none of his in-game decisions could be criticized even though it seems as though so many of them this season have turned out so poorly especially with regard to pulling pitchers or leaving pitchers in the game. Among fans I don't think these feelings about Trembley's feel for the game are in the minority...

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Pete's reply: I think you missed my point last night. Of course, Trembley is subject to criticism, and he gets it from all of us here at one time or another. My problem last night was with the nature of the criticism. The O's lost, therefore Trembley lost the game because he did A, B or C, even though there was really very little to criticize about what he actually did. He used the bullpen the way it had to be used based on its makeup. Did somebody want Jim Johnson to come in with a three-run lead in the sixth? Hendrickson? Baez? Meredith? No matter who he brought in, there would have been a segment of the readers here who would have been convinced that he needs to be fired for that move. That's what we've come to, and I lost patience with it last night.

I am seeing more progress from this team even if that doesn't translate into the wins column. Watching Reimold, leg out that double with his injury, shows that we have a pretty gutsy young player on our team plus Kam, had another very good outing and Aubrey, was good with the bat and glove, as he made a nice stab at a ball that was poorly thrown by Cesar.

I would like to see Aubrey, get the majority of ABs at 1B so the O's, can actually see what this guy can or can't do. Not getting playing time because of Garko, Hafner and Martinez, isn't something to be ashamed of.

Pete, do you see some real progress being made? I honestly do even if that means I am going to be labeled a Kool Aid drinker or P.A. supporter. This is far from a finished product, but the core is definitely there, but adding the right mix this winter, will be the key.

Everyone needs to realize that the Os are:
1. Not going to the postseason

2. Not going to make it to .500

I hope no one is betting the ranch on this. So the rest of this year should merely a headstart into next years preseason. Find out what's going wrong (the baserunning, the coaching staff, the bullpen)and see who whats really down in the minors. I really think that DT don't know what he has in the minors when you have a 30 year old pitcher there still pitching (Mitchell). And why is he still playing Reimold? I understand he has a good bat, good speed, and good fielding. But he also has a partially torn achilles. When you tear one of those completely, you can pretty much kiss your career goodbye. And Reimold is a high valued commodity for this organization. We're not in no pennant race or even a wild card for that matter. Shut him down for the year. I think that this club is on the brink of something big (with all of the right adjustments in the offseason). Better luck next year Os!

Pete, I simply cannot stand all of these people who blame Dave Trembley for how bad the Orioles are. The players are the ones who are responsible for the record that the team puts up, not the manager. Sure, I disagree with some of Trembley's moves during the course of the game, but it would be that way with any manager MacPhail would put out there. Every single manager gets second-guessed in the majors by fans. No manager is immune to it.

To second-guess Trembley is a complete waste of time. If the players execute their role in a given ballgame, then no one second-guesses Trembley. If Bass comes in and does his job, then no one yells for Trembley's head. If Johnson and Sherrill do their jobs against Boston after Bergesen left the game, then no one second-guesses Trembley.

Onto the bigger picture.

With the roster that Trembley has been given, how in the world can anybody say that Trembley is even a contributing reason to why the Orioles are so bad? For God's sake, he was given Adam Eaton and Mark Hendrickson for his starting rotation to start out the season and Jeremy Guthrie as his No. 1. And good Lord, Felix Pie was his everyday left fielder. FELIX PIE!!! Did i mention that he actually had to work Ty Wigginton into the lineup? Yes, the Ty Wigginton who is horrible with the glove and tries to launch every first pitch of an at-bat and 2-0 pitch he sees onto 695. And about 2/3 of the way through the season, your third baseman with 25 RBI's is going to complain about playing time.

Oh and one more thing: your best starter will get hurt in July and won't be back until September.

Now go out there and win 90 games and get us a wild card berth, skipper.

I think that's what some people actually thought Trembley should realistically do. Those same people will say it's Trembley's fault that the veterans' baserunning sucks and the fundamentals are bad. Nope, folks, I believe that's the players who are making those mistakes. The coaches work on fundamentals and baserunning for hours on end in spring training. The coaches are constantly reminding the players about how many outs there are and the situation at hand. Trembley calls team meetings to preach the little things. What more can the coaches and Trembley do??? It's up to the players on the field to execute.

The bottom line is that if the Orioles are ever going to compete, then they're going to have to develop from within because they can't spend with the Yanks and Sox and the free agents aren't exactly clamoring to come pitch in a hitter-friendly ballpark against the three toughest lineups in the AL (TB, NYY, and BOS) a combined 54 times per year. That's a tough sell. So you develop your own pitchers. And yes, they're going to struggle for a year as they find their way in the big leagues. Tillman and Matusz seem to have a good mental makeup about them. They'll be fine. Just the very fact that they both pitched well enough in the minors to be pitching for the big league club is incredible, especially for Matusz. He's in his first professional season and he made it the bigs. That's absolutely insane.

This season was all about the development of the young talent, and you have to be thrilled with the progress of the young players. Bergesen has a 3.43 ERA in the AL East as a rookie. That's unheard of. Hernandez and Berken are getting their starts, and the front office is evaluating whether either or both will contribute to a winning Orioles team in the future. That's also another aspect of this season: sort through the lower-level pitching prospects and evaluate who you will be on the pitching staff in the future (Bergesen is in, the jury is still out on Hernandez and Berken). Reimold is your everyday left fielder now and has shown that he has potentially a lot of power. Wieters has improved every single day, especially behind the plate. The strides he's made calling a game, working with pitchers, and throwing runners out is remarkable. The power at the plate will come with time.

The reason the O's record is as bad as it is right now has nothing to do with Trembley, but it is mostly due to the underperforming veterans (Guthrie, Huff, Mora, Wigginton, etc.) But even if those veterans had liven up to their expectations this year, they are -- at the very best -- competing with Toronto for fourth place.

Back to Trembley. I would LOVE to see Trembley see the rebuilding program through and win with the O's. That would be fantastic. I don't want to see the Orioles make Trembley suffer through all the painful losses that comes with rebuilding, only to hand the team over to another manager when it was ready to win -- and give that manager a couple of free agents to put the team over the top. That's what happened in Detriot with Alan Trammell, and I don't want to see that happen to Trembley.

Pete, your thoughts?

Pete,
You have my sympathies for trying to maintain this blog with all of the negativity, second guessing, etc. Anyone with 1/2 a brain knew the Orioles weren't going to be competitive this year. Maybe I've lost my passion as I'm no longer in Baltimore area to see this every night, but the O's will still be my team. Trembley has little to work with (like his predecessors); Weaver wouldn't be doing much better. I can imagine what this place would be like if blogs existed when the Orioles lost to the Mets and the Pirates. None of this is meant to defend poor fundamentals and decision making, but there's an old saying involving silk purses and sow's ears. All we can hope for is that most of the young guys getting their feet wet now will be productive players for years to come.

On an unrelated note, did you ever find out how Ray Miller is doing?

Lastly, I wish you the best on your recovery.

Hello from Latvia. Sorry to not write to you in so long but I have been enjoying my summer. Was in the States for 6 weeks lecturing in Texas, but enjoyed a brief stop in Maryland where I had crabs 4 days out of 6.

I am an optimist, but I think there is much to be optimistic about. According to Boswell, every contending team needs a core of 13. I think that the Orioles have made advances this year in identifying and aquiring that core.

Personally, I am ecstatic that none of the top 3 pitching prospects have come down with a career ending injury, and all of them have shown good signs of being of major league calibre.

Weiters is not God, but even now he is one of the better catchers in the league. The position is hard and I think that he has also shown that he will be here for awhile.

Reimold is competent and Pie is growing more competent. Cesar is an improvement at short stop, and Roberts/Markakis are locked up for the near future. Of course, Jones is developing well.

On the farm, Snyder is progressing and Bell provides a reasonable replacement for Mora at 3rd in the future. When Huff was traded, it seemed remarkable to me that the Orioles had a reasonable prospect at 1st in almost every level of their system.

Who really expected much this year? Wasn't this year about the younger players, and hoping that the older players would play well enough to have some trade value? Who expected to win a high percentage of games in the last two months after trading the closer and the clean-up hitter?

Perhaps this year isn't as good as the Johnson/Gillick years, but it has been better than almost every year since then. The end does seem to be in sight.

Sorry for the long post but since I haven't written in almost 3 months, it evens out. Hope that your injury is feeling better. What a drag it is getting old!!

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Pete's reply: Welcome back and don't be such a stranger. The saddest thing about your post is that you work in Europe and you still had crabs three times more than I did this summer.

Fire Trembley!

Felix Pie is what he is, folks. He's a guy with excellent physical attributes who has a ZERO baseball IQ. I'm not trying to be mean, I actually LIKE the guy a lot as a person, but he has no instincts for the game whatsoever. You see it in his outfield play and you see it CONSTANTLY on the basepaths. The nights when he has a "good game" are the nights when he doesn't have to make any kinds of snap decisions that require baseball instincts. That's not gonna change ----- he is what he is. And Lord knows THIS coaching staff isn't gonna help him become a fundamentally sound ballplayer!!!

terry Crowley, rick kranitz and fat Captain Kirk need to GTFO!!!!!!!!!!!! The whole lot! Destroy, clean it up, rebuild and try again!

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Pete's reply: Yeah right. Let's blow it up and start over because the O's are doing exactly what everyone thought they would do in this year of the rebuilding plan. Anyone who really believes that deserves another 12 straight losing seasons.

The O`s need to send Bass down immediately, and bring up another young arm to begin to teach how to pitch in the Bigs.
This team keeps walking batters..I think they lead the league. I don`t know if they are trying to make perfect pitches..everytime or what. No excuse when you have a batter 0-2..and walk him.
This team needs to go out and find a guy like the Nats did with Adam Dunn.
Our top Homer guy has like 20..pathetic.
Further, I believe we need a new hitting coach. Crowley..is a dinosaur

Fire Trembly!

Pie was stupid for trying to tag, but wasn't he supposed to be awarded the base?
"Rule 7.04(c) Comment: If a fielder, after having made a legal catch, should fall into a stand or among spectators or into the dugout or any other out-of-play area while in possession of the ball after making a legal catch, or fall while in the dugout after making a legal catch, the ball is dead and each runner shall advance one base, without liability to be put out, from his last legally touched base at the time the fielder fell into, or in, such out-of-play area."

Where was Trembley? Does anyone on the coaching staff know the rules? Is this protestable?

Does anyone care?


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Pete's reply: Bobby, Morneau caught the ball, not Mauer. Morneau did not go into the dugout.

Do not play Mora, Wiggy or Scott anymore this year. We know what they can do. Let someone (anyone) else play and don't tell me they are the best available. If they are there is no hope in Baltimore! Oh yes, and Fire DT, please.

It may be unfair, but I have to think Dave Trembley will be let go at the end of the season. Consider it a sacrifice to the God’s of baseball.

Why? The W-L record is a piece of it. A team that prognosticators thought could win as many as 68-70 games is now chasing the Washington Nationals for the first draft pick in 2010. A few weeks ago, the Nats were chasing a 40 win season and the worst record in the modern era. So, instead of chasing 70, the O’s are chasing a team that was chasing 40. That’s a thirty game drop-off. Furthermore, the mere fact that Orioles fans are having debates about whether or not the O’s are as bad as the Nats is hardly the discussion one wants to see at this juncture. Whoever wins the argument on the message boards, we all lose. For example, if the day arrives when Ravens fans become worked up over whether or not the Ravens are as bad as the Lions, it will constitute a tipping point for the franchise. There's no glory in fighting for last, no glory in being a spoiler. It's not what good teams aspire to.

Secondly, Trembley may be a victim of the unique circumstances relative to rebuilding. He has indicated that he has tried to maintain a low pressure environment for the psychological well-being of the young’uns. However, the time is rapidly approaching when management will have to kick things up a notch. The group learning curve ends in 2010. Whether Trembley can switch gears is problematic. The young'uns had a youth director, and a good one. Now they need somebody who won’t work so hard to protect them. To his everlasting credit, Trembley seems to have been a relatively unflappable presence in the midst of chaos. Now they need fire. I doubt they can find both qualities in the same person.

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Pete's reply: I didn't do the math today, but going into yesterday's game, the O's were on pace to win 66 games, which is basically one or two wins below preseason consensus.


I am tired of all the people who diminish the impact a manager has on the fortunes of a baseball team. When a team performs poorly, constantly makes errors, fails to execute fundamentals, we always hear the same refrain. It's not the managers fault, it's the players. The managers job is to create the culture on the team, to make out the lineups to make strategic decisions during the game, to decide on the pitching rotation and more. Does any rational sports fan really think that all of these things have no impact on the W-L record, really REALLY? Sheesh. If managing was just a push button job, then why pay these guys big salaries to do it? Why not just use a computer. A computer could do the push button work much better than any person. It could decide who to play based on past performances of players against particular pitchers, in day games, in night games, whatever parameters the programmer chooses to use. It could decide when to pull pitchers based on pitch count for the game, pitch count for the inning. balls to strike ratio, the upcoming hitters. It could never be accused of favoritism. Why pay a manager at all, they don't matter right? Frankly, I would like to see a team managed by a computer program with a sufficiently sophisticated decision algorithm and database. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a computer was allowed to manage a team for an entire season. There must be some brave, forward thinking owner out there that would be willing to give this a shot. I will definitely follow their team if they've got the necessaries to do this.

Wow, the O's lose because the offense can set the table, but not clear it.
How often does that happen huh?
Sure the pitching could have been better last night as well, but this anemic offense's ability to leave men in scoring position is, I think, the most critical problem McPhail has to solve this off-season.

All the whiners ought to stop watching O's games. The O's just don't have the bats nor the arms to compete. These types of games happen to the best teams. They happen with much greater frequency to less talented teams. We can hope the young arms come around and the filler talent in the staff is upgraded or improves. I'm not sure what to think about the bats. The core of Roberts, Markakis, Jones, eventually Wieters and perhaps Reimold just haven't shown that they'll have the pop to bring this team to compete against the Yankees (north and south). Maybe it will come, but more likely MacPhail will need to buy some power.

In the meanwhile, you are going to watch a bunch of losing. Get used to it and stop whining, or just stop watching the O's. Think along the lines of they just don't deserve your attention. If some of the young talent pans out and the O's can stop being an embarrassment, then tune back in.

Barry, Yes I put that on PIe. He has made so many bone head plays, why in the world would you try to run 90 feet from a stopped position when the catcher only has 120 feet to throw. What is fast a ball traveling 90 mies per hour or Pie? He was run back to second if you did not see the play. Also I have given Pie credit for improvement, but excellent is not how I would grade him, I would give him a fair, in the early part of the season he was a failure.. He has speed but cannot steal or run bases, he has power but does not hit homeruns and has continued to make mental mistakes. If you take out his game he hit for the cycle there is very little to give praise for except for the fact that he has pushed his average up to an average that good slick fielding shortstops with no power has. Thank goodnessTrembley was able to convince Andy to remove him as an everyday left fielder.

Bass had big location problems, not velocity problems. My guess would be he was in the game because the coaches thought he could give the team two innings. Do you know how that works? How a pitcher gets ready to come in a game in the way that Bass came in. He did not have to rush. He got loose, went through all his pitches, went in the game and did not pitch well. Gotta wonder if he looked that way when he threw his last 10-15 pitches in the bullpen, if so they have an issue with their bullpen coach. Trembley is being real protective of arms right now, not just the starters but bullpen guys also. I think it is smart to be protective. Especially when you look at what the future can hold and the record they currently have. I am surprised that Matusz is still pitching at this point, and there is no way I risk a talented young lefty in a throw away season.

Gotta give the Twins credit for coming back to win and celebrating like they just won the division, and you have to like that young outfileder Denard Span a lot.

Peter,

Maybe it's just me - but I just don't understand Trembley's management of these pitchers. He pulled Tillman two nights ago after an intentional walk in a situation where he should have left him in and let him at least try to work out of it. And then he pulls Matusz after 5 innings and 99 pitches last night. After he (Trembley) has already blown out the bullpen the last week. My confidence that he is the guy is dwindling fast. I know people tell me to look at what he has to deal with - but perhaps a more senior manager is what is needed to work with these pitchers and make sure that their confidence isn't ruined off the field, as opposed to on the field.

Frank from Parkville

PS - Hope the recovery is coming along.


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Pete's reply: Thanks. I think he pulled Matusz for a couple of logical reasons. (1)He is basically in the final week of the minor league season, which was the season he was projected to pitch after never throwing this much in college. (2) Since he reached 99 in the fifth inning and had given up comeback runs after two O's rallies, he wasn't pitching well enough to warrant staying out there and running the count up for another inning or two. If Bass can get an out, we're not talking about this, of course, but he didn't. To that point, the bullpen had been terrific for the past couple weeks.

What is the Oriole's team batting average with the bases loaded? Sure seems they create of lot of bases load opportunities but rarely score.

Seemed like last night they were 0-3 with 1 BB with the bases loaded (I was not following the game close enough to be sure).

Over the second half of the season, it just seems like there has been plenty of chances with very few positive results.

O's fan in Nebraska,

I agree. It has been a season long issue. They need a run producer. I am sure that you can find those stats somewhere, whatever they are it will not be positive.

I don't blame Pie too much for what happened on the double play ball as much as I do for his flub earlier in the game. He wasn't the only one who thought Mauer caught that ball and went into the dugout (even though Morneau was the one who had it and that's why it was a live ball). He's learning the things you can teach, but some things I think will always be the same.

That 9th inning was just brutal though. So close in the top and so far in the bottom. Pinching Wiggy or whoever doesn't work well when they just bring in another righty btw.

Slugger,

Your stance on a win at any cost in any situation is just mindblowing. It made me wonder what kind of Army we'd have left if you just said "march em in and lets win this thing in a week" during the war on terror. Maybe we can go Al Qaeda and trot out a AA guy the first game of every series to blow himself up in the opposing dugout so we get a forfeit one game and then we're playing backups after that? It's called picking your battles though and the ones that do that usually end up winning the war and THAT is the whole point of running a franchise.

As for the young arms maybe not being that good if they can't pitch infinity innings, go talk to every single person in player development around the entire league that, you know, gets paid for it and isn't sitting at home commenting on blogs about it. Chances are they can all point to guys they think got fried from overuse early. Also, when you pitch tired, and try to "compensate," that's when you start wrecking your muscles/ligaments.

Who's to say Earl didn't shorten someone's career by the way? Not doing something just because someone else did it is one of the first lessons my parents taught me. Ben McDonald got hosed from overuse early and there are probably other examples tied to overuse that aren't as obvious. These guys are 21/22/23 or whatever. Look at all the "aces" around the league and what they were doing at that age. They weren't putting up 200 IP right out of the gate and turned out just fine. You have to build up to it. A weightlifter doesn't load up for a world record lift his first week of practice etc. Michael Phelps wasn't winning gold medals when he was 6 and even Tiger was losing majors when he started playing in them early in his career. Anyway, you get the point I think.

Wayne,

I enjoyed reading your analogies and thoughts about managers and I agree 100% with your assessment. There are many simpleton minds on these posts that somehow think that a manager's performance has no bearing on the team. There are many knocks on DT, but the biggest one I have is the way is uses the bullpen. He won't let the starter pitch for more than 5 innings or 100 pitches (whichever comes first), and he feels like he has to use the entire bullpen every flipping game. I still vividly remember when Walker (a lefty) had the worse record in MLB for getting lefties out and he kept going to the lefty-lefty matchups. Trembley is a fraud and a clown.

I was disgusted last night as he singled out Pie during the postgame. We did not lose the game because of Pie. We were leading the game. As Pete said, we lost because we left too many men on.

Why hasn't Trembley called out Huff, Mora, Scott and others for playing horrible and making mistakes all season long? Pie is still young, and the way he has been playing lately, I'd take him before any of the aforementioned losers. And defensively, I think he can play centerfield better than Jones. When was the last time Jones through someone out at the plate, pulled a home run ball back in the park or didn't have a game where at least one ball gets behind him in the centerfield to score a run or two? Why isn't Jones scalded for taking golf swings and getting behind in the count in late innings with men on? Why isn't Luke scalded for taking strike three with men on? Why isn't B-Rob singled out when he forgets how many outs there are? Why isn't Huff singled out for showing no effort?

Trembley is a clown, not a players' manager as he portrays himself to be.

James C,

I get what you're trying to say but your analogies don't help your argument. First baseball is a game not war. If it were, the O's would have been wiped off the face of the earth by now.

Michael Phelps and Tiger Woods have dominated their counterparts at ages much younger than our pitching "prodigies" will ever be able to.

Jim Palmer had 211 complete games out of 521 starts. He wasn't some kind of superman, Tiger Woods of Michael Phelps of baseball. There is a guy in Toronto by the name of Roy Halladay who pitches and his expected to pitch complete games every time he takes the mound. There is a hall of famer down in Texas named Nolan Ryan who happens to agree that pitch counts have ruined baseball. You have guys throwing 90 pitches and keep looking in the bullpen to see if anybody is throwing. By setting the expectation that pitchers have to throw no more than 100 pitches you impede their progress. If they can't throw at their prime years (21-25), when will they? That's how Bedard got ruined as a pitcher, because they never pitched him for more than 100 pitches and he could never build the stamina to pitch longer.


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Pete's reply: I don't disagree, but Ryan is solving that by starting at the bottom of the minor leagues and developing the pitchers differently. You don't do that by overpitching guys who have never done that. All that gets you is a bunch of Tommy John operations.

I think an old saying aptly aplies to the Orioles performance this season, "When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember that your main mission was to drain the swamp".

Andy Macpahil is not only trying to rebuild the talent level of the team through the youth movement, he knows that he will also have to deal with rebuilding the culture.

The team has no leaders, in the clubhouse or on the field, and until the future leaders emerge, the culture of failure will persist. Each player appears to be looking for someone else to assume that role. It could be that there are no future leaders on the current roster or in the system and that is another isssue for Macphail to deal with.

I decided well over a month ago that getting all worked up over losses like last night does not change the paradigm or the ultimate goal. Andy Macphail has so far been unshakeable in his approach and methods and he sees what we see. He is working the plan and as fans we have to see where it takes us next year and beyond.

The team is going to play like this for the rest of this year. I am giving Macphail a pass for this year.

But next year Macphail must begin to produce results in wins and losses, and also take proactive efforts to effect changes to the losing culture on the team. That will require bringing in a manager with a winning major league track record, and who will not accept performances like last night. It will require moving some of the current players who are not capable of leading. It will also require bringing in to the organization players who have won on the field and know how to win.


I've heard a few conspiracy theories I'll pass onto you:

Trembley and his coaches are trying to lose games to get us the # 1 draft pick. Trembley is deliberately removing good pitchers for bad ones to blow whatever leads we may have.

Juan Samuel is giving crazy signals to the baserunners to create blunders.

agree with all that say fire DT

Gil,

What has kept MacPhail or Angelos from doing those things you suggest he needs to do in the next 2 years, like changing the culture, finding a leader or hiring a proven manager. He is been here since 2007. Why is next year so important, and why wasn't this year important? You truly believe that we will do a 180 next year? That would be an anomaly in stats that is highly unlikely to happen. Afterall, baseball is a game of stats. Yes it has been done before, but the chances are slim to none it will happen soon.


The trouble with limiting your starters to 5 innings ("The Bedard Rule") is that it puts an exceptional burden on your bullpen.

If you have only 7 relief pitchers and your starters average only 5 innings per start, then each reliever would have to pitch an average of 92 innings per season ("season" = 162 9-inning games).

Even with 8 relievers, the average would be 81 innings per season.

If your starters averaged 6 innings per game, then 7 relievers would only need to average 69 innings per season; 8 relievers would only need to average 61 innings per season.

Of course, one way to shorten the number of innings your pitchers need to pitch is to make sure your team is losing after the top of the ninth inning of each away game. Hmmmmmm...

Felix Pie is just a rookie. Who will make rookie mistakes. What about your vets who make boneheaded mistakes, don,t hit when we need them to, run into outs. Blast the manager and still get plenty of playing time. We have the most unproductive vets in mlb. So Felix isn't the only one to be singled out. There are others on this team.

Let's see, can we get Spahn and Sain and two days of rain? That might be what the O's really need!

hahahaha!!!! this is great:

When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember that your main mission was to drain the swamp

This can also be applied to the next couple of elections in this country

Slugger, You almost had me until you mentioned Pie is better than Jones in the outfield.

However with that being said, I do agree on the pitching to a certain stop point. If the team had three or four decent experienced major league starters I see no issue of having a larger pitch count. With these young guys, it makes no sense. Even Matusz said himself, that 100 is good for him.

To be honest on how I feel, I hate the five man rotation, very few teams can field that many good pitchers. In the old days of baseball when there were these things called double headers, two games for the price of one, not split attendance, then you would use a spot starter. I do not think pitchers throw enough. I agree with Nolan Ryan, god bless him if he can change MLB mindsets. In 1971 or 1972 the Orioles had 71 complete games, at the pace of this year, it would take 35 years to equal that. However the Orioles are in a different boat. When Palmer came up he worked in long relief and spot starts, which is how you should bring a young pitcher up, he joined the rotation and was injured the following year. The Orioles starters at the start of the year could not hold the fort down to allow these young pitchers the luxury of working long relief. They were thrown to the wolves because Koji could not stand up to be durable as a starter, Eaton flat out stunk, Hendrickson proved he was a better bullpen guy, Simon blew out his arm, and Hill pitched with a damaged labrum. Only one starting pitcher (Guthrie) that started the season is still in the rotation, that is the issue. Halladay is a modern miracle but remember he only averages a little bit more than 7 innings a game, and completes about 20% of his starts. So the burden is put on the bullpen, and that is today's ball game. I cannot wait for the six man rotation to start when Bergesen returns.. Maybe Koji can come back and make it a seven man rotation. Why not just stick with 5 and shut down your best prospects?

As I said I agree with Ryan, but look at Texas most their starters are averaging 6 innings a start and they have 6 complete games. In the minors the Rangers have something like 7 or 8 complete games, so maybe it is easier to talk about than the reality of when the game is played for real. I do not think Washington practices what Ryan preaches .

I get it about being careful wbout young pitchers' arm and the whole pitch count thing. Obviously, most of our young starters are having trouble getting past the 5th inning, either due to high pitch counts and struggles, so here's a novel idea..How about splitting some games between 2 starters. For example, Tillman goes the first 5 and then Hernandez finishes up. This gives the bullpen a rest and gives the future starters some work.
I realize it's a new appproach but why not try it? I am tired of seeing Bass and there is really no logical reason to keep sending him out there and either cough up leads or add to our opponents leads.

The coaching staff does bear a lot of responsibility with the quality of play. Trembley has made some bad decisions but what about Samuel and Crowley? I have watched so many this year that Samuel has made horrible decisions with sending and holding runners. I don't know if Samuel thinks everyone runs like he did but he has no clue over there. He's cost this team at least 5-7 wins this year and countless runs. And everyone loves Crowley but why do our hitters make so many bad decisions at the plate? It's only a mistake if you make it twice but the same things keep happening over and over. Youth aside, the hitters just don't execute in the clutch and the blame has to fall somewhere.

Honestly, I'd give Trembley a chance with the young guys having gotten some time under their belts and Kranitz should stay. But with a line-up of Jones, Markakis, Reimold, Weiters, Roberts, Izturis, Bell, Aubrey and other guys like Pie (who did run like a dope twice last night), Scott, Montanez, Snyder and maybe another free agent and then throw in the ton of good young pitchers the team has, the leash is short. They have to start winning with this team because this is it. McPhail has put the cards on the table for Trembley and he has to produce in 2010 - period.

Sorry about that.

Not defending Pie it was a dumb move but to answer the questions above regarding the player falling into the dugout. It looks like Mauer made the catch and fell in but Morneau actually reached in above Mauer's glove and was the one who caught the ball. I think Felix made the mistake of thinking Mauer caught the ball as well and should have been able to advance and then it was too late. Bonehead play either way but Morneau was the one who who caught the ball and he never left the field.

Pete,

Would love to see some in-depth analysis from one of your buddies at The Sun about the theory of bringing young pitchers along "slowly", vs. bringing them up and challenging them to build up stamina and arm strength by working more innings. Lots of great posts here about how Palmer, Ryan, Koufax, etc. became great. They didn't leave after 5 innings b/c they hit 100 pitches.

As a fan, I even find myself getting sidetracked about pitch counts. The announcers talk about it all the time. The scoreboards show the totals constantly.

Many MLB pitchers are becoming debutantes. Halliday will be the last of his kind for decades if this track stays. I even heard the Little League World Series announcers talking about a "closer" at that age. Sheesh.

Anonymous

No I don't think the team will do a 180 next year, nor do I think it is likely. But they do need to start winning games and at least play .500 ball while rebuilding.

You are correct that we have no reason to believe that the Orioles will do what is necessary to take the next step. However, the team has never before committed and stayed the course with a long term rebuilding effort throught the farm system and through trading veterns for young players with potential but unproven talent.

As long suffering fans we have every reason to be cynical that the past will repeat itself and that the team will never take the steps necessary to compete in the American League East.

I am taking Andy Macphail at his word that as the rebuilding effort begins to bear fruit that the owner will be willing to add some expensive and critical pieces in order to accelerate the plan. We should all be disappointed if the real intention of Angelos and Macphail is to engage in a a perpetual rebuilding effort stockpiling young players and hoping that eventually enough of them will coalesce in a winning team. That scenario is more unlikely than likely.

I am taking Macphail at his word and so far I have not detected any deception on his part as to his real intentions.

That being said, I am not willing to accept the premise that we should contnually lose during the rebuilding effort.

If Trembley is back come next Spring and the Orioles have made no efforts to improve the team through methods other than plain rebulding, then I am getting off this train and will not renew my season tickets. It would then be apparent that once again the fans have been given nothing but lip service.

That's why I think that the offseason and 2010 are critical to the franchise. The team does not have to get into the playoffs next year. But they do need to start winning.

Pete: They need to modify the blown save rule that gave Hendrickson a BS for allowing the tying run to score. What's a reliever to do when he inherits a bases-loaded jam and no one out? Strike out the side? He did well at damage control. If a reliever inherits a runner in scoring position, the BS ought to go to the pitcher who put him there just as a loss would have gone to a pitcher who left a runner on base that later scored after he was relieved.

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Pete's reply: I agree. It's a stupid stat for anyone except the guy who comes in with a lead in the last inning.

I totally disagree with this 'babying' of pitchers mentality. If they don't ever stretch themselves out (either throwing more pitches and going deeper into games, or throwing more innings over the course of a season) how are they ever going to build up the stamina to do it?

We're grooming a bunch of Bedard's... guys that go 5 or 6 innings tops. I realize this is the norm around baseball in some respects, but it doesnt mean that it's RIGHT, or that it's the best way to WIN. I find it laughable that the O's now carry THIRTEEN pitchers!!! Wouldnt you have a lot more flexibility to win games late with more options on the bench (which you could do if you didnt have to carry an 8 man freakin bullpen because you baby your pitchers).


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Pete's reply: I agree in principle that pitchers should be developed to pitch more than five innings, but not in late August when the guy is in his first pro season and has never pitched in August before.

Look at the most IP the following pitchers ever threw in one season (major or minor league): Patton (150), Loewen (142), Ainsworth (158). Guess what... they STILL blew their arms out. Hell, even Palmer blew his arm out in his early 20s, but came back to be one of the most durable and consistent pitchers EVER.

The key, I believe, is working with pitchers to improve their mechanics and reduce wear and tear.

Give me a break on todays pitchers. 70% of them are NOT pitchers at all, they are throwers at best.
Please explain how the hell major league pitchers from the inception of the game through the mid 80's ALL pitched into the 7th. or 8th. inning and now these poor darlings make it to 5 & maybe 6 & we think we really have something?
If these kids stopped thinking about strikeouts all the time & learned how to use both sides of the plate, change speeds & move the ball up & down & especially learn how to pitch inside, they'd find out that by using their defense they'd be throwing 25/40 less pitches per game & over the course of a season that equates to being ready for extra innings & games.
Oriole pitchers & the coaching staff need to watch unlimited amounts of Cliff Lee, Maddox & Holiday video's to see how the most successful "pitchers" get it done. Not one of these guys tries to strike every hitter out, they use their defense & when they need to reach back...they still have juice left because they haven't "thrown" 67 pitches through 3 innings.
It still amazes me that no matter how many press clippings the new & great young Oriole staff bring with them...they all fall into the same stupid pattern of throw-throw-throw, one deep count after another & they're spent after 5 innings & we applaud the effort.
What should happen is they should be fined & made to run extra poles the next day until they get it. The worst that can happen is their legs will get stronger which is needed anyway. Bunch of pansies!

PS...Bass-gone. Sick of his act. Can anyone of these pitchers (and I use that term very loosly) ever get out of an inning in 14 or less pitches. Pathetic!

I really hated Trembley's comments on Pie, too. The kid made a terrific catch, reached base twice...made one really dumb play that ended up not hurting the team, and then simply mis-read the pop-up play, thinking Mauer made the catch. If Mauer had made that catch, Pie gets into third standing and we all talk about what a heady play it was.

Pie does have to actually look at the play, though...you can see he likes to run with his head down, which he did on both plays. I guess if he started out while still looking over his shoulder, he might have been able to stop early enough to get back to second. Running flat-out with his head down: good hustle, bad baseball.

But really, I was disappointed that Trembley didn't defend the kid, at least a little. Rip him in person, but don't (basically) call him a dummy (FP being FP, a la Manny being Manny) in front of the press.

Trembley? Defend Pie for what? Even Pie said he made a big mistake. He wanted to be aggressive and that was his decision, his apology had a Gone With The Wind ending, that tomorrow is another day. .

Trembley is right, Pie is just that way. He was already in scoring position on a excuse me double, and the Orioles need as many insurance runs as possible. I am not saying that Pie is all to blame, he is far from that,. It has been an ugly year, but in spots like that, it makes you crazy when you witness it.

It should be clear to nearly everyone that PIE is dumb as a rock! To say that he lacks Baseball skills is probably the understatement of the year. Watching him last night I was reminded of Wily Coyote and the products of the Acme Company. Helooked like a target in a carnival shooting gallery.

Have to respond to all these guys complaining about the "saving the young arms". I saw a very interesting interview with Bill James during a game recently and there were talking about this very issue.

In a nutshell he spent a lot of time talking about how much harder pitchers today have to work for outs compared to 20 or 30 years ago. Two specific reasons he gave was the modern ballpark and bodyarmor and how they cause increased pitch counts. The fact of the matter is when pitchers were throwing all those CG's 40 years ago we don't know what kind of pitch count totals they were running up.

Think about how many times during the course of a game you see someone pop up a foul ball into the first 10 rows of seats. 30 years ago every single one of those were outs because stadiums all had massive foul areas like in Oakland. He also talked about how bodyarmor has given back the inside part of the plate to batters because it allows them to fearlessly crowd the plate with no worry of reprecusion.

Even Halladay only threw 5 complete games in his first 83 starts. It takes pitchers time to build up the arm strenght to go that deep all the time. Pitching complete games isn't something that comes naturally. You have to learn to and it build to it. No one can go from a 100 inning max season to a 250 inning season without having problems or risking injury.

Thanks Tim S. and Slugger, for taking the unpopular stance and defending Pie. Someone has to do it. I didn't see Trembley's comments but then i rarely subject myself to that. It always seems that he's mulling over a question to give an insightful and nuanced response, and then he starts talking and i'm thinking, huh???

In any event, I'll also add that Pie did nothing wrong on the stolen base attempt. It looked like a straight steal to me, in which case he has no business looking at home plate during his sprint to second. Buck Martinez never pointed this out as a possibility during his scathing "analysis". And then he and little Jim harped on it ad nauseam. In my opinion, they should, uh.....fire those guys (too).

There are a number of factors that have resulted in most pitchers not being able to pitch past the 6th innning. First, many teams are forcing their hitters to take a lot of pitches instead of just swinging the bat! Stats are even kept about pitches faced,etc and it's some kind of 'honour' to see a lot of pitches! I'd love to see the days when guys went up there hacking and they didn't take 20 seconds between each pitch to step out of the box, fix their gloves,scratch their 'privates' whatever..
No wonder games between the Yanks/RedSox take over 4hrs! Each team uses 4-5 pitchers and the hitters are up there forever!
Ball teams are clones of each other so until we see a team succeed by hacking away and/or using its' starters beyond the magic 100 pitches, then I guess things won't change.

Interesting on James. But you do not have to go back 40 years. Look at the 83 Orioles 36 complete games, the 1991 Twins with Jack Morris at the age of 36 had 10 complete games and the team had 21. Maybe the ball parks have a little to do with the changes because football and baseball once shared stadiums, steroids,just too much to figure in. I think it has gotten too technical. Every player is different because of size what pitches he throws. When a pitcher pitches 300 innings plus like they once did, you know that they had to throw more pitches in a year than someone that throws 190 innings. The funny part of this continued conversation is that if Bass had a one-two-three inning, no one would be saying anything. Funny how this works. Back to work!

On the whole "young arms" controversy I definitely come down on the side of caution.
Ryan's experiment is interesting and I hope it works out, I miss the complete games as well, but you don't just suddenly change your whole development philosophy on a pitcher when he's very nearly reached the end of your program.
I'd like to pose another pitching question, I think related to logevity as well, to the assembled:
What does MLB have against the knuckle ball?
Knuckle ball pitchers have often had effective careers well into their 40's.
Since they only throw in the low 80's or even slower much of the time, the wear and tear on their arms is reduced.
The knuckle could easily be a very effective pitch for any pitcher, especially a "junk ball" pitcher who depends mostly on off speed stuff, but how many pitchers can you recall who have a knuckle ball in their kit? There seems to be an unwritten rule that either you throw knuckle balls as your primary pitch or you never throw one at all.
So the question is, what is the reason for this?

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Pete's reply: I would think that history has shown that only a full-time knuckleballer can command the pitch and the catcher usually needs a different glove to catch it, so you can't really mix it in sparingly.

As an follow up to my question Pete:
Didn't Jim Palmer try to comeback using the knuckle? I know it didn't work for him, but have you ever heard him express any opinion on the subject generally?

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Pete's reply: I was here for Jim's comeback. He did not throw a knuckleball.

The problem with the knuckleball...which is a misnomer, it's thrown off the finger tips, not the knuckles...is that, unlike all other pitches in baseball, it is thrown without any spin at all...which is a VERY hard thing to pull off, to begin with. Secondly, since it has no spin, it is at the mercy of whatever air currents are pervasive at the time which means the pitcher nor the catcher have any real idea where it is going. One the one hand, that's great because that means there's no way the batter is going to know where it is headed either, i.e. they can "guess knuckleball" but it's not going to do them any good, which you can't say for fastball, curveball, etc. As a rule, catchers hate the knuckleball because, as they don't know where it's going, the number of passed balls they're going to allow goes up and nobody wants that. And as Pete notes, they generally need a special, oversized glove. What would be interesting is to see somebody really work on the ol' Eephus pitch, the LaRoche La-Lob, you never see any pitchers practicing THAT one. Finally, on a totally unrelated note, I do believe it is wrong to be dumping everything that is wrong with the Orioles on Dave Trembley. He's the manager, he doesn't play, he can only have so much impact on what takes place on the field. That being said, I do believe that issues like continued mental mistakes, baserunning errors, etc., do fall under his jurisdiction. I mean, otherwise, what's any manager actually responsible for? When a team continues to consistently make fundamental errors, that's the manager's responsibility to address. If that doesn't change, the manager--and this applies to ANY manager so delinquent, whether Trembley or not--must be held accountable. All that being said, there is indeed much to be happy about with this team, number one being the vast improvement now and anticipated with the starting rotation. We have some great arms on this club now, and some very good arms still on the way. And on the upside, we'll draft high again this year, so there's an upside to losing, eh?
And that's one to grow on...

Good article by Jeff Zrebiec on the pitching situation http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-sp.osnotes26aug26,0,1505304.story

Kind of spells it out. These guys have pitched more than ever before.

How quickly everyone forgets that prior to the beginning of the season, the Orioles were slated to lose AT LEAST 90-100 games, which by implication means they were gonna suck arse!

We have hope for the future, and we knew they were going to be beat around...so watch how they mature and get better, and look forward to a possible .500 season next year and contending in 2011...this has been and still is 'The Plan'.

They are a team in transition with young guys that are getting beat around. Sure everyone seems to be making mistakes, and I am just as frustrated as the next guy, but suggesting that Trembley should be the scape goat at this juncture is simply ridiculous...they are young guys with limited MLB experience, but loads of potential...potential...as in look for them to develop into a winning team!

It takes time to overcome ump-teen gazillion years of losing...it's embedded in the culture of the team, and with time, they will shed that stigma and move again toward being the storied franchise they used to be.

So, suck it up all you icky O's 'fans'...

How 'bout them O's?!

Slugger,

I admit I was being a bit dramatic, but there aren't many examples in this era of baseball where someone 23 or younger is putting up 200+ solid innings. I mean you used Jim Palmer, but who is like that right now? There is no Denny McLain like pitcher right now of any player at any age who's within a whiff of 30 wins. The pitching game is changing and all I'm ever saying is that Trembley is doing what everyone in baseball is doing in terms of pitch counts. It's not the baseball many of you guys grew up watching or that Earl Weaver used to coach.

CB,

I still don't think 83 or 91 are relevant to 2009. I mean that's still 18 years ago and some of these guys were about 4 years old. I'm also still speaking in terms of a rotation that is 80% rookies (20% Rule 5 guy). I agree they used to throw more innings, but take the best hitters then and compare them to the best hitters now. These hitters are sick, they have more resources and more "supplements." There is about to be a whole generation of pitchers that will not reach 300 wins. Arms are frying and bodies are breaking down in ways they didn't use to.

jack,

If you invested $1 billion into a franchise, would you risk these guys burning out whether they technically shouldn't or not? I mean what would you do when your whole organization is depleted in pitchers within two years? I mean you can send guys like AJ or CC out there and say "you're giving me 9 tonight" every time because you're paying them $160 million and they should "man up." I just think you'd be run out of whatever town you tried it in.

Man, I'm so happy that I live 10 minutes from Coors Field right about now. At least I have a diversion while I wait for the O's to come of age (assuming they don't destroy their young talent by calling them up too soon). After watching the Rocks pull out extra inning thrillers the past two nights, I can only hope that the same excitement returns to Camden Yards in the near future.

FIRST off, check any box score, the pitchers in Texas aren't doing anything different than the league in the 100 pitch counts. Texas also has had a NUMBER of arms on the DL this season EVEN though they are doing the LEAGUE standard of pitching 100-110 pitches per starter. Look it up. So IT'S A LOT OF TALK BY NOLAN, nothing has really changed. Do some research people, you're connected to the internet already.

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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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