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August 28, 2009

Orioles: Jones and the silver lining

Adam Jones continues to rehab his sore back, which represents a significant loss of run-production potential, but might actually be a positive thing for the club on a couple of levels. The injury has forced manager Dave Trembley to play Felix Pie every day in center field, which -- even with his mistake-marred Tuesday night performance -- has given Pie a chance to demonstrate how much he has progressed since the start of the season.

He's still a very flawed player who sometimes acts like he's on Mars, but he has become more disciplined at the plate and he has shown how valuable he can be as a fourth outfielder. Who knows, another good month and he might even have some trade value if the Orioles decide to package some prospects for a marquee veteran pitcher or corner infielder.

Meanwhile, Jones has gotten a chance to sit and watch the game for the past week, which is not necessarily a bad thing either. He had fallen into an offensive rut at midseason, so he might benefit from the opportunity to watch the game from another angle for awhile. The Orioles can only hope.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 5:55 PM | | Comments (20)
Categories: Just baseball


When his head is on straight, Felix is an exciting player. Gotta love the hustle and enthusiasm. That's the difference between him and talented guys of the past like Corey Patterson and Luis Matos. He may not be perfect, but you get 110%--even when he's "on Mars". The tag up was a dumb play, but it was aggressive and he was trying to make something happen in a tight game,just like going to third on the infield single.

The surplus of OFs makes him dealable, but he'd be great as a 4th OF.

fire angelos

Yeah ... hopefully Jones can learn from some good hitters that:

1. He should take more pitches
2. Don't swing at junk in the dirt
3. When he sees a good pitch, don't try to put a golf swing on it
4. Don't try to pull the ball. Think opposite way with runners on

Pete i have been taking some time off lately because there really isn't a whole lot more left to say about this team.However since we are playing the indians it reminded me about what i have been saying about baseball and about this divison in general.Just think about where the indians were just 2 years ago. They were 1 out awat from playing in the world series, they had cc sabathia, lee, and fausto carmonia as there starting pitching staff.Since then they have lost back to back cy young winners and fausto has 3 total wins the entire season. Today tampa bay had to trade kazmir because they couldn't keep him because of salary. Again pete do you realize the hill that this team has to climb, do you realize just how close a team can be one year and then totally disappear because of the current salary structure in this league. peopl keep telling me not to make excuses because we play in this divison, but pete in al;l reality how many more examples do i have to bring up for everybody to understand that this is a unattainable situation and that doesn't even take in account the fact that most of these kids won't even turn out. I read a article today that quoted andy as saying the orioles will not make any major acquistion next year and again will plug in this second tier players that has gotten us where we are today. So in all reality he has already informed the koold aid drinkers in thsi town that next year won't be any better then the current mess we are now facing. Pete this plan had to excecuted with perfection and the disappointing season that we have encountered has set thsi program back again. How much more can you keep asking the fans of this town to endure. Your 66 wins will be very hard to reach pete amd i am afraid we will be having this same conversation this time next year. Please everybody wake up and stop killing yourself over this incompetent franchise.

If he had some lovable qualities, would it be Felix being Felix?

I was happy to see Pie getting to play everyday. If he continues to mature, Reimold may end up being the 4th outfielder. After all Reimold is the one with the seemingly permanently damaged Achilles. Pie is perfectly healthy.

Pete's reply: I think you jinxed him.

Maybe Pie is starting to realize some of his potential. If so the Orioles need to keep him. Because Pie has something that the Orioles don"t have enough of and that's speed.

I would like to point out how impressed I am with Hedrickson - this is a guy who could hav epacked it in. but he chose to stick with it and has proved very valuable for the O's who often need someone to eat the middle innngs. he's quietly doing a great job for the O's...

Pete's reply: I have to agree.

If Trembley & Pie both return I hope DT starts to utilize a talented 4th outfielder in his proper role. Which is to get him 3 starts a week while sitting or DHing each outfielder once a week. Combined with fill-in duty for injuries this should amount to at least 120 games and 400+ at bats.

It isn't that hard Dave. Earl Weaver knew how to keep his bench sharp and not ride his starters into the ground. If he insists on playing Nick Markakis for 160 games give him 20 games as a DH.

The best part of Pie's emergence is maybe Adam Jones will start to lose this sense of entitlement (i.e. perennial all-star and such) and realize the O's have someone who can actually play his position if he doesn't continue to work towards his potential or starts to think he needs to get paid.

Felix Pie = Jeffrey Stone with some ability.


Juan Samuel needs to go. I mean go loudly and publicly. When, at this point of the season, we're making really stupid base running mistakes that aren't even made in a church softball league, you've got a coaching problem. Whether it's Pie, Roberts, Mora or Wigginton, we need a coach, not just somebody with a heartbeat who can fog a mirror standing at third base who throws his players under the bus. You mean to tell me Samuel couldn't stop Brian Roberts on that infield pop-up that ended with a double play? Really? Then we need a real man who can.

Felix Pie is coachable - he's proven that. Give me a coachable guy with some humility and we'll go to better, higher places. Pie has turned out to be a hard worker who doesn't dog it to first base like some of the other multi-millionaires on the team.

I want to see Felix stick with the O's...just to embarrass his critics.

Maybe Jones would bring some nice prospects?


You really want your best two defensive outfielders coming to the bench to DH 20 times a year? Weaver never did that,unless he was dealing with sore or injured players. he constantly rotated the DH with non starters most years, and guys like Eddy Murray first came up, he was the DH his first year, he pinch hit often for hitter.. The ones he shared time with were the platoon situation in left and the injury prone players, he did use his back up catcher a lot. Interesting part is, the bench for the Orioles for 2009 has had a lot of playing time, Pie was put deep on the bench after an awful start to the season, and the Orioles were treating it as if they had a 24 man roster. But Andino, Wigginton, and Pie have gotten a good amount of at bats as bench-role players Remember when healthy, Earl played the best out there; Singleton, Bumbry or Blair. The platoon was mainly in left field, funny but that is the spot that is platooned the most in 2009 also.Also Dempsey, Belanger Garcia, Cruz and Duaer may all get starts but a lot of the time they were not around at the end because someone like Crow, Kelly or the many other professional hitters would have hit for them early in the game. If Markakis and Jones were not excellent defensive players sure you can platoon but you have a big drop off, so I would think if they are healthy they play.

anybody else out there sick of tremblay babying jones to the point where he'll turn into j.d.drew.everybody is banged up this time of year and if someday your going to contend you best learn how to play thru some of these aches and pains.

Pete's reply: No, I don't think anybody else out there wants Dave Trembley to put the club's star center fielder at risk just to make a point when the team is 20 games under .500 in late August.

I have been telling everybody and anybody that will listen that Jones is a cocky ball player whose head has already grown out of proportion.They better reign him in before it's to late. The worse thing that could have happened to him was his selection to the all star game. He is batting under 240 since june 1st and all he does now when he come to the plate is swing for the fenances. His body language is terrible and before he gets any worse somebody better get on top of things.


As I look back at Adam Jones All-star season, my conclusion is he should be the face of the organization and has the most talent of any player on our roster. However, will he become our best player? Like others noted on this blog, he's not selective ENOUGH at the plate! He dribbles a lot of balls in the infield versus stinging line drives. I believe a lot of this has to do with not being selective emough. With his personality, he may be our best chance at a team leader as well.

Pete's reply: I agree he has some adjustment issues. He started to hit home runs and may have changed his swing a bit. The other teams know that and adjust. He needs to adjust back.

Pie would look great in a Blue Jays uniform. Do they have a good verteran starting pitcher?

cb coach,

I just feel Trembley struggles to get his bench at-bats when his starters are healthy. Pie is showing that he can produce so why not keep your regulars off their legs a bit while keeping their bats in the lineup?

I also prefer to have an experienced back-up at each outfield position, not someone who plays there once-a-year.

I think they have done a good job with handling the bench this year. I am sure if Pie is not traded this year, he will play more next season. It is tough when you carry this many pitchers not to get playing time. In Left field we have used Pie, Scott, Freel, Wigginton, Reimolld and Montanez this season. That is a lot of people out there. Even though Wigginton is not hitting and driving in like I Orioles hoped, he has good value on this type of team because of the ability to play all infield positions and left field. I consider him a bench player and he will get 400 at bats this year.Pie will have over 250,Andino will have over 220 and of course the catchers have all shared time. The 12 or 13 man staff really hurts if you want a really good left right combo on the bench. There is no room for professional hitters on this type of team. Until it is proven that they have 11 quality pitchers that can get the job done, this will be the way it is. Actually I think Dave did a good job of handling his bench this year, it is tough when you only have 3 or 4 guys on the bench especially when you play national league teams, remember they had to use Hill as a pinch hitter, he had to let Baez hit one game and it worked.

The fact is you do not want Markakis out of the lineup, not now he is in the prime of his life, if he was 34 that is a different issue. Jones seems to have leg issues every once in a while and has had back spasm's as of late. But if he is healthy do you want him sitting on the bench once a week? I think you give him time off, but really you want him out there as long as he is healthy also. Maybe next year if they keep the same position players on the team, you will see Pie play more.

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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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