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August 9, 2009

Orioles: Waiver news

Jeff Zrebiec has been beating the bushes and he ascertained today that Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora and Danys Baez have cleared waivers, which makes them available for trade in August if anybody is interested. Check out his notebook here, because there are a few other interesting news items to go along with the waiver stuff.

Don't really know if getting those players through waivers will change anything. If the Orioles could have moved them before the July 31 waiver deadline to any benefit for the club, you'd have to think Andy MacPhail would have done that. But there's always the possibility that a contending team will have an emergency need and come calling with a prospect or two.

Huff is coming out of a lengthy slump, which may make him more attractive in August than he was in July, but I think you can still make a case for holding onto him and offering him salary arbitration after he files for free agency. If he accepts, the O's have him on a one-year deal while they wait on their young corner infielders. If he doesn't, they get draft choice compensation if he signs elsewhere as a free agent.

Injury update: Turns out Chris Tillman is suffering from a mild groin strain, which seems to explain his decreased velocity in Saturday's start. Knew it had to be something like that, though he appeared to be stretching his back between innings.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 10:57 PM | | Comments (77)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Pete, I want to get your honest assessment of Trembley.

People's rumblings and rants aside, I've always like him. However, it seems lately his gritty, back-to-the-fundamentals approach is falling on deaf ears.

It seems to me that Trembley's a guy better suited for the minors and dealing with kids (even though there are a lot of young guys on the team).

The O's are young, but come next year, they'll be at an age where they should be able to produce, and everyone should count on them to do it.

I just feel like going into next year, we need a fiery, Lou Piniella or Mike Scoscia (or even Earl Weaver ;) ) type guy to light a fire under these guys, get in their faces, challenge them and not just tell them, but make them believe that anything less than a playoff berth is unacceptable.

We have talent like last year's Rays, but we need a manager who can maximize it. As much as I like Trembley, I don't think he's that guy.

Your thoughts?

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Pete's reply; I'm not ready to break down the manager completely. I'll eventually do it in a column. What I will say is that Trembley was put in an impossible situation here, because a high percentage of fans are not patient and want to judge him as if each game were the World Series. You leave Tillman in in a playoff game when he's pitching well in the seventh. You take him out when he's in his third major league start and you're in last place, yet some people actually said "Trembley should be fired" for taking him out. That's what Dave has been up against for months. I'd like to see anybody -- including me -- stand up to that level of second-guessing. He has handled it pretty well. His faults: I think he's too doctrinaire, meaning that he makes rules for himself and doesn't break them. I think he needs to be more flexible, but he spent his career trying to drill those rules into young players, and it's tough to change.

Trembley has conditioned himself and the team to losing which is why he needs to go.This team doesn't believe in itself and that's the problem But as long as the lapdog Balto. media keeps making excuses for them,there's no incentive for them to do any better.The Nats were headed for the Met's record for futility and have now won 8 straight under a new manager and after trading Nick Johnson.Trembley did nothing to address the Mora flap last week and in fact he's back in his old #5 spot in the order.

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Pete's reply: I'm sure the Nats will finish the season by winning 40 of their last 50 games. Get back to me on that.


Happy to report that Brandon Tripp from your school is putting toghter a good year after we let him go. Strange. Also Hank Williamson [ throw in Pie deal] is going to be a keeper for the Cubs in a few more years. For sure.

Pete, please correct me if I am wrong.

Without offering arbitration to Huff, I think the O's get nothing in draft compensation. I think that he has to be offered it and decline to go to get the picks.

Based on his performance last year, Huff rates as a type A player and should get some significant money in arbitration. Given his numbers this year, is he worth that risk, even for 1 year? Seeing how "tight" the free agent market is, the O's figure to get a decent bat for a lot less for a year, even Huff if they wanted.

How badly do the O's want to risk it to get those picks? Tough call.


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Pete's reply: You are right. They must offer arbitration to get compensation.

Seems like the reasonable way to treat Huff. I could see keeping him for another year, primarily because I just don't see who we'd get to replace him, but we've got to get a replacement for Mora. I don't know if Wiggy can fill that slot, but I'd like to see him get more playing time over there to see. Scott is the streakiest hitter I've ever seen in 40 years of watching baseball. It's all or nothing with him and that's not acceptable in a DH, but once again the FA market just doesn't seem to be the answer.
I really would like to know just how the O's are going to beef up the offense for next season. Unlike many commentors on your blog I think the pitching will be fine next year. That's something I haven't believed in many years, but even with good pitching you still have to score. I also believe that Reimold and Weiters will be better next year as well, and just don't understand the pessimism regarding those two, but we're still left with three very big holes to fill at both corners and DH, and I have no clue where those are going to come from. Any thoughts Pete?

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Pete's reply: I think they need to make a play for a quality starting pitcher and find some way to acquire a run-producing corner infielder during the winter. If they do, they've got a chance to be competitive.

// Without offering arbitration to Huff, I think the O's get nothing in draft compensation. I think that he has to be offered it and decline to go to get the picks.

Based on his performance last year, Huff rates as a type A player and should get some significant money in arbitration. Given his numbers this year, is he worth that risk, even for 1 year? Seeing how "tight" the free agent market is, the O's figure to get a decent bat for a lot less for a year, even Huff if they wanted.

How badly do the O's want to risk it to get those picks? Tough call. //


Don't forget that, in order to get picks for Huff, we have to offer him arbitration, AND he has to decline, AND someone else has to sign him. Would any other team give him a competitive salary in that case while also giving up a draft pick? Given his numbers this year, I doubt it.

If he's a type-A, I think he accepts arbitration, if we offer it.

I guess the O's have a pretty big decision to make re: Huff. Based on last year, it was a no-brainer to keep him around but now I'm not sure. The danger of bringing him back is that he may regress even more and then we are stuck in a Mora-like scenario-a non-productive vet clogging up playing time and with a possible negative impact on the clubhouse.
I say cast him adrift and forget about the draft picks. The downside outweighs the upside and if we can't find a 1B elsewhere to put up similiar numbers(at far less $$) then what are these scouts been doing?
I contend that the stalled rebuild is largely due to the rapid regression of our vets like Mora, Huff and Scott. If they put up their '08 numbers we likely would have won more games this year and we would have had more time to work on bringing in replacements. As it stands now, we have huge gaping holes at 1st/3rd and DH but bringing Mora and Huff back just compounds the problem. I can live with Scott I suppose but he's really a jouneryman who had a good 2 mths but he's more of a platoon-type rather than an everyday player, especially on a rebuidling team.

Pete, a new manager equals 8 wins in a row plus players are having fun again. The washington nationals have more heart then the orioles will ever have.The players were interviewed yesterday and said despite there awful record , BY THE WAY ONLY 6 GAMES FROM CATCHING UP TO THE ORIOLES AWFUL RECORD that they were actually finding the game to be fun under there new manager. I bet nobody and i mean nobody is having any fun on the orioles pete. The DOG Days are here it will be in the 90's at game time and i bet the players wish they were any where but here playing ball. People are now making excuses because we have 6 rookies starting , 4 in the rotation. Everybody that is starting is better then anything that this team had . Andy said before the season started that this team was going to be competive despite rebuilding but he never gave this team any chance to compete right from day one. That pitching staff he brought North with him wasa absolute joke and set the tone for the entire year. Simon, eaton,Mark h, koji, a guy who couldn't go more then 4 innings without huffing and puffing.The orioles better watch out because they will finish with the worst record in baseball, but don't fear because we have a plan and we were never expected to win. They won't win next year , or the year after next or the year after next. The yankee's are so strong now that everybody is healthy boston looks like a second tier club. I repeat we will never win in this divison no matter what we do. You can't change this losing mentality just by changing players and changing uniform numbers.

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Pete's reply: So you're saying the Orioles will win eight in a row if they fire Trembley? Get back to me when the Nats overtake the Os in the won-loss column. Since that managerial change made all the difference, it should happen next week...but it won't.

The Orioles should recall Jeff Fiorentino who has been tearing it up down at Norfolk and give him some playing time. With Luke scott slumping badly, the team needs some new blood. Fiorentino could DH and split some playing time with Nolan Reimold.

I'm surprsied that Pie has not been put through waivers. He is a defensive liabiity and if a player hasn't learned how to play the outfield by the time he is 24, they never will. He is taking up a roster spot.

Of course, that move is too logical for this team. They would rather burn up their best pitching prospects and carry an outfilder who can't catch and can't hit.

As far as Trembley is concerned, he can't be blamed if his position players players want to die of dumbness at the plate.

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Pete's reply: Pie made a few goofs early in the season, but he is not a defensive liability now and he has been swinging the bat well since he became a reserve player. He also has made a contribution as a pinch runner. There isn't a GM in baseball who would trade him for Fiorentino.

As bad as things may be with DT, how would you like to be Terry Francona today?

they definitely offer him arbitration. that is the only way to stock up on draft picks in the MLB, losing free agents.

the O's need to hope he turns it on in the last 7 weeks so someone offers him a multi year deal and he turns down arbitration

If I hear one more person say that the Nationals have more "heart" than the O's because they're on a winning streak I'm gonna throw up! The Nats are winning for two reasons, improved outfield defense after the Nyjer Morgan trade, and regression to the mean. They're bad but not 100 losses bad, so their record is evening itself out, probably ending in the 60-70 win range. As the saying goes, you're never as good as you look when you're winning or as bad as you look when you're losing. Let me know when someone invents a heart-meter.

MRinOdenton,

I'd like to be Terry Francona any day. The man has two world series rings. Fun fact: Francona interviewed for the O's managing job at the same time as Mazzilli. Take what you will from that. I don't know how much of his success in Boston has to do with the ownership and the Redsox organization, but the guys is clearly a winner.

MRinOdenton

Dont be an idiot.


Terry Francona on a bad day still has a winning record, is probably still going to make the playoffs, and has control over his team. Also he works in a professional environment where he can make inputs to his GM and owner.

Forget subjective terms like "heart". The Nationals are playing like they are expecting to win under Riggleman. The Orioles are playing like they are "trying to make a good show while rebuilding" under Trembly. It is up to the Manager to set the tone of the ball club (something Acta never did). We need a managerial change to someone who will light a fire not hold a hand.

As much as I hate to say it I think we need to try and keep Huff. I don’t think he worked hard this off season because his wife just had a baby and some other issues. The only reason I am quick to make excuses for the guy was the production last season. Maybe we at least try to give him a shot again he might just pay off better than moving him at a low. Baez and Mora need to go though….. don’t know how or where but hopefully we can move them..

The Nats are going to do better than the O’s this year. Flip to their games while watching the O’s. The combination of firing Acta, acquiring nyjer morgan from the pitt and trading Nick Johnson was the formula. I don’t think the Nats are a good team and I don’t really root for them but I give them credit for at least trying to rebound this season. More than we can say…

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Pete's reply: I'll take that bet. The Nats will finish right where they were headed before this winning streak.

Francona Was fired from the Phillies, because he sucked as a manager, could not get it done in Philly, but somehow learned to manage and get Boston over the top.

If we had hired the Philly loser over a Joe Torre assistant, Orioles Nation would have gone nuts.

Trembley may not be the guy, but you never know what will happen with the next guy.

Francona might even be availible soon......because in the, what have you done for me lately world, he is on the top of that list.

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Pete's reply: I suspect Francona would have been fired by 2006 if he had gotten the O's job. Having Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in their prime (if you get my drift) helped make him one of the more successful managers of the decade. Not that there's anything wrong with him, but a lot of you guys would be tearing thim o shreds right now if he was managing this team.

See this is where the O’s show how bad a team they really are. The nats new manager Jim Riggleman actually has MLB managerial experience from the Cubs, Pads and M’s and he’s also from Maryland :). The Nats had a backup at their benchcoach in Riggleman that could take the helm if nessisary with more experience than the O’s current manager. Until this front office gets serious and stops hiring inexperienced out of touch yes men we will never win no matter who is on the field.

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Pete's reply: Way to overreact to a fluke winning streak. I hope the Nats keep winning, but making a knee-jerk assessment that it bears some relation to the Orioles situation is silly.

Fire Trembley

Drop the O's in the NL east and they're in the mix for the playoffs. Drop the Nats in the AL east and they might not win 60 games. The severe talent disparity between leagues makes it tough to make comparisons. The Nats look like they "expect to win" because they're winning, it's amazing how that happens. If the O's went on a winning streak the first thing people, on here at least, would be saying is "look, they have a totally new attitude". What a load of crap!

The Nationals have not been playing the most exhilarating schedule as of late either. Arizona does not rate that high, nor do the Mets. Look at who they are beating: The Marlins were the only team that was decent and they were looking past the Nationals. So "heart" may not be the right way to describe the way they are playing. Maybe if they keep going and win 70 games you could conclude that.

Francona got fired by the Phillies for being a bad manager. Bad managers can be proven to be good as well. Have a young team learning how to play does not mean they are not learning how to win. Winning comes from learning intricacies of the game. Pitchers changing things at the delivery, changing speeds. It does not come overnight. Think back to when you were between 18 and 24 years of age. Did you do everything exactly right? Were you at your peak in your profession? It takes time to really succeed. You mature into it. A 21 year kid pitching to a 29 or 30 year old is going to make a mistake that the older ballplayer like a Vernon Wells or Alex Rios is going to key in on. It is not as easy as 1, 2 and 3.

OK: I will admit maybe I am distracted by the thought of dealing with another bad season or two. And I am trying to tone down my expectations. I believe they will win in the future just not as immediate as I expected. And the youth makes it difficult for the manager. And the nonproduction from the older, so-called veteran players on the team makes it even worse for him. So don't necessarily blame him completely. While there are a few bad decisions not all are his fault for the way players perform.

I don't understand why the o's can't get onboard like other clubs and dfa mora and baez. Jeez boston just let future hof smoltz go for the good of the team. Mora needs to be let go immediatly let ty play third see if he can handle it if not you'll know what to look for in the winter. Baez hold onto for a couple of weeks to trade and dfa him if nothing comes up. Huff is to complicated on whether we can or canot get anything for him.

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Pete's reply: Can't compare Smoltz and Mora. Smoltz was struggling badly the Sox couldn't justify putting him back on the mound. Mora has been mediocre, but he plays good defense and he's still hitting .250. He also has more potential to do well the rest of the way and you have little to lose by keeping him since you have to pay him anyway and you have no one in the minors ready to replace him.

Glad to see people standing up for the Nationals, it makes it fun, which team finishes the season with the better record should get some kind of award, kind of a participation award you hand out in the youth rec leagues.

The fact is that both teams are in the same boat, but the Orioles have better young arms, and that should paint a better picture in the future. Maybe if the Nats can sign their big name ace, things will get better for them. It would be great to see the Orioles and Nats competing for the top of their leagues, instead of debating which of the last place teams are better.

Why is everyone freaking out about the Nationals winning 8 in a row. 5 of those 8 wins came against Pittsburgh and Arizona (a combined 40 games under .500?). Nearly all of them were at home. None of them were against a team that would make the playoffs if they started today.

Of the Orioles last 8 losses, 6 came against division leaders, one was in extra innings, and 1 was to Roy Halladay.

The sky is in fact not falling.

What scares me about the Orioles is how slow and incompetent the front office is at getting quality free agents. Even other bad teams like the Nats have shown they can pull in a big time free agent like Adam Dunn. Yes we have had a few ones in Baltimore like Miggy, Sosa and…. well ughhh I don’t want to think about them anymore.. I get a feeling we are about to embark on a long sleepy IFC movie with AM..

Roy

Roy

Smoltz should not even have been playing and after giving up 8 to the yanks the Bosox knew they couldn’t keep him. Baez and Mora are not anywhere near that level some team may want them but its going to be tricky

If the nats trade Christian Guzman to the Red Sox then all this National Nation talk will die LOL.

You know pete you are awful cocky, You would look pretty foolish is the nationals over took your beloved orioles.By the way are you that cocky playing cards because i would just love to take your whole stack. Do you think for one moment think the orioles are going to start playing better . I am not a national fan by any means, but don't dare give them any credit for playing much better baseball under there new manager.

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Pete's reply: I'm not being cocky. If the Nats somehow overtake the Orioles, good for them. I'm not rooting against them. But give me a break. There's no connection here at all. Let's review, Bob. Back when the Orioles had a couple of decent runs before the All-Star break, you immediately made it clear that they did it in spite of the manager. Now, Riggleman, who's a good guy and a good manager, is a genius because the Nats finally win a few games. You are the best guy on this blog at trying to have it both ways.

Peter Schmuck: "... a high percentage of fans are not patient and want to judge him [Dave Trembley] as if each game were the World Series."

I think that's an exaggeration. Not patient? Eleven consecutive losing seasons and counting, and yet I don't remember "a high percentage of fans" expecting a .500 ball club this year.

If I recall correctly, Dave Trembley received a good deal of support in a Sun online poll taken a month or so ago, so he has not been receiving copious amounts of criticism "for months".

Speaking for myself, I expect growing pains from the rookies and am perfectly happy for them to get their needed time on the mound or in the field to climb up the learning curve. Berken finally got his second win, and his struggles are not that unusual for a rookie.

However, I feel that our veterans are underperforming, and part of that falls on Trembley. We have a pretty decent core of hitters on this team, and yet our team stats for hitting rank on the lower end of the AL (except for batting average).

And despite Trembley's call for the players to respect the game, the team's fundamentals have been less than sound.

I think Trembley seems to handle the younger players okay, but his long-term future as manager is questionable. He's just the latest "rookie" manager the Orioles have hired on with unsurprising results.

You're relatively new to this blogging business, but you should understand that your blog is one of the few available outlets for O's fans to express their daily reactions to this season, and as of late it's been rough going. On the whole, most posters here are civil, even the more malcontented. We're practically Boy Scouts here when compared to the rancorous tenor found in other corners of the blogosphere.

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Pete's reply: True enough, except for the part about patience. The fans have not been patient while the O's lost 11 years in a row. About half of them have abandoned the team since the late 1990s. You don't get credit for being patient because you've suffered through all those losing seasons. That has nothing to do with patience. Patience is being able to wait when you know that the end will justify it. This is the first time in forever that the O's have given fans the opportunity to be patient, and I think a pretty significant percentage of fans would rather complain and insist on half-measures that will snuff out whatever light there is at the end of the tunnel.

Pete, JJ Hardy has yet to clear waivers. This is a guy I believe to be a no brainer for the O's to pick up. Mil needs to dump his salary as they have a SS waiting in the wings. Have you heard any discussion from Oriole brass if this is a possibility? Hardy would be a perfect fit here & the O's have NO SS in the system. This is a move the O's can do to get better without breaking the bank OR trading high end picks. As far as position goes, this is so important as to filling our competitive roster.

Your thoughts??


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Pete's reply: I've been hearing his name in the rumor mill for a long time, but not anything close to solid out of the front office. I'm guessing Andy MacPhail will consider shortstop settled for the time being because he has bigger fish to fry. JJ is a good offensive player, but he's having a bad year and if you get him you still have the same number of holes to fill afterward. I like him and would certainly take him over Izturis, but that would not be as high on my priority list as it may be on yours.

Schmucker!
Why does Mora, Huff and Scott continue to play nearly every day when hopefully the first two won't be back next year and none of the three have a clue? Why does Pie sit on the bench nearly every day? Isn't it about time they find out if he can hit?

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Pete's reply: Because the O's have found out Pie can hit...in the role he's in right now. The reason Mora and Huff play is because there is no one to come right up and take their place.

1. I am happy for the Nats. Not a fan but can't remember the last time we had an 8 game streak
2. Sign Huff and DH him next year. He will be in contract year and motivated.
3. Trade Scott for anything. Way too inconsistent. One great week followed by a bad month. Not good.
4. Sign front line pitcher
5. Fill bullpen with hard throwers as did Davy Johnson upon arrival
6. Platoon first base with the new Aubrey and Synder
7. Make Adam Jones move back
8. Kick Brian Roberts behind about hustle
9. Give Pie 400 at bats and watch him grow
10. Trembley is a good man but a below average manager "in game" Give him until the end of this year. If they quit on him or he makes more questionable decisions,see ya

What 'this "you'd like to see anyone including you stand up to the second guessing DT has received?" Are you serious? This is kid stuff. DT like most everyone in baseball is very well paid to play or manage a game. Now fans are supposed to feel guilty for criticizing this incompetent? Real life is where the challenge is, so please cut out the coddling of the O's management and players. I await your insulting reply without self-pity.

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Pete's reply: I'm not going to insult you. Obviously, you've watched the O's for the past few months and you've noticed that they aren't winning quick enough to suit you. You have been a constant, sarcastic critic of "The Plan," because you're way smarter than MacPhail, but when I've asked you to tell me what you would do, you just continue to lob your angry bombs with no solution. So, we're all ears. What would you do right now? Blow it up and start over again? C'mon, be specific.

doctrinaire. you must be a writer. come to think of it you are writer. glad you put the definition in there. i learned something today. thanks schmuck! do you know another word for "thesaurus"? may the schmuck be with you.

Keep Mora.

I think it is about time we look at the manager. Seems to me he is not getting the best out of this ballclub.

Bring back Davey Johnson? Cal Ripken?

I'm abacker of Trembley but if he goes you need to look at Mazzli numbers when he was here

Adam Eaton, Alfredo Simon, Koji Uehara, Mark Hendrickson, Rich Hill.

When the Orioles invited 36 pitchers to the Spring Training try out camp, and ended up with the above in the starting rotation, we all knew it was going to be a long year. Even Pete admitted that what we went North with was extremly troubling and somewhat bizarre.

So here we are 23 games out on August 10 and heading for 100 losses. Things are not likely to improve in the short term.

The experienced veteren position players are demoralized by the pitching debacle and the effort from them speaks for itself.

Firing Trembley will not fix things unless the new manager brings 5 good starting pitchers with him.

Andy Macphail has done some good things and he is to be commended for them. He also is responsible for the pitiful state of the pitching staff, and the fact that the Orioles were forced to recall our young pitching prospects before they were seasoned. The threat to serious injury to this group is very real as they struggle. They are our future.

Andy Macphail was trying to borrow some time this year and it has backfired very badly.


Matusz shoul be sent back immediately, then shut down. The team should be very careful with chris Tillman and shut him down if he sneezes.

This team will not be competetitive for several years to come, so let's accept it and look to the future.

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Pete's reply: Gil, I really don't think it will be several years. The team will either get much better next year and the O's will be truly conpetitive (contending) in 2011 or it's not going to happen and the angry "McFail" bashers will be able to say they told us so. And they'll be happy about it, in a sick sort of way.

I have been trying to figure out for the past couple weeks how people on this blog could seriously consider having Ty Wiggington as the everyday third baseman for the club. Defensively he is nowhere near Mora's skills and range. He would basically be a warm body who's played third base before (and would come much cheaper than Mora's 2010 price tag).

I think this club would suffer greatly, defensively, with Wiggy playing the hot corner everyday. I like him as a once a week third basement, but over the course of a season, I think his glove would lose more games than his bat could save.

Am I on an island out here, or does anyone else think that's an absurd option for a ball club needing as good a defense as they can provide for their young pitchers?

My point was only - you have all the resources and owner can give - MVPs, Real pitching and get swept to 5 1/2 back by your arch-enemy.

He's gotten a lotta crap today on the call-ins in RS Nation.

I have been trying to figure out for the past couple weeks how people on this blog could seriously consider having Ty Wiggington as the everyday third baseman for the club. Defensively he is nowhere near Mora's skills and range. He would basically be a warm body who's played third base before (and would come much cheaper than Mora's 2010 price tag).

I think this club would suffer greatly, defensively, with Wiggy playing the hot corner everyday. I like him as a once a week third basement, but over the course of a season, I think his glove would lose more games than his bat could save.

Am I on an island out here, or does anyone else think that's an absurd option for a ball club needing as good a defense as they can provide for their young pitchers?

Gil,
I am not sure what AMs plan was at all. Now that all the opening day starters are gone people are saying it was the goal all along to bring up the kids kind of the same way they eased Wieters into the main catcher role then let go of Zaun. I was under the impression they were going to wait this season on the kids but It could just be an excuse because the front office failed miserably at free agency and were hoping Eaton, Koji, Simon and Hill could at least get us to a respectable losing record or a typical Orioles losing season record. What ever the case it is disturbing to fans to see this after all the losing seasons but hey at least the nationals are wining : )


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Pete's reply: I don't know where this is coming from. The "Plan" was for Adam Eaton and Co. to be space fillers until the young guys came up. We knew in ST that Tillman would probably come up late this year. The only guy who came up way ahead of schedule is Matusz, and he was so dominant in the minors he forced himself into the equation. MacPhail never said he would not bring up young pitchers if they deserved to be brought up. He said several times that the plan was for the team to start looking during the final months of the season like it would next year, and I mean from a youth movement standpoint. He also said the performance should improve in August and September. That hasn't happened yet.

trembley deserves to stay until the o's give him a team to work with. only then can we really measure his accumen accurately. otherwise, the guy after him will get fired as well and the guy after him....

Ted B. Signing other teams castoffs like JJ Hardy are the type of moves that the O's have to stop making. Very few of those type of deals ever work out-see Sammy Sosa, David Segui, Russ Ortiz, Adam Eaton, Hay Payton. Besides, Itzuris is signed for next year and he's done a great job defensively. Athough he's not a power hitter, hes' right around .260 and if the other vets performed, we could easily carry his average bat.
It looks like the rebuild will take longer but tying up roster spots with marginal players will likely set us back more. If you are going to rebuild, do it the right way, with younger players, mixed in with key established players. I can't see Hardy helping us-it's been too long since he had a decent year.

J

I agree. Some of the reason our young and old pitchers are getting rocked is from bad infield play… mainly from Wiggy! Naa lol I don’t think Mora should go unless they find a good replacement.

TerryP. How can you say he has not had recent good years? 2007 & 2008 he had combined 50 HR's with a solid glove. 2009 has been his down year. He is no Kahlil Green either. He is not a castoff in any way. He is a salary issue for Mil as they want to play Alcides Escobar. They can't play both of them! He is turns 27 this month so he is a better fixture for the future than Izturis who is signed for next year. I will say it again, the O's have NO futre SS in their system.

Ted,

Andy Macphail was playing for the future from the day he got here. Now he is playing with the future and that's what disturbs me. I hope that none of these kids get hurt while overthrowing at the major league level.


As far as the Nationals are concerned, they are losers, and will always be losers and I would not be the least concerned that they have won a few games.


Compare DC's history to Baltimore's...One lousy team moved to Minnesota due to lack of fan suppport and the other lousy team to Texas for the same reason. I don't see any Championship flags flying anywhere over DC.

We were World Champions in 1966, 1970, and 1983, and went to the playoffs many other times.

Baltimore will eventually rebuild on pitching and defense, a tradition started under Paul Richards.

When that day comes in a few years, DC will still be losers, that is if they still have a team.

blancione is a whiney b!tch.

bms

We all are.. We are Oriole fans!


"Sign Huff and DH him next year. He will be in contract year and motivated."

Geez Ted. He is in a contract year this year and it hasn't seem to help, has it?

Scott should be getting regular time at 1B. Lets see and if he can do the job or will be a J. Lopez/Gibbons failure at 1B.

Well it looks like the A’s and O’s will be an even matchup tonight


Orioles 46-65 The Orioles have lost 17 of 23 in the second half of the season.

Athletics 49-62 The Athletics have used a rookie starter in nine straight games.

Pete,

That was my point, Francona "sucked" in Philly and then became good in Boston. It had everything to do with the Players on the team. I think Philly fans had the exact same feelings towards Francona as many O's fans have toward Dave T.

Give Trembly the Yankees lineup for a year or two, then we could judge Him as a good or bad manager.

Do we need to make a change? Probably, but will anybody else do much better?

When our young 20 somethings are pushing mid to late 20's, we can then hope we have several top pitchers out of that pool of talent we have now.

I hope for better next year, but it will probably still be a building year for the youngsters.

Anonymous,

They may be 6 and 17 since the break, but that's better than 4 and 32. The progress that AM's vaunted PLAN promised has been realized. Way to go AM, you bum you.


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I actually believe ABC, whoever you are, are happy that the team is doing poorly. You take way too much joy in the losses.

Pete's reply: A/C ?

Sorry about that , A/C is short for Air Conditioning . They are my best friends in this muggy humid weather , LOL

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Sorry, I know that's what A/C usually means, but didn't get the context.

No pete you must have me mixed up with somebody else. I have said all along and will continue to say that this so called plan will not work.True i have been trying to get dave t fired all year, only because i don't think the players respect him and because this team obviously needs a stronger voice. Same as what happened to the ravens when it was time for brian billick to leave. Jim harbaugh is the stronger voice type what i am talking about.All i was trying to poiny out was that the change of manger obviously recharged this team, nobody can deny it didn't, and the players have come out in the media and said they are having fun once gain playing this game something you will never here the oriole say.If you remember my main gripe was with roberts way before the all star game but since that time i have backed off. Don't tell me i want it both ways i only want you to acknowledge just how bad this team is and stop brain washing the fans of this town about the future. Do you realize just how far this team has to improve just to play 500 ball. And that sir will still put them 20 some games back at the end of the year in this divison. I have seen far more fans get disgruntled with you then at anytime in the past do to your persistent home team flavor. KOOL AID ORANGE. i can't wait to see what your blog and your comments will be this time next year.They will be lucky to win 60 games this year and it all started out down in spring training when the brain trust of this team decided to come north with one of the worse staring 5 pitching staffs ever assembled. The message was engraned in this team right from that time.

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Pete's reply: Bob, for your own good, you need to switch over to the Nats. They've won eight in a row, so it'll be a day or two before you can start carving up Riggleman, but just be patient. If you really believe everything you just said, you need a new hobby. Why on earth would you have one ounce of interest in the Orioles if you believed they have no chance of getting better in the foreseeable future. Sticking with them would be insane. Stop torturing yourself and find something else to do. This is tedious and pointless.

A year ago on this date we were 57-60 and headed for a disastrous finish that would leave us with only 1 starter we could project into the 2009 rotation. Today we have 2 pitchers (Guthrie & Bergesen) who project into 2010 and 4 others (Tillman, Matusz, Hernandez, & Berken) who look as if they can compete for rotation spots.

We can argue about infield position players making a difference but the breakout of the Yankees has much less to do with the performance of the money-grubbers nicknamed A-Rod and Tex and more to do with the money-grubbers initialed CC and A.J.

Pete, you seem a bit stressed with your "angry" outbursts. This is the first time you've asked me what I'd do so here goes:

1. Fire any management official who attempts to lower the bar for themselves by predicting a losing season. This tells the players management doesn't expect much so why should they put out the extra effort needed to win. High expectations yield positive results,

2. Make an example of veterans who cause problems or don't hustle by kicking them off the team. Mora comes to mind and of course there have been others. Raise expectations by letting the players know laziness won't be tolerated.

3. Have a manager who gets in the face of his players for their mental mistakes. Quit coddling. Raise expectations.

4. Don't manage a pitching staff by pitchcount. It creates unnecessary stress on the pitcher who's probably counting pitches himself. Tell the starters you're in for the complete game as long as you're pitching well. This will toughen up the starters. Raise expectations

5. Reduce the number of players in the bullpen and get off the idea that pitching 50 innings a year in relief is overwork. Raise expectations.

6. Teach and demand the fundamentals of baseball like bunting and taking a few pitches when you're way behind. Raise expectations.

Pretty radical right Pete. It starts with management and whether they have a PLAN to succeed or a PLAN to fail.

............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Yeah, you hit the nail on the head. You just fired the entire team including the owner, and you did it because they didn't pee on you and tell you it's raining. You want to fire Andy and Trembley because they didn't lie to the fans about the rebuilding plan. Your plan is to raise expectations by raising self-esteem. I'll pass that along. As for my "angry" outbursts, you crack me up. It's all I can do just to talk you off the ledge every freaking day.

100 pitch counts are used by many MLB teams and are not going anywhere.

This has nothing to do with the Nats , all i was saying is that since they changed managers they are starting to have fun as a team. For some unknown reason you won't even acknowledge that they are playing better and generateing some renewed interest for there fans. I don't know where all your resentment is coming from in regards to the nats but the orioles haven't even come close to winning 8 games in a row and have been a constant negative the entire year. As for why i have continued interest in the orioles when i know they can't win is because i will not let myself get excited anymore or brain washed when i know for a fact that they are light years from ever getting respectable. The hand that they are dealt being in this divison is far to much to overcome, something you will not come to realization with. Once again i applaude the intention of what Andy wants to do but he will always behind before the flop and can't bank on sucking out every time on the river to win.In all the years of me posting on any site i have never had a running disagreement with any author of a blog then what i have had with you. Your backing of this team this year by you borders on insanity not on all your great years as a award winning journalist and my curiosity as to why will always have me baffled

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Bob, I told you once before that I was tired of this and wasn't going to respond to you any more. I didn't keep my word. You can't handle anyone disagreeing with you and you're obsessing about it again. So, I'm going take a timeout. You can post all you want, but I won't be responding. I've given you way more time than anyone else, but it's gong to have to stop here. Calm down and have a nice life.

Gil,

Rich Hill was not in the rotation to start the year, Guthrie was. How have things backfired? The plan has to have flaws, you are dealing with the human element. The creme always rises to the top and yes Mora and Huff are having career worst years. Guthrie has not been the same as he was the last two years. But that is where it starts and stops. Roberts, Markakis are playing to their abilities. Jones is in his 2nd year and he has surpassed what most felt he could do at this stage. Wieters and Riemold are playing about how they should at this point. Luke Scott was playing way above his expectations in April, May and June. The fact is the two vets that hurt the Orioles offensively are Mora and Huff, do you blame it on them playing for extensions next year, or blame it on Trembley? I would think that the Orioles front office has given it a lot of thought on what veterans they want to go after for next year, and if Dave Trembley has a future here. Most managers cannot pull a guy that is hitting .250 in the big leagues and make him a .300 hitter. Managers manage games, the roster and motivate, but the vets need to pull themselves up no matter who pitches, last time I looked they are paid a lot of money to produce regardless.

CB Coach,
I don’t think anybody really knows if this pitching plan failed or was a success yet because the whole mess is pretty vague. We don’t really know if AM wanted the rookies to come up or was just try to wing it with that broken vet pitching rotation we started out with and rely on the offense to carry us. Well that totally backfired with the rotation worse than the O’s scouts anticipated and the offense totally falling off the grid. Its easy to say now that brining up the rookies was the plan but it could just be to save face.

Let's hope someone on the Orioles is paying attention to what is happening in DC because there are some lessons to be learned. First of all the Nationals obtained a sparkplug and true baseball player in Nyjer Morgan who understands that talent is a supplement to effort and game awareness which should be taken for granted (note to Brian Roberts & Adam Jones). Second, their middle of the lineup is running on all cylinders with Zimmerman (reaching full potential with lineup protection), Dunn (one of the few true power hitters), & Willingham (a bad fielder but professional hitter).

Riggleman has admittedly not changed the emphasis on fundamentals but instead of just preaching them has made the team actually practice them in-season. And while the hot hitting has carried them to wins, the bad defense has improved to the point where it is no longer costing them close games.

The Nationals actually would have had the potential to make a move next year if not for the arm injuries to Jordan Zimmerman and Scott Olsen. Now it appears their rotation depth may limit their upside.

I disagree strongly. No one expected Adam Eaton to pitch better in the American League than he did in the National. His recent history and operations pointed to him being a gap pitcher. With Hendrickson everyone knew he has had much better success as a reliever and Simon was not someone that the Orioles thought would dominate and was gap stop also. Koji is 34 and the Orioles were looking for him to fill some innings with and he is the one the Orioles were counting on (besides Guthrie). The Orioles knew going in this is what they had. They invited 35 pitchers to spring training for a good reason, and that was not because we had that many great pitchers. The plan was flawed because they hoped that two of the four that did not have a jersey with Guthrie on it would make it through the season, so yes they had to move a little quicker. It is good to see the young pitcher come up, they will take their beatings and learn, but it is still better than what we started with!

Someone remind me why Guthrie remains the Ace of the Orioles staff, 1.1 innings, already to 55 pitches, get the pen ready by the fourth inning, or sooner. What no bullpen-LOL

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: You knew Guthrie wasn't a staff ace. He was just the first guy in line.

I always try to remain positive but am losing my patience. Not with the rookies on the team, nor with Trembley...BUT...how much longer is Mora going to be put in the starting lineup? Bats with runners on base, strikeout...bats with no one on and two outs, base hit. The graphic was put up on the tv broadcast that he has the largest negative differential in slugging % than any other major league player from 2008-2009 and yet he whines and gets put back in the lineup. Is it any wonder why he, Huff and Baez got through waivers? All three stink and hopefully are gone in six weeks if not sooner. Then there's "Ace" Guthrie. Yet another guy who stinks. Over 100 pitches in five innings and he can't even get Oakland batters out. Throw him in the bullpen. He still gets thrown out there every fifth day, and someone like Andy Mitchell doesn't even get a chance at the majors. With all the dead wood on the pitching staff why not give Mitchell a chance? What have the O's got to lose? Are they afraid to hurt the feelings of one of the many pitchers who haven't done the job this season? (See Guthrie, Adam Eaton, Rich Hill, etc etc etc. Jason Berken was 1-9 and he still gets put out there every fifth day but Andy MItchell still wallows in Norfolk. What a joke.

Hey Rich
Huff,Scott? Really who cares and does it matter?
Both streaky types. But over time Huff has the better career. Hoped we could get a tad more for Scott by some yeam that sees him as a small left handed piece to the puzzle. And offer Aubrey a few bucks or arbitration.
If you want Scott at first thats ok also but a typical Balto idea. Lets take a plus 30 year old who is below average in left field and put him where he handles the ball 20 times a game. I truly don't care. Let em go for it. It has become sad as our comments reflect regardless of preseason expectations. At least in "08" we had a first half of fun. Now it is an entire season of very bad baseball.
And Praise God, Roberts dropped a bunt tonight.
Elizabethhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

CB Coach,

I did not say that Hill was in the original starting rotation, but he was intended to be, and soon was. Guthrie was a given.

You get my drift, Hill or no Hil, l defend anything I wrote. Macphail threw the dice this year hoping that he could cobble together a group of castoffs to bridge to the kids. It blew up.

This is a throw away year and Andy hoped for the best and got the worst.

The Orioles are know forced to go into the free agent market this winter and over pay to stabilize the rotation until when and if the young pitchers come through.

Bob L. I have seen you fighting with the authors on other O's blogs. Don't act like this is the only one in time where your cocky and a know it all. Your a good one to be cocky, your the most cocky blogger I have ever seen. Go ahead and go over to someone else..don't come jumping back on the bandwagon in 2011, the Kool aid will be sweet loser.

Micah-
A season is 162 games and what your performance is based on is your record. I'm not saying the Nationals are a better team by any stretch, but the Orioles are only 3 games back from them. It doesn't matter if they had the worst record in the league and won 8 straight. It's their record, which is close to thee Orioles.

And for all the complaing everyone does about the salary cap and the how hard it is in the A.L. East, the Orioles have a better record against the A.L. East than the A.L. West.

Watching Gurthie's performance tonight, I almost wish he would say he's been hiding the fact that he needs surgery like Rich Hill did. I keep waiting for him to put together a string of good starts, but it's not going to happen, as I am not sure what the issue is, but no way do I believe that his name is set in stone for the rotation next year.

I hope some team wants Huff, right now because I don't want to take a chance that he comes back. I would rather the O's take a shot at Blalock or Beltre at 3B with Wiggy at 1B or whatever combo they want, but this team can't in my opinion, have 3 streaky hitters like Wiggy, Huff and Scott.

Watching this game, there isn't one player in the OF that plays for Oakland that is better than what he have and as far the INF, they don't have anyone that special, but they hustle out plays, they are patient with their ABs, and that's what makes the O's, so sad to watch. They have more talent than a lot of the teams they play, but guys are mailing it in and have been since June. I hope when Andy looks for he next manger and the next group of players, he looks at things beyond the stats. This team needs guys that WANT to play and they need guys that have been on winning teams because everyone on this O's roster, has been on losing teams their whole careers. It's pretty pathetic that a lot of guys and coaches, are cashing their checks when they don't even deserve to have the good fortune of being part the greatest game in the world. How there hasn't been a tirade by an O's coach (not just Dave) or a player, is beyond me. I don't care if it doesn't translate to wins, but I would like to know that some of these vets, these so called leaders, give a damn about anything but their paychecks.

There is a light, but that doesn't excuse what we've seen from the likes of Roberts, Mora, Huff, Scott, Guthrie and DT. Take pride in what you do or call it a career. I am tired of Luke, laughing it up in the dugout, as what's so funny? You guys want to lose 100 games?

Folks,

For the record, both the Orioles and Nats SUCK! Which sucks the most is irrelevent. However, for the O's fans using the Nats win loss record as a measuring stick for success, thats pathetic! The next goal should be 500 record, then a wild card and the division. Best bet is 2011 to begin that move!

Pete, you don't have to respond to me ever again,but your primary role in your position is not to be a fan but to be a reporter and you ahve fallen short in that area as far as reporting the truth about this dreadful franchise. I am obsessed for 1 reason and 1 reason alone and that is because in the end what i have been saying will all come true and nobody will listen.So if you want to block me you go right ahead Mr schmuck because you will be doing me a big favor.Liike numerous posters have stated i think you have become some what irrational on here yourself. You better look in the mirror pete and it doesn't have anything to do with weather you agree with anybody or else.

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I don't need you to tell me what my primary role is, Bob. My role on this blog is whatever I freaking want it to be. I'm a columnist and blogger. Not a reporter. Now, settle down and enjoy me not disagreeing with you for awhile.

I think blancione is about to go postal. I love the birds too, but how about a little perspective? It beautiful day today, birds are chirping...

I think blancione, that your the irrational one here. The Orioles came into the season with Mark Hendrickson, Adam Eaton, Alfredo Simon and a Japanese pitcher who had never pitched in MLB as their starters. They were picked to finish last in the division.

Vegas had our over/under for the season at 72 coming in. We're on pace for 67 right now...right on schedule. The Orioles have performed EXACTLY how everyone expected them to coming into this season.

2 years ago we had one of the longest losing season streaks in baseball, no farm system to speak of, a bloated payroll of $100 million/year and no hope. Now we have the financial flexibility to sign big names, one of the highest ranked farm systems in the majors and a group of young players who have already started to perform in the majors. If you could accept that all of that is fact and that the situation in Baltimore has DRASTICALLY improved then you should just give up and go root elsewhere.

Firing a manager, signing God himself to play first base, and ousting the GM will not fix the fact that our rotation sucks right now. But we're not the Yankees and we can't spend $250 million a year so its going to take time.

And seriously can we cut the B-Rob bashing already? Yes at times he hasn't looked as motivated as he could be but would you? He had every opportunity to cut and run and go play for a contender and didn't. There were plenty of teams out that that would have tossed money at a leadoff hitting 2B like him (ie the Cubs).

Instead he choose to do something I can't remember a single veteran from Baltimore with an all-star appearence doing in recent history. He chose to stay in Baltimore.

He showed his loyalty the team/city/fans how about maybe we return the favor?

coo coo, coo coo...

Go O's! And thanks Pete, your blog is a great way for me (living up the East Coast a bit) to participate in a conversation about the state of the Birds, one of my favorite topics.

Blogs tend to bring out the "authorities" with no tolerance for a difference of opinions or a sense of perspective. I can tell that you know you need to just smile while they rage on, but it is so hard to let their angry ravings and gleeful negativity go unaddressed.

And while character building sounds like a great rebuilding plan, I'll take an offseason that adds a #1 starter, corner IF and veteran ML manager instead.

HAHAHAHAHAHA I don't think I've ever gotten so much entertainment from a sports blog as I do here. "Bob" just cracks me up, and the continued drama he stirs is absolutely insane.

Pete, I want you to know that I respect your opinions, I appreciate your sardonic wit, and I'd be happy to club those who seem unaware that "spellcheck" exists. (It must drive you bonkers trying to figure out what some of these folks are saying)

As for the Orioles, I began to follow them in earnest when I took my father to his first-ever baseball game about four or five years ago (he's in his seventies now). My first memory of arriving in Maryland was to see Cal Ripken catch the final out in the World Series in '83- my family just moved here from Germany. I've witnessed a few ups and downs, and I really don't mind. It's all part of the game. Going to the ballpark with my dad or my friends, and enjoying being together while watching a fun game- isn't that what it's all about?

I get tired from the speculation or the "armchair" managers- if you could honestly do better, then what are you doing with your life now and where did it go wrong? MLB needs you!

Mr. Schmuck, thank you for the forum, Others, thank you for the laughter.

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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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