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December 21, 2009

Orioles: Atkins on the way

Quick update from Orioles beat guy Jeff Zrebiec: The Orioles newest player, corner infielder Garrett Atkins, is expected to undergo his physical tomorrow in Baltimore, which means he'll probably arrive here sometime tonight. If all goes well, the club will be able to finalize his contract and maybe even hook him up with the media.

No word on whether there will be a press conference at the Warehouse. Atkins probably will want to get right back on a plane and head home for the holidays. I know I'd like to get right back on a plane, but since I live here, I'll just keep shoveling.

The physical is probably a formality, but teams do them for a reason, so I guess you can never take anything for granted. Just ask Mike Lowell.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 1:40 PM | | Comments (98)
Categories: Just baseball


Mike Lowell? You mean that guy who gets down on his knees and thanks the Lord in heaven every night that he had to settle for winning a World Series with the Red Sox instead of enjoying an extended stay in the purgatory known as the Orioles? That Mike Lowell?

I have a futon couch that's always open, Pete. Though I won't lie to you, it got a little chilly last night. Somewhere in the mid-60's I think...

Here's hoping that Atkins gets back whatever he had a couple years ago. He's still in his prime, so I don't think it's an issue of age. Seeing how his line drive percentage dropped last year, I wonder if it has something to do with his eyesight. Initially I thought it could be astigmatism (which slightly alters the angles you see things at) and that it could be fixed relatively easy, but my wife told me that when they correct it, you lose some depth perception, which would not be beneficial at all.

On a football note, what a loss Webb is. Man, that guy gives me hope for the Ravens secondary. He's like the team's version of Bergesen. A solid guy playing above what was expected of him ending his year on an injury. At least it looks like we won't have to go CB first round next year in the draft. (I'm not religious, but I pray for Brandon LaFell on a weekly basis. I just like the way he plays.)

That's the one, JohnBoy, The same third baseman we could now have for a song and milk him for whatever he has left, which is undoubtedeedly better in a month than we will get out of the Garretmeister all season.

Pete, What difference does it make if Atkins has a fifteen minute press conference? I'd think he'd prefer the time being spent that way than sitting in an airport.

~$3M + a solid prospect for one year of a 36-year-old who will probably hit 15+ homers if his thumb surgery goes well


$4 for one year of a 30-year-old who could rebound and hit 25 homers

Does seem like that big of a difference to me.

I've never seen a free agent pick up a hit with two outs and a runner in scoring position during a press conference.

not brooks,

I'm pretty sure they are referring to the 2005 Mike Lowell. See the O's were trying to get Josh Beckett in a trade with the Marlins. The Marlins insisted that the O's take Mike Lowell too. Per media reports the O's didn't want Mike Lowell (see Melvin don't disrespect me Mora), and because of their refusal to take Lowell the trade fell apart. Soon after the Red Sox stepped in traded Hanley Ramirez for Beckett and got Lowell too, where he promptly became the Mike Lowell we all know today.

Not that we should have traded for Lowell instead of signing Atkins.

Matt -

Fang Guy wrote that Lowell will be "undoubted[ly] better in a month than [what] we will get out of the Garretmeister all season."

That's what I was responding to.

I hope Atkins fails his physical we dont need him.

"I hope Atkins fails his physical we dont need him."


Because we have soooooooooo many guys who are capable of playing a corner infield spot at the big league level.

And soooooo many of those guys have proven that they can hit 25 homers in the bigs.


Just to give you a heads up on this breaking story...

I'm going to be going a way for a while, but I will return as a Slugger who goes by the name of Joe Hardy. You media folk will call be "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo." I will be the 4-5 bat the team so desperately needs but can't seem to obtain. I'll spare you my rendition of "You gotta have heart."


Just to give you a heads up on this breaking story...

I'm going to be going away for a while, but I will return as a Slugger who goes by the name of Joe Hardy. You media folk will call be "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo." I will be the 4-5 bat the team so desperately needs but can't seem to obtain. I'll spare you my rendition of "You gotta have heart."

Has anybody heard from Milwood? Is he happy to be traded to Baltimore?


Just to give you a heads up on this breaking story...

I'm going to be going away for a while, but I will return as a Slugger who goes by the name of Joe Hardy. You media folk will call be "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo." I will be the 4-5 bat the team so desperately needs. I'll spare you my rendition of "You gotta have heart."


Thanks for the update - but, I must tell you, this signing really confirms that McPhail is throwing in the towel next season. Kind of sad, he had a real opportunity to shape this franchise and show the weary faithful a glimpse of his ability as a GM. With dollars off the books and openings at the corners - McPhail could have really stepped up to the plate and delivered something, well, magical! Instead, he took the easy and lazy way out and signed Atkins. No imagination here and no big bat! I'm afraid this franchise will remain an afterthought in this town until Pete sells.

Reading some of these comments, I keep thinking of Sigourney Weaver in ALIENS at the start of the movie, dealing with the stiffs from the "company" for whom she works. "Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?" Do fan IQs just drop sharply during the offseason? Why is what Andy has done a failure? Atkins is one season away from some pretty impressive numbers. He's an absolutely logical choice for 1-2 seasons given Josh Bell's progress in the minor leagues. Besides, anyone who thinks Andy is done making deals is sadly mistaken. We're just in the eye of the storm as it were. There will be at least one more very significant signing for a power bat. Everyone needs to just drink some egg nog and relax. Sheez...

Well said Maxmorf. But blogs seem to be magnets for cranky whiners. Perhaps some of it can be written off to years of abuse by the warehouse owner. You can get past that or just live a miserable ugly life. Yes 2010 is not going to be a pennant year. I guess I can be accused of drinking the koolaid, but I believe that staying the course will pay off. If the team stays healthy 2010 will beat 09 and 2011 will be better yet. We don't have Stankee or Dead Sux money, so we can't win playing that game. Stay the course.

Do you think that Atkins will definitely make the opening day roster? He seems to be a platoon/utility without glove from this park bench view

Hoping for a Miracle,

Please comprehend situations before you make posts! I would love to hear the move you would have made if you were Andy...

Name another player that we could have gotten for less money and more of an upside...NO ONE! You want kevin kuz...gonna cost you want dan uggla, gonna cost you prospects!!!

I really dont think you thought before you made that post...think about the market, value of players, and the prospects you have and it all makes sense! There is no one else better and the Orioles shoudnt give up prospects for a stopgap

I dont care if that was ur opinion, that was just an obvious hater post with no thought process

"Cranky whiners" is a redundancy. In other words, it's excessive, wordy, and unnecessarily duplicative. Redundancy is bad enough, but to be excessively redundant is inexcusable.

Besides: why whine about the whiners? This blog is a great release for fans who love baseball but hate what Angelos has done to our team

Have the Garrett Atkins bashers here ever seen him play? I have, probably 30 times at Coors Field. Is he the second coming of Pie Traynor or Mike Schmidt? No, of course not. But the guy can play. Forget all those DLZ and PHG and OPB and APB and SOS and DDT and EKG numbers. For the money, for the length of contract, and for the need (keeping the base warm until the Bell kid is ready), Atkins is a great pick-up. I think O's fans in the stands and on TV will be pleasantly surprised at how good Atkins is. Quite a few folks in this area (Colorado) were sad to see him go. He happened to have a down year when the Rockies had better, younger players ready to take his spot. A nothing to lose signing with big possible upside. How dumb can you nay-sayers and haters be?

O's need pitching to compete in the East!!! Trade for Javier Vasquez and Derek Lowe. Work with Atlanta to sign JV to a long term deal. With Millwood, Lowe, and Vasquez in the 1,2,3 SP, the O's will compete. You could get a deal like this by meeting some of the Braves needs for power. You could send Roberts and Markasis for JV, DL, Martin Prado at 2B and Matt Diaz to the OF. Roberts and Markasis won't make you compete, good pitching will. By getting Millwood and Atkins this year, the O's are saying that they want to compete this year. Prado and Diaz are no Roberts and Markasis, but they are solid MLB starters and with the SP, you can compete. DO IT!!!!

Rome wasn't built in a day! I love this blog and how Pete gets it going but guys really? Do we have to be trolls and bash Atkins? The guy obviously had choices and he chose Baltimore. Be happy we got him, remember an angry Melvin Mora? Atkins wants to be here and isn't nearing 40!

Man, I hope they do trade Markasis. That guy hasn't done squat for the O's...

Maybe they can get an overpaid veteran or two for Matt Waters, Adam Jonas and Brain Matisse as well...

O'Bravo -

Judging by your name and the hilarious suggestion of the O's sending Roberts and Markakis to Atlanta for a pair of pitchers in their mid 30's and a pair of replacement level hitters, I'm guessing you're a Braves fan.

Sorry that Frank Wren got suckered into giving Derek Lowe such a ridiculous amount of money. Outside of a fluke year in Boston and a solid stretch in a weak hitting division and a pitcher's park in LA, Lowe has been mediocre at best as a starter. And you guys will be paying him $15M per for his 37, 38 and 39-year-old seasons. Ouch.

Same deal with Vazquez, though he's not as old as Lowe. The guy was solid in Montreal, then threw a few seasons in hitters parks in the AL and got torched. Hopefully you guys can get something out of him for that fluke year he put up last season. A 32-year-old putting up an ERA that's more than a full run south of his career mark? Like that's going to happen again...

In short, enjoy your weak offense, and good luck getting something for Lowe!

$3M + a solid prospect for one year of a 36-year-old who will probably hit 15+ homers if his thumb surgery goes well


$4 for one year of a 30-year-old who could rebound and hit 25 homers

That's a very big COULD as he could hit 5 also.

Nic -

Sure, it's a big "could".

But my point was that they're equal gambles, and why wager the prospect to get Lowell when you just need to wager minimal cash to get Atkins?

Realistically, it doesn't matter who plays the corners for the O's in 2010. Because, unless Andy pulls off a huge trade for Adrian Gonzalez, the guys who start at first and third in 2010 won't be on the team in 2011, as management expects Bell and Snyder to be ready by then. And if Atkins is on the team in 2011, it'll mean he put up a .260/25/90-ish season in 2010 and was therefor worth the gamble.

Boomer wrote: "I've never seen a free agent pick up a hit with two outs and a runner in scoring position during a press conference. "
Nor has anyone else; the point of the press conference is to introduce the player to his new city so that fans can get to know a little about him and put a personality behind the face...that's all.

Chis in Hawhy-e,

That's funry stuff!!!

Funny how bloggers who just want to win, not a series mind you, but maybe just one more win than loss, are called trolls and whiners.

Yeah, i've seen some of the good things AM has done, but guess what? After his 3rd year, he'll be 3 for 3 in losing seasons. After this year, the talk will be about 2012.

I know, I know.....I'm suppose to see all the positives! But guess what people? Pete just wrote about the possibility of there being a press conference for Atkins........ Seriously - a press conference for Atkins!

How embarrassing! Embarrassing for the organization, embarrassing for the city, and embarrassing for you Pete that you have to keep writing blogs about this player.

Ok positive bloggers. Go ahead and say how I'm embarrassing for being negative. Call me a troll and whatever other name you want. The facts, the stats, and the won/loss record are on my side however. All you'll have is another losing year, a bunch of prospects......and the hope for 2012 and beyond.

Can't wait for the Atkins press conference recap. That'll make most of yours day......

Pete, I have to take umbrage over a comment you made in Sun.'s paper (I just got it today. Paper boy's mama wouldn't let him go out in all that snow.) You said the O's COUGHED up $100M last year for Roberts & Markakius. If the did give those two $100M last year Uncle Sam will want to re-review their income tax returns. As you didn't admitthe contracts weren't for last year but SPREAD OUT over a number of years. 9Total disclosure, Pete) Wouldn't want McTurtle's backers to use your excuse as their excuse. McFail really hasn't performed as anything more than a bottom-third GM if you list all of them in order of what they have done for their ball clubs over the last five years, and don't bring up thge Yanks and the Red Sox in rebuttal. There are at least 20+ GMs who have done much better for their clubs than AM. We fans, contrary to some blogghers remarks, aren't expecting the O's GM to make monstrous improvements EACH year but, starting with what he had in trhe beginning, he really hasn't made much progress. The O's GM seemingly works under the premise that it's better not to fail than to have tried making marked improvements in a ball team ranked in the bottom=third of the league by entertaining a higher degree of risk in signing an upper-level player or players. It probably stuns some other GMs that the O's, a franchise that achieved so much in a the relatively short time they've been in the majors, have shown little or no improvement under AM's direction. I, for one, see little chance of even reasonable improvement as far as ranking among the other low-third teams in baseball next year. Too many of them are making higher level trades than the O's. I even note the signing of many of last year's major leaguers to minor league contracts as a fall-back strategy lest some of their players suffer injuries or perform in a sub-par fashion. Since the O's GM has stated that he is taking a hiatus from trading in the major league market is he doing ANYTHING at all, like signing some of those free agents to minoe league contracts with an invitation to Spring Training camp or is he waiting to gobble up the bottom of that class also? By the All Star break this year many of his present supporters will be acknowledging that a 81-81 season by 2011 isn't even a possibility for the O's under this administration. Past time for a change but will it even happen any time soon?


I'm pretty sure they are referring to the 2005 Mike Lowell. See the O's were trying to get Josh Beckett in a trade with the Marlins. The Marlins insisted that the O's take Mike Lowell too. Per media reports the O's didn't want Mike Lowell (see Melvin don't disrespect me Mora), and because of their refusal to take Lowell the trade fell apart. Soon after the Red Sox stepped in traded Hanley Ramirez for Beckett and got Lowell too, where he promptly became the Mike Lowell we all know today.

But the deal breaker was we wouldn't include Hayden Penn! Imagine that, like all our prized prospects today in which everyone believes they all will win 25 games and Cy Young!

Remember Hayden Penn

jaycee -

I have to admit I didn't read your whole post, partly because poor use of grammar and punctuation make it look like one long sentence, but mostly because it's just a big giant paragraph.

But anyways...

"starting with what he had in the beginning, he really hasn't made much progress."

When MacPhail took over this club, the organization was a mess. The farm system was among the worst in the majors, there was zero emphasis on international players and the big league club was a joke.

Well, the big league club still hasn't been very good, but there's certainly evidence that the organization as a whole is in much better shape than it was two and half years ago.

"There are at least 20+ GMs who have done much better for their clubs than AM."

20+? Really? Are you talking in the same time frame? Do you realize that there are only 30 teams in MLB? I'd love to see your list.

"By the All Star break this year many of his present supporters will be acknowledging that a 81-81 season by 2011 isn't even a possibility for the O's under this administration."

It's awesome that so many of you guys can see into the future. It makes things a lot easier for everyone.

"I hope Atkins fails his physical we dont need him. Posted by: Anonymous | December 21, 2009 3:38 PM "

Well.. Mr. hope he fails, why? You are a coward with no back bone. I assume you are the same person who refuse to shovel his pavement.

Mr. Coward...I wonder how many people hope you fail at the Peep Show, while moping floors in all of the private booths.

"I hope Atkins fails his physical we dont need him. Posted by: Anonymous | December 21, 2009 3:38 PM "

Well.. Mr. hope he fails, why? You are a coward with no back bone. I assume you are the same person who refuse to shovel his pavement.

Mr. Coward...I wonder how many people hope you fail at the Peep Show, while moping floors in all of the private booths.


I hate to say it, but I've come to the conclusion, that AM and PA are playing the ultimate con game on the O's fans. You know, how do we maximize profits while marginalizing payroll! From the AM perspective, he plans on being the commissioner in less than 2 years and quite frankly with this years offseason we losing ground to the division leaders so 2011-2012 isn't realistic either! PA loves the plan as his wealth improves with this low risk (payroll) high reward strategy!

This years offseason moves compare to good teams moves to strengthen their bench ( see Yankees and Nick Johnson) OOPS, Nick Johnson a Yankee backup is better than anyone the O's have to start at 1B. So with just two months before our birds report to Florida, our GM needs to get off his duff and deliver some substance, not temporary gap fillers. As George Allen once said the future is NOW!

"But the [Beckett] deal breaker was we wouldn't include Hayden Penn! Imagine that, like all our prized prospects today in which everyone believes they all will win 25 games and Cy Young!"

First off, our GM at that point was Mike Flanagan. The worst, least qualified GM in baseball history. MacPhail would have included Penn in that deal in a heartbeat.

Second, Tillman and Matusz are infinitely more talented than Hayden freaking Penn, who should have been about 83 times.

Not Brooks,

Obviously I might add on the name you go by, but to your statement, I'm certainly not qualified to judge either Mr, Flanagan or Mr. MacPhail, but by their results, and from where I sit, last place is last place. I believe the quote from Dennis Green was We are who we thought we were! So until we become relevent or AM goes off to become the Commish, I highly doubt we will escape the cellar on AM's watch!

The guy made two nice trades, Bedard and Tejada, but other than that we have only attracted low end rejects! As far as signing Markakis or Roberts, I don't believe there is one person on this blog who wouldn't have done that!

And finally, I'm 48 and can't recall when AM led the Cubs to any World Series Championships, so before we offer him for Saint hood, maybe getting us out of the AL East basement should be a modest goal!

I look at it like this. If Millwood, Guthrie, Bergesen, Matusz, Tillman, Arietta, Erbe, Patton, Koji, Berken, Hernandez, Britton and a possibly returning Steve Johnson all stay healthy, gain experience and take modest steps forward then we've got absolutely nothing to worry about. A couple will probably fail or get hurt but that still leaves an abundance that can and will be traded to make drastic improvements.

As painful as it obviously is for some people, I think we just need a little more time to figure out who's who. If McPhail doesn't turn this abundance into a superstar trade after 2010 and continues to tred water, then I'll join the naysayers and conspiracy theorists, but honestly that doesn't really concern me.

What does concern me is that I still feel we don't have the leadership from a managerial/coaching standpoint to make sure these guys do get the most out of themselves and stay focused, positive and motivated.

hoping for a miracle?

just hoping? think you NEED A MIRACLE!

Keith Rowe:

AM has done a little bit more than two good trades. I don't think that anyone can fairly argue that we don't have more good young talent, both on the Os and in the minors, than we've had in a very long time. As far as the first phase of rebuilding, he's done a very good job.

And no, AM diodn't get the Cubs to the WS, but he got them awfully close. Bet there'd be a whole lot of Os fans who'd take that at this point.

I like the deal for Garrett Atkins. Guys bounce back all the time and if he doesn't, the O's didn't actually pay a whole hell of a lot for him.

Pete, any rumors on Luke Scott? I get the feeling he wont be in Baltimore in 2010. If he isn't part of the plan, the O's could target a DH like Dye or Thome and let Aubrey and Wiggy split 1B. Aubrey isn't going to hit for power, but from what I've seen, he is patent at the plate and it seems like he knows the type of hitter he is so he isn't going to try and hit HRs, but hit the ball all over the field. I would like to see him get a shot at 1B if the O's can get a power DH that isn't streaky. Post all star break was bad for Luke, but it does seems like a lot of teams like the guy so if the O's can get someone of value, I would like to see them explore a trade.

While I don't like the Atkins signing (too much money, bad defender, declining bat, non-factor in 4 post-season series) he probably is still a better option at 3rd base than Ty "Wiggy" Wigginton who was just declared by one ESPN writer as statistically the worst defensive 3rd baseman of the decade .

I still think Miggy would come back for the right $, and this wouldn't have to be an enormous sum. Just think, a platoon at 3rd of Miggy or Wiggy, putting Atkins back at first where he started out in baseball.

Birdland Todd:

I'm with you on Aubrey. He's got a rep as real good defensively and his minor league numbers were good, about the same as Pie except with a lot less strikeouts. I'd like to see someone other than Wiggy though as the right handed part of a platoon.

Pete,hope you're primed and ready for another losing season.When Garrett Atkins is your big acquisition for the offseason,that doesn't make many "realistic" fans want to drink the coolaid.Yes he's a little better than a Melvin Mora offensively,but a definite decline defensively.Probably a gamble worth taking,considering the only other option was "I haven't seen a fastball I can't swing at" Wigginton,whose numbers declined drastically last year.And I would have been more excited about the Kevin Millwood trade 3 or 4 years ago when he could have added some stability to a poor pitching staff,but now it looks like making a move just to make a move and slowing the progress of a Hernandez or a Bergeson,who hopefully will be fully recovered by spring training.Do I hope Millwood has a solid season and duplicates last years numbers?Of course,but pitchers who come here just don't seem to do that for whatever reason.I also think we overpaid for Gonzalez,who could be a left handed semi closer,or just as easily another Steve Kline,Danys Baez,Jamie Walker,the list could go on and on.So as it stands right now,I'll give McPhail a C-,unless he makes another deal,if not,it's a "D".And to all the uninformed posters who say we are a small market team,go read the Forbes article on how much money PA makes off of MASN,which he owns 100%,and the guaranteed money he makes off of the Orioles,regardless of the attendance figures,thanks to the sweetheart of a deal he conned MLB out of.I've never said he's a bad lawyer,just a horrible owner.By the way,who did we get for Audrey Huff again?And we could have signed Adam Dunn for less money then we offered Mark "I wore my Yankeess hat to Camden Yards"Texiera.Are our minor league teams better?Absolutely,but how long do we wait before that reaches the majors,if it ever does?There are no guarantees on any prospect,look at Bergeson,he wasn't even rated in the top 7 but pitched his butt off.Same with Hernandez,but who knows if he'll even have a spot available?Good I wish I could be more optimistic,but realism wins out every time.If everything falls in place and the planets align,we might win 72-75 games,at the most.And noticed I haven't mentioned the managers name one time.There will be plenty of time for that.

"When Garrett Atkins is your big acquisition for the offseason..."

a) Who said he was our "big" acquisition? I'd say Millwood and Gonzalez were bigger if not merely for the reason that Atkins is considered a placeholder for Bell.

b) The off season isn't even halfway over.

"So as it stands right now,I'll give McPhail a C-,unless he makes another deal,if not,it's a "D"."

That's just Dubya-level genius.

"And to all the uninformed posters who say we are a small market team,..."

Yeah, that hasn't been said for about a year. Do you actually read the other comments, or do you just assume that since you're soooooo much smarter than everyone else, you know what they are thinking without reading them?

"By the way,who did we get for Audrey Huff again?"

I don't know who we got for Audrey Huff. But for Aubrey Huff, we received Class A reliever Brett Jacobson (who was Detroit's fourth round selection in the 2008 draft) and salary relief. This was announced when the trade occurred. It's not like he was a PTBNL or anything. But you're on a roll... Why don't you ask about who we got for Chaz Bradford while you're at it?

"And we could have signed Adam Dunn for less money then we offered Mark "I wore my Yankees hat to Camden Yards"Teixeira."

Could we have? Consider that: a) after we were unable to acquire Tex, we were going into the season with Huff at first (coming off his solid 2008), b) Dunn in the field makes Wigginton look like a Gold Glover and c) Dunn did not want to DH and was looking for a team that would let him play in the field. Now, ask yourself again, could we have signed him?

If you need anything else spelled out for you, Burt, please continue your asinine, condescending posts.

With the three new veterans added to the team, the Orioles ought to be atleast 10 games better. If all 3 play up to their potential, they may be as many as 15 games better.

stop with the nick johnson crap already...cashman is getting raked over the coals for that one. He's often injured, slow, plays an adequate first base which he'll probably never play.
and hits with no power.when he plays. and I can think of better things to do with 6 million bucks than give it to Nick Johnson.
I see Wayne was in a good mood yesterday.


I couldn't resist responding to your absurd rhetoric. Hater post, cmon, I couldn't have said it with any less hate. I love my Os. But the truth is the truth. And facts, my friend, speak much louder than anything I could post. The fact is, you just can't fathom the thought that "our" Orioles are more concerned about their profit margins than their attendance at Camden Yards. That's obvious, just look at this offseason, and when its over, you tell me whether you think Mr. McPhail made the right moves to allow us to compete in this division. And be honest, you and I both know that a 35 yr old stopgap pitcher, and 32 year old reliever and Mr. Atkins won't put us anywhere close to competing in this division.

Then you ask, what would I do as a GM. Fact is I'm not, I'm hoping our infinitely qualified GM will step up instead of watching the market "perculate". The fact is we'll go after the retreads and leftovers....because that's what we always do.

But since you asked, my approach would be to do whatever it takes to acquire the best talent I could....either through free agency, the draft, oversea's markets and yes even trading prospects for proven talent. Yes, I would trade an Arrieta for a player like a Kyle Blanks from SD or a Chris Davis from Texas - noone and I repeat nonone should be off limits to improve this team (ok, maybe Matusz).

And listen, I know what you're going to say in your response. We can't give up the farm to buy a short term fix; that's what got us into this mess. Well, that's why they call them prospects - because most don't make it to the major leagues.

We need to paint with broad strokes and reinvigorate this franchise. Not watch the front office roll out the same old tired "stopgap" acquisitions and being told wait till next year. Its been 12 years for Pete's (sorry Pete!) SAKE.

Garrett Atkins is a lazy choice and the easy way out by McPhail....he could have and should have done better!

Heck, even bringing back Miggy would have been an improvement.

As much as I hated the Flanny and Friends regime, the deal was for Lowell and AJ, not Lowell and Beckett plus I believe they wouldn't let AJ negotiate an extension before the trade.

I wish the O's would take a stab at Ryan Garko before they go looking for an aging big bat like Delgado. Garko is 28/29 yrs old and still has an upside. He never was a full time player for the Tribe because guys were blocking him. He didn't do a lot for San Fran, but based on what he's done in the AL, I am still surprised nobody has picked him up.

I am curious what the snag is in the Hendrickson deal? He wants to be here, AM wants him, but nothing is done yet? Mark bounced back from being bashed as a starter to the most trusted guy in the pen when George was traded. I like the fact that he even made some very good starts at the end of the years so if he had to start 5-6 games, he can do it without bringing someone up or using a reliever that can only go 3-4 innings which messed up the BP. This is not sexy signing, but one that I think the O's should have done already.

the chris davis who hit 238, struck out 150 times and walked 24? You'd trade a 23 yr old AAA pitcher who is ranked in the top end of your prospect list for him? Shame on the Orioles for not having their own 'Chris Davis', or maybe they already do. Maybe when the Rangers get Lowell the O's could get Davis for a lot less than Arietta?
Explain to me how trading for Chris Davis and hoping he realizes his potential is any better or different than a prospect(Blanks) or hoping Atkins returns to form?

let's have a baseball discussion without talking about PA and the Orioles profit margin. I'm goddamn sick of it
and all these bs conspiracy theories. Yea, let's purposely lose because that helps out our bottom line. And I know they're doing it because they're not making all or any of the moves you would. Give it a rest.


Always nice when a poster hides behind that creative name???? Keith Rowe here, well the last time I checked prospects in the minors and almost getting a team there just doesn't qualify for getting a job done well. If the expectations for this team are in 2-3 years I guess he is doing a helluva job! I haven't noticed any change in the standings or am I missing something. Do I see other teams in the division improving? By leaps and bounds over these insignificant transactions! Like I said previously, he made two very nice trades but each year there is a larger disparity between our talent level and the top teams in the division, so how anyone could assume were making progress is proposterous. In fact, I would argue we are in a downward spiral. The warehouse keeps saying we will acquire quality talent when the time is right. However, no quality Free Agent will sign in Baltimore due to a continued lack of committment. It won't change overnight, if they said today is the right time they wouldn't sign and rightfully so! Case in point is Kevin Millwood, we have to stoop to making trades for players (other teams don't want, so much so they pay part of the salary) and even then for a 35 year old, very mediocre pitcher, the pitcher and Agent don't want to come here and play!

Wake up, as much as I am optomistic about our youth movement, the reality is that these gap fillers (acquired on the cheap) are cheap for a reason. And the track record we have at developing everyday players who reach the ML level hasn't been all that great. So we buy time, continue to suck miserably waiting potentially for two guys that may never make the show!

And you see this as doing a good job? Betting on the come when the odds are real good is one thing, betting on the come with these kind of odds is irresponsible. Further, defending those making these decisions is senseless!

one year of atkins isn't going to hurt. it just might help josh bell get better prepared for the majors.on a different subject peter. did i miss your article this week where you do your news item and your opinion. i call it your fact and opinion article.i always enjoy that article

The Rich get Richer as the Yanks sign Vasquez to be their 5th starter! Nice to know within our division, a team signs a guy to be their worst starter who is actually better than our best starter! Were getting close, I just feel it, NOT!

We are looking for a 3B for one year. Even the Orioles admitted that Atkins is a one-year guy by giving him a one-year contract. For some odd reason they think that Josh Bell will be the savior starting next year.

I say that since we are talking one year only, we would be better off - assuming he can pass the thumb test - with Mike Lowell, who would cost pretty much nothing.

Pete, Jeff ...

What are the chances the O's make a real play for Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman? I took the fact that Stockstill met with Chapman and his agents for 40 minutes after his recent workout as a good sign, and given the money the Red Sox and Marlins are apparently offering ($15M or so over five years), it would seem he could be ours.

Will the O's step up, roll the dice on this kid for $18M over 5 years? Could this be the trick up MacPhail's sleeve, a move that brings in a young overseas talent and frees us up to deal a top-level pitching prospect for a power bat?

Interested in your thoughts.

the yanks are trading for vasquez, not simply signing him He's gonna make 11.5m in the last yr of a contract. He won't be their 5th starter. You are prone to exaggeration. If he doesn't resign, he's an expensive 1 yr option. And yes, the Yanks have more money than the O's. Agreed.
What type of deal would you have made?

Yanks are going to win again. O's will fight the jays for the basement.

Not Brooks,
If the Atkins deal makes you excited I cannot take anything you say seriously.

As usual. Club Beatdown rants without answers. Then when questions are posed, no real answers. Jeez Keith, the least you could do is stand up for your Chris Davis/Blanks idea...

The Javier Vazquez Experiment already failed once in New York.

In '04, at age 27, the guy gave up 33 home runs and put up a 4.91 ERA.

So now, at 33, after a career year in which he threw in the NL and put up an ERA over a full run lower than his career mark, the Yanks gave up the one guy they were unwilling to give up in the Granderson trade (Mike Dunn), as well as a solid big league outfielder (Melky Cabrera) and a damn good 18-year-old pitcher (Arodys Vizcaino - look him up on The Baseball Cube) for Vazquez.

I would love to hear what Brian Cashman has to say about Vazquez... "Uh, ya, we think he's going to do better than in 2004 despite that fact that he was mediocre at best in the AL and he's going to be throwing in the best hitters park in the league. Oh... crap..."

This is a horrible deal for the Yankees. Putting Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in the starting rotation would have made a lot more sense.

Dearest Jim66,

Not sure if your just asking for a beatdown but please get your quotes and the appropriate blogger correct. For I don't even know who Chris Davis or Blanks are! I guess another blogger who wants more mediocrity in the Charm City! Your bad!


As I've gone back and reviewed all your posts to this blog, I find a revelation. You must be a corporate lawyer becasue all seem to tell us is everyone elses thoughts are horrid and it's you the enlightened one who has all the answers. Since you can only hide behind Jim66, I could be blogging with some legendary General Manager, like say Roland Hemond or Mike Flanagan, but since I haven't read any original thoughts, it's more likely just some disgruntled wannabe little league coach waiting for his big chance! Get a life, this is a blog to express thoughts, good and bad, and if your tired of reading about PA and his thirst for fleecing our fans, then the truth hurts!

Keith Rowe, It's easy to hide behind "Keith Rowe" when a quick facebook search shows 130 results & an intelius search shows 152. Give me your social so we can verify that's really you and not some general manager or whatever. Or you can accept the fact that 99 out of 100 posters don't use their real freaking name dude.

Another Anonymous -

I never said I was excited about Atkins.

My thoughts on the guy are as follows...

Atkins has the ability to hit 25-30 home runs. He's done it before. He could do it again. I know last year was an absolute disaster, but look at his .264 BABIP (batting average on balls in play). It was about 40 points below his career average. Even if that normalized to about .290 (which is still 20 points below his career average), I'd expect a .260 average along with 15-20 homers and 80-90 rbi. Not bad in my book.

And the whole point behind the Atkins deal is that he's a low risk high reward one year guy who we can let walk if and when Josh Bell is ready. And if Atkins does put up a .260/20/90 season, those numbers are certainly worth the $8M option that could be exercised for 2011.

So I'm not really excited about Atkins. But I do think that, given the contract and the upside, signing him for a year with a club option made a lot more sense than offering a multi year deal to Adrian Beltre or giving up prospects for Kevin Kouzmanoff.

Oh Keith just so you know mine is 086-75-3090...

Keith Rowe:

Ross here Keith. Sorry my post came out as Anonymous. Inadvertant. Oops. If I'd known it was going to ruin your morning I'd have been much more careful.

There is a glaring contradiction in your argument that I hope you don't mind me pointing out.

You say that "no quality Free Agent will sign in Baltimore due to a continued lack of committment." Agreed, and by your own words then, there is no other route AM can take other than what he's doing now, building up a base of young talent, trying to fill in as best he can with trades and signing lower level free agents in the hope that the team can get up to the 80+ win level, thereby becoming a team that better FA would consider joining.

Sorry but you just strung yourself up with your own noose.

Can't say I'm too impressed by the Yanks re-acquiring Vazquez. If he couldn't handle the stress and pressure in 04, how do they think he'll adjust this time around with the pressure to repeat in 2010? He'll be pitching in Depends by the all-star break...

Why is everyone hating on Atkins? Let's see what he does before everyone sh#ts on him. He's a one year option before Bell gets here.

Hey pete it's just amazing how easy it is for the stronger teams to just keep getting stronger and the weak teams to just keep making excuses. By excuses i mean they just do enough to appease there fans base and justify it by telling them they aren't ready to compete yet. It sure works in this town anyway. Andy has never had so easy a job getting over on these sad sack fans. Aquire 2 or 3 free agents and buy yourself another year then another year and then he will be commish and won't have to worry about it anymore. See if you keep convincing yourself and your fan base that you can't compete yet tthen you don't have to pull off that big trade or really spend that big money like aquiring gonzo from San Diego.It's really not a bad job if you can get it. The yankee's just got stronger by trading for Vasquez.

Bob -

Still here, huh?

Do me a favor and explain to me how Javier Vazquez (he of the 4.91 ERA the last time he pitched in New York) is going to be any better in 2010 than Joba Chamberlain was in 2009.

Any way you look at it, dealing for Vazquez was a horrible plan for the Yanks. And while it gives them someone to pencil in to the #4 spot in the rotation, it doesn't really make them that much better.

It wasn't Beckett whom the Orioles were trying to acquire a few years back... it was AJ Burnett. And yes, the deal breaker as I recall was when the Marlins insisted on getting Hayden Penn in return AND they wanted the O's to take on Lowell's contract in the deal.

Kudos to those of you who have mentioned that the 2005 proposed deal with the Marlins was for A.J. Burnett.

No wonder I couldn't find anything online about the O's and Beckett.

I just wish everyone here would take a deep breath and relax before firing off nasty posts to one another. It's baseball, everyone. We all love it and love following our Orioles otherwise we wouldn't be here. I think we can disagree in a civil and respectful manner.

And I have something to ask... Can we please stop proclaiming that 2010 is a losing season before 1 pitch is even thrown in spring training? Until loss number 82 is suffered, it is not a fact that 2010 is a losing season for the Orioles. If your judgement is that the season will be yet another losing one, that's fair enough. But please stop printing it as a carved-in-stone fact.

Just in case no one noticed, the Yankees just made room for Bay or Holliday. They can say it was about getting pitching, but they're the Yankees and with two solid hitters on the market did anyone expect them to just sit around and let other teams pick them up. Probably why Bay rebuffed Boston's offer. Let's discuss

Mike -

You're probably right. Not much to discuss.

How are the O's making all the right moves Pete??! LOL All the right moves maybe to be in the basement with the Blue Jays! When you play in the AL East you have to make serious moves. Maybe the Orioles should be banned from the AL East because they use the fame of other teams to just get by year after year. The Orioles stink and will stink until the dark lord sells the team!!!


When you leave the Sun I think you should consider writing for The Onion.

The interesting thing is the comments on this page will be almost identical next year. A sub .500 team, the 'plan', young prospects, fill the gap signings, hope and continued dispair.


Thanks for clearing my thoughts up, but you my friend have missed the point. I don't support these fruitless throwaways as good free agent signings. We need to be pressing the flesh with every top free agent and get the first one here. Then and ONLY then will the others believe this team really wants to get better and is committed to doing so. I'm sure Jason Bay and Holliday are saying, my God they just signed Atkins, maybe I should look at the O's also!
Committment in this case is spending money, and we have little history. Eons ago it was Albert Bell, then one year PA must have won a real large lawsuit because he bought Tejada, Palmerio and Javy Lopez.. In fact Tejado was mad because he was promised we were committed to winning, that committment lasted for 1 year.

So no my friend, while our player development is much better with AM than before him, in this division that isn't enough. PA cleared all his dead weight and buying less than mediocre players on the cheap when the rest of the division is spending real money just doesn't cut it!

Angelos just needs to put up or get out!

I want SSNs,

Another brave poster, who can say anything when he/she is an unknown. Then again if there was anything of intellectual thought involved you would use your name and take credit for it!

It's truly a sad day when poor mentally challenged folks like yourself scan blogs to provide non-value added BS. Very sad, I understand the Salvation Army is offering free meals on Friday!
Happy Holidays!

No SSN provided!

The Baltimore media is very similar to communist China. Angelos has such a choke hold over the city he can tell the media how to spin and hire spinsters that carry out his plans and he owns a network that brainwashes people. This whole mess in Baltimore is just insulting to baseball fans intelligence.

Here's the thing though, Keith.

You say...

"We need to be pressing the flesh with every top free agent and get the first one here."

Then you say...

"I'm sure Jason Bay and Holliday are saying, my God they just signed Atkins, maybe I should look at the O's also!"

So how is MacPhail supposed to get "the first one" when the only guys that are even close to worthy of overpayment wouldn't even consider playing for the O's?

That's the question. And I'd love to see an answer.

Don't miss the point Keith. Nobody's "hiding". People with a lick of sense aren't going to use their real name. There are psychotic people on the internet, since like last month. It's been all over the news. It's a recent development, so I forgive you for missing it.

not brooks is a coward because he doesn't use his real name? Does wayne count as a Hider, since he doesn't post his last name? Guess you're are the only one who's _____ are brass enough to put your name one here.

Another thing you should consider..When someone calls you out, disagrees or says something about you you didn't say, maybe instead of offering a "beatdown", or calling them mentally challenged, you can reasonably reply instead of trying to be an internet tough guy.

Dick i couldn't agree anymore. I am certainly glad to see more people getting tired of all this .lip service

1. WhIning and crankly are not redundant. They have different meanings.

2. How many teams have, in the last twelve months, brought in a new left fielder, 4th outfielder, SS, catcher, closer, and four new starters? And of the vast list of teams making this kind of turnover, how many have fan bases whining that their team did nothing?

3. How many teams stand to make more improvement internally than the O's who have reason to expect improvement at LF, CF, C and from at least 4 of five starters?

4. If Atkins rebounds at the plate, it is a smart signing. He can fit in at either corner or at DH leaving AM flexibility to make further moves as the market dictates and subsequently allows DT flexibility depenidng on the play of Aubrey and/or potential callups of Bell or Snyder or who knows who else. Granted if Atkins doesnt hit, it is all moot, but as the arguments that plague this site prove, no acquisition is without its potential warts.

5. How can anyone say that there is a decision to be made between revenue and ticket sales as if they are unrelated?? Ticket sales is by far the largest unfixed line item on the revenue side of the books. League TV money is set, MASN income cant be very substantial considering what we see in ads on the channel and the lousy product it offers. MLB merchandise doesnt vary substantially from year to year.

6. Someone remind the village idiot that acquiring AGon is not a money sink as his contract is a ridiculous bargain. Only resigning him would cost big money and if his theory were remotely true, they could always trade for him and not resign him, saying they tried, as he says is their intent in every negotiation.

There's a storm brewing on the horizon.

These comments are getting intense.

Can Andy save the night?

Pete , i told you that i wouldn't be back next year and i fully intend to abide by that decision. However with that said if you keep allowing some of your bloggers with out naming anybody specidfically to continue without any reservation to continue to call people degrading names on there every post there are going to be severve repercussions that i will promise. I am sick and tired of it. If it happened on a occasional basis it wouldn't be a problem but this individual makes a point and goes out of his way to under mind this entire forum. This is not a threat but a promise.And this one i will keep.And i am not talking about Physical threats. Clean this up pete it's out of hand.

Pete's reply: That's saying a lot, considering that you were one of the people who has been ramping up the negativity for months. I hope everyone will be a little more cordial. I suspect the people doing the name-calling are young teens. That's usually the demographic. Just can't control themselves. Don't know what dire consequences you're talking about, except people getting tired of it and moving on.

Keith Rowe:

Wow!! What a head spinning u-turn. First there's no way we can sign big name free agents and now it's just a matter of AM waving around the cheque book. Just my opinion, but your arguments would sound more credible if you picked one and stuck with it.

Bob -

How are you going to abide by your decision to leave us (which you haven't been able to do) and continue to watch out for this name caller?

It's certainly quite the quandary...

not brooks,

On the Vazquez trade, I probably disagree but it depends on what you mean by "horrible." With their "win every yr" philosophy and $220M invested, the Yanks want to win again NOW, and I believe the Vasquez deal makes them stronger in 2010.

Their rotation has had more than their share of injuries the last few yrs. Sabathia and Pettitte have been pretty durable, but AP turns 38 next yr. Burnett has missed at least 10 starts 3x in the past 6 yrs. Neither Chamberlain nor Hughes have lasted a full season in the rotation--tho Joba probably could if they'd have patience. They want Chien-Ming Wang back, but he would also be a huge question mark. Vazquez, on the other hand, has logged 200IP every yr of this decade, with '04 (198IP) the only exception. Clearly he did not perform well in 2004 but he has been kind of Jekyl/Hyde from yr to yr, so that's not enough evidence to blame it on the Bronx (see the Chicago yrs). From looking at the stats that yr, I'm guessing Vazquez was like a #2 or 3 guy on a staff that had a lot of injuries. This yr, he's more like #5 or 6.

However, I have serious doubts about their strategy of selling the farm and overspending on free-agents, which is what the Vazquez move amounts to. Unless they can truly afford to pay TOP dollar for a premier player at EVERY position, it's going to hurt them in the long-run. When that happens, Yankee fans will look back at the time they traded top prospects for a $12M #5 starter because they didn't have patience to develop Chamberlain or Hughes.

Keith Rowe:

There is something I just don't get. Maybe you can help me with it. Let's assume that every last thing you say about the Os is true. PA has no committment to winning, he won't spend money, the Os will never be competitive etc, etc.

If you believe all that, then why haven't you just gone on to other things, something that will bring a little joy and pleasure to your day. Continuously subjecting yourself to pain or displeasure is masochism, pure and simple.

Jonathan -

All good points, but, for some reason, I just don't see Vazquez as anything more than a 4.50 ERA guy in the AL.

Especially when he already gives up a lot of home runs and he'll be throwing half of his starts in New Yankee Stadium.

C'Mon people, AM nabbed a top 10 ERA innings eating Vet that everywhere he's been the team wins in Millwood, gets a buy cheap, low risk, Super high upside slugger to bridge the gap to Bell, and returns the right-left nastiness in the 8th-9th w Gonzalez, all before Christmas when the Warehouse gives off whitsle sounds from those old Clint Eastwood Westerns! Sure, collectively they might seem like stocking stuffers compared to a "Holliday" or a "Halladay" but I'm getting the feeling that dirty Pete is realizing the jig is up and has given AM the green light make something big happen before the season starts, even if the tree looks a little lonely right now, isn't that the Holiday we're looking for? Prudence.

Hey Bob L,

I would say welcome back...except that you never left. But, I'm sure that you'll carry through with your new threats. your track record has been proven pretty well thus far. Along those lines, I think your 2010 season tix package should be arriving in the mail any day now.

Chris from Hawaii,I've responded to your inane drivel several times,but unfortunately the blog seems to be on the fritz as is often the case.Wondering if Andy McPhail is your uncle or boyfriend or something?Since you took most of what I said out of context and most people on here tend to agree with me far more then they do you,which isn't surprising,I don't give your comments much credence,sorry I know you'll have to go look that one up.No,it's not the 70's Rock Band,just a hint.I'll be here at the end of the year after the Orioles finish with 72-74 wins if the planets align right and all that stuff saying So sorry I was right,just like last year,or happily saying I'm glad I was wrong if they even manage to finish .500 or better.Why you chose to call me out,out of the 95+ other posters on here is beyond me,and then you have the unmitigated gall to call me condescending?Maybe you better go look that word up too.But since you did,bring it on,cupcake.It amazes me how some mice become men sitting at a keyboard.I expressed my opinion,and since you obviously disagreed with it you feel that makes you right.Sounds like condescending to me.Actually it makes you look like an ignoramous.So feel free to get back on here and spout off whatever your First Admendment rights give you,but I for one hope you keep your sorry butt in Hawaii,we have enough problems in Baltimore as it is.And having watched my share of Nationals games last year,I saw Adam Dunn play more then a few games at 1B,that's first base just in case you didn't know.By the way do they take American money in Hawaii?Last I heard,Andy McPhail said "we'll grow the arms and buy the bats".Still waiting Andy.

Threat of harm generally involves a perception of injury. Harm is physical or mental damage, an act or instance of injury, or a material and tangible detriment or loss to a person.

Coming on the back of threatening physical harm previously, dire consequences constitutes a threat despite your negative proclamation. Nice try though.

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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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