baltimoresun.com

« Hernandez hangs tough | Main | Making like Ferris Bueller »

March 27, 2010

Orioles: The plot thickens

Dave Trembley came as close as he has yet to naming Kevin Millwood the Opening Day starter,today, as if anybody has any doubt about that. The real intrigue revolves around the fifth starter battle and who might be the long guy in the bullpen.

That may have become clearer today with the strong performance of David Hernandez and strong indications that the team will go with a 12-man pitching staff. Both Andy MacPhail and Dave Trembley said that no final decision have been made on the final makeup of the regular season rotation or the bullpen, but much of what they said pointed to the possibility that Hernandez has moved ahead of Tillman.

MacPhail is actually happy that this is a big issue.

"Absolutely,'' he said. "This is the type of thing you're hoping for...We have guys competing for spots and we don't have spots competing for guys."

The decision between Tillman and Hernandez is a multi-layered choice. Tillman is probably the guy with the higher ceiling, but Hernandez might be better suited to jump right into the rotation, and that's particularly important for the Orioles this year because they open with 16 straight games without a day off, so the No. 5 guy can't be skipped the first three times through the rotation.

The schedule puts a premium on long relief, since the club may need a lot of innings with a young rotation. That might even point to both Hernandez and Jason Berken making the team over Tillman and a situational guy.

"The thing we try to impress on the kids is the obvious fact that nobody uses the same 12 pitchers all year,'' MacPhail said. "The beginning of the season is just a snapshot in time."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 4:04 PM | | Comments (113)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Got my Sporting News in the mail yesterday.
They're predicting 1-New York 2-Boston 3-Tampa Bay 4-Baltimore 5-Toronto.
The good news, bad news section says-It's good if Matusz and Tillman start 60 games combined. It's bad if Tejada and Atkins don't have 150 rbis combined.
Their biggest weakness is depth.
SN says section says...
Weiters will make a strong case for All-Star consideration.
Guthrie will benefit most from Millwood being #1.
They will improve enough to keep Trembley off the hot seat.

No startling revelations there. Just thought I'd share before watching some NCAA.

This has got to be the first time in about ...what 12 years that the competition for the 5th spot was actually interesting and will be filled by a young kid who looks promising.
We now have 3 young pitchers who can get major league hitters out fighting for the BACK END of the rotation....not the front....of course if Guthrie doesn't get himself straightened out soon, he will be in the pen or who knows.
I don't see how anyone looking at this pitching staff objectively can say anything other than this is the best situation this franchise has been in quite some time.
Looks like we could have the beginnings of some good baseball around here again, because it all starts with starting pitching and after almost 15 years of not even good competition at the FRONT of the rotation we have some QUALITY and QUANTITY throughout our sysytem.

Any more word on this? Can't say I've ever heard of the guy, but then again, I don't claim to know every baseball player in every system...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/03/orioles-acquire-steve-lerud.html

... And now we play the waiting game.

First the O's beat up on the Yanks and now just a couple days later they beat up on the Sox. I know we can't count on this happening too often during the regular season, but for just a little while it's nice to feel like we have a real major league team again.

I wouldn't get too excited over this guy, Paul. He is a six year minor leaguer with seemingly zero potential. My guess is that Bowie needs an extra catcher.

Still, you never know, I suppose. Maybe the change of scenery and all that. Plus it was a trade, which means the Royals get someone back. I'm figuring that we will give them Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, and Brian Matusz in return.

But if by some odd chance that does not happen, figure on some bum A-baller or fifty bucks in cash. Too bad the Os don't have Frank Walker. That would be the perfect opportunity to lose him.

They need to drop Guthrie and bring Berken, Tillman, Hernandez. in the rotation. Its obvious Gunthrie is not the same , we have so many good young pithcers . Why not use them .

They need to drop Guthrie and bring Berken, Tillman, Hernandez. in the rotation. Its obvious Gunthrie is not the same , we have so many good young pithcers . Why not use them .

They need to drop Guthrie and bring Berken, Tillman, Hernandez. in the rotation. Its obvious Gunthrie is not the same , we have so many good young pithcers . Why not use them .

Just some thougts. Drop Guthrie, Bring in Berken, Hernandez, and Tillman. Keep Moeller , use Wiggington more at 2nd base until Roberts is better, get rid of Andino, Trade Scott for a shortstop that can hit alittle and play the field, Reimold at DH until better , put Pie in outfield and lead off hitter.

Very simply, steve, the Orioles need Guthrie to show he is still a via major league pitcher. If we just cut him, we get nothing. If he shows he can still pitch, he can bring talent back at the deadline.

No, it is very important to get Guthrie straightened out.

This year, there is a good mix of veteran leadership that can play good ball , good young players and a good lineup from from top to bottom. I think the pitching is awesome, they just need to get experience. Wigginton is the best ultility guy there and if he is let go, that will not be good. The bull pen is awesome. The rest of the bench is ok. I think the only reason they could do bad is because of Trembly. they need an inspiring manager that holds them accountable. Look at Rockies, Jim Tracy had the same team the previous manager did and they turn that team around in a hurry last season. We need a manager that can inspire, make good personnel decisions during a game but also remember to provide leadership these players can hang on to day in day out. CAL RIPKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hea has my vote .

Lighten up everyone. it's a 162 game season. Guthrie isn't going anywhere, What makes this year more promising than past years is they actually have the 7 potential starters every decent team needs to get through a season. Guthrie and Millwood are the only ones the organization will let pitch 200 innings, while Bergeson, Matusz, Hernandez and Tillman will all be limited to 170 or 180. If you do the math, they are all going to have either skip some starts or put a lot of strain on middle relief. By the end of the year Hernandez and Tillman will both have 20 starts and I think it would be great if Tillman gets to go to Norfolk to refine himself a little bit more before he comes back.

Also why do so many people want to get rid of the best defensive shortstop in the division? I understand the desire for more offense, but I don't think the Marlins are trading Ramirez for Scott!

Ken,
What do you think is the problem with Guthrie, is it a mental block of some sorts , is it mechanics, . It has o be something. I like Guthrie but there is a problem there, and maybe Kranitz is not spending the time with him to work it out. Who knows ?

Lol, Jeff.

While I completely agree with you that people are far too eager to dump Ittzuris (sp), sadly ignoring the critical importance of a strong defensive middle infield, I must take issue with your comparison of Itzy to Hanley.

There is simply no offensive comparison between the two. Ramirez can do it all, both with the bat and on the bases; Itzuris cannot do all that much in either place.

Reading many of these post is literally like watching ugly paint dry in the visitors locker room of any indoor soccer league contest.

ken, you are better than having to defend Guthrie being in the rotation. Don't get me wrong, as it pertains to the O's, I agree with you. I just wouldn't go to far out there defending it. Besides, it was actually mentioned by a poster that Berken should be in the rotation. Seriously ken, after you read that, you should have simply stopped reading.

Anyway, this team has no choice but to make Millwood the opening day starter. What... do the Orioles really think they're fooling anyone? Matusz is better, but has any team ever put a rookie in that kind of situation?

I've said it before...... Has anyone seen Millwoods Fantasy Auction Value in Vegas? You know, that place where huge money is riding? Well his value is zero.... as in nada..... No other teams #1 starter has a value of zero......

He may have no value... be he's 'our' no value guy....

Fang,
I definitely wasn't comparing Izzie to Hanley. I was just trying to point out that everyone wants to trade for a shortstop and someone suggested trading Scott for a shortstop that could hit, so I was being a bit sarcastic suggesting that the O's aren't going to get a top flight shortstop in exchange for Luke Scott. I promise you I would accept that trade and I fully realize Hanley is at a completely different level.

Nobody is saying Millwood is Jim Palmer, but, Wayne, you are now basing your season results on Las Vegas Fantasy ratings? Geez. Why even play the games? Just let Luigi and Dom and Vinnie and "No Neck" tell us who will win and World Series and forget the trouble of actually playing the games.
Lordy, lordy.

Colorado,

You obviously don't know how accurate these ratings are. I'll take their analysis over baseball americas any day.....

Anyway, I never said he was Jim Palmer, had to be Jim Palmer, or even looked like Jim Palmer. I was simply commenting how he was (by far) the lowest rated # 1 in the AL. No big surprise actually. This is after all, the O's we're talking about.

As for 'playing the games'? That's what I worry about most......

No one seriously thinks Millwood is legit #1. He is merely a stop gap until Matusz can pitch #1 innings and other young arms catch up, or maybe next year they open their wallets for a reall #1 veteran. Unfortunately the only thing close to a #1 in the last FA class was Lackey. More unfortunate is he's the Red Sox #2/3!

Did someone say that thinking of putting a young pitcher (Berken) in the rotation who is putting up great numbers in ST (era under 3) is ridiculous.
Well, not every good or even great major league pitcher throws 95+ miles per hour.
Can we really say that Berken won't be a very good major league pitcher based on half a season which happened to be his first real taste of Major League ball?

Smitty

You're absolutely right on. Better yet, along with the guys you're thinking of, we've got even more starters who'll be knocking on the door in the not too distant future in Erbe, Arrieta, Patton, Britton.

"The thing we try to impress on the kids is the obvious fact that nobody uses the same 12 pitchers all year,'' MacPhail said.

I don't know about "nobody" but it is sad that it is already deemed acceptable before a meaningful game has been played.

Counting pitchers who appeared in at least 10 games in the same season for the Orioles, this franchise is a study of success (building to it, establishing it, having it, and regrouping for further success) and failure (sort of the same pattern).

Since the St. Louis Browns moved to 33rd Street until 1986, the Orioles had only three teams with more than 12 pitchers of at least ten game appearances. The three years were:
1955
1968
1976

The other 30 years broke down thusly:
9 pitchers - 7 times
10 pitchers - 6 times
11 pitchers - 12 times
12 pitchers - 5 times

From 1987 through 2009, the Orioles had only one year of 12 pitchers with ten or more appearances. That year was 1994.

The Orioles have used so many pitchers during their 12-year losing streak, I was happy to have a 27-inch monitor to view it. Last year for example, the Orioles had 27 pitchers, 19 of which appeared in at least ten games.

On a semi-related note, I actually have rethought my position on Matusz and Tillman, and Trembley.

As last season was winding to a close, I chastised the Orioles for keeping Dave Trembley. I even chastised Peter Schmuck for supporting him staying around since the Orioles actually did worse than his preseason prediction for '09.

I haven't really changed my views on him per se but I'll get back to my rethinking in a moment.

A few weeks ago, I posted a be-careful-what-you-wish-for message about bringing young pitchers to the majors and burning them out when they exude much success. I was referring to Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman specifically as Brad Bergesen at 24 is above the threshold of my study. Matusz and Tillman will be 23 and 22, respectively, this year.

My post used the infamous Kiddie Korp of 1960 as an example. Wally Bunker and other examples were also used in subsequent posts.

My concern would still be valid except the Orioles are {ahem} blessed to have Trembley at the helm.

Trembley in all likelihood will wear out a path between the dugout and the mound. He does this quite a bit and seemingly out of habit for the most part.

So, you see, this may be a perfect storm of a manager who is very good at burning out a bullpen being in the right place at the right time to keep from burning out a young starting staff.

Brilliant. Sort of.

waspman;

I think you're confusing MacPhail statement about pitchers in general terms with starting pitchers. He was talking about pitchers with bullpen included. Macphail is right. No team in baseball came close last year to using only 12.

I'll withhold criticism until the decision to go with Millwood is certain.

The new Oriole slogan.......

'he's a stop gap until....'

Oh, and in case it sounds familiar.... it's been the same slogan since AM got here. It's just that it's now official, and will be so for years to come.

You don't think he achieved the worst record over the past 20 years for nothing, do you?

Hey Andy, This season is just a snapshot of your previous 2 decades.

Sporting News in the mail?!?! People still do that? How old are you?

Wayne,

It must really suck to be you. Only someone who hates themselves can cast so much hate around.

This is McPhail's third season as GM. He took over a franchise in ruin in arguably the most difficult division in professional sports. From what I recall, GMs were not exactly pounding on the Camden Yards gate to get a piece of our situation.

In a relatively short amount of time given the daunting task, he made astute trades, drafted well, and absolutely bamboozled the Mariners to the point that we may have the best outfield in baseball and we have a stable of young arms in the organization that rivals any other team. As a result EVERY major sports outlet agrees that the O's are on the right track and building a competitive team the only way possible given the dynamics of the AL East. The question that remains is whether it is even POSSIBLE to compete on a consistent basis in this division, but at least the O's are putting it to the test (as are the Rays, albeit with even less revenue).

So lets take a look around the diamond. Is all-star, gold-glove winner Adam Jones a "stop-gap"? How about Markakis? ROY candidate Reimold? Hmm? Maybe Weiters is the stop-gap, right. I mean, he's no Mauer yet. Or maybe you think Matusz is a stop-gap?

Go ahead and lay it out for us, Wayne. I'll even give you the benefit of hind-sight. What were the moves you would have made during McPhail's tenure that would have constructed a 25 man roster better than the Yankees/Sox/Rays of the last 3 years. Who would you have traded and for whom, who would you have kept in the organization, what SPECIFIC moves would you have made differently.

Get off it Wayne. Your antics are pathetic and annoying. Nobody is saying this team is going to win 100 games this year and if anything less is unacceptable to you, I suggest you just tune out.

Anybody else think Wayne is really a Yankees fan? I've never encountered anyone as intellectually barren who wasn't a pinstriper.


The Braves named super prospect Jason Heyward their starting RF

Those dang Braves.....whats up with them actually making decisions based on baseball instead of clocks/money ?

Trembley for President!

Just recently:

The Tigers went from 120 losses to the WS in 3 years

The 91 Braves went from losing 97 games in 1990 to the WS the following year

The 98 Padres went to the WS but were in last place in 97

The 93 Phillies went to the WS, but lost 92 games the season before

Last yr, the Mariners didnt make the playoffs but they won 85 games after losing 101 games in 2008

Oh yeah, TB went from worst to first from 2007 to 2008


So ppl can pretend it takes 28 years to build a winner, but its much easier when the team is actually trying to win. For the Orioles, economics ALWAYS supersedes winning

The Orioles could have fielded a winning team this year if they actually wanted to, but why should they go all crazy and spend money on talented winning players when there are enough gullible apologists out there to make excuses on why they cant really win so soon anyway

Just recently:

The Tigers went from 120 losses to the WS in 3 years

The 91 Braves went from losing 97 games in 1990 to the WS the following year

The 98 Padres went to the WS but were in last place in 97

The 93 Phillies went to the WS, but lost 92 games the season before

Last yr, the Mariners didnt make the playoffs but they won 85 games after losing 101 games in 2008

Oh yeah, TB went from worst to first from 2007 to 2008


So ppl can pretend it takes 28 years to build a winner, but its much easier when the team is actually trying to win. For the Orioles, economics ALWAYS supersedes winning

The Orioles could have fielded a winning team this year if they actually wanted to, but why should they go all crazy and spend money on talented winning players when there are enough gullible apologists out there to make excuses on why they cant really win so soon anyway

Hernandez and Berken struggled big time last year, but for both of them to have battled back from last year and to make a strong case to be in the starting rotation or the pen is a big testament to the type of character that these two young men have. A lot of prospects fold after facing adversity, but Berken took a beating and a half last year and I think it's given him confidence to move forward and the same with Hernandez.

The funny thing about Ohman who's been outstanding this spring is that luck might have been on the O's side for once since AM tried to sign him last year and he ended up having a horrible year and got hurt, but he fell into their lap this year which might end up turning out to be a huge shot in the arm to the pen.

I don't understand all of the people calling for Guthrie's removal already. The guy was among the league leaders in quality starts and ERA for his first 2 full big league seasons. He is a true community guy; a good guy who rides his bike to games, talks to fans like they are friends, and is unanimously known, in the clubhouse, as the hardest worker on the team. I love Guthrie; one of my favorite players and I think this will be a bounceback year for him. If it is not, I would be more patient with him than almost any other player on the team. Also, I think D. Hernandez should be the 5th starter. He looks ready to break out. Tillman has a lot of potential but there is little to lose by sending a 21 year old to the minors for a little more seasoning while we find out what we have in a 24 year old with lots of potential and a little experience. Hernandez will probably show us very quickly (4-7 starts) if he is a legitimate major leaguer at this point in his career. Give him a shot and bring Tillman up later.

FIRE MACPHAIL

Fire trembley

Fire trembley, bring in Cal or Davey Johnson,

You have to give credit where credit is due. McPhail has acquired a lot of players the past 3 years without giving up anything of value. We're a true ace and a legit clean up hitter away from contending. The last two pieces of the puzzle will be impossible to buy off an over prices free agent market. So you have to hope the home growners can step up collectively and make up the difference.If we get more production out of tejada and Atkins than we did out of Huff and Mora last year,it could cut down on the 1 and 2 run losses.

Yes, Tampa went worst to first recently when several of their young players clicked at once. Of course, it took years to put those players together (more than 3years). Otherwise you've provided examples from the NL West and AL West, which have no equation to the dynamics of this division. Nobody is saying it takes 28 years, just that you don't declare failure after 3. I know you want the O's to ignore economics but careless spending is one factor that destroyed the winner we had in the 1990s. Also, what big name FAs were looking to come here and Andy turned them down? Tex was NEVER going to come here. Ditto Sabathia, Burnett, Holliday, Lackey, etc. We need to put a competitive team in place from within and then we can break the bank on someone.

Plenty to be excited about this season....could this be the year that the O's finish in fourth place? If everything works out just right I can picture the O's finishing 1 or 2 games ahead of Toronto.

If that is all youvare excited about Coach, then I feel sorry for you. This team has a chance to compete this year if enought players progress. That's what happened for Tampa a couple years ago and there's nothing to say it can't happen here. The roster is constructed very similarly.

Also, if you don't think it's exciting to watch Jones and Markakis play, or Riberts run the bases, or the play and development of Matusz and Wieters, then you just don't like baseball.

If that is all youvare excited about Coach, then I feel sorry for you. This team has a chance to compete this year if enought players progress. That's what happened for Tampa a couple years ago and there's nothing to say it can't happen here. The roster is constructed very similarly.

Also, if you don't think it's exciting to watch Jones and Markakis play, or Riberts run the bases, or the play and development of Matusz and Wieters, then you just don't like baseball.

The correlation between total pitchers used and Oriole success is there in statistics.

If you want to be locked in on the number 12, then all I will say is:

Only four teams used more than pitchers and had more pitchers with at least ten appearances than the Orioles. Those teams were:

1 - San Diego
2 - Washington
3 - Cleveland
4 - Pittsburgh

MacPhail's statement may have been words of encouragement to stay ready because your time will come.

Whether he intended to say it or not, MacPhail is admitting the Orioles:

1 - lack depth
2 - lack a true #1 starter
3 - lack a true #1 closer
4 - have injury concerns before Game 1
5 - lack a sense of a pecking order
6 - are prepared to rush the youngsters
7 - lack a plan within The Plan
8 - have the revolving door well lubed

The fear I have is the Orioles aren't headed towards stability. They seem to be headed to just a new form of instability.

The difficulty with the stop-gap players the Orioles have acquired is they will not have trade value and they will not yield compensatory picks when they leave at the end of their contract.

The sad truth is Berken, Hernandez and Tillman are battling to be in the major leagues, at least one of them will make it, all three will probably meet the ten appearance threshold that I made, and none of them deserve to be on the parent club.

They already have 286 innings going into the 2009 season with a combined 12-27 record and a 5.88 ERA.

Yes, indeed. Everyone be ready. Everyone can be a major leaguer.

Hernandez came to spring training throwing both a 2 seam, and 4 seam fastball, and now he can throw his slider for strikes. I've been saying for weeks he could be the surprise of the spring.

I thought he was a guy that was destined for the bullpen because he was mostly a two pitch pitcher last year. Third time though the lineup, good hitters were sitting on him. Now throwing that second fastball with a little different action, AND the slider gives them a lot to think about.

This morning is a good example of the kind of cool damp weather we can get in Baltimore throughout April, and even into early May. Good reason to leave Koji in extended spring trining until the hammy's healed and the cool, damp, weather passes.

If Hernandez beats out Tillman for the 5th slot, Norfolk will start the season with a pretty impressive Starting rotation. Tillman, Patton, Arrieta, and Erbe form a young and talented core. This is what I've been talking about all spring, getting back to having an organization with pitching depth all up and down minors.

Last year the O's still had veteran place holders pitching at Norfolk, they could start this year with 4 legit prospects in the rotation at their AAA club. And Briiton and Johnson will anchor the Norfolk staff.

The O's will see the difference this season when they do need to dip into the minors for some pitching. There is a marked improvement in the quantity and quality of the O's pitching prospects this season. That's how you build the foundation of a winner.

This is the year where Erbe and Britton start to push Tillman, Patton,and Arrieta. Next winter is when Andy will have trading chips that other teams really want for a change. You don't get a frontline pitcher or a power hitter by naming 4 random names from the minors. You've got to have some legit prospects to deal.

And I like the value of Millwood at the top of the order, a seasoned veteran with a track record of success, pitching for a contract. I'll take that any day of the week...

waspman

I honestly don't understand what you're going on about. Last year the Yankees had 17 guys appear in 10 or more games. Boston had 15. Seattle who had the ALs lowest team ERA used 17. Philly used 15. The White Sox and Oakland who were 2nd and 4th in ERA used 15 and 19 respectively.

It's a fact that most teams start the season with about 12 pitchers and also a fact that they never manage to get through a season using only that number. Injuries and poor performances that result in someone getting sent down happen to all teams.

So MacPhail's statement was nothing but an honest and accurate statement of affairs for every team in baseball. You can lament that that is the state of affairs in the modern day by comparing how many this or that team used in 1955, 1976 or whenever else in the past, to the number of pitchers that teams use today, but it doesn't change the reality of today.

What MacPhail said to his guys who might not make the cut out of ST is nothing different than what every other GM would say to their own guys. That you extrapolate everything you do from that amazes me.

MountainFan

You're absolutely right. What AM has done in terms of building up depth in young pitching is impressive. That's why virtually everyone in baseball from players, managers and sports writers have been complimenting the job he's done in a very short 2 and a half years. About the only place he gets critisized is from the usual whiners on here.

MountainFan,
Great Post... These are the things that no one wants to talk about. This team was a complete disaster in desparate need for a total rebuild from A-Ball to the Major Leagues. Those who don't think it takes a while to do that kind of reclaimation are out of their minds. The part that gets to me the most is that when this team is contending for the division, and they will shortly, all of the Andy-bashers are going to enjoy the fruits of his "plan" and probably never give the man the credit he deserves for this undertaking. The best part about the way this team is going about it's business is that it is being built for long term success, not just one or two years of challenging the Yankees and Redsox. The Orioles have the resources to re-sign their own players when the time comes... you will not have a situation like you had in Cleveland where they had to get rid of Sabathia, Manny Ramirez, Cliff Lee and soon to be Grady Sizemore. Can you imagine what a rediculous team that would have been over the last few years if they were able to afford to keep their own? Or Oakland where they turn over their roster every 4 years... The O's are not spending foolishly on Free Agents until those players become the icing on the cake, not the lynch-pin of our franchise. When Wieters, Jones, Reimold, Matusz, Tillman and the like are ready to get paid, that money will be there and not tied up in a washed up Matt Holliday, John Lackey or Jason Bay. I am not saying these players are not good today, I am saying we are not ready for them today.
This is the season where you start to see a lot less of those losses from last year that were caused more by lack of experience and growing pains than anything else. This team does not lack skill, just experience. I for one am going to enjoy the development of this home-grown squad. I look forward to watching this franchise return to it's place atop the AL East. We've let the Yankees and Redsox have enough fun... Let's Go O's!

Tony P in AZ

Great post yourself.

Adding Millwood as the lynchpin and Matusz, Bergenson, and Hernandez being in the rotation from day one adds up to about a 10 win improvement in the win total.

The bullpen is going to be a big source of improvement. Though Koji may not go north with the team, I still feel he ends up being a valuable member of the pen. Meridith, Mikilo, and Henderickson will be in the pen on day one and they've added Gonzalez and Ohman in the off season. Johnson gets to go back to the 7th & 8th inning where he's effective. The pens much stronger.

Tejada is a guy that I really think is worth 5 wins in the course of a year. He's that guy that will get a hit when it's needed, and he's just as valuable in the clubhouse keeping a team full of serious types a little loose.

The maturation or Markakis, Jones, Riemold, and Weiters is worth another 5 wins or more. This time last year Weiters and Markakis were on their way to Norfolk and Jone was coming off his ROOKIE season. People on this site seem to forget how young AND TALENTED this core is.

I assure you guys, you haven't seen Weiters dialed in yet at the plate. Cal Sr. always said it took about 500 at bats for a rookie to get comfortable at the plate. Weiters and Riemold aren't there yet.

Injuries limited Jones to about 120 games, so if he's healthy for a full season that will be a plus.

The biggest potential downside I see is the potential for Roberts back to hobble him. He's a guy that the O's don't have an effective replacement for in the field or at leadoff.

That's the biggest potential I see for costing the O's wins. Roberts is probably the guy that kept the O's under 100 loses last year. He's the kind of player that can change the course of 5-10 games. The O's can't afford to lose him.

I've really got to disagree with the notion that the rotation is in trouble from day one. Guthrie is the only one of the potential starting 5 who still seems to be struggling with his command. At this point Bergenson and Matusz both seem capable of pitching in the second slot if needed.

If Guthrie struggles to get the ball down, he may have to go to the pen and then one of the 4 young pitchers in the minors may have to fill the role. That's a lot easier then needing 2-5 like last year.

It's nice to see some positive posts, this blog seems to be the only place in the baseball world that hasn't noticed the vibe around the Birds. Glad to see it's filtering in here too.

TonyP, do you realize "its just plain dumb" to think that the Orioles cant afford to re-sign their own players AND sign free agents too ? YTou can do both. Shocker, I know

The O's have stockpiled about 500 million in profits during the streak, they can afford to do both.Its sad and ignorant if you dont know this, yet to choose to defend frugality over winning

BTW, CLeveland almost made the WS in 07 but Boston made that great comeback, so they've had some recent success.


Andy has been the losingest GM in MLB for the past 20 yrs. You are betting on the wrong horse

Orioles fans sucking each others dicks over some mediocre pitching prospects ?


Never saw that one before. Berken & Hernandez wouldnt be in the rotation of any of the teams above us

Repeat after me macfailers:

EVERYONE HAS PROSPECTS

PITCHING PROSPECTS FAIL MUCH MORE THAN THEY SUCEED


riley,penn,loewen,cabrerea,stephens,hale,etc, etc etc etc, Ring a bell ?

We talking about propsects again ?

prospects?


propsects!

prospects ?

prospects !

Well actually we were mostly talking about players who already are in the majors and mostly entering their second season.

Never ceases to amaze me that when someone makes a postive post on this blog, the same ole foul mouthed crap raises it's ugly head.

Don't worry guys, when the O's are winning there's always a bridge to go live under...

A. I. -
You are entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I am not talking about 1 or 2 prospects at a given time, I am talking about organizational depth that this team has lacked for a very very long time. As MountainFan stated earlier, we have a staff of solid pitching prospects at AAA, not journeymen and castoffs as we have had in the past. Combine that with Britton, Johnson, and (soon to be) Hobgood at AA, the future looks much brighter than it has in over a decade. The process is not complete either. Our infield depth is atrocious, and our outfield depth below the major league level is adequate at best. What I am saying is that for the first time in a long time this frachise is headed for a future of not only depth, but stability.
As far as signing free agents and paying for our own goes, I agree that both can be done. I also believe that it will be done when the free-agents make sense. I don't believe it is about "blocking prospects", I think that it is more about not wanting to overpay players to come here. This is not a good free agent destination and hasn't been for a long time. Until this team proves that it is ready to take that next step, this is not going to change. I don't think the organization wants players that are only coming here because we broke the bank for them. Those are the kind of guys that get their money and their production drops like a ton of bricks. I think they want to get to the point where people will want to be the final piece to this puzzle. You guys say that we are putting all of our faith in "prospects" and that the don't always pan out. Don't you think free agents look at it the same way? Until these kids prove they can play and produce, free agents will take their chances outside the AL East or join the Sox and Yanks. Look at it from a free-agent's perspective and not from a point of money... Hitters will love to come to Camden Yards when they know the pitching staff can win them games.

Again, this is just an opinion... not an attack on the views of others

TonyP,

You said I was "plain dumb" for thinking Zobrist was better than Kakes so dont be a hypocrite

The point that the apologists and excuse makers always miss is that

EVERYONE HAS PROPSECTS !!!


And guess what:

BOSTON AND TAMPA HAVE MORE PROPSECTS AND BETTER PROSPECTS THAN US


MOUNTAIN FAN SAID
a seasoned veteran with a track record of success, pitching for a contract. I'll take that any day of the week

More worried about the contract than results. You sound like AM himself. I wish we had a GM who prioritized results over economics

Everyone has minor league players, but not everyone has the number of legit major league prospects the O's and Rays (and a few other teams do). The O's certainly didn't when Andy got here. You simply cannot compare Loewen or Penn or Ray with Matusz or Britton or Tillman. No way. And those are just a few examples.

Still waiting from the master plan from you guys. What would our 25 man roster look like if you'd been running the show these last couple of years. I mean, I know you'd have 40 homers each at 1B, 3B, and DH, 30/30 guys at every outfield position, and two or three 20 game winners in the rotation. I'm just asking for the details - which players and how would you have acquired them? Given the level of criticism it's a fair question. Your refusal to acknowledge or answer it is absolutely telling. You are tools.

AS I have stated -

A comment to all the overly, optimistic Oriole fans -

If you have seriously followed a professional sports team, whether football, basketball, or baseball, it takes way above talent of the team you follow to consistently win.

This years Oriole team does not have the talent to be successful - this is obvious. So to expect this team to win much more than 70 -75 games this year is not rational thinking.

It is still not too late in the spring to either trade for a player with above average abilities or even sign a proven free agent that is still out there looking for a team.

But if you don't care whether this team wins much more than 70 games and you want to keep the current roster intact, than enjoy the ride!

Mike H,

Nice new new name by the way.... I like it!

Obviously, the stop gap players I was referring to had nothing to do with the players you mentioned. But that's ok... people love to misrepresent what realist say on these blogs.

As for guys like those you mentioned (Markakis, Reimold, etc), you do remember that AM had anything to do with them, right? Oh, and you mentioned Weiters. You realize the previous regime drafted Matty, right? Yeah, people want to say AM signed him when he got here, but did he really have a choice? Seriously?

And yes, I've acknowledged the Seattle trade... many times. Great trade, and still the highlight of AM's time in Baltimore.

All in all though Mike, your spin and hype is just that.... spin and hype. All in all, you have nothing to back up most of what you say. All in all, you just like to criticize guys like me because...... well because you have nothing else.

Losing sucks Mike. I get it! As it pertains to wins and losses, your spin and hype means nothing. You know why? Because the Orioles will be losers again this year. Bad losers in fact. I know that hurts..... but it's honest, as well as accurate.

I appreciate guys like MountainFan who is loyal no matter what. He really believes he'll be right about the 2010 BIrds. Problem is though, he'll be wrong, again.

Oh, I'm not saying guys like Matusz and Weiters aren't players to be excited about, because they are. But look around Mike. All good teams have those guys, plus many others.

You.... you're banking on guys like Tillman. Ok, maybe hell pan out. To date though, he's done nothing.... nada! You however, treat the guy as if he's the King Felix. But I get it...... you have to do that. Because if you don't, what else do you have?

AM has done a good job bringing in some good talent to the O's. To give him credit for all the guys you mentioned however, is dishonest. But again, I get it... that's what you guys have to do.... spin and hype.

What's NOT spin and hype......

1) AM hasn't known how to win at the major league level for 20 years,

2) The O's will lose again in 2010 because they have 'collectively' a very bad baseball team.

But again Mike... I get it! What else are you going to say? It's not like you're going to shout 'Tex would have come here'.

So just enjoy baseball in baltimore like I do. Go to the games (I'll be going to many) and just enjoy the game. When you learn to do so without all the spin and hype, you'll enjoy it so much more.

Would I love to also have a good team to root for? You bet! But I don't, and won't as long as we have execs like we have running the show.

I'm right Mike, and this season will be what I've said it will be. But you're right as well, because you'll spin and hype your way into believing 74 wins will be an improvement.

Oh, and by the way Mike. You've asked before (under different names of course - which is fine) that we give examples of what should/could have been done to make this team competitive. When we do however, we just get the same spin and hype in return.

We give examples of how to win, only to see the same old rebuttals that define another losing season.

wayne -

If you've posted what you'd have done over and over, then we'd all remember it. Why don't you just post it again instead of going on a long rant (which you've also done over and over)? You could have easily done it in the time it took you to post that. What would you, specifically, have done differently? Would it have been just Tex? If not, just put yourself out there for once and give some specifics. You continuously take a position of vagueness because you KNOW you don't have a clue as to what would have made this club a contender this year, last year, and moving forward as well. Would you have ignored the spring training location issue? Would you have taken the $30 million going into the renovations being made to Ed Smith Stadium this year and re-directed it into signing Chapman?

I'm tired of hearing what this team WON'T DO from you. It's all you've got. You're all bluster, which you proved by not going and asking questions at FanFest when you raised hell here about what you should ask. You have NO IDEAS and NO GUTS.

It's your turn to prove me wrong.

I know you won't though. Instead, you'll just either:

a) ignore the challenge (which you have so many times in the past)

or

b) go on and on about how you're not gonna bother because everyone will just bash you and the O's are gonna lose

Well, everyone is bashing you know, so what have you got to lose? Stop deflecting and man up.

your schtick is old
your arguments are worn
your posting under other names so you can curse and then pretend it's not you is childish..
your predictions will be shown to be false
your not even interesting anymore

who am i

Shut up, SHAMROCK

Mike H = SHAMROCK = robert

REBUTTALS FOR WHEN FREE AGENTS ARE SUGGESTED PLAYERS TO ACQUIRE

1) He "just wouldn't come here"

2) He's not worth the money

3) He'll block our prospects

4) We can get the same results from "player X' for league minimum

dig ding ding!!!!

Yes it's Wayne!

5) He's not better than what we already have

6) whats the point ? We've got so and so in AA who will be here the year after next

7) He won't make that much of a difference

8) We'll spend when we are closer to contending which is always two years away from today's date

Chris In H,
Don't worry whenever Wayne is called out with facts by you or Ken, he will conveniently disappear and we get all the postings from his alter ego. He won't deal in facts like a few posts ago where Ken called his bluff about AM's time in Chicago.

He just retreats and waits for the next posting to start up all over again with his drivel.

dig ding ding!!!!

Yes it's SHAMROCK!

Since when does Ken or Chris In HA deal with "facts" ?


Ken flat out lies about AM's time in chicago and everyone with half a clue know its.

Chris doesnt know a thing about winning baseball. "They" of course could be the same person though anyway.

SHAMROCK is up to over 50 names

2 questions:

1) How does Boston and Tampa Bay have more prospects when every team has about the same amount?

2) How are Boston and Tampa Bays prospects "better than ours" if they haven't even made it to the majors yet? Again, someone needs to show me his/her crystal ball.


Mike H. -

I can remember when guys like Cabrera Loewen and Penn along with Bedard were destined to be our Big 4 - remember that? 4 or 5 years ago? Yes, Tillman, Matusz, Arrieta, Bergy and co. seem to be legit but so were all our other failed prospects. Matt Riley? I've said it before and I'll say it again, prospects are a crapshoot.

Calvin Pickering was our 1B of the future.

Scouts raved about Sidney Ponson.

Everybody wanted Luis Hernandez to play SS b/c of his glove.

Radames Liz was described as a raw talent.

Chris Richard was supposed to be a power hitter.

Remember when Chris Richard, Luis Matos, and Larry Bigbie was our outfield of the future?

Leslie Brea. Beau Hale. Garrett Olsen. Ryan Minor. Jose Mercedes. Jason Johnson. Tim Raines Jr. Gene Kingsale. Jorge Julio. We were gonna win a championshipship with these guys.

Geronimo Gil with Fernando Lunar as the backup.


The funny thing is hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to say "now it's different", when it was also supposed to be different 10 years ago. It isn't different. It's the same hype with different names run by somebody with a plan.

Who really doesn't have a clue?

Because many people are posting lately and seeing the very obvious improvements in the O's Wayne must resort to pretending/hoping that one poster is using up to 50 names...
That's Great....up to 50 huh Wayne? He can't fathom that he's being overwhelmed by the folks who see what's going on
Perhaps people can see things he can't like progress etc...

lol, Now it's getting good.......

Hey Chris, You're great at doing research..... See what I've written about Tex, as well as other free agents that would have helped the young, developing players on this team.

See how I've used St Louis as a model mid market team who doesn't embarrass its fan base by being near the bottom in payroll.

By the way, are you using the 30m they're spending to renovate Ed Smith stadium as an excuse for not acquiring quality FA's? Oh my Chris..... You really need to get from behind your assistants desk and learn more about big business. Come on bro...

Now.... go ahead and spend the next few hours researching the truth. I mean it has to be better than your truth of always - and I mean always, always, always hyping a very bad baseball 'team'.

And while you're researching Chris, see what Gil and I said about FanFest. In particular, about the plants they had in the first few rows. I had actually forgotten about it until you reminded me. It was both hilarious, and sad.

As for 'everyone is bashing me'. Ummm, no Chris. I's actually about 3 people, posting under approximately 8 to 12 different names. You can't see who they are? I think you can chris. I think you're a pretty bright guy.

And Chris, I NEVER have to prove you wrong. You know why, right?

Answer: Because the O's do it for me.....every single year!

Ding, DIng, Ding

freeman, I am truly sorry you don't understand the correlation between 1954-86 and 1987-2009. I am also truly sorry you don't see the correlation of the four teams (and I would assume one would know their respective records but if not, they are easy to look up -- hint: they stink, too) who happen to use more pitchers and use more pitchers at my randomly selected threshold than the Orioles.

The facts are the facts. The correlation is there plain as day. You don't have to get it. There are others who like facts thrown in with their opinions. I will write for them. You can ignore me and pretend all is well.

Dave,
You are not correct about just about every person you listed. They are not similar to the prospects we have now. The folks you mention were not on the national radar at all like Matuzs and Weiters etc.
You can say it's the same but it obviously is not. The caliber and ceiling of the present guys doesn't compare to the folks you listed.
Please post something from anywhere that says Chris Richard was going to be some great "power hitter" Same for all the pitchers...go find at least one quote to back up your assertion that they were looked at very highly by the national media.
Nice try, though

50 names?

Again, more lies. I never said anyone is using 50 names. Some use many, but 50? nah!

And trust me, there are MANY more O's fans who are like me than like the happy talkers who call in to shill all over Tom Davis and company.

I tell ya what...... Instead of FanFest, a heavily marketed event during the winter when there's nothing better to do.

Check out.....

..... the 2009's attendance. Keep tabs of the 2010 attendance. And notice the hats in the crowd when the Yanks and Sox come to town.

Oh yeah.... everyone is toasting the winning O's in Baltimore.

Good Grief!

Wayne,

It's not an alias. I'm not a constant poster, but this is probably my 40th or 50th post.

I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth regarding stopgaps. Your statement was that stopgap should be the O's motto, so I was pointing out rhetorically that we certainly have a lot of players who are not stopgaps.

Not going to argue with you about your mischaracterization of MacPhail's track record.

I'm not spinning or hyping anything. Baseball has been bad in Baltimore since LONG before MacPhail got here. Still, signing Wieters was MacPhail's choice, teams fail or choose not to sign draft picks. It was his DECISION and I think it was the right one. You may disagree. Same goes for Markakis and Reimold. They are still on the team (and Markakis is extended into the future) because MacPhail made those DECISIONS. He didn't draft them, but I didn't realize he was required to cut or trade every existing member of the organization in order to get any credit for anything. I never said Tillman was King Felix, but if your criticism of MacPhail is that our 5th starter/AAA 1st starter is NOT King Felix, then I think your expectations are out of whack.

Once again (its a theme here) your post consists of nothing but empty criticisms and shots at me (spin/hype) and no concrete examples of the moves you would have made. I give up. I won't ask again. You clearly have no answers.

You like to claim that you are a win/loss guy. So let's take a look. The O's record in MacPhail's two full seasons is 132-191. After his first two seasons, Rays GM Andrew Friedman was 127-197. Pretty much the same (I'm not going to make a big deal about MacPhail being a couple games better). The next year, of course, the Rays surprised Baseball by winning the AL pennant. I'm not saying we'll be in the World Series this year, I'm saying that if you were running the show in Tampa, you would have canned Friedman and started over the winter BEFORE what turned out to be the best season in that franchise's history and a better season than we've had in decades.

Any "progress" that doesn't make a difference in the win column is utterly meaningless to me

Sure, the franchise has a better rep in those mags that hype prospects. You want a good laugh ? Go back a few years and tell me how many of those hyped players actually made a difference in any organization. Tampa and....

Our prospects are better than year's past? That's kinda like saying these scratch off lotto picks are printed on better paper.

So what does it matter if you don't win anything ?

And isn't the better question if our propsects are better than our competition's. Or are our prospects better than the Free agents our competition is gonna sign ? Everything else is meaningless spin

Mike H

You are trying to hype Reimold as a MacPhail decision ?

If AM was so high on Reimold, why did he trade for Pie?

Why did he put minor league journeyman Montanez ahead of Reimold on the depth chart?

Why did it take multiple injuries for Nolan to finally get his chance ?

"If AM was so high on Reimold, why did he trade for Pie?"

Maybe because most teams need more than 3 quality outfielders.

"You are trying to hype Reimold as a MacPhail decision ?"

Not hyping anything. Simply pointing out the obvious fact that he'sonly here because MacPhail decided to keep him. If he didnt want him, someone would have given him something.

Waspman;

I'm sorry that you don't understand that every team in MLB are going to use more than 12 pitchers this year, that every team did last year as well, and that AM's statement is appropriate considering that simple reality. This isn't 1954. Times change. Get with them.

First, I think we use the word "hype" a little loosely.

Matusz and Wieters are nationally hyped because they are that good. But I don't see the mags hyping individuals such as Bell and Snyder because there's nothing special to hype about.

But I do see the mags and websites hyping the O's farm system as whole, which I do agree with.The only other player who deserves the hype is Tillman because of how quick he's moved through the levels, although I think he should start in Norfolk.

Like I said you would wayne... deflect... deflect... deflect...

You say we should use St. Louis as a basis... but you don't show how MacPhail could have gotten to their level in the years that he has been here. That's what I'm talking about wayne. You don't back up anything. You just throw it out there like it's magically supposed to happen. You don't give an alternative to the plan, you just say you don't like it and constantly refer to previous posts... Yet at the same time, you'll repeatedly post redundant crap like asking Pete to do an article on MacPhail's FA acquisitions like he's running some kind of request line. So if you can post that over and over, why is it such a bother for you to answer a simple question? Instead you deflect... deflect... deflect...

And I used the $30 million as an example of funds that we know are available and a FA that cost roughly the same amount. Instead of promoting discussion or actually giving a relevant answer, you came back at me. Why? The answer is simple... deflect... deflect... deflect...

And yes, I do remember about you going on and on about the warehouse "plants," but if you were so intent on getting heard, you would have. Pete and Roch even talked about what your reasons for chickening out would be and you proved them true. Later you went on to say that you never intended to ask questions anyway, you were just wanting to get suggestions... Uh-huh. Sure... Maybe you should change your name to wayne the deflector.

Either step up to the challenge or pack your panties and go home.

dave,

I don't consider Matusz and Weiters as part of the hype. Those two are real.

As for Tillman, Bell, Arietta,etc.... yes, they are being hyped. Maybe they'll end up being quality major leaguers, maybe not. The point is, every team has prospects. Because the O's are always so bad though, our prospects are hyped in order to build confidence in the future. If you check out AM's past, he's known for such.

And Mike,

Wow, you really did some research in order to justify AM. You went back to TB's losing years though? Interesting! SInce you're looking up TB however, maybe you'll want to dig a little further to see how they thoroughly turned things around.

And you can compare AM's first two years in Baltimore to any losing gm in the league if you'd like. To be fair though, you'll need to compare AM's dismal previous 18 years to get a clearer picture (if you'd like). And by the way, as Gil has mentioned many times, does AM's previous half year count at all?

And let me get this straight. You're giving AM credit for Markakis? Really? Is it because he extended his contract? Let me ask you Mike... If AM didn't extend the deals of Nick and Brob, where would the O's payroll be? If he didn't extend there contracts, how would this guy look to even the happy talkers in Baltimore? And Reimold? You're giving him credit for knowing he should keep him? Do you perhaps remember the circumstances surrounding Reimy ending up in LF? Next, you're going to give AM all the credit for Bergy. Mike, Mike Mike.....

Again, I have pointed out repeatedly (chris is looking over all the post now) how this team could/would have been more competitive this year..... not the world series... but competitive. Either trust me Mike, or look it up. Your choice!

You can call me negative all you want (means nothing to me), but like someone said above, progress can ONLY be measured in wins and losses. After all, this is major league baseball Mike. This isn't Frederick, Bowie or Richmond. This is the league where success is measured ONLY by wins and losses.

That's why I'm always right, and guys like you (in all due respect) are always wrong.

The good news is..... one of these years, the law of averages will be on your side. One of these years they will be competitive.

It's just that for 'one of these years' to happen, we'll need a current day, winning head of baseball operations.


MIkeH,

He traded for Pie to be the starting LFer not for depth, hence him given the starting job in LF until he couldn't hit his weight.

Don't try to spin it.He traded him to be the starting LF period. Only Pie's horrendous performance and Montanez's injury brought Reimold to the bigs.


Youre also neglecting all of the turds that AM brought here and keeps here


But Please do me a favor and stop comparing AM to Friedman

Ill give you one concise example of their differences. AM brought Wiggington in and Freidmam shipped him out. Friedman was willing to trade overhyped propsect Delmon Young and got back a defensive SS that actually hits (take notes andy) and a solid 2-3 SP. AM will never make a trade like that.

Its much easier trading Vets for prospects than vice versa or p's for p's. AM is too scared to make a mistake

Friedman won 97 games in the tough ALeast. AM has never won 97 games in 25 yrs in any division.

Our Andy drafted Hobgood for signability issues, Tampa goes into the draft trying to get guys with the best ceiling, not the safe, cheap pick that Andy loves so much

Nobody else has their prospect catcher on Sports Illustrated. No one has as promising an outfield as far as I know (please advise of ones that compare if anyone knows). Our infeild is full of ?s especially with Roberts injured. But Tejada was an All-star last year. Atkins seems to have had some good games this ST. And Itzuris isnt really a ?, he just isn't going to be a prolific hitter, but he can be good, as he was early last season.
Luke Scott needs to just hit the damn ball, let him play some left too, unless Reimold or Pie can just take over that spot.
In the end it is all about the pitching. Are these guys prospects or are they pitchers. Im hopin they are pitchers, for a while last year Bergeson looked like our Ace of the future. Matuzs is known beyond camden yards. The others gotta do it, and basically Guthrie is a prospect.
Go's O's lets win the Pennant.

Mike H - I'm sorry, but you are supporting the unsupportable. If you want to say the Orioles have some good young players I'm with you, as are others, including Wayne. But if you're trying to say this team is on their way to playing good baseball, you simply don't have anything of substance to back your claim. As I see it, I think it's fair to say it will be at least a few years before this team even begins to compete, and that's only if all the prospects come through. Pretty tough being a baseball fan in Maryland.

Anon,

Brilliant post!

chris,

I'm sorry you're so angry. I get it, but i"m sorry. The O's make me angry as well. Losing makes me angry. denial makes me angry.

Your anger however, is misdirected towards persons like myself. Instead, you should be angry that the Baltimore Orioles continue to be one of the worst teams in baseball.

Does Buster Olney saying the O's had one of the worst ST's of any team matter to you at all? Or do you simply say it's because of injury's? haven't seen your spin on that one yet.....

Does it not bother you at all that the O's came into camp knowing (or should have known) that Reimold wouldn't be close to 100%, and that Koji and Pie are always one step away from the DL?

No Chris, I'm not deflecting. Instead, I'm simply stating the obvious. Why would I list (AGAIN) moves the O's should have attempted to make, only to have those like you, people who don't mind losing, throw around your usual spin? Why would I give you that false satisfaction?

As for Pete.... Hey, i was only suggesting what would be a great article/column. Done properly, it would truly show the fans of baltimore that it's not as rosy a picture as people would like to paint. But that's Pete's choice. I'm only giving him an idea for great content.

Chris, I respect how much you love the O's. The problem though is you remain in denial. If the O's win 74 games his year, you will come on this blog and talk about the great strides the team has made. I however, will talk about how it was yet again, another season of terrible losing Another season of being one of the worst teams in baseball.

Of the losing.... You, the media and the O's will continue to....

Deflect, Deflect, Deflect....

I think you are splitting hairs re: Reimold. The point is, clearly Reimold has some talent/potential. We seem to agree on that. If we see it, other GMs must see it. So if MacPhail was convinced Reimold would not play, he would have and could have traded him. It would have been exactly the kind of low-risk trade you say Andy loves.

Andy's half-year doesn't count for much since he didn't have much chance to put his stamp on the team until the offseason. And to be fair Friedman was a high-level exec in Tampa for more than just the last two losing years, I was just going with his GM years.

Are you guys honestly saying MacPhail only re-signed Markakis so people would defend him in the blogosphere? You are starting to sound crazy. He could have spent the money elsewhere or, if he's as incompetent as you all think, he could have just lowered the payroll. Its not like he's trying to win anyway.

I'm not searching the whole blog for the plan you've never articulated Wayne. Don't BS a BSer. Give us the thumbnail sketch of what you would have done and how much better we'd be this year or shut up.

And a couple for Anon:

"Our Andy drafted Hobgood for signability issues, Tampa goes into the draft trying to get guys with the best ceiling, not the safe, cheap pick that Andy loves so much"

Didn't realize we had already decided Hobgood was a bust before he even left Bluefield. And was Matusz a "cheap pick." I think his bonus was more than $3 million, right?

I see your overhyped Delmon Young and raise you overhyped Erik Bedard.

And the Rays send us Wigginton. And we send the Rays Zaun. What a great pickup that was for them.

How could I miss this:

"The good news is..... one of these years, the law of averages will be on your side. One of these years they will be competitive." - Wayne

EVERYONE TAKE NOTE! Wayne is officially hedging. Whatever year it is (I'm not saying it's this year) that the O's actually pass the RedSox and Wayne's beloved Yankees Wayne will be saying the exact same things until the reality of it smacks him in the face. Of course, then he'll pull out the above quote to show how he's still right! Lol

Mike H. Chris and others,
You must understand you are trying to reason with someone who doesn't want to discuss....he wants to WIN. He thinks he wins all the time because he is "clever" and makes you look like someone who likes losing. See his repeated posts that say anyone who is looking forward to this year and likes the current plan by AM likes losing.
He is obsessed with losing...pretty ironic when you think about it... Someone who claims to want to win and yet so obsessed with losing.
Anyway, you are pretty much wasting your time looking for reasoned discussion with such a person.

...and just because I can do math, it's been less than 20 years since MacPhail's Twins won the world series. Barely, but less than 20.

Agreed Anon 10:11. I'm out.

I'm not mad wayne. I actually think it's funny that in all the time you spend saying (over and over) that you don't want to re-post what you've already said, you could have just posted what you'd have done several times over.

Meanwhile you try to turn it into the same old pointless argument that I'm misdirecting some kind of non-existent anger. I'm happy with the direction of the club. There's the kind of hope for the team that hasn't been there in quite some time. And it's not just coming from the "warehousers", it's coming from media outlets around the nation.

Oh, and your tactic of accusing me of deflecting... wow. So if I point out something you have a habit of doing, you're just gonna accuse me of the same thing... Good one, wayne. Classic 5th grade logic.

Ok Fella's.....

Once and for all..... Just because AM may (and I use the word 'may' cautiously) be better than the previous regimes, it doesn't mean the team is going to be a winner under his watch.

Why does anyone think otherwise, especially seeing AM's track record over the past two decades? I mean it really is puzzling.

And Chris, You're not a bad guy, and I'll again say I respect your unconditional love of the O's. You're just a young, inexperienced person, someone who still has an idealistic view of the world, and of the Orioles. Enjoy it while it last....

And as for the media outlets around the nation Chris, I guess Buster doesn't count. As for the rest, please don't misunderstand anything they're saying.

As for my argument being 'pointless'. Do you actually think I enjoy being right?

I don't!

And yes Mike, like I said, if you keep saying this will be the year...... year after year after year after year... you'll be right one year.

That will be a good year...

Really Wayne? really? once and for all???

man, dude, if only that were true.....

Im convinced that the Orioles have PR reps posting on blogs like this to spin another losing season as "progress"

No true fan could really be happy with such a terrible GM who has put together another losing roster

These idiotic excuses would never work in winning cities

Mike H,

It doesnt matter what happens with Hobgood.

He was picked because he was CHEAP, not becasue he was the best player available. With the O's going the cheap route on 1 st rd picks, a TB type rebound is not possible. That's the point. I'm sure that that is over your head

These Macfailers aren't very sharp

mike H is shamrock.

I don't understand any talk about a 'plan'. I don't recall MacPhail speaking of any particular plan. There has been talk of improving the minor leagues, but nothing specific that I recall about competing for a playoff spot. We hear develop the pitching and buy the bats, whatever that means. Best I can tell, 'buy the bats' means trying to catch lightening in a bottle with some bargain bin free agent you hope has an upside. That's not much different than Flanagan/Beattie/Duquette. He's even talked about trying to energize a fan base, but that doesn't mean playoffs. MacPhail is a smart man. He's got the payroll down and some young talent in the system. He has fans primed to celebrate a 81 win season in another year or maybe two. In a few years he's off to replace Selig. Seems to me the plan is proceeding just fine. Payroll is under control and Angelos can make money as fans flock to see a team try to win 81 games. MacPhail has been a good employee. He'll come highly recommended for MLB commissioner in a few years. This plan makes a lot more sense than the one where the Orioles really try to compete in the AL East.

ITS OBVIOUS THAT THE ORIOLES/ME ARE NOT TRYING TO WIN. IF THEY/I GET LUCKY WITH RETREADS HOPING FOR A COMEBACK OR IF A BUNCH OF PROSPECTS MAGICALLY DEVELOP AT THE SAME TIME. THEY'LL/ILL TAKE IT, BUT WINNING IS NOT THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE HERE. I DON'T NEED TO WIN TO MAKE TONS OF MOOLA

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

wayne and Anonymous,
Please know that you're not alone. What are people talking about on this Blog? Are they really watching the same team the rest of us are? When did losing become so acceptable in this city?

I and many other posters hope the O's have a good year for several reasons.
One,
It's simply more enjoyable to have a winning baseball team and
Two,
Wayne Gil Keith nb and others can just drift off onto another blog of some sort as they mumble to themselves........
" we are realists... are we not men?" "we are realists...are we not men""
"AM GM winning again?....AM GM winning again?"

You guys do realize that extreme negativity can drive you to the loony farm?
Perhaps the Detroit Lions have a blog you can sign up for...that seems like it would be fun for you...
Enjoy the summer guys... These baby birds may fly

Where they flying? South? And Detroit will have a better wining percentage than the Orioles this season. Of course that won't be tough to do.

First of all, the ceiling in my basement is higher than Berken's. As soon as he makes 15-20 starts, he'll get shelled every freaking time he takes the mound.

Second, if Tillman is NOT the 5th starter on this team, they are making a HUGE mistake. Why not? He was on the rotation for the last 1/2 of the season. What did he do to get removed from it?

Meanwhile, Guthrie, must be dating Trembley the way he gets a pass for not getting my grandmother out over the last 2 seasons.

Players can have career years.
I'm betting Millwood has one in 2010.
I'll predict he lives up to the #1 designation in our rotation, is chosen to start for the AL in the all-star game, and ends up being the O's first 20-game winner in 25 years.

On another subject, Robert Andino must give one hell of a blow job.
It's a fact that he can play SS better than Justin Turner..... but they're not competing for the starting SS position.
They're competing for a utility spot on the bench.
Turner plays a backup SS just fine, along with a very good 2B, 3B, and outfield..... and gives you a very good bat either off the bench or spelling any of the regulars at those positions.
I don't at all agree with Trembley's explanation.

fire wayne

bear - - - go back into hibernation. You are so delusional, you're no good to the awake civilization.

Freeman, I have never called anyone out before but your stupid comment about getting with the times ...

I posted the Oriole rank for 2009 with pitchers used compared to the rest of major league teams. The ranking sucked. The teams who were worse also sucked. This pattern has been the Oriole pattern for the last 12 years.

Modern times, man. Just spelling it out for you because you don't get it.

And it seems fine that MacPhail is lubing up the revolving door. Again. Before injuries or any other considerations are in place. And that's fine? Okay.

Since you have added nothing of substance to your critical rhetoric, I'm done. Issue another baseless and very stupid insult my way. I will only respond if you have something substantive to say. You won't, though. You're not capable.

Rick,

I like Tillman as well, but to me he hasn't done anything that he deserves staying power. Hernandez has out-pitched Tillman so far. No question about that. I think it should all come down to their last starts this week, with the advantage to Hernandez unless Tillman shows something. If Trembley is going to keep any credibility when he opens up a competition, the job needs to go to Hernandez.

I don't think Tillman is so fragile that it will shatter his confidence. Let him go down and dominate at Norfolk and he'll get an opportunity due to injury or ineffectiveness before long.

Anonymous---
Go back into asylum.
If you don't have enough confidence in your own comments to identify yourself, then keep them to yourself, chicken-hearted weasel.

Post a comment

Please enter the letter "s" in the field below:
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.

Schmuck column archive

Upload a photo of yourself or a friend wearing the new Peter Schmuck T-shirt, which is on sale at gotschmuck.com
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to baltimoresun.com sports blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected