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July 18, 2010

Column: Same O's song and dance?

If you can't stand the thought of reliving last night's garden variety Orioles loss, you can read my column for Sunday's print edition right here. I take a look at the upcoming trade deadlines -- the July 31 waiver deadline and the Aug. 31 playoff eligibility deadline -- and wonder if this year will be deja vu all over again.

Guess that four-game sweep in Texas last weekend was some kind of mirage. The Orioles have started the second half looking a lot like the team that started the first half. They've scored two runs in each of the first two games of the three-game series against the Blue Jays, and now have a string of seven straight games against Toronto this year in which they've scored two runs or fewer.

This time, you could see it coming a mile away after they scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead in the sixth and still had runners at first and third with one out. Of course, they didn't tack on that extra run, so Jose Bautista's two-run homer off Jason Berken was enough to put the Jays back on top for good.

I could also point out that they couldn't get a sacrifice bunt down on two separate occasions, but that would be piling on.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:42 AM | | Comments (42)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Perhaps the most fundamentally unsound baseball team I've EVER laid eyes on.........they do NONE of the little things needed to win like study pitchers pick off moves, hit the cut off man, run the bases wisely and especially can't hit behind a runner, hit a fly ball, nor lay down a bunt when it's called for. I have no clue what they are waiting for re: the new manager......these guys go through every Aug/Sep knowing it's irrelevant and play like - get the new guy - hopefully Showalter - in here NOW and send the message to everybody that they are playing for a job this year AND next and not performing the fundamentals will be just another nail in their coffin - no exceptions - these team is bad and warrants NO untouchables.

ANDY B. MACPHAIL'S STRATEGY OF PLANNING TO LOSE is obviously wearing thin on even one of the most fair minded tribes in the local media. So much damage has been to the local physche by Macphail's indifference towards improving the team at the major league level..... that even an unlikely .500 win season next year seems hardly worth the deliberate pain he has inflicted since 2007. He has never tried to win in the four years he has been in Baltimore and his dithering has now spilled over into the bungling side show o the permanent manager search.

His strategy of making the team so bad that the remaining fans would see any thing less than 95 losses as a championship is a disgrace. He should have been fired in May when his plan collapsed. The fact that he is still here is an embarassment and disgrace to the city. Only in Baltimore does the owner of a professional sports franchise reward incompetence with tenure. It has become surreal

Start the fire sale and lose 40 more or so games and move on to football

First, off topic, but probably of interest to the masses, how is the hound?
Next, in reference to possible trades, what if the Orioles instead of dumping salary, eat it, and get a better prospect(s). Certainly the Rangers and Rockies are in the position that they are unwilling or unable to take on additional salary. Also, what is the value of these potential free agents in terms of draft picks if they are offered arbitration and decline. I realize there is a risk that they will accept arbitration but certainly it is no more of a risk than the Orioles took signing Atkins and Gonzalez.

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Pete's reply: Bogie had surgery on Friday and his home now. Should be okay, thanks to the great people at VTech. As far as compensation for free agents offered arbitration, I would assume that Tejada would be an A and Wigginton and Millwood would be Bs, but that's just a guess. Trouble is, you can't offer Tejada and Millwood arbitration unless you want to keep them, because they'll both probably accept.

"The Orioles have started the second half looking a lot like the team that started the first half." - Peter Schmuck

They are the same team. What has changed? (Please don't answer the Orioles made 70-something or whatever it is moves.)

The team was flawed last October. The team was flawed in February. The team was flawed Opening Day. The team is essentially still the same.

Many of the acquisitions were flawed. Many even managed to underperform. And worse, many of the youngsters have been rushed and have been overwhelmed.

Yeah, they swept Boston. And then, they swept Texas much later in the season. They will probably have another sweep or two in them and another stretch or two of .500 ball.

But that will be it.

The idea that this year was going to be about wins and losses ended a long long time ago. It should now be about next year and future years. In fact, it should have been about that for a while now.

The Orioles are in no rush to accept their plight and do what is necessary. I mean, c'mon ... they fired their manager 24 games under .500 "to provide a spark."

This team was in position to shop players like Millwood when they could have offered potential trading partners longer rental service thereby getting more in return. Instead, the team waits and waits and waits. The rentals will be for shorter periods of time for teams who may want something the Orioles have, and more teams will be out of it flooding the market with players to be dumped.

If the Orioles thought what was being offered before wasn't good enough, wait until they see what is offered when teams in need have more choices and a shorter stretch run. The days of waiting until 11:00 PM on July 31 and August 31 are mostly over.

The Orioles need to get the notion of waiting until other teams are desperate out of their heads. Perhaps some day they will realize they are the ones over a barrel and they will try to change their ways. That's of course assuming they want to win beyond closing their eyes and saying to all who might hear, "I want to win."

MacPhail and Angelos don't care about winning.(If they did, the team would be winning). All they care is the business bottom line. The Phillies were interested in Wiggy and Miggy, but MacPhail is stalling because he wants to squeeze as much money as possible for crusty old PGA. Let's face it. What's happening with Wiggy this year is out of the norm. Take what you can get and run. I would trade both of them for a minor league prospect and a bullpen pitcher. Guess how much they are going to be worth next season: Pennies!!!

Milwood needs to be traded. Ohman also should go. Whatever you can get for them. Get minor leaguers for them. You need to rebuild a depleted farm system.

Whatever you do, you've got to make moves. You can't just sit back and wait. You've got to hire a manager. This clown operates as if the team is in first place. No sense of urgency to even get 1% better.

Why hasn't the manager been hired yet? What in the heck are you waiting for?

MacPhail's moves, or lack there of, are just terrible. He should have traded B-Rob when the Cubs were interested. He could have traded Huff and Mora when they were on fire a couple of years ago. But he didn't. He lacks the vision as a GM to put together a successful team in Baltimore.

Oh and as a side note. Those of you harping on Samuel getting a shot: you'd be all over Trembley for Patterson's and Lugo's baserunning blunders last night.

"I didn't think it would be this tough," MacPhail said. "There are things I didn't foresee, like how good Tampa was on the cusp of being." (guess dopey maccheap wasnt paying attn to the tampa drafts or friedman's trades. tampa improved a little faster than expected, but anyone paying attn knew it was coming)

His original thought was the team would have a chance to remodel from the bottom up while worrying about little more than the behemoths in Boston and New York. (he miscalcualted badly and seems to be frozen in an endless cycle of incessant excuses, dumpster style retreads and failed Cubs cast offs as the only viable response to his predicament)

"I thought we could concentrate on rebuilding the infrastructure here," he said. (well, what are you wating for ?)


Rebuilding is still central to The Plan, his scheme for remaking the Orioles with a core of young players. Despite the disaster of 2010, he's not changing course. (what rebulilding ? There are virtually no significant young additions to the team for the future.. there are more holes being created than filled)

"The Plan's still the only path we can take to get to where we need to be," MacPhail said. "I can't even conceive of what a Plan B would be. As a franchise we've tried other things before and they haven't worked. We have to improve how we're carrying out The Plan, but abandoning it is not an option." (great dopey maccheap cannot even conceive of a plan B------ Yeah, the future is bright. BTW, andy signing mediocre retreads has been done before, try getting some elite free agents in their prime, that would be a novel initiative in Turdland)


U cant make this up

Pete, good article in this mornings paper. Yes the fans should finally ask the question when will the orioles be buyer's instead of sellers.But we all know the answer to that question don't we Never because we don't have anybody worthwhile to give up to be buyer's. Pete in all fairness when andy came here his intentions were all good , but in all fairness what he has planned has failed miserably.Watching the play of our outfield beside's nick is like watching a circus, they look like a bunch of clowns. That play wouldn't be acceptable at any level especially here in the major's. Andy's patience and slow paced way's might work in a corporations board room, but in this modern era of baseball it stinks to high heaven. Andy might have been successful early on in his tenure with minn, but he has been a total failure here. There is no other way to say it no matter how you try.Have a nice day.

I disagree Pete......

If the Plan wasn't in any kind of disaray, why would you write such a piece?

If you and so many trust in AM and the Plan (as I do), then why question things in only the 4th year of AM's rebuilding Plan?

I for one believe we'll be able to connect with a couple impact players by trading players like Miggy and Wiggy.

This is a journey Pete. Yes, AM had players like Brob (he'll be back), Markakis, Wieters and Arrieta and others already in the system when he got here. But where would be be without the Bedard trade he made way back?

I know you and fans are frustrated with all the bust he's brought to town, but remember, these guys were just brought in to hold down the fort until guys like Snyder were ready. Atkins, Gonzo, Eaton, Hill, and on and on were ALL worth the risk.

Don't lose faith Pete. You've been on board with the Plan for so long and you even helped me to see the light..

Please don't bail now....


The Plan Is On Pace And In Place

Wayne

You may have a point there. When it comes to Andy B. Macphail, Oriole fans should probably subscribe to the old axiom, "When rape is inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it."

Is anyone watching todays disgrace?

I was one of those people saying we not only didn’t have a starting pitching rotation but not one decent starting pitcher going into spring training and was heckled on here by people drooling over Brian Matusz… I said those things half jokingly and more angry over the sad state of the Orioles but at this point I am shocked how bad these pitchers really are. Not saying the whole pete thingy about the pound of flesh but if you have a baseball team and none of the starters can do their job than something has to be done this is insane.

Why do the Orioles keep on losing? Why are there always excuses? Why isn't the front office ever accountable? Why do we have so many really bad players? Why should we listen to Andy anymore? Why would we think Angelos will ever change? Why do people defend what's going on? Why is Gil so smart? Why is Jason so upset at everything? Why is Not Brooks so baseball knowledgeable? Why doesn't smitty realize he sounds like he works for the team? Why does meso make good points? Why doesn't paulie? Why does ken agree with smitty? Why does Pete not like blancione? Why does waspan hate everything orioles? Why does Ken from Pikesville want his own blog? Why has wayne completely changed directions? Why has masn become almost unwatchable? Why are there so many Oriole banners on the SUN site? Why can we ever count on having a winning team again?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

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Pete's reply: Man, you sure ask a lot of questions.

another horrific outing by a proposed ROTY candidate.
The more this guy pitches, the worse he looks. Unless he's got great stuff on that day, he just plain stinks. Aren't they supposed to be learning how to pitch when it ain't all there?
I guess not.
There is not one player on this roster I would not trade. None.

With yet another sweep, what's our record against Toronto?
And jim66. How come none of the Oriole prospects ever match expectations? Sure, they will have a good game here and there. But don't other young players perform at a very high level in the majors? Why don't ours?

Fire MacPhail asap. This team is a disgrace!

This "Plan" is Terrible.

Every other team in the Majors that has "prospects" turns everyOne of them in MLB All Stars they're very first year. The O's "prospects" (If you can call them that. More like Girls High School Soft Ball leagues bench-players!) have had 3 years to become baseball players. They're past their prime's now, ruined by early promotions when none of them had had success in the Minors.

Andy keeps using the AL East as an excuse for his Decade of incompetence as O's GM. But even a 5 year old from Brazil knows that winning means spending, as the Red Sox and Yankees have shown. Chone Figgins and John Lackey (both free agents at O's needed positions 3B and SP) were available and could have brought the payroll in line with winning clubs at closer to 100$ million. As soon as the Payroll gets to about $140 million, BOOM Winning!!!! Andy doesn't get it!!!!

Even worse, Other clubs are Pleading with Andy to get some of these supposed "prospects" (which every team has, thus the O's ones are the worst obviously.) The Brewers call every day asking to trade Fielder. The Padres have never been called back when they wanted to trade Adrian Gonzalez for eveyone on the 40 man. Even the Yankees, eager to get rid of Tex and A-Rod, have been pestering Andy to make a trade. Andy just won't do it. Because he's so old, that Telephones weren't invented when he won his 2 World Series Rings. That's how much the game has changed.

When Andy won the 2 world series rings, the game was so different, the Players played with 60 foot base-paths, a 25 foot pitchers-mound, and players back then were actually Centaurs and nothing like today's Human players they use in baseball.

Plus, Andy and Peter's meeting notes are publicly available and published in the Sun, and the only thing they ever discuss is "making more money". It's disgusting that a team as rich as the Orioles (the MASN deal gave the Orioles 700 BILLION dollars...annually!) continues to intentionally raise the prices of everything. They set up Toll Booths in Camden, so once you sit in your seat it takes $5.00 every-time you leave your seat for a Beer, or the bathroom. C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)*


*The Wu.

((payne is paulie. payne will be my alter ego, as wayne has inspired me to mock peoples believes in the most scathing and cynical way's. Conveniently, Thomas Payne is my favorite Founding Father of our country, and one who has not a single memorial in the country, nor even Tombstone. So it is with great pleasure I will ghost write under the name payne. Thanks Thomas and wayne.))

Well. juan is now 14-23? does that make a difference?
I think the team, if you can call it that,is so screwed up that whoever inherits this pile of crap will spend the rest of the year with his head on a swivel, pretty much amazed at what he's seeing from some of the vets, and dumbfounded at the remarkable lack of progress shown by the supposed core of next yrs roster. Good luck Buck

Same old Crowley's Crumbs. Why do they have so much difficulty scoring runs? Watch their at-bats with RISP. They constantly get themselves out on pitches way out of the strike zone, instead of forcing pitchers to throw strikes. Look at last night. Folks have already mentioned the baserunning blunders and failed sacrifice bunts, but one thing wasn't mentioned. Four times, they had a runner on third with less than two outs. Lugo gets ahead in the count, then swings at three straight balls. He then strikes out on a ball. Izturis gets a hit. Patterson gets ahead 3-1, then pops up ball four at his shoulders. Tejada, as usual, doesn't pick up his teammates with a two out rbi hit. In the eighth, Markakis, our only clutch hitter, grounds into the DP.

Folks were so happy with the Texas sweep, but our hitting w/ RISP was poor in that series. Homers made the difference. How do hitters get gopher balls, and rbi hits? Usually, by hitting strikes! So why do our hitter so often swing at balls? Why has our team OBP and runs scored rank consistently been below league average the past 12.5 seasons?

nothing like a good clubbing on a sunday to set the tone for the rest of the week.
you think showalter told AM that he has about 4 players on the roster who could play for a decent major league team?
And that 2 of those play half the tome with their heads up their butt?

And in case this isn't discouraging enough, look at Norfolk. There's nothing there! Bell was supposed to be a monster hitter who could learn third, but it turns out he's not a great hitter and he can't learn third. Remember Snyder? And where's our next shortstop, or cleanup hitter, or second baseman, or our next three starters? All these years of acquiring prospects, and we might as well have been buying up Enron stock. Please tell me if my logic is off, but I see only two possible explanations: Our scouts have done a horrible job of evaluating young talent, or our minor-league coaches have done a horrible job of developing it. If this is a rebuilding cycle, I'd have to say we are in year one. Can I order tickets for 2016 yet?

Uncle Goose,

one more conclusion to draw...

not to draw a conclusion.

it might be a bit early in the careers of 23/24 year old's to draw a good conclusion as to ability and talent at MLB level's. It's year one for most, and not even some others.

wake me when Cal buys the team.

Paulie,

Your perceived sarcasm is tasteless. Since you're a warehouser, you would serve your master better if you harped on how well the PLAN is doing.

You have nothing original to say. You just keep picking apart other people's argument in your own sick and twisted way. You have neither the intelligence nor the wit to counter argue anyone's opinions. Your neener-neener "style" (for lack of a better word) of writing (if you want to call it that) resembles that of a pimpled face bullied teenager.

Can you make a stand and support your views, or are you going to continue with your childish comments? Nevermind, we all know what you're all about. Keep it coming! Even ignorance can be entertaining sometimes.

By the way. Feel free to use my words against me. I know you're not capable of coming up with your own coherent thoughts.

Pete, not sure if you've addressed this, but what are your thoughts on Wigginton?

I believe he's played a bit over his head this year and wouldn't complain if we got some good prospects for him, but with another "rebuilding" year coming for the O's, wouldn't it be wise to keep a veteran guy with some pop who can backup all over the IF? I'm sure his presence would help young guys and it might even free up a roster spot to carry an extra pitcher.

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Pete's reply: I wouldn't have any problem with keeping him around, but if you can get something and give him the chance to make the playoffs, I'd probably do that.

Pete,

Very nice piece about Joe the Fan's perspective, appreciate you supporting the fans and maybe just maybe the Warehouse will pay attention.

Funny in the State of the Orioles address, McFail singularly mentioned the need to buy a big bat in free agency.

I myself believe we need much more than one big bat in our everyday line-up. I would suggest besides Weiters who has struggled without support and too high expectations we need a 1B, 2B (or at least a really good contingency plan for BRob), SS, 3B and DH. Among them, a 3-4-5 hitters. So his task is monumental.

Also I would suggest dealing Guthrie and Millwood if you can get anything for him, but Guthrie on a good team, easily of 4-5 starter.

Another depressing year!

Best

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Pete's reply: Thanks Keith. I would only trade Guthrie if the return justifies it. I still think on an improved team he could be a successful starter. i certainly wouldn't give him away for a couple of prospects unless they were really highly-rated young guys.

mes,

The tasteless-ness was indeed intended. Rather, it was the point. Glad you picked that up. Again, I attribute it all to wayne my inspiration. (and Thomas Payne, of course).

My using your words against you is my complicit agreement that...
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"And when you have nothing left to cling to, you result to character attacks, because that is what incapable and uneducated people do.

Posted by: Mesotheliangelos | July 14, 2010 3:44 PM
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you simply could not have stated it better.

And there you go again with the seeking to belittle me or my intelligence...still the master of irony.

It's like your flailing about trying to make a point and then, put your foot in your own mouth within seconds/sentences.

My "picking other peoples arguments apart" is called Pragmatism. That's a good thing.

....are you still worried that your getting to me? lol. getting to my funny bone, sure.

as you said....
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"Keep it coming! Even ignorance can be entertaining sometimes. "

Posted by: Mesotheliangelos | July 18, 2010 3:40 PM

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bravo sir. bravo.

Keith Rowe...all,

Would you deal Nick Markakis in a sign-and-trade for Prince Fielder? Assuming that Prince gets Tex-A-Rod money in the deal (which is affordable to the O's).

Nick's contract is useful to them, and Nick and Ryan Braun are Lefty/Righty in the lineup.

Is that a worth while move, maybe, to get a 1B 25 year old slugger for 10 years with 40 homers?

Hmmm...

BLUE JAYS: 15 hits, 10 runs
ORIOLES: 12 hits, 1 run

Hmmm...

Well, what to say? Another depressing loss....Terrible offense, terrible starting pitching, horrible defense (infield and outfield)--sloppy, uninspired play throughout.

What's most disturbing is the apparent lack of clarity in the way this team is run. Assuming that the FO does WANT to improve performance (one wonders sometimes), how can it do that without first making basic decisions about purpose and goals? For example, what's this season about? Is it about winning games at the ML level now? Or about trying to lay a firmer foundation for next year? Management seems incapable of deciding between the two, or even of seeing that the two are not the same. If the former, then one set of decisions needs to be made. If the latter, then very different decisions are called for, for example the following:

1. Send Bergeson to Norfolk, and keep him there for an extended period, until he's recovered his form from last year.

2. Keep Bell at Norfolk, until you know what kind of player you actually have--a switch hitter, a LH hitter, a good hitter, a mediocre hitter, an adequate fielder, or...?

3. You bring up Britton, who has nothing further to prove in the minors, and let him pitch, whatever the consequences. Let him go through his ML growing pains, let him get bashed around while he learns opposing hitters, and you live with the losses, for now.

4. You send Wieters down, and you send Matusz down, and you send Jones down, and you work on them intensively (Jones on defense and plate discipline, Wieters on hitting and pitch selection, Matusz on velocity and confidence) for as long as necessary, until they are dominating at AAA and are ready to come back up.

5. You clear out from the roster everyone who doesn't figure into long-term plans, even if that means accelerated losses for the rest of this year.

6. You package some of the prospects, including some you value highly, in trades for prime offensive talent. It has to be done. By prime I mean players like Dunn, not fantasy targets like Gonzalez or Fielder. Superstars are not going to come here; we should forget about them, for now. By focussing on players like Dunn or Pena, who could be had for enough money or the right trade package, or both, the Orioles could, by picking and evaluating talent well, come up with a line-up with no holes--no non-hitting SS or 2B or 1B or 3B or DH. We need so many hitters--and our cupboard is so bare--that spending 20m+ on one or even two makes no sense. Better to spend 12m+ each on three or four. MacPhail is clearly not capable of doing this level of trading/acquisition successfully. He doesn't have the skill, nor the temperament, nor the organizational ability, nor does he know the players currently available in enough detail. Therefore

7. Showalter needs to be hired immediately, without any more futzing around. MacPhail saying that there's no hurry and that "the barn's not on fire" was shocking. Presiding over a team that's such a disaster, he says that! Let's hope that this hiring, which in my opinion is of critical importance, happens soon, and that a clear-thinking and experienced baseball mind can finally be brought to bear on this mess.

Paulie,

Interesting thought, all things being equal, power hitting firstbasemen are harder to come by than 300 hitting RF's with little power!

But Paulie, all things are not equal, Nick is tied up with a contract that the warehouse is apprently willing to fund, Prince's contract is soon to expire and the probability of resigning him would be low and we would end up with Garrett Atkins again!

In summary, in the real world, yes would do it, in Turdland are you kidding me!

Hope that helps!

Never mind NOT being able to get down the sac bunt. Why are we bunting with runners on 1st and 2nd, no body out, IN THE 5TH INNING!? Who's on deck? Albert Pujols? Babe Ruth? Somebody get these guys a copy of "Moneyball".

Never mind NOT being able to get down the sac bunt. Why are we bunting with runners on 1st and 2nd, no body out, IN THE 5TH INNING!? Who's on deck? Albert Pujols? Babe Ruth? Somebody get these guys a copy of "Moneyball".

I've never heard so much crap in my life. Free Agents? Free Agents? The sox and yanks get all of the great players because they win consistantly. Nobody that is good will sign with us until we start winning. Stick with the plan. What a bunch of losers!

Peter: That was one of the stupidest columns you've ever written. You acknowledge that trading George Sherrill for Josh Bell looks great now. And it looked great at the time. And that was at last year's trading deadline. So what's your point?

It could be all the medication I need to make it through an Orioles game, but sometimes I think I sense some negativity in the comments made in here.

Probably imagining it, though.

I think all the losing has caused some impatience. This year was supposed to be the year to see where we are at as an organization. We have been waiting on the young pitching to shine and it doesn't appear that it will. Matusz Aeritta, Tillman all were supposed to be the savors. NOt so fast. Weiters, Jones Pie, Markakis seeme to be teh only position players we can rely on for next year. The evaluation is complete. we need help and it will not come from within. This were AM will have to earn his money. He must make some moves whether now or winter meetings or free agency because the help needed to compete is not form within. We have Bell Britton on the horizon but they are prospects as well no different than Matusz tilman Aerietta wieters etc. If he fails to get the players in here needed in here to win then he should go period. As far as the coach I SAY THIS NO COACH NO MATTER HOW GOOD CAN TURN THIS CURRENT TEAM INTO A .500 CLUB PERIOD. The talent is not there. We have been building and are starting to see some winning minor league teams in our organization. We are competing at other levels other than the MLB that is a good sign. We have players making all-star teams future stars etc. It is starting to turn around just not at the MLB level. That will come. The Yanks will be good for a couple more years as I feel they will start to decline after this year. Sox are already on the down slide. RAYS will not be able to afford the current players they have when entering free agency Crawford Pens etc. the day of the big bats are coming to an end. We have some depth at pitching and that is a commodity. We are deep in the outfield (too deep). Given all the injuries this year and already calling up or having your prospects playing at the MLB level you will struggle as we have. i have confidence that this was the year we know which way to go and that is raid and rob some other team of their talent because we do not enough ourselves. that will happen we will be one of the biggest most active teams in free agency this year and will make 1 big blockbuster trade I like this one. Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, Josh Bell and 1 AA player like Givens for Adrian Gonzalez of San Diego.
Sign Carl Crawford and resign Miggy bring in Adam Dunn and go after Cliff lee then look at that roster and lineup. Not too far away.

MacFail ran the Cubbies for 13 years. And for 13 years they never got the farm system going. They never got a "core" of players. He rode the Sammy gravy train and made as much money off of that freak show and that was about all he was good for. Signing re-treads is MacFail's specialty. Look at the Cubs rosters in the 90s - they were pathetic. I am amazed that the guy is still able to find work. He is a master of the corporate double speak.

Andy McPhail is not the "baseball man" he is touted to be (touted most likely by his name and thatt he had Tom Kelly and real good players in Minnesota). He has given Baltimore a mess of a baseball organization --- with no end in sight.The team on the field (as well as the manager and coaches) are all his responsibility. We all can see the results. He needs to be part of the change.

I would not trade Markakis for Fielder and a bag of hamburgers because that bag would be empty when it got here with Prince. He's over-rated and soon to be over-priced.

Markakis is the only current outfielder on the O's capable of playing the outfield, spare the mockery of Jones' undeserved gold glove last year. Nick is not yet a banger, and may never be, but he's a required piece of any competitive piece. So you trade him away for Fielder and plug the hole at first, perhaps giving us a #4 hitter with no one around him in the lineup? Then what do you do with the hole in RF?

To blame the Cubs failings on MacPhail seems slightly unfair. As if the other 89 years of the Cubs' non-championship years are to be forgotten.

Saying MacPhail has not turned this franchise into a winning one is fair to say. But to ignore that the O's organization stunk when he got here is the same as ignoring the Cubs prior to him arriving there.

In the end neither the Cubs or O's won championships under his watch (so far). To say they both didn't improve under his guidance is to admit your eyes aren't open.

The improvement is slow, but it's there. And after enduring 10 straight losing years before, somehow anything less than .500 wasn't going to be good enough. When you boil a cold pot of water it starts heating at the bottom and the bubbles work their way upward. So far the players he brought in aren't bubbling yet. Perhaps we need to stop watching the pot.

According to "Panda Claus", overrated is...

...one homer ever 15 at bats...

...leading the league in homers and walks this year...

...a 162 game average line of .281/.383/.544 and 38 home runs...

...two Top Five MVP finishes before turning 26...

Man, I wish we had more overrated players.

Having been an Oriole fan for 41 years I can understand the frustration and anger but I'd like to throw out a question for you true (never ever consider changing teamsregardless of how miserable we play) Oriole fans. What would our record be right now if after opening day we had a healthy Roberts, Pie, Bergenson, Ukehara, Simon, Gonzalez, Maldonado, Reimold, Johnson, Mickolio, etc.,etc. Lets face it everyone felt before the season began that the Oriole Youth plan was on the right course and I can tell you from expierience that this next years club is giving me more hope then I've had in a long time. Go Orioles Forever!

Having been an Oriole fan for 41 years I can understand the frustration and anger but I'd like to throw out a question for you true (never ever consider changing teamsregardless of how miserable we play) Oriole fans. What would our record be right now if after opening day we had a healthy Roberts, Pie, Bergenson, Ukehara, Simon, Gonzalez, Maldonado, Reimold, Johnson, Mickolio, etc.,etc. Lets face it everyone felt before the season began that the Oriole Youth plan was on the right course and I can tell you from expierience that this next years club is giving me more hope then I've had in a long time. Go Orioles Forever!

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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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