baltimoresun.com

« Rays rebound | Main | MCW: Eck's split decision »

July 22, 2010

Maddon's advice to O's: Be patient

maddonap.jpgEven after Chris Tillman blew up and Brad Bergesen struggled against his team, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said he remains impressed with the number of good young arms on the Orioles' roster.

"I see some good arms (in the rotation) and a lot of potential,'' Maddon said, "and I think the bullpen is chock full of power arms -- with Hernandez and Simon and Berken. They just need to gain confidence. Overall, it's about fastball command. As they become more efficient, they are going to get better. They've got high-end stuff. I don't know them, so I don't know their makeup, but if the makeup is good, they are going to have some good pitchers."

Maddon also thinks the Orioles will play better during the final months of the season.

"They just got (Luke) Scott back and he killed us,'' Maddon said. "They are about to get Roberts back and he's one of the best players in the league. They've got Wieters out. I don't take Baltimore lightly at all. They definitely have some interesting things going on. It's about patience, but of course, everybody's looking for results.

"My take on the thing: As those pitchers mature, heads up. Because they have got some other pieces."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:14 AM | | Comments (154)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

ORIOLES SHILL!!!!!

B!tch slapped yet again hahaha

Pete's reply: Geez, Wayne, get a freaking life. I was clearly talking about that particular situation and how bad it could have been since they screwed up the double play ball. You're so agenda-driven you can't see the forest for the trees. News flash: The Orioles are terrible. I'm amazed that you are still here saying the exact same thing day after day. You're welcome to do it -- I can use the traffic -- but for your own sanity, or what there is left of it, maybe you should go to a movie or something.

"[The Orioles] definitely have some interesting things going on. It's about patience ..." - Tampa Bay manager, Joe Maddon

Translation: Please keep doing the same thing as you're doing, Orioles. We are 6-2 this year against you, and 31-13 since 2008.

Pete, you know it's pointless to argue with wayne, in all of his many incarnations. There's a line in the great WWII movie, "A Bridge Too Far", when the British general tells his intelligence officer, "You're smarter than the rest of us, tends to make us all nervous."

Well, wayne's smarter than the rest of us, and it does make us nervous, so nervous, in fact, I'm beginning to wonder about his mental state.

We all know the Orioles are horrible, the way they are currently playing, no need to remind us of it everyday. Seems like wayne and his followers delight in the Orioles' misery, they think it proves them right. Well, if that's the way they want to be, who am I tell them to be different? The constant refrain from some of these people, all saying the same thing, day after day, week after week, does get tiresome. But, if it makes them feel better, then it's OK.


I hope that Joe Maddon is right. That doesn't mean that this organization should just sit back and wait for players to mature though. It has to keep pressing to find more and more solid pieces. Leaving the hole-patch players for Pittsburgh.

I hope that Joe Maddon is right. That doesn't mean that this organization should just sit back and wait for players to mature though. It has to keep pressing to find more and more solid pieces. Leaving the hole-patch players for Pittsburgh.

If there's any manager in baseball today that knows what the Orioles are going through its Joe Maddon. Don't forget, the Rays were once the cellar dwellers of the AL East for some period of time. And its also true with what dspedden stated that we still have to keep pressing to find more solid arms and bats.

To compare the Orioles young talent currently with the Devil Rays from a few years back is apples and oranges. The Devil Rays are able to evaluate talent and UPSIDE. The Orioles cannot. Crawford, Delmon Young, BJ Upton, Longoria, Zobrist, Brignac, Dukes (you can go on - haven't even talked about their pitchers) have WAY more upside than what the O's have...we got Snyder? Bergeson? Hobgood? I don't even know who else...and don't even talk about trades or free agents. Atkins? Tejada? Izturis? Etc? The O's HOPE these guys can be average players. The Devil Rays HOPE their players are above average. It is like having Derrick Mason as your #1 receiver. You hope he is average (and he barely was - that is part of the reason the Ravens passing attack was terrible the past few years)


UPSIDE McPhail..no more Luke Soctts, Wiggington's, Millwood's......get some more Pie's in here! Be creative!! Take some chances!!!

why isnt aubry here he should have been here in april ,. they need to find out what they have for next season -they may need a new infield - we dont know if roberts will be back at all .trade your minors -but stick to the main players dont get rid of the top notch .players

why isnt aubry here he should have been here in april ,. they need to find out what they have for next season -they may need a new infield - we dont know if roberts will be back at all .trade your minors -but stick to the main players dont get rid of the top notch .players

To compare the Orioles young talent currently with the Devil Rays from a few years back is apples and oranges. The Devil Rays are able to evaluate talent and UPSIDE. The Orioles cannot. Crawford, Delmon Young, BJ Upton, Longoria, Zobrist, Brignac, Dukes (you can go on - haven't even talked about their pitchers) have WAY more upside than what the O's have...we got Snyder? Bergeson? Hobgood? I don't even know who else...and don't even talk about trades or free agents. Atkins? Tejada? Izturis? Etc? The O's HOPE these guys can be average players. The Devil Rays HOPE their players are above average. It is like having Derrick Mason as your #1 receiver. You hope he is average (and he barely was - that is part of the reason the Ravens passing attack was terrible the past few years)


UPSIDE McPhail..no more Luke Soctts, Wiggington's, Millwood's......get some more Pie's in here! Be creative!! Take some chances!!!

Well...I'm headed back to the yard tonight to patiently (as in 13 years of watching bad baseball) watch and hope to see something entertaining.

I hope not to see balls drop between bewildered outfielders or sail over their misplaced gloves. I hope to see no double and triple clutching between throws. I hope to see baserunners hold when they are supposed to and not end their slides ten feet before 2nd base so the tag can be made gently.

I will continue to be politely patient -- even as I wait in an endless line for a sausage andwich even though the 1/2 full (reported) attendance is actually 1/5 full but there are still needless lines.

And I even will be patient when I see the Guinness stand is closed.

But I will be patient. And I will not complain obnoxiously. Because fans should not do that. Even after 13 years.

Clearly Mr. Maddon is being polite. He must not read this blog because then he would know that what he is saying is preposterous. Sure, he may know a thing or two about baseball players, but he's no match for nb Gil and Keith Rowe when it comes to talent evaluation. I mean, please.... Macphail has had 13 years around here and I for one have had enough!!!

Demand a change at GM NOW!!!!

Did you expect Maddon to say the obvious ?

The Orioles stink and they are not close to competing

Thats what everyone who is able to tell the truth already know

We are not the Rays. They've always had legit prospects. This organization wouldn't know how to get legit prospects if their life depended on it

The scouting department is fuil of incompetent yes men

I agree that Aubrey should get an extended look up here. He's hit 5 home runs in the last 5 games....maybe after Wiggy gets traded

Joe Maddon knows a thing or two about the rebuilding process. Don't forget he was on Mike Scioscia's staff when they were rebuilding in Anaheim (it is not LA!). And he certainly was an instrumental piece in Tampa's restructuring. He's right that the arms may be there - and we need to be patient. But he's wrong about the "other pieces".

Wieters hasn't showed me much, I expected him to be hitting better by now (and I don't care if he's injured - he showed me that he may be just an average hitter before that). Roberts is good, but getting up there in age. He's nothing more then trade bait. Jones has regressed as a hitter and needs to spend more time in the cage working on his swing. Tejada is a stop gate at 3rd, Markakis is okay - but he's more of a complimentary player then a lead star, and left field has been a revolving door of average players. And don't get me started on the gapping hole at first.

It may be time to hand over the reigns to a new regime. I think McFail has worn out his welcome and we need some top notch talent evaluators in the organization (like they did in DC with the Nats). Once that happens I think we'll see a good baseball team in Baltimore again.

Oh, sure, Dukes was a wonderful player! He's not on a major league roster, he might already be out of baseball.

And Young, he's doing well, also, isn't he? What, only 11 HRs this year, what's wrong with him? Oh, that's right, he's in Minnesota.

And if B.J. Upton was in Baltimore, the people here would have run him out of town already. Sean Rodriguez, the much heralded second base prospect? Only hitting .258 this year, he's 25, he must be over-hyped. Yeah, and it took Brignac enough time to get to the majors. Bartlet came over in the Young trade, along with Garza.

Yup, there's no comparison to what the young Rays went through as compared to the young Orioles. No comparison at all. And that doesn't even include the pitchers.

David Price? Only ten wins and a 4.42 ERA in his first full season, what's wrong with him? He didn't find it until his third year, this year. Sheilds is 8-9 this year, ERA almost five, yup, he's done. What ever happened to Andy Sonnenstine?

The Orioles right now are where the Rays were four or five years ago. Remember, the year before their World Series, they went 66-96, that was 2007. The next year, 97 wins, and a division championship.

I am not saying the Orioles will win 97 next year and I am not saying that the Orioles are as advanced as the Rays were at similar junctures. What I am saying is that the young Rays players took some time to develop, and, for the most part, they did. Don't you think the young Birds, the Snyders, Hobgoods(who is just 19), Bergesons, Arrietas, Tillmans, Matuszs, Jones, et al deserve the same consideration, instead of everyone calling them washed up at the ripe old ages of 24 or 25? Some of you think Hobgood's done, he's 19, Rowell is 21. Please. I know all of you mastered your professions while still teenagers or young adults.

Sometimes I think the Orioles problems extend far beyond what happens on the field or in the front office. Sometimes I think it extends right into the stands.

Itt seems to me that an opposing manager tossing a compliment like this can either be viewed as a wonderful thing to derive promise and hope, or like someone saying your wife isn't ugly for her age.

Ken,

Every time I think that you can't make a bigger fool of yourself you surprise me. The fans are not the problem with this organization. The Orioles are nowhere near where the Rays were 4 or 5 years ago and have absolutely no position players in the minor league pipeline. We have some good young arms moving through the system but so do most of the other teams. The Orioles are dead in the water as a result of the owner and his idiotic decision to hire a washed up GM back in 2007. Nothing is going to change until Andy B. Macphail goes back into retirement, where he should have stayed.

I realize that you and others who are or have been affiliated with the organization are sick of having your nose rubbed in it. Just win, Baby, and no one will have to hear it anymore. Until then, get used to it.

How come posters like ken and smitty are never accused of being 'repetitive'? Pete, your one sidedness is so over the top, I don't know how you have a gig doing what you do.

You consistently B-Slap people like Wayne for being repetitive, yet ken and smitty, who say the same thing day after day after day, get a pass. And we know why they get a pass. Because they are Oriole apologist.

Yes, you say the team is terrible. But you constantly follow it up by apologizing. And ken and smitty follow right in line.

And can you at least try to be original Pete? Do you know how many times the (let's ask the opposing manager what he thinks about the Orioles) has been done? And you think because TB has successfully rebuilt, there can be a tie in to this Baltimore club? Are you a serious journalist?

I actually like the things Wayne, Gil, Meso, Blanc and others post. I also like how you always see a need to B-Slap them. Only because they are speaking the truth.

Pete, you and people like smitty and ken lie about this team. And you do it consistently. I question the integrity of the Sun for being such a HUGE advertiser of the Baltimore Orioles, and I question that you can write about this team objectively.

I'm only saying what MANY people in Baltimore already think. That the way this team is covered, in such a one sided manner, is an absolute disgrace.

But by all means, feed the smitty's and ken's of the world each and every day. It's what you do. It's what the Sun does. It's what the Baltimore media does.

Meanwhile, the team out on that field? It's garbage. And you know it. And you know what else you know Pete? It's not looking to be any better any year soon.

People, read the Press Box piece joefoss sent a few days ago. That was REAL journalism. No, they may not have Oriole strips throughout their site, but they speak objectively and honestly.

Imagine that.

Five enormous reasons for the Rays success, each of which the O's are lacking:

1. Stuart Sternberg
2. Andrew Friedman
3. Evan Longoria
4. Carlos Peña
5. Carl Crawford

Until the O's get an owner who is committed to winning, a GM who's willing to take risks, a power hitter at third and first base and a guy who is a threat to steal a base every time he reaches, they're not going anywhere.

ken -

Evan Longoria is 24. He was a solid MLB player at 22.

B.J. Upton is 25. He was a solid MLB player at 22.

Carl Crawford is 28. He was a solid MLB player at 21.

David Price and Wade Davis are both 24. Bergesen and Arrieta are both 24. Care to compare them?

Matt Garza put up a 3.69 ERA in 15 starts as a 23-year-old. How is Matusz looking these days?

not brooks, ken obviously isn't a fact based poster. He can only see things one way, and it's ALWAYS inaccurate. And the leader of this Blog (PETE), never ever calls out people who come on here who out and out lie. If you corrected what the ken's and smitty's said, you'd be spending all day on this Blog.

We are watching garbage night after night after night. People are talking about Aubrey being the O's first baseman. You think TB would have ever thought of doing that? Just pure garbage. And it begins with the shrill who leads this Blog.

Disgraceful, embarrassing, dishonest and lacking in integrity. The Sun and The Orioles. Their brands are interchangeable.

Also not brooks, I expect posters like ken not to understand the difference between the Tampa's young players compared to the Orioles.

But the fact that journalist like Pete don't get it is quite disturbing. Do you ever think you'll see a comparison of pitchers like Matusz to Garza, or David Price to Arrietta? You think the Sun would ever dig that deep?

The answer is 'NO'. The Sun lacks the journalistic integrity to do such comparisons. INSTEAD, we get Pete's lame Madden piece of the day.

How do these people sleep at night? Sure, it's only baseball, but this is their job. Ken is likely just some guy who wants to believe in the Orioles no matter what. What's Pete's excuse? What's the Sun's excuse?

sounds like tedb is another pseudonym for wayne

get a life wayne, everyones sick of reading your sarcastic crap

bill bateman = bill frederick = bf = SHAM = smitty = paulie

Guess what Bill Bateman? If you think every frustrated / angry Orioles fan that posts on this blog is a pseudonym of Wayne...well you must think he's given himself hundreds of names.

This offseason is it for me. There are a Ton of quality free agents this year...last year's class was admittedly weak...the Orioles have access to players to improve 3B, 1B, LF, DH and maybe to a lesser extent SP. Every one of those positions I mentioned should get an impact free agent signing. Including taking a shot at guys like Crawford, yes Carl Crawford that the Yanks want so bad, Werth, Dunn, Cliff Lee, yes Cliff Lee that the yanks want so bad, Cantu and there are lots more, just google 2011 baseball free agents.
The talent is there to be had. The O's and their owner have the money. Some (maybe not all) of those players will sign with the Orioles if they are the highest bidder. Who cares if they have to pay more than the Yankees - that's the price to be paid for 13 + years of bad management.
In addition (notice I said in addition, not "instead of signing these free agents") They need to double the size of their scouting staff and increase the talent level. As bad as this team has been, it is inexcusable how little talent we have generated through the draft.
Angelos is the one that needs to make the changes. Open the purse and spend the money, both short term (free agents) and long term (revamp the scouting system) to get better. Only he has the power to do so.

Those who are apologists always find the silver lining even in a turd that cannot be polished.

Of course Maddon is going to say that. What do you expect him to say: "You suck and we like it"?

Just when you thought the apologists have nothing to cling on to, they will find something. Be patient? Are you freaking kidding me? Unfreakingbelievable.

Let's not forget that Pete himself also outlined the holes that needed to be filled last offseason in order for the Orioles to become at least competitive. Everybody but Andy B. Macphail agreed that the Orioles needed two corner infielders with power, at least two quality veteren starters, a big right handed bat and a proven closer. Andy B. Macphail planned yet another of his trademark losing seasons by ignoring the needs and bringing in Millwood, Gonzalez, Atkins and Tejada. The season was thrown away before the first pitch was thrown. Pete will write the same stuff after this season and Macphail will do the same thing...more retreads and another disposable season in 2011. That's not cynicism it's unshakable fact to date. I know everybody associated with, writing about, or following this team is weary of the annual death march to the end of the season. Nothing will change until the paradigm is changed. That won't happen as long as Macphail is here. His pattern is set and predictable.

They better get something worthwhile back for Scott & Wigginton. Bust on them as you will, but picture that lineup with both missing from it. Getting back "organizational" fodder for the middle minors is inept, fruitless, & nothing more than a salary dump!

Is Maddon looking for a job?

Is Maddon looking for a job?

Ok, so maybe we're not as good as the Rays 5 years ago, but that doesn't mean we have crappy young players or that MacPhail has MacFailed. Outside of this message board, everything else I read about the Orioles from more objective sources says they have a lot of good young players and hope for the future. We may not go to the World Series next year like the Rays did, but there's still hope. Why does everything have to be black or white? Why can't we say that the Orioles really suck right now, MacPhail has made some mistakes like Atkins or Gonzalez, but he's basically doing a decent job and we have some significant hope that as our players mature, we will become a pretty good team, like Maddon says? Is that just too much of a gray area for you guys?

Brian: Well said. I echo your thoughts.

The O's can be in first place and you negetive jerks would find something to complain about. Did you guys kick you're dogs today?

Are folks really objecting to folks screaming loudly about being forced to watch these guys? Watching young pitchers struggle is understandable. Watching horrid, inattentive fielding, baserunning errors and clueless plate appearance after clueless plate appearance is another.

The most optimistic post here offers a potentially competitive team in another five years.

Fans who want to scream have a right to scream. Negative screaming is the Orioles' creation...and I completely agree that a strong, independent, critical newspaper would and should be jumping down the throats of this organization that occupies a beautiful, taxpayer subsidized facility and has repaid the favor by destroying the baseball product and fan base.

Orioles Hangout's article says it all...we have no shot with this ownership group

By: Tony Pente 7/21/2010

Actions Speak Louder than Words

As the Orioles head off towards their 13th straight losing season and flirt with being one of the worst teams in baseball history, the one thing that almost everyone can agree on is that something is wrong. During the last 15 years that I've run Orioleshangout.com, I've been privy to lots of inside information and gossip about the goings-on within the warehouse. In the end, it was usually rumors or hearsay and honestly, I didn't think it was worth getting into all the office politics. After all, I figured fans cared about who the next prospect was and didn't think they cared all that much about the off-field stuff.

However, after the 2002 season I wrote a piece called "An Organization in Need of Change," which highlighted a lot of problems within the organization that I either saw personally or were reported by media outlets during the Syd Thrift regime. I received such good feedback about the piece that it was clear people wanted the inside information. They wanted to know why the team they loved was in such disarray.

Amazingly, despite three different regimes since Thrift, the team has not had a winning season and is in the midst of a historically bad season with little to suggest the team is close to being competitive in the American League East. So it's time to ask why. The answers are not so black and white, but if I was forced to give a simple answer, the answer is a lack of real leadership.

The root of the Orioles’ problems can be traced back to 1996, when Orioles owner Peter Angelos reportedly overruled then-GM Pat Gillick on several trades that would have brought some much needed younger players into the system (more background on this can be found in a nice piece by Mike Burke). After the Orioles made the playoffs in 1996 and 1997, it was probably then that Angelos felt he was smarter than his baseball people. Thus began a decade-plus of him being involved in just about every major—and sometimes minor—baseball move. Sensing a lack of control and seeing a disaster ahead, Gillick "retired" after the 1998 season. Angelos then hired a widely considered up-and-comer in Frank Wren to be GM.

At that point, an important situation occurred that would remain a key inside political move that's used to this day. Syd Thrift, who was the Director of Player Development (Farm Director for those of you who cannot keep up with the fancy Orioles executive titles) from 1995-1998, was named Director of Player Personnel. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the job description actually entailed, but what Thrift did during that year was become a confidant to Angelos by giving him his thoughts on everything Wren was or wasn't doing. Wren probably should have seen the writing on the wall when the 1999 Media Guide came out and the owner's bio got two pages, Thrift's got one whole page, and Wren got half a page that he shared with Lou Kousouris, the Vice President/Special Liaison to the Chairmen (I really couldn't make up these titles if I wanted to). Wren would be fired at the end of the season and, sure enough, Angelos installed his confidant as the Vice President of baseball operations, thus making Wren the last man to hold the title of General Manager in Baltimore . Clearly, getting Angelos' ear is good for your career in Baltimore .

As I pointed out in my article An Organization in Need of Change, the Thrift years were about as dysfunctional as a team can get. Unfortunately for the Orioles organization, his fire sale in 2000, in which he traded away Mike Bordick, B.J. Surhoff, Harold Baines, Charles Johnson, and Mike Timlin, netted him Melvin Mora and a bunch of never-would-bes. This may have encouraged Angelos to be even more involved with trades in the future.

Shortly after the piece, Thrift was fired and Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan were brought in to run the organization as a duo. Following in the footsteps of Syd Thrift, Flanagan had long been a confidant of Angelos (even before Gillick). Despite no front office experience, Flanagan was given a co-GM position while Jim Beattie, a former GM with the Expos, was given the title of Vice President of Baseball Operations. They were not put in place until December, which meant they were put behind the curve right off the bat.

Despite the changes in the "GM" roles, the one thing that did not change was the Orioles were not investing in their scouting and development. "Angelos could never understand the importance of investing in the draft, or in the Dominican," a source close to the situation concluded. "He could never understand why anyone would give millions to a high school kid."

During this time, scouting director Tony DeMacio would have to run every one of his offers through Angelos, thus taking away his ability to work with players and their agents. This occasionally resulted in a delay in the signing as they awaited word back from Angelos. (Awaiting word from Angelos will be a running theme, but we'll cover that more later.) Then there was the 2004 draft in which Angelos told DeMacio he had to select a college pitcher at the last second when he found out he was about to select high school shortstop Chris Nelson. Angelos was reportedly concerned over Nelson's lack of height (Nelson is generously listed at 5-foot-11). Under the gun, DeMacio took 6-foot-4 Rice right-hander Wade Townsend and after an acrimonious negotiation, they let him return to college instead of signing him. In that 2004 draft, DeMacio did not take one player under the height of 6-foot-1 until the 20th round when he selected 5-foot-7 Jonathan Tucker. In an ironic twist, Tucker, along with Orioles right-hander Brad Bergesen (who was taken in the fourth round), are the only two players left in the organization from that draft. Townsend was drafted the next year by Tampa Bay , was beset by injuries, and is out of organized professional baseball. It would be DeMacio's last draft as a scouting director as his contract was not renewed after the season.

As Beattie and Flanagan tried to settle in, it was apparent they had a large uphill battle. When they attempted to get an approximate budget, it became apparent way too quickly that they were not going to be given an amount. Instead of sitting down and planning out how much money they already had on the books, and knowing how much they could spend to either trade for contracts or sign free agents, they would have to run each potential deal through Angelos and his committee. Sometimes it could take days or even weeks to get an answer, often to the detriment of the deal. Back in 2005 Steve Melewski did an interview for Orioles Hangout with then-Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Flanagan. Looking back and knowing what we know now, his answers give a pretty clear indication that he was never given a budget.

OH question from Rockbird: Has Mr. Angelos given you approval to increase team payroll or are you operating on a budget comparable to last offseason?

Mike Flanagan: We're working on the assumption that we'll be able to add payroll. As far as a hard number, I would say it's more of a soft number at this point.

Steve Melewski follow up: What is a soft number?

MF: Well, it’s not 51.5 or 52.7, it's around a certain number, whatever that's going to be.

Things remained the same even with the change from Jim Beattie to Jim Duquette. Potential free agent signings had to wait on approval from Angelos and multiple deals either waited too long or were nixed by ownership.
Orioles Time

As was mentioned earlier, things don't get done quickly with the Orioles and that all starts at the top. Peter Angelos is a man who made his money during the asbestos trials in the early ’80s. In 1982, he represented a large number of plaintiffs in asbestos litigation and reportedly made over $100 million on this single case. Angelos was also enormously successful in representing the state of Maryland as lead attorney in a suit against Philip Morris and suing Wyeth, the makers of the diet pill fen-phen.

One of his keys to success as a lawyer was to wait out his competition and to remain skeptical of original deals offered to him. This might work in a court of law, but it does not work in the fluid world of major league baseball. Sources indicate that Angelos is always skeptical of why a team is trading away their players, believing there must be something wrong with them. He would reportedly ask, "Why are they moving him?" and his executives would have to try and convince him the deal was a sound deal. Sources also indicated that Angelos had to feel like he was "getting over" on the other teams. He did not want to come out even in a trade, but had to win. Additionally, he was very concerned about name recognition of the players coming back. In the end, the waiting game cost the Orioles more than most fans can imagine.

The Orioles have a long history of making people wait on them. Whether it is spring training facility negotiations, contracts for players, concession negotiations, or getting responses back for simple things like press guides or even making payroll, the Orioles are just known for the slow process for getting things done.

The Deals That Didn't Get Done

These are some examples of the deals that didn’t get done between 2003 and 2007.

-(2003 trading deadline) - Sidney Ponson to the Giants for Ryan Hannaman (minors), Kurt Ainsworth, and a middle reliever. Reportedly Joe Nathan was the middle reliever. That's right, All-Star closer Joe Nathan (then a middle reliever) was reportedly part of the original deal. But when it went to ownership, they were concerned with getting no one back with name recognition. The deal was reworked to swap Damian Moss for Nathan because he had won 12 games with Atlanta in 2002. Moss ended up going 1-5 with a 6.22 ERA for the Orioles and was out of the major leagues by 2005.

- (2005 trade deadline) Hayden Penn, Larry Bigbie, and Sidney Ponson to the Marlins for AJ Burnett and Mike Lowell. Beattie and Flanagan worked this deal that would have brought a true ace to the Orioles along with a third baseman. After dragging out a decision for weeks, ownership expressed concern over Lowell’s .236 batting average the year before and a possible hip condition. The Marlins were upset that so much time was taken for a decision on the deal and that the deal agreed upon by the baseball men was squashed by ownership.

- (2006-2007 offseason) - Miguel Tejada to the Astros for Roy Oswalt, Adam Everett, and Morgan Ensberg. Oswalt would then be flipped to Texas.The Orioles would end up getting back Hank Blalock and John Danks as well as reliever Scott Linebrink from San Diego (San Diego would have had a choice between Ensberg and Blalock and were leaning towards Ensberg). The Orioles’ ownership sat on the deal too long without a decision and by the time the Houston owner got wind that Oswalt was going to be traded to his in-state rival, the Texas Rangers, he pulled the deal. How would Danks look in an Orioles uniform right now?

- (2006-2007 offseason) - Miguel Tejada to the Angels for Ervin Santana, Erick Aybar, and Jose Arredondo. The trade was basically sat on too long and the Angels back out after agreeing in principle.


- Twice Brian Roberts and Hayden Penn were going to be traded to Atlanta in 2006-07, once for Marcus Giles and Tim Hudson and once for Adam LaRoche and Marcus Giles. Both time the answer was no from ownership.

So while Beattie/Flanagan/Duquette take a lot of heat from a lot of people for not doing much to change the team's fortunes, how much better would the Orioles have been if Burnett, Lowell, Nathan, LaRoche, Hudson, and some combination of Danks/Linebrink/Blalock/Ensberg or Santana/Aybar/Arredondo were in Orioles uniforms over the last few years?

Bulletproof People

The Orioles have struggled not only due to ownership interference, but also because of a lack of accountability and in-fighting as well as good old corporate backstabbing. From the days of Thrift, it was always a valuable thing to have Angelos' ear, and some guys in the organization have it down to an art. No one does it better than current Director of International Scouting David Stockstill, according to several sources. Stockstill has been in the organization since 1994 when he was hired as a roving hitting instructor. He served as a coach, manager, and field coordinator before being named the Director of Player Development on Nov. 3, 2004. Since 1994, besides Luis Matos (10th round, 1996) and Jerry Hairston (11th round, 1997) the Orioles have failed to draft and develop one hitter outside of the first round (including the supplemental round) that has spent a full season on the Orioles’ roster (David Dellucci and Willie Harris spent full seasons with other clubs after going through the Orioles’ system).

According to the sources, communication was not Stockstill’s strength. Multiple sources indicated it was hard to get a phone call returned from him, and there were multiple stories of players being upset by a lack of understanding of their role and/or reasons for certain promotions or lack thereof. Multiple sources also indicated that he and Scouting Director Joe Jordan were not on speaking terms, and many of the Orioles’ minor league managers and coaches were caught in the player development/scouting battle at the top. When you add it up, you had a pretty dysfunctional situation occurring. In fact, good baseball people like Andy Etchebarren and Tom Lawless were fired one offseason by Stockstill, reportedly due to them being "too close" with the scouting personnel.

What might be one of the biggest concerns is the fact that Stockstill has been instrumental along with Carlos Bernhardt in the Orioles’ Dominican scouting program that has only developed Armando Benitez and Daniel Cabrera as established major leaguers in its entire life span.

When you add it all up, you have to wonder how he kept a job all these years. Although the exact story remains a close secret, multiple sources indicate that Stockstill and Bernhardt once got some people close to ownership out of some trouble in the Dominican and have job security due to this fact. Sources also indicate that Jim Duquette tried to fire Stockstill but was not allowed to by Angelos. Sources also indicate that Andy MacPhail wanted to get rid of him as well but was only able to move him out of the Player Development role into International Scouting.

Fox Sports columnist Ken Rosenthal alluded to this fact when he announced the switching of positions between Stockstill and his brother John Stockstill. "The Orioles will portray the change in a positive light, one source said, but club officials had grown increasingly frustrated with David Stockstill’s communication skills and approach to player development."

Former manager Sam Perlozzo was another guy who used Angelos' ear to stay employed. Perlozzo was known to use the direct line to Angelos to get his point of view noticed. When he thought he might be fired, he said he could get his old friend Leo Mazzone to become pitching coach if he was kept around. In an interesting side note, when Perlozzo was about to be fired, Mazzone was brought in and asked if he was going to be upset if Perlozzo was fired. Mazzone took the opportunity to ask for a contract extension.

The MacPhail Regime

Before we get too far, who is Andy MacPhail? MacPhail comes from a baseball family with his grandfather Larry and father Lee being the only father-and-son duo elected to the Hall of Fame for their executive work. Andy MacPhail was widely considered a baseball wunderkind after he won two World Series championships with the small market Minnesota Twins in 1987 and 1991; however, some believe those championships were aided by the collusion in the late ’80s by MLB owners. In 1986, the owner’s collusion was so extreme that only four free agents changed teams. The Metrodome effect—in which some players still attest to the fact that the air conditioning system was switched on when the Twins were at bat and off when the visitors batted—helped the 1987 Twins become the only team to win the World Series with a road losing record (29-52, .358). You have some interesting circumstantial evidence that the playing field was perfect for a run by the small-market Twins.

MacPhail, though, said there was no collusion by the owners. In a March 12, 1987 Orlando Sun Sentinel article, MacPhail was quoted as saying, ''It has no merit. Fehr overlooks the fact that the average major- league salary is $437,000 and a couple players are getting $2 million. I don't think players are improperly treated.'' MacPhail would then say collusion was "a bunch of nonsense. There's no collusion. It is just a natural leveling-off period for salaries. There is no way they could keep escalating the rate they were."

Eventually the MLB owners lost three arbitration cases and paid over $280 million in damages. Commissioner Fay Vincent then said, "The single biggest reality (MLB owners) have to face up to is collusion. You stole $280 million from the players, and the players are unified to a man around that issue, because you got caught and many of you are still involved."

Who was one of the architects of the late ’80s collusion? According to the Hardball Times, Andy's father and former American League Commissioner Lee MacPhail was a big part. The Hardball Times article went on to say:

The idea of teams avoiding the free agent market began to take shape at a meeting in St. Louis in October of 1985. Lee MacPhail, the then Director of the Player Relations Committee, urged the owners not to be swayed by pressure from fans and the media to spend money on player contracts. He asked that teams “exercise more self-discipline,” and “resist the temptation to give in to unreasonable demands of experienced marginal players.” MacPhail continued, “We must stop daydreaming that one free agent signing will bring a pennant.”

At the general manager’s meeting the following month, Commissioner Peter Ueberroth followed up MacPhail’s comments when he told the assembled that signing players to long-term contracts was “dumb.”

Then at the Winter Meetings in San Diego that winter, the idea of “fiscal responsibility” was preached to ownership. A list of the 62 players who filed for free agency was circulated to all teams and a message was sent to avoid the free agent market until a player was “released” by their former club, meaning a team would have to make it public that a player no longer fit in their plans. If all teams participated in the plan, the free agent market would no longer be free, but it would be controlled by the teams.

The message was received. Not a single offer was tendered to a free agent from a rival team.

With a spike in revenue thanks to the magical 1987 run, and despite two down seasons, MacPhail was able to bring in several savvy vets and the Twins made a nice run in 1991 for their second championship. Say what you want, but you have to give MacPhail credit from winning these two championships, even if the deck may have been stacked in his favor in 1987.

After leaving the Twins in 1994, he was hired to be the large-market Chicago Cubs’ general manager, but after 12 seasons his teams put up a 906-998 record (a .476 winning percentage). These guys go into a much more detailed explanation of those years, but in the end, they concluded that MacPhail only survived that long due to the fact he was making the owners money. Whether that was true or not is unknown since MLB doesn't make teams open their books, but previous GMs were given much less time to win before being fired in Chicago. MacPhail’s tenure in Chicago was dominated by him not spending big on free agents and by keeping a small scouting staff.

In February of 2007, MacPhail joined Angelos and Larry Dolan as the owners’ representatives on the Collective Bargaining Agreement for 2007 – December 11, 2011. During that time, sources indicate, the groundwork was laid down for MacPhail to take over the Orioles’ baseball operations in the future. On June 20th, 2007, Andy MacPhail was named President of Baseball Operations of the Baltimore Orioles. The entire thing was done in such secrecy that no one in the Orioles’ baseball operations department knew anything about his hiring until it was announced on ESPN, according to Jayson Stark.

Giving Up Control

Perhaps buoyed by the fact the Orioles were in the midst of their 10th consecutive losing season (the Orioles had never endured more than three straight seasons of sub-.500 ball since moving to Baltimore in 1954), Peter Angelos decided to take a step back when he hired Andy MacPhail to be President of Baseball Operations. Most people were thrilled that Angelos would be giving full control over baseball decisions to a baseball man, something none of his predecessors ever really had. But questions remained. Was Angelos truly taking a step back? Did Andy MacPhail have full authority? Was Andy MacPhail the man to rebuild the franchise?

All sources indicate that Angelos has truly given "full" baseball authority to Andy MacPhail. Obviously issues such as large contracts and the manager hiring process still involve Angelos to a degree, but MacPhail has been given the green light to rebuild the franchise however he sees fit. Sources indicate the previous regimes were not even allowed to use the word "rebuild." They certainly were not allowed to trade away established players for minor league players, as MacPhail has already done in the Erik Bedard, Miguel Tejada, and George Sherrill trades.

The Plan?

Everyone by now has heard of the plan, but what is the plan really? If you ask Andy MacPhail, he'll tell you it's more of a model that's based off one of his AL East contemporaries. The Yankees have a $213,359,389 payroll this year and the Red Sox have a $168,109,833 payroll. Major League Baseball has an unbalanced schedule in which the Orioles will play these team 18 times each. MacPhail is fully aware of the inequities of playing on an uneven playing field in the American League East and sees only one way out.

"I have to follow Tampa's model," MacPhail explained. "They have the advantage of doing it for a longer period of time. They have the advantage of doing it without Boston and New York moving to close that door which I think they've done recently. Closing the door may not be the right term… getting in there to the extent of applying their resources that they've done recently."

MacPhail believes Tampa's model is putting money into scouting and development and competing with the Red Sox and Yankees by not outspending them, but by out-producing and developing their own talent.

"The Tampa model was how they got out of it. Unfortunately it took them ten years. We don't have the resources to be everywhere 100 percent, so we have to pick and choose. We are going at the amateur draft pretty aggressively. This is the most important thing because that’s where most of your players come from. This is where most of our money and resources go. We've spent more and done more internationally. We're not going to be able to match Boston who gave (Cuban defector and 19-year old SS Jose) Iglesias $8 million (actually they gave him a four-year, $8.25 million contract). That's not going to be who we are unless we really thought that guy was ready to (play in the big leagues). On that rare occasion, if we thought it was somebody who was not that far away, it would make sense."

The AL East teams are certainly building up their scouting staffs or already have significantly larger staffs than the Orioles. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos hired 32 new scouts during the 2009-10 off-season— 14 on the pro side and 18 to scout amateurs. They now have 72 scouts, including eight international scouts. The Boston Red Sox have 60 scouts including 13 international scouts, the Yankees have 62 scouts including 16 international scouts, and Tampa Bay has 50 scouts including five international scouts. According to Baseball America, the Orioles employ 36 scouts including three international scouts.

"I know there's been a study that's gotten a lot of attention on how many scouts people have. You have to be leery of consultants and part-time scouts,” MacPhail said. “I've looked at the numbers in the American League East and it's true, particular Toronto lately (since) Tampa snuck up on New York and Boston and did it through scouting and development. I think Boston and New York have taken steps to close that door and they have poured more resources since '08 into that area. They're not stupid. Now we have Toronto following the same type of path that we've followed."

"In my view, a better way of looking at the commitment of the franchise in terms of scouting and development (is) what is the finished product? The finished products are the players you are trying to bring into your system. So it's really how much money you are spending to get those players into your system."

MacPhail points out that only the Red Sox have outspent the Orioles in the last two rule 4 amateur drafts (2008-09). He gave out the following dollar amounts for the AL East over this period:

Toronto: 8,904,700
Tampa: 12,686,500
New York: 12,686,500
Orioles: 15,594,880
Red Sox: 16, 511,303

"We have greatly increased our budget for amateur rule 4 signings on a level that is superior or close to what anyone else (in the AL East) has done since I've been here."

If amateur scouting is so important, then why did he sign reliever Michael Gonzalez to a contract that also cost them a second-round pick? According to MacPhail, the Orioles’ ability to sign overslot guys like Michael Ohlman and Cameron Coffey allow them to give up those second-round picks and still get the same type of talent later in the draft.

MacPhail believes he can make up for that pick, "if in your scouts’ judgment you can get that player (who was high on your board) later in the draft and if you are prepared to pay him that kind of money. Last year with (11th round pick Michael) Ohlman, the catcher, that's exactly what happened. We got the guy we had on the board pretty high. They gave him money that was indicative more of a sandwich or whatever pick. Now whether their judgment is right or not, we'll find out over time. Money unfortunately plays a larger part. So we try to take advantage of that if we can."

MacPhail believes going over slot is a way for the Orioles to compete in the amateur draft.

"I have a lot of overslots to my number and I imagine we'll have some other (overslots) this year. My own opinion is that's the area we need to be competitive in, so slotting is not an issue. MLB haven't really come down on us. They have their recommendations based on what's happened in years past. You'll get a large percentage of players that will sign (for slot), but around that August 15th deadline you'll get another wave of signings and a percentage of those will be overslot."

International Scouting

However, MacPhail admits they are not nearly as far along on the international scouting side of things.

"We're not as far ahead on the international side, particularly in Venezuela. We go through those places, but we don't have the presence in Venezuela that I would like. It's an area we need to expand. Seven percent of the current major league players are from Venezuela. We need to increase our presence there. We don't want to be excluded from that market."

That's probably a bit of an understatement, since the Orioles have no current Venezuela baseball complex and besides sending those scouts on occasion, they have no real presence in that country. MacPhail feels politics was part of the reason the Orioles’ presence, which wasn't strong to begin with (since the organization has never signed and developed a major league player from that country), was down to nothing by the time he arrived.

"They turned in some of their Venezuelan employees and didn't want to pay them due to the Venezuelan government before I got here. And for whatever reason, legally, they didn't feel like they could hire other people until that issue was solved. That issue didn't get solved until last summer or fall."

So what are the Orioles doing about it now? Apparently they are trying to work a deal with the Tigers to share their facility and resources.

"We are talking with the Tigers about using their facility. I met with them in spring training and here, but we don't have an agreement yet. If we were able to make an agreement with them, we would have access to their entire scouting department."

So if I understand things correctly, the Orioles are trying to share the Tigers’ facility and scouting department in a country where 7% of MLB players come from? I'm not sure I see the effort and I certainly don't see any results.

Besides Venezuela, the Orioles’ Dominican scouting and development program has been an utter disgrace. Throughout its history the team has signed and produced two major league regulars: Armando Benitez and Daniel Cabrera. David Stockstill and/or Carlos Bernhardt have been running the show down there for most of its time and it's already been explained why they are still down there. But according to MacPhail, how players are scouted down there has changed, and the Orioles are changing as well.

"We do the Dominican a little differently because we'll run more of our American scouts through the Dominican. We'll have a greater presence there, but it won't necessarily be the local Dominican (scouts). I think part of that is a recognition that it's not scouting as we used to think of it or customarily think of it. There are buscons there now. What the buscons are doing now is they'll feed, clothe, and prepare their player and take them from complex to complex to complex or in Boca Chica where about ten other clubs are and they'll do the workouts and let a player stay three or four days in a place."

By having the top players in known camps at known times, MacPhail feels he's about to get his top scouts down to see the players more instead of relying on the scouts that have produced two major league players in over 20 years.

"(It) lends itself more to having more seasoned scouts in there to evaluate those players is how we've taken that position."

Still, the inequities of baseball are never too far from his thoughts.

"We're not going to be able to go dollar for dollar with at least a couple of teams and that's the reality in our division. Nor is anyone else, by the way. It's a function of New York and Boston having resources most of the other clubs don't enjoy. So we have to make decisions as to where the money is spent and we have our theories and they don't have to be necessarily any better than anyone else's, but we have done the research on what's been successful in the past. That doesn't necessarily mean those models will go into the future but we do have an understanding of where the money has been spent."

Apparently these theories differ from the rest of the AL East as they have invested heavily in the Caribbean market. The Blue Jays signed amateur free agents Adonis Cardona and Gabriel Cenas from the Dominican this past month. Anthopoulos confirmed the Cardona signing was for $2.8 million and that Cenas was signed for $700K. In the last year the Red Sox paid $10,800,000 on their top seven international amateur signings. In 2008 the Yankees invested $3.975 million on six Latin American players and the Rays gave four players bonuses in excess of $100,000 according to Baseball America. The Rays have relatively new complexes and summer league teams in both the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, bringing their total of minor league affiliates to nine, tops in baseball. The Orioles set a club record a few weeks back by signing 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Hector Veloz, but that still seems to pale in response to the other teams in the division.

As for developing the players they do sign, MacPhail points to the hiring of Bobby Dickerson this offseason.

"One of the ideas of hiring Bobby Dickerson was to have a director or a field coordinator for our Dominican program to work with our infielders. If you look around the major leagues, a large percentage of middle infielders are coming from the Dominican and we are not getting our share. One of the reasons we had gotten (Dickerson) away from the Cubs was because we think he's a good infield instructor, he been a field coordinator and Triple-A manager. With (Gary) Allenson coming and running third base for us, Dickerson has had to do a lot of managing for us in Triple-A. He's also, in our view, a good evaluator. He's been there this year, but he would have been more often if not for the circumstances."

So if I understand this correctly, Dickerson was so important to the development and evaluations in the Dominican but it was more important for him to manage in AAA, where most players are fairly mature and where most people would consider it the least important level for a manager to be? I'm not sure I'm following here.

Big Time Free Agents? Nope!

Since Andy MacPhail has taken over the Orioles, his biggest free agency signing has been the 2-year, $12 million contract for Michael Gonzalez. This signing was interesting for several reasons since it was done without an MRI. As anyone who knows the Orioles’ history of dealing with injuries is aware, Angelos was very skittish after the Xavier Hernandez debacle as well as the Albert Belle situation. On numerous occasions throughout the years, deals have been struck down by Angelos due to injury concerns. So the fact that Hernandez was signed without an MRI shows that MacPhail is truly in charge of the signings.

"That's how Peter plays general manager," said Frank Wren in an interview with the NY Post. "He uses medical reasons to kill or change a deal if he doesn't like it."

The one real test to see if MacPhail was interested in getting a mega-expensive free agent was in the 2008-09 offseason when All-Star first baseman and former Mt. St. Joseph star Mark Teixeira hit the open market. For years Orioles fans had drooled over bringing the hometown boy back to Baltimore. And with a severe need of power in the Orioles lineup, it seemed like a good fit. Unfortunately for Orioles fans, the Yankees wanted him as well. And as we know, if the Yankees want a player, they will get a player.

The only real concern, though, was how MacPhail conducted negotiations. Multiple sources indicated that MacPhail offered Teixeira a seven year, $150 million contract and never budged or called the star to get his reaction to the offer. Sources indicated that MacPhail did not really want Teixeira due to his exorbitant price tag.

"I have no interest in making Mark Teixeira look bad,” said MacPhail. “What's done is done. Who's to say he made the wrong decision? I don't think I would have done anything different. The offers that were publicized at the time were accurate and I think what I made clear was that we had more room. Not that it was going to be what he ended up getting."

MacPhail insists that the idea that he was inflexible on his offer was incorrect, but it appears he was waiting for Teixeira to make the next move.

"It wasn't that we were inflexible, a take-it-or-leave-it. We were like, ‘Here's what we have and we're prepared to go a little more.’ If he was serious in engaging us, that was his opportunity to do it, and he chose not to do it. They got a better deal elsewhere in a more competitive circumstance. Everybody acted in their own self-interest."

Teixeira's contract was going to cost the Orioles around $21 million a year, so did MacPhail take that money and invest it back into the organization?

"We ended up signing (Nick) Markakis and (Brian) Roberts for what was about $100 million, so that's where a portion of it went over the same period of time. We have made investments in our scouting and development over time, probably not to the degree that you would like to see, but we have definitely spent on facilities and on signing bonuses."

So if I understand correctly, the $21 million went into signing two guys they would have needed to resign anyway. And does this suggest if Teixeira was signed they wouldn't be putting more money into scouting and development? I guess I don't see it as an either-or situation for this organization.

In the end, it appears MacPhail was not very aggressive in pursuing Teixeira. And in the world of high-priced pampered athletes, that’s not going to get things done. Maybe Teixeira never was going to come to Baltimore—and as MacPhail said, he wasn’t going to give him what he got in New York anyway—but in the end, MacPhail’s deliberate negotiation tactics failed to land the big prize.

No One Wants to Come Here?

With the Orioles in last place and going on their 13th straight losing season while playing in the AL East, a lot of players don't want to come to Baltimore. It's especially hard to get a player who needs a rebound year to sign here when they’ve got to play Boston, New York, and Tampa 56 times a year instead of some patsies in other divisions where they have a better opportunity to pad their stats. For pitchers, Camden Yards still has a hitter's-park reputation, so that doesn’t help either. Is it MacPhail's fault that he's only signed a few mediocre mid-tier-level free agents? Do players avoid coming here?

MacPhail believes that is part of the problem, but another reason is that buying expensive pitchers is not part of his plan.

"It was better last year than my first year, but I think it's getting progressively better. I do think, frankly, that it exists to a degree. I think it's tougher for pitchers. If you are getting into the business of free agent pitching, it's fragile and expensive. If you are the Burnetts, Sabathias, the Becketts of recent past, Daisuke, the Pavanos of the past, I just think that's a market you stay out of. It's hard for us to get them and it's a really risky market. Not that there's not a lot of risk everywhere else. That's an area where you need to really develop your own. All you have to do is look at our board and see (Chris) Tillman, (Brad) Bergesen, (Jake) Arrieta, (Brian) Matusz in our rotation now. That's what we're trying to do."

MacPhail's Changes

So a valid question at this point is: What has MacPhail done in the last three years to improve the organization? Besides upping the amateur draft budget, he feels his computer systems and programs will pay off.

"This didn't exist before I got here," MacPhail says as he shows Orioles Hangout a stapled stack of paper with stats on them. "This is a day's minor league report. It's a lot of pages about pitchers, velocities, and percentages. That comes through every day. I'm not the only one that (gets the report). It gets disseminated to about 10 or 12 different people (farm director, rovers, minor league managers). We have a new computer system that gives us the ability to chart things without us really charting them. The managers put in all the information so I can tell you which of our pitchers throws the greatest percentage of fastballs for strikes, which one of our pitchers throws the greatest percentage of first-pitch strikes, who can throw their curveball for a strike, what percentage of their repertoire are changeups. So really what you’ve got is a checks and balance."

"The reason you do this is if you look at the list, and you have a highly thought of prospect that can't command his fastball, it's a red flag for me. What this will really do is generate questions, not just from me but from anyone else that gets it. We have enough guys going through our system so we try to get as complete a view on what we think of our players. This will happen occasionally like with a guy like Tillman. They'll breeze through the minor leagues. He'll throw a no-hitter and one-hitters but it's not going to play here because maybe they need to throw their third pitch more often. What they'll chase down there, they're not going to chase here. The strike zone is smaller up here. Sometimes they have to come up and got beat up a little bit and go back down and it's not about getting Durham out anymore. It's about throwing that third pitch as often as they need throw it."

Despite all these reports, Tillman, David Hernandez, Jason Berken, Brian Matusz, Matt Wieters and to an extent Josh Bell have all struggled in their initial action of major league baseball. This goes back to the Orioles’ evaluation of their own prospects. For MacPhail, he doesn't see the value in talking up his prospects like the Atlanta Braves have done so well traditionally in order to up their possible trade value.

"I'm not big on talking up our players. They have enough pressure to do what they’ve got to do (without having) to feel the weight of the world on them. There's a big prize out there for them. They're all within close proximity. They all know what's going on at different levels. When guys like Wieters got ballyhooed as the second coming, I think it makes the burden on them tougher for them. At the end of the day it's going to become pretty clear how many guys came up (and) contributed and how many didn't and how frequent a basis that you can compare it with what other clubs will get."

MacPhail's Leadership Style

The more sources you talk to, the more you understand that MacPhail has a very tight-knit group of people he discusses things with. If you are not in the circle of trust, you can expect to have little to do with the everyday operations. He currently does not have one person in his front office with GM or assistant GM experience. Some believe that former assistant Wayne Krivsky took a lateral transfer with the Mets due to not having as much responsibility with the Orioles as he would have liked. Sources have also indicated there may be a morale problem within the organization due to not having spelled-out responsibilities and it contributes to what some would refer to as his “deliberate way of doing business.”

"I am deliberate, it's true,” MacPhail said. “I'm sure somebody feels excluded, but I would feel like I do delegate. I don't delegate to 100 different people. For example (professional scout) Bruce Kison will be in with Matt (Klentak), Ned (Rice), and Lee (MacPhail), and we will go through where we are two weeks from the deadline to make sure our pro scouts are where they should be based on the conversation I've had up to this point. With technology today you have access to so much more information, which to me means it's much more about check and balances."

One has to wonder, though—with MacPhail working everything from improving International scouting and development, the trading deadlines, team injuries, internal roster management, and minor league development while overseeing all areas of the baseball operations—if having an experienced assistant GM with real responsibilities wouldn't help out. Although he has his “circle of trust” people, rebuilding this organization can’t be done by one man alone.

So What About the Managerial Search?

With the trading deadline coming up, the managerial search has slowed significantly. Some believe MacPhail's deliberate style and inability to delegate real responsibilities to his staff will cause a delay. Others believe MacPhail wants a manager he can “control” and does not want anyone who will threaten his authority. MacPhail, though, sees the team playing better and doesn't see a need to rush to judgment and believes the media is making more of this then they should be.

"They'll be critical of me because we have not declared on the manager yet. There's nothing worse you can do to the media then hanging something out there that's going to happen, one way or the other, whether Juan (Samuel) got full status or whether you bring someone in from external. Until they get here, it hangs out there and drives (the media) nuts. They want it done. But that's their time table, not mine. There are reasons that we take the approach that we have. Over the last three weeks the team has been playing a little over .500 and Juan is doing fine. There's no need (to make an immediate change). I'm a little concerned someone new comes in and they can't influence much and they get tarnished with the record. They're supposed to be able to start fresh. Of course the one thing is if you bring them in new, the advantage is they get a chance to make some of their own judgments on guys and make determinations."

"I've never been one to really care about what other people's deadlines are. There are deadlines that mean something . July 31st (trading deadline) means something and we’ve got to get that done. August 15th or 16th (amateur draft signing deadline) means something.

Once he makes a decision on the manager, will he allow his manager to pick his own coaches?

"I think the GM gets veto power but that's about it. I'm not one for putting spies in there or telling them who their coaches have to be. Never have been.”

Are There Any Changes Coming That Could Help the Orioles Level the Playing Field?

"There has been more attention spent to realignment and the schedule, and I'm hopeful that some day that those issues will resolve themselves,” MacPhail said. “The unbalanced schedule probably doesn't quite have the same economic impact that it had initially. I think after a while people (would) rather see other teams come through. That's my opinion. Of course it’s in my own vested self-interest. Hopefully someday there will be some kind of modification to what we go through now. We just get hammered the third time through the American League East. It's been too much. Here we are trying to get Matusz, Bergesen, Tillman, Arrieta, these young guys, and we stick them into the fray. It's always a tight race and we stick them into the fray and they're running on fumes. It's tough."

Tight race? The Orioles have been getting killed by the American League East opponents pretty much from the get-go and I don’t know what tight race the Orioles have been in of late unless it’s the race for fourth place.

Is It the Bottom Line or the Wins That Count?

Probably the most damaging criticism leveled by multiple sources is that MacPhail is more concerned about his bottom line than winning ball games. One source had this to say: "If it came down to winning or getting a good bottom line, he's going to take the bottom line." MacPhail was obviously upset over this criticism.

"I would have no idea how anyone could venture that as an opinion because the bottom line is not that pretty either. I think the one thing that should be clear is the most important thing in my mind and in Peter's mind is righting the ship. It's hard to convince an 80-year old man at the time that your best avenue of doing this is trading Bedard and Tejada and going underground and buying these kids. In the past the preferred method was to sign the Bradfords, the Jamie Walkers, the Baezes, the Huffs, and Millars and trying to patch your way through it, and that's more expensive then doing what we’ve done by putting it back into the infrastructure (like) getting spring training straightened away, upgrading our computer system and medical areas and the new facility in the Dominican. To me, that was the path to more wins than losses. It's not the path to try and make the thing more financially feasible. That's going to happen when you start winning more games at this level."

"It annoys me that someone would venture that. It could be their opinion based on the fact that our payroll is less then probably what it was, and they're welcome to their opinions, but calling it a source has to be an overstatement."

Unfortunately, when your teams continue to lose like they did in Chicago and now in Baltimore, and you continue to get the top baseball job, people are going to wonder why.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Even the sources believe that Mr. Angelos wants to win badly, but some believe he may have finally given up. He doesn't come to the games like he used to and with his advancing age and the continual failure of his club, it may have finally beaten him down. The Hangout requested an interview with Mr. Angelos for the article, but it was denied. It's unfortunate because it would have been interesting to hear his take on the vetoed trades, the lack of a Teixeira signing, and the current shape of the franchise.

As for MacPhail, I think the piece stands by itself and I'll let you make your own decision on what's going on. Although the Orioles have taken some steps to improve their international scouting and development, they still don't have any presence in Venezuela or Colombia and their Dominican signings are still way behind their AL East rivals. MacPhail pointed towards their increase in Rule 4 amateur scouting expenditures and that's all well and good, but they are still being outspent by the Red Sox and when international dollars are accounted for they are still in the bottom of the division.

The team is dead last in the standings and has been getting beat up by their division rivals (along with everyone else) the last few years. The Orioles have fewer scouts than their AL East counterparts on the pro and amateur sides, and they have the smallest payroll in the division when you take into consideration money owed to former players and money coming in from other teams to pay for contracts. The minor league system has one impact prospect in the upper level of the system in Zach Britton, and the young cavalry of Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, and Jake Arrieta has a combined for a 7-16 record with a 5.42 ERA (through 7/20). The "can't miss" Matt Wieters is currently on the disabled list but has put up an anemic .672 OPS this season. In other words, the core that MacPhail was counting on has mainly arrived, and the Orioles are the worst team in baseball.

Over the years we’ve heard the Orioles talk the talk. But the facts remain quite simple. The Orioles have never invested in Latin America, they’ve signed one international free agent in the frail Koji Uehara, they have struggled to draft and develop impact major league players, and their payroll is in the lower half of baseball and lowest in the AL East when all things are considered. The team runs per game average of 3.59 is the second lowest in the American League while their 5.34 R/G allowed is worst in the AL. Their .981 fielding percentage is tied for the second-worst in the American League. In other words, the team can’t hit, pitch, or field.

As for putting their eggs into the scouting and development basket, that remains a risky proposition. Out of Scouting Director Joe Jordan’s first-round selections, Brandon Snyder (2005) has struggled to hit above AA, Billy Rowell (2006 and drafted ahead of Tim Lincecum) is a bust, Matt Wieters (2007) and Brian Matusz (2008) have struggled this season in the major leagues, and Matt Hobgood (2009) has struggled with weight issues and velocity and although it’s too early to make any real opinions on him, he has not lived up to expectations of the fifth overall selection so far. David Hernandez and Jason Berken have become solid relievers and Garrett Olson netted the Orioles Felix Pie. This is not to slam Joe Jordan or his scouts, but it does show that putting most of your eggs in the amateur draft arena is a risky situation at best.

According to Forbes magazine the Orioles are worth $376 million. Angelos bought the team for $173 million in 1993. MASN brings tens of millions of dollars a year to the Orioles who are profiting from Steven Strasburg’s popularity. It’s hard for anyone to believe the bottom line is not good.

As for me, I'll stand by my motto for life, "Actions Speak Louder than Words."

What is the basis for faith in the future? Surely a past record of success has something to do with creating faith.

Objectively, isn't it true that not one Os propect have yet lived up to the expectations the professionls placed on him? Jones has come closest lately. Pie has shown promise when he's been healthy enough to actually get on the field. Berkin, Hernandez and Simmon are beginning to show some promise. However, none of the starting pitchers has been even close to consistently effective. Weiters has been extremely disappointing and it appears everyone in baseball was wrong about his ability to hit. Not one player at Norfolk has shown promise.

The Os are in a crisis of faith with their fans. Many fans, if not nearly all of them see no hope of this team ever being able to compete in the AL East. AM fails to see this or even care. The future for this franchise is very bleak in terms of fan support. It can be turned around but it will take decisive action and frankly based upon his history AM has shown very little ability to take decisive action.

As an avid Os fan since 1954, I can truly say I've never been so depressed about this teaam. It hurts deeply. So there, I've said it.

Look guys i have finally figured out what makes pete tick. He knows what is going on but about once a week he has to get the troops riled up with the stuff he puts in the paper. Yesterday for instance the headline of his article read YOUTH MOVEMENTS GROWING PAINS SHOULDN"T HURT HOPES. I can't believe he actually believe's that because if he did then something has to be wrong with him. I know there is nothing really wrong with pete he's been around to long and been to successful to actually become stupid overnight or can he. Why brians fastball the last 2 games has barely hit 88 on the radar gun,brad hasn't come close to winning a game in his last 6 starts, tillman should make a commercial for being spotted in airports for how many times he has been demoted already. And through all of this pete say's it shouldn't hurt the teams hope. Or did he mean our hopes oh well if pete say's it then it has to be true.Anyway pete you keep up the great work.

Oh my, Now I'm tedb.

Man I sure have allot of names and I get so darn much ink. People even re-print things I say and Pete's Reply to such.

I'm truly humbled.

But hey Peter,

I'm on your side bro. I actually don't agree with the naysayers anymore. Those negative nilly's who would find fought even if the team was in first place. Dang those whiney tools.

I agree with Madden. Patience is the key. When you have AM, along with patience, you have a light at the end of the tunnel.

You were right to preach patience through Madden Pete. You get it.....

And what do you mean
when you say 'I could use the traffic'?

nb,

You make a very good point about how Garza was 'real' at the age of 23 compared to Matusz. You're also proper in comparing players like Price and Davis to our 24 year old's.

But why do you insist on being negative? Why can't you just say the Rays young pitchers are better than the O's. Why must you always attempt to burst our bubble.

And ken,

I feel ya ole buddy. But please don't be bitter that you're going to lose your bet. You're better than that. Just accept it and move on. No need to be nasty towards me, right?

How about this.... Let's forget the bet. You won't owe me a thing. Nothing, nada, zippo,

Instead, I'll still treat you to that meal and drinks. Why? Because we're on the same team. The team of wanting this club to return to respectability.

I'm now with the Plan. I believe in AM. I'm with ya pal.....

Yours truly,

wayne, Tedb... and everyone else smitty and paulie says I am (i love those guys by the way)


The Plan Is In Place And On Pace

This bit is hilarious:

"In the past the preferred method was to sign the Bradfords, the Jamie Walkers, the Baezes, the Huffs, and Millars and trying to patch your way through it..."

It's real easy to change that to...

"In the present, the preferred method is to sign the Tejadas, the Ty Wiggintons, the Michael Gonzalezes and the Atkins and trying to patch your way through it..."

Ted is right---writers at Sun are mute and benign----O's have lost more games every year for 9 straight years--or for the 3 years of "the plan" butr they keep saying that "thngs are improving" and the writers accept it

not brooks, I don't mean to comment on your post but 'wow'. The big question is, how come no one at the Sun picks up on stuff like that? Is that quote from MacPhail? Did he actually say that? How does he get away with that? Why wouldn't a reporter or journalist jump ALL OVER something like that?

It becomes more mind bending every day. Especially when Andy speaks. Can you imagine if this guy was a politician? He'd make Biden look like the best public speaker on the planet.

Joes Storefront, Isn't it frustrating?

blanc, Pete writes what he does because the Orioles are a HUGE advertiser. Period! There's no need to look for further explanation.

Pete and the other reporters/commentators can get away with calling the team 'terrible' because it's obvious. It's so obvious in fact that the team can't get upset about it.

But that doesn't mean Pete and others can do in depth analysis on the team, the way not brooks does. It doesn't mean the Orioles would appreciate seeing a story like the one joefoss forwarded from Press Box. Have you ever seen as much Oriole advertising in Press Box by the way? Ever asked yourself why?

It's very, very straight forward.

Thanks John.... I'd think holding on to them & getting 1st, 2nd or even 3rd round picks (for the scouting dept to screw up lol) for them when they sign elsewhere this winter is a far better idea than career minor leaguers in return!!


Note this....from rotonews:

Joey Gathright has been released by the Baltimore Orioles.

Our View: Another team, another release for the speedy outfielder. At age 29, he's likely played his last game in the big leagues.

LOOK at what the Astros could get for a guy that has a few injury issues & is a 2 month rental. The bar should be raised on MacFail's demands.

In business when a firm is doing well and has a recent track record of success its leaders get more leeway to do what they want without being especially transparent. After a prolonged period of disappointing results, however, stakeholders (owners, employees, etc.) expect and demand more transparency about the actions and plans of leadership. After this year's debacle and a dozen years of a truly awful on-field product, Angelos and MacPhail should be forced to open their books to prove they are trying to win and not just maximize their bottome line. They should be forced to make specific commitments about what they are going to do and when, as well as defining specific measures of success and what will happen if those measures aren't reached. MacPhail and Angelos' track record do not afford either of them the benefit of the doubt at this point, and I can't understand why either of them would expect to be given it.

Hey MacPhail- it isn't "the media" that is upset about your inexplicable delay in putting a strong manager in place, it is EVERYONE WHO KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT BASEBALL. Stop acting like you know everything and anyone who criticizes you is either misinformed or not as baseball-savvy as you are. Because I'll tell you what: we could put a team of monkeys from the Baltimore zoo in charge of the Orioles front office and I'm betting they would produce more than a .317 winning percentage!!! As well, they will be more clear and honest in their communication and there will be a lot less sh*t flying around than there is now.

Sorry for the rant, but it blows my mind how this guy can produce such an embarrassing failure and still act as though he deserves any respect or consideration.

that was me at 1:35 by the way. Or was it Wayne? Or was it Meso, or Blanc, or so many others. We might as well be the same person. We speak for a HGE majority of real Oriole fans. Not the Pete Stepford Shills.

As for Joe Maddon, that is called being a gracious winner. Do you think he's going to watch his team stomp on the Orioles last year AND say that the team stinks too? Besides, since we're in his division what interest does he have in giving an honest assessment of our talent?

It is like my Orioles credit card- it used to be that when I used it while traveling I'd get some good-natured ribbing from the merchants who root for other teams. Over the past two years, however, people have stopped saying anything- they just give me this look of sincere sympathy that implies they can't even bring themselves to say anything negative about such a disgraceful and terrible team. Nobody has to say this team stinks- the proof is out there on the field every night, giving up 8 runs and scoring 1, bumbling all over the field. And despite what "Baghdad Bob" MacPhail says ("the barn is not on fire") this season is an embarrassment unlike any Orioles fans have ever experienced before.

now wayne is Andrew.

Thanks for the rotonews Brian - I mean wayne

I assure you I am not Wayne. Who is Wayne? I am not up on the name switching & drama in here....Brummie?

Brian = wayne = Andrew. Holly cow!!

Will someone tell Andy that - THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE THE BARN IS ON FIRE.

Some please tell him.

wayne most certainly does not = andrew

I've been posting here for the past 2 seasons, frequently debating with Wayne, so get your facts straight. And if you disagree with what people are saying why don't you try putting forth an intelligent argument rather than making the lame assertion that everyone with an opposing point of view is the same person operating under a pseudonym?

What a dipsh*t...

waaaaaahhhhhhhaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe Andy let Daniel Cabera, Adam Lowen, Garret Olsen, Jay Gibbons, Hayden Penn go!!!!!

Andy has no eye for talent evaluation!!!!!!

New PR campaigns for the 2010 Orioles (an advanced apology to those homers who are still buying that we'll contend under the ownership of Angelos):

Orioles baseball - a great solution to insomnia.

This is Birdland - which explains the crap that's on the field.

Orioles magic - making fans disappear for 13 straight years!

some of the responders here seem to have selective amnesia concerning the Tampa farm system. Where is Dewon Brazelton today? How about Doug Waechter, Seth McClung, Andy Sonnanstine, Joey Gathright, -well, we know where Joey is.
The point is they had their share of misses, too, and it took playing their guys a few years before the team finally struck gold. In 2007 the Rays lost almost 100 games, with a lot of the same position players who led them to the series (well, except for Longoria, who was in AAA with about a .265 BA and a 29% strikeout rate, kinda similar numbers to Bell in AAA this year).

waaaaahhhhhhhaaaaaa!

Andy knows talent. See Atkins, Gonzales, Eaton, Hill, Koji, Henderickson, Millwood, Moore and too many names to actually type.

Andy has no eye for talent evaluation. Just look at what Huff's doing in SF. Huh? Oh!


waaaaahhhhhhhaaaaaa!

Andy knows talent. See Atkins, Gonzales, Eaton, Hill, Koji, Henderickson, Millwood, Moore and too many names to actually type.

Andy has no eye for talent evaluation. Just look at what Huff's doing in SF. Huh? Oh!


Joe Maddon is suddenly a Baseball Expert? F' that guy!!!!!

Be patient??? Moron!!!! He knows nothing about professional Baseball!!!

Seriously, how old is that guy? The game has passed him by. Last time he had any success was LAST DECADE!!!!!!!

Joe Maddon is related to Andy!!!!!!

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!! Joe Maddon is an "apologist" and a "warehouse" like the rest of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn it Pete, get some real "sources" like Tony Pente!!! Wayne is a better evaluator of talent than Joe Madden, it's OBVIOUS!!!!!!!!!

Wayne = Chris = Rob = Brian = Andrew = TedB. Get over yourself!

wwwaaaaaaahhhhhhaaaaaa!!!!!

Look at what Erik Bedard, Ramón Hernández, Chad Badford, Ramandez Liz, Jamie Walker, Oscar Salazar, George Sherill, and toooooooooooo many others to be named are doing!

Andy has no eye for talent evaluation.

Pete, how come you let so many assholes on this blog? The orioles are one of the best up and coming teams in baseball and you allow these jerks to bash you and the team. We have nothing to apologize for. Andy is one of the best baseball execs, not just in baseball, but in all of sports.

Baltimore is lucky to have him and an owner who cares about wanting to win. People like TedB just think you can draw up a winning team. It's not that easy. It takes time.

Don't let the assholes and jerks like not brooks ruin it for everyone else. Jerks like Gil and Wayne don't deserve the print you give them.

I pride myself as an Oriole fan. I believe in these guys. It wasn't about this year anyway, and people forget how Andy didn't have even one major league player on the roster or coming up from the minors. Not one.

Keep the faith Pete. Don't let the inmates control you.

Can we please stop the whole this person is that person is this person manhunt?

There's plenty of idiots to go around on both sides of the issue.

wwwaaaaaaaahhhhhaaaaaa

Apparently nobody in the Orioles Organization has any eye for talent evaluation or development. In 13 years of prime drafting position, we've produced Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis.

Gosh at that rate, we'll only have to wait about 90 more years for a group of 9 players and 5 starters.

I can see why some are so optimistic - it's clear as day!!

Chris in Hawaii is yo' mama (aka smitty). It's so obvious now. LOLOLOL - You are totally busted!

Lockstep--

You have no facts to back up your claims!!! EVERYONE but you seems to realize that EVER Tampa player is SUPER AMAZING and ALL Orioles players are BUSTS!!!!

Stop trying to make things out to be gray when it's black-n-white. EVERYONE, but you, knows how to turn an organization into a winner in LESS THAN 60 SECONDS!!!

And everyone on this blog could do it in 30 SECONDS (except those related to Andy, apologists, and the 5,000 names that smitty uses to try and confuse honest people)

This blog used to be good and interesting. Now it's full of whining children. Outta here!!!

Pete,

My apologies for making your eyes hurt with this bold font, but it's time to institute some control on this blog, in order to keep the Riff Raff out of here

After reading Tony Pente's long article yesterday in Orioles Hangout that was also printed here, it very difficult to see how this team will be able to dig its way out of its current hole and get back to respectability let alone compete anywhere in the near to intermediate future without a radical change in how it runs its business. Articles like the one referenced here show a rather clear "cause and effect" between how badly they perform OFF the field and the standings. What jumps out as a consistent theme is that the Orioles always seem to be behind or fail to do as much as other teams. Some of these issues are more understandable than others. It's not realistic to think we can spend $213 million on payroll like the Yankees or perhaps even close to $168 million like Boston. However, why were we among the last to get into the Pacific market (if one can call only signing Koji as being in that market?) Why is our Latin America presence so sparse that we have to try and share resources with the Tigers? Why, as of last week, had the Orioles signed only one of their top ten 2010 amateur draftees while none of the 29 teams had signed less than three? Why did it take the team 20+ years to finally find a new spring training base so many other teams found new homes much more quickly? Why, if the team is relying on internal growth like Tampa, do we have such a smaller number of scouts looking for players? Why is it that of the approximately 500 players drafted over the past ten years (and I recognize this predates Andy MacPhail in part), only two solid major league players have come through the system, Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis? Why is it that each off season the team's approach to improving the club is to "let the market play out" rather than proactively seeking to change its image among players and agents by taking bold initiatives? [Look at Kenny Williams of the White Sox by comparison. Traded for Jake Peavy without giving up a lot and also claimed Alex Rios when Toronto released him to dump his salary. Both of those deals by the way were done between June and August last year.]

Can anyone name one thing the team has done where we could conclude that we were ahead of the competition--on or off the field?

This leads to another point. Why haven't these deficiencies been hammered away at by the print and electronic media? With some notable exceptions, the media have been generally passive in their criticism of the team. Pete wrote a few days ago about the cynicism of the fans. The more important issue that he failed to address is the lack of cynicism and circumspection by the media who have covered this train wreck for 13 years now. [The Ravens came under greater scrutiny for not drafting a cornerback this year.] Can we imagine the media reaction in New York, Boston, Philly and Chicago had this much futility occurred in those cities?

I wonder sometimes if the print media especially has forgotten who their constituency is. It's the readers. Pete stated it above when, in an apparent reference to Wayne, said that he (Pete) "could use the traffic."

Lockestep -

Nice selectivity with Longoria's AAA stats in '07.

For everyone else, Lockestep failed to mention that while Longoria had a somewhat high K rate (27% actually), he also had a nice BB rate of 17%. Oh, and Longoria had a .398 OBP and a .490 SLG%.

And how about Bell? He's got a slightly lower K rate, at 26%, but his walk rate is a horrific 6%. As a result, Bell's OBP is .311. And he's got a .455 SLG%.

I don't know, Lockestep. Maybe you were just commenting on how similar their K rates are?

Interesting link:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2010/2610383.html

How is it that the A's have given out two of the top 15 international bonuses in history and the O's just set a franchise record by signing a Dominican for $300K?

I know. We're in the toughest division in baseball! We can't spend with the Yankees and Red Sox! But we can't spend with the A's either? Come on...

I know. None of those guys are going to pan out anyway! Look at Wily Mo! Look at Chin-Hui Tsao (who?)! But that's not the point, is it? How can you claim that you're increasing the international presence when you don't spend any money on international free agents?

This is just pathetic.

Here we go again...people with blinders on trying to compare Rays players with O's players...lets take a lok at some of the comparisons people are making.

Someone up there made a comparison of David Price and Wade Davis to Bergeson and Arrieta because of their ages...interesting.

How about we compare the two pairs in terms of when they were drafted...Arrieta was a 5th round pick in 2007, Bergesen was a 4th rounder in 2004. Price was 1st overall in 2007, Davis was a 3rd rounder in 2004. Looks to me like the entire league expected both Price and Davis to be better than Arrieta and Bergesen.

I like how, in hindsight, every average dude on the street is a stud scout who wants to make these comparisons. I got news for you...Davis is 7-9 (on a winning team) with a 4.41 ERA, whip of 1.422 and has given up 18 HR's. Hardly a star.

The arguments on this site are astounding when you consider that not one person ever heads for the stats to prove their point, instead they say things like "the Rays can scout and the O's can't, look at Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes as examples".

Really? Young and Dukes? Two guys they couldn't wait to run out of town? Crawford? If you think he has lived up to his expected potential when he was 21, news flash...nope, he didn't. Good player? Yes. Great player? Certainly not. Pena? Maybe every other team he ever played for didn't know what they were doing and it was the Rays scouting department only that thought he was any good? Yeah, reality doesn't back that up. Upton? Average at best. Statistically, you can't even make an argument that Upton is as good as Jones is right now.

If anyone wants to make the "Upton is better than Jones" argument, good luck skewing those numbers.

The Rays win because they do three things better than other teams...the situationally hit very well, they play outstanding defense more often than not, and they minimize pitching problems by having a group of formidable, if not star-worthy, pitchers.

Tony Pente's artcle helps to fill in some blanks, but it doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to see that the organization is light years behind much of the successful competition. Of course, it has been well known for a long time that Peter Angelos employs spies, yes men and good ole' boys rather than competent baseball executives. Andy Macphail is an excellent example. His performance witht the Cubs proved that his methods no longer work in th modern game, but Agelos knew he could trust him to keep the paytroll down and double talk the media.

There is nothing up and coming about the Orioles organization, it is hopelessly flawed and being managed to deliberately and systematically to lose year in and year out. Until the Macphails, the Jordans and the Stockstills are gone and replaced by competetent baseball people, nothing will ever change.

Is that what you guys do here? Claim one name ,one voice, is the creation of one guy? LOL

I can assure you I am not Wayne or anyone else you hate. I don't know who these guys are but if they have some of you wingnuts upset, they must be on to something.

Pete can check IPs & easily see if someone is using multiple names. I am sure he will see that I don't use the names I have been associated with here. It's actually amusing....

Further proof? I have exchanged emails with Pete in the past so he knows who I am & that I am not these other names. Sorry conspiracy group, but you will have to cross me off the list....

Oh yeah... FIRE MacFail please!

Do you think Yankee fans care about their prospects - or chalk up a season to "rebuilding"? No, they don't. And this market shouldn't take this kind of crap either. We have the money - we HAD the fans. It's time to put a winning product on the field. I'm sick of this "wait until next year" stuff. That's loser talk - and I'm sick of the O's being losers. Anyone who disagrees with this must have the mentality of a Cubs fan (the lovable losers).

nb,

I wonder if BB/K rates aren't an organizational thing that has to do with hitting instruction/philosophy. Bell's BB% was good in the Dodgers' organization. Last year with their AA squad, he was at 50/70 BB/K when he came over. That's in 391 PAs, so his BB % was at 12.8%.

And a general stat complaint I have is this... when working out K rates vs BB rates, why is it we take the K rates as a % of ABs, while we take the BB rates as a % of PAs? That 50/70 in 391 PAs works out to a 12.8% vs. 21.0% the way it is currently figured out, but I think 12.8% vs. 17.9% is actually more accurate as to the percentage of time a player did one or the other.

I agree with you Chris. There are no market or attendance excuses that fly. potter is banking the profits. They may be small now ,BUT he has had them the last few years at least. Until he "opens the books" to a creditable auditor I won't believe the poor me BS or the whining that we can't compete. They might not be able to spend $180-$200 million/yr, but they can certainly spend much much more than they do now! Doubling this year's salary level would still not approach those spankee/Red Sux figures...

Remember , 23rd out of 30! What a joke!

but it's time to institute some control on this blog, in order to keep the Riff Raff out of here

Posted by: Mesotheliangelos | July 22, 2010 3:16 PM

----------------------------------------------------------------


oh the irony (yet again) of the guy that rips Pete is asking about the Riff Raff.

always entertaining, Mes.

Az Chuck,

Did you really just write that Carl Crawford is not a great player?

What qualifies then?

He's better than anyone on the Oprioles team.

He's the Best Left Fielder in baseball, and I mean offense + defense = complete Best player. With the possible exception of Ryan Braun, I guess.
That's why the team that likes to collect the Best players is about to roll out the red carpet for him.
But he's not yet a proven hall of famer, so I gess he's not great?

Okay, last post of the day for me - I promise. Here's my list of things the O's need to do this offseason in order to win:

1. Hire Buck Showalter and let him put the coaches in place for both the major and minor league clubs. He did this in NY, Arizona and Texas and it was shortly after he left that they became first place ball clubs. Fundamentals all start in the minors and that obviously isn't being taught here.

2. Trade Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis for major league ready talent. Both will be out of their prime by the time Arietta, etc. are ready to be proven and durable starters in this league.

3. Sign Jorge Cantu and Adam Dunn to 3 year deals this offseason. I know - this seems odd after I just suggested we trade Roberts and Markakis. But hear me out. We'll need good veteran leadership to be a mentor to the (hopefully) good young talent that comes in via the proposed trades. This will give us a great right/left combo in the middle of the order and will plug the hole at first and at DH.

4. Invest in the bullpen. The key to winning more games next year will be how the bridge holds up between our starters and our closer.

If all 4 areas above are addressed then we'll see a World Series caliber team here in the next few years. If not, it'll be more of the same (counting down the days to Ravens training camp).

Well, the Rays used to be pretty terrible too. Things could definitely turn around for the Orioles -- just not this year, and not next year either.

Chuck -

Good point about draft position. It probably isn't fair to compare Bergesen to Price or Davis. I guess I got a little carried away there.

Moving on, I never said Crawford lived up to his potential when he was 21. I said he was a solid MLB player when he was 21. And I'll go ahead and say that he matched his potential at age 22, when he lead the league in triples and stolen bases, in addition to scoring 100 runs and adding 11 homers and 26 doubles.

And right now, Carl Crawford is a great player. He's easily the best defensive left fielder in the game and over the past seven seasons, he's averaged 50 stolen bases, 12 triples, 12 home runs and 25 doubles. Spin it however you want. That's great.

And I'm not going to say that the Rays can scout and the O's can't - the O's must have some scouting talent in the ranks somewhere. But I will say that the Rays ownership and management is about ten thousand times more committed to winning than the O's.

While the O's are using the #5 overall pick on a guy who's going to be cheap, the Rays are taking the Longorias and Prices of the world, worrying about getting the best player instead of saving money.

While the O's are taking risks on non-tendered chumps like Garrett Atkins, the Rays are taking risks by trading guys like Delmon Young for guys like Matt Garza.

While the O's are buying filler and complaining about the Yankees and Red Sox, the Rays are stepping up their game, putting a winning club on the field however they can and sticking right in the thick of things with New York and Boston.

And one bit on scouting: While the O's are saying all the right things regarding scouting and player development, but not taking any action, the Rays are doing all the right things.

And that's the difference between winners and losers.

not brooks,

Price was a #1. pick, Langoria was #3.

Wieters "dropped" to the O's becasue of "money issues".

The Rays passed on him because of "money issues".

The Rays are taking risks like Hank Blalock.

The O's are taking risks like Felix Pie.

((just saying, not as so cut and dry))

paulie,

I'd liken the Hank Blalock risk to the Garrett Atkins risk. Both guys were corner infielders coming off down years. Thing is... Tampa's risk didn't cost them $4.5 million and hurt them at the major league level.

paulie -

The Rays didn't pass on Wieters. Price was the consensus #1 pick in '07. The Royals, Pirates and Cubs passed on Wieters because of money issues for sure.

Blalock hit 25 home runs last year and he cost the Rays what, the league minimum? Please don't compare him to the Garrett Atkins Disaster.

Pie was barely a risk. The O's gave up nothing to get him. I seriously can't even remember the guy's name. Another Garrett, right?

The Rays gave up Delmon Young to get Matt Garza. Young may have had "character issues", but the guy is still a former #1 overall pick and he was just 22 when he was traded. This year, Young's got an .855 OPS.

Can you imagine Andy even considering trading Matusz or Wieters even if he was getting a Garza-esque return?

Not only are there Oriole apologist, there are Pete apologist. Simply pathetic.

How can 'awake' people not see how the Oriole's are in complete disarray? Anyone remember what Nick said to Angelos? Has anything really changed since then?

Do you think for a second that Nick Markakis believes he'll ever be on a competitive team in Baltimore? You think players who were in chicago don't talk to Nick, telling him what people from there say about Andy?

Pete and the Sun will NEVER do a full, unbiased report on this team. EVERYTHING they say and write has a slant to it. EVERYTHING they say and write is with Oriole advertising in mind.

Do you think for a second that the editor of the Sun (whose job is constantly on the line) will fully mess with the Orioles during these times?

What they're missing is - If they just spoke the truth. If they just came out and told it like it really is (see the Press Box piece joefoss sent), readers would FLOCK to the Sun.

But they're too afraid to take that chance. With the Oriole strips and banners, they have a solid bird in the hand.

Hate me, call me names, say I'm someone else. But you know (deep down) that I'm correct.

And that makes you madder than hell.

paulie, smitty, ken,

Do you EVER get tired of being SCHOOLED by not brooks? Does it ever get old for you?

If Pete wrote the things not brooks writes (factual information and comparisons), his readership would be through the roof. But he won't do it. And that's why you're on this Blog. That's why you like it here. That's why Pete never slaps you around.

But getting schooled by not brooks day after day. Don't you ever feel embarrassed?

You come back as yo mama and you accuse people of being different names? That's what you have going for you?

I LITERALLY wait for you to post something, then wait for someone like not brooks to school you each and every time.

It has become quite entertaining. So thank you? Yeah, thank you.

not brooks,

(I mentioned Price and Langoria in response to the Hobgood at #5).

The Rays also bought Pat Burell.

tedb,

If you don't like Pete's blog... why are you here? There are plenty of other places you could read about the O's.

And it's not like the Pete should be afraid of the paper losing ad revenue from the O's for writing a piece questioning the direction of the club. That's insane. Do the Ravens pull their ads when Mike Preston writes a dissatisfied piece? Advertisers advertise based on hits/readership. This isn't the USSR.

Use your brain man.

Personally, I'm not mad as hell. I'm just killing minutes at work.

Exactly, paulie.

When the Rays have top picks, they make them count.

The O's have been too up and down in that regard. They'll make a great pick like Matusz and then they'll come back the next year and make a Hobgood type pick.

And blasting the Rays for Pat Burrell is akin to blasting the O's for Albert Belle.

Prior to signing with the Rays, Burrell was a 32-year-old coming off a seven year stretch in which he averaged a 257/.371/.490 slash line and 29 homers per year.

The Rays needed a right-handed bat for the middle of their lineup, so they went out and got one. Unfortunately for them, Burrell collapsed and it didn't work out.

Chris, Mike Preston can write what he does because the Ravens area a first class operation (top to bottom).

Use your head man. Do you think FOR A SECOND that the Orioles would allow a Mike Preston type to write about the Orioles?

The Orioles are NOTORIOUS for losing anyone associated with the team who is not 'on board'. You haven't seen that? Where have you been man?

The one's who criticize do so very carefully. Pete does so VERY carefully.

Mike Preston would last ONE DAY as a writer for the Orioles. People can hate Preston (and they do), but the man has balls as well as journalistic integrity.

not brooks,

I recall the draft with Wieters and Price (the first broadcast MLB draft) the discusion was about how the Ray's were looking for a Bat but Wieters was "restrictive" becasue of money.

Regaurdless...the O's spent the money, which is what you were saying they didn't do.

Heck, even all the way back with Adam Lowen they spent record amounts of money on signing him.


paulie, you make it so easy. It's literally hilarious

tedb,

so easy, and yet...what did you offer...

literally nothing.

literally...

Fair enough, paulie.

I'd just like to see some more consistency over the years and across the draft.

not brooks says

"

This bit is hilarious:

"In the past the preferred method was to sign the Bradfords, the Jamie Walkers, the Baezes, the Huffs, and Millars and trying to patch your way through it..."

It's real easy to change that to...

"In the present, the preferred method is to sign the Tejadas, the Ty Wiggintons, the Michael Gonzalezes and the Atkins and trying to patch your way through it..."

Hey nb count up the cost and contract years of the first list verse the second list? You are a good GM. You should notice a huge difference. The length of contract etc. I'm surprised you don't present all the facts.....well, not really

tedb/wayne

paulie, smitty, ken,

Do you EVER get tired of being SCHOOLED by not brooks? Does it ever get old for you?

You know, I realize not brooks makes his living playing a GM on this blog but I think you are correct...I believe someone named not brooks posting endless statistics some of which supports his speculations over Maddon any day. I mean why is Maddon telling all these lies anyway. He's an apologist like Pete thats why.

not brooks,

as far the Rays "making the top picks count"...Lockstep listed some of the misses from Rays drafts in the 2:42 post.

I'm not blasting the O's on Pat Burrell, I using him as an example that the Ray's don't always poop sun-shine.

Do the Rays have a better sucess rate on the picks with over a decade under consistant managment...of course.

Over that same period have the O's done as well. Obviously not.

...just trying to be fair and accurate.

Oh yeah Hobgood is a bust at 19....that's pretty clearheaded baseball thinking...

ted -

At least Schmuck doesn't spout garbage like this:

"Moore won't play much shortstop but has shown flashes of an upside and he is only 26." - Post by Dan Connelly this morning on the O's Insider blog

I mean, I guess you could consider June of this year (.811 OPS in 48 at bats) a flash of upside. But Scotty's followed that up by putting up a .519 OPS so far in July.

Throw in the injuries and how terrible he's been in the minors since he came over here, and I'm going to go ahead and say we don't have more than a sub-par future utility guy on our hands.

And he's "only 26"? Seriously? Since when is 26 young for a guy who hasn't proven a damn thing in the majors?

paulie -

Fair and accurate, for sure. The point is that the Rays have been successful and they're committed to winning and the O's haven't been successful and they're not committed to winning.

I believe we've all done our part in proving that point.

PS - I've never admitted to "schooling" anyone. I just post what I think. I'm no better than anyone else here. I just have my opinions and I'm not going to be swayed until I see results on the field.

Gil wrote:There is nothing up and coming about the Orioles organization, it is hopelessly flawed and being managed to deliberately and systematically to lose year in and year out. Until the Macphails, the Jordans and the Stockstills are gone and replaced by competetent baseball people, nothing will ever change

This is why we're so negative. Its not about being a loyal fan. Its about knowing about success in business or even bringing a large project to a successful completion. Some of us can see a mile away that this has been a dysfunctional organization and we feel helpless to stop this ongoing train wreck. Blogs like this are the only voice we have. Waspman, Gil and others are right in their observations of the big picture. It seems ridiculous to even say Go O's at this point.

not brooks, You're being modest. Of course you're schooling these jokesters. It's not even close to being a fair fight. You're just too polite to agree with me, but you know. I know you know.

As for me being wayne. Nah! The only problem I do have with wayne is that he's a primary cause for so much traffic on this site. Traffic that allows Pete to get even deeper into the O's pocket (see banners). Wayne is simply feeding the absurd.

smitty and paulie, you were saying the exact same stuff long ago. When do you say to yourselves 'man, i'm starting to look like a total jackass on this blog'? Don't you ever feel stupid criticizing those who school you every day? You've been throwing stuff up against the wall for a very long time now and you keep coming back even though you're always ridiculously wrong with any forecast, predictions, wishes - anything.

And Pete just keeps feeding you knuckleheads with his nonsense. You actually fell for the Madden piece. As if it MEANS ANYTHING. He wrote it for posters just like you, knowing you'd post, knowing it would keep up his traffic.

Traffic equals Oriole banners. Oriole banners equal non objectivity. Non objectivity equals a lack of journalistic integrity.

(enter Pete saying 'you can disagree with me but you can't question my integrity. you're outta here tedb')

tedb,

I'll say it again... Advertisers advertise based on hits/readership.

And why do you think Pete, who has said negative things in the past regarding the O's, still has a press pass if the team is so interested in stomping out anyone with a dissenting opinion?

How do you explain MacPhail granting an interview to Tony Pente for his article?

Granted, the O's probably aren't going to give a full access pass to some guy operating out of his basement, but to accuse them of shutting out any media outlet who doesn't fall in line is ludicrous.

Get over your little conspiracy theory. It's sad.

Wake up Chris, What do you do for a living to be so naive?

I've said Pete will criticize the team. Again though, the team is so bad, it expects to be criticized in some regards. It would look incredibly stupid not to say the Orioles are terrible - as Pete will say from time to time.

But where is the real journalism? Where are the deep stories that show the deep down truth the way Press Box displayed the other day? The answer is you'll NEVER see the deep coverage from the Sun. There is a LINE they will not cross. And you don't see that?

Are you in the business world? Have you ever dealt with tough advertisers who command a certain style from those they're giving dollars to? The Ravens have one style of advertising. Preston not only has full access, he can say whatever he wants. The Orioles have a completely different style. They have a line that can not and WILL NOT be crossed.

Conspiracy theory? Hardly! Just keeping it real. And if you are in business Chris, be careful out there. You obviously have much to learn. Being naive will roll over you faster than a Millwood outing.

tedb,

If you think that was "real journalism," then I suggest you contact Scripps Howard and demand that all "real" newspapers demand more conjecture and snark.

And yes, I do work with advertising (I also used to work for a paper). I can tell you that all that concerns me when placing an ad is how many people are going to see it and what does the ad itself look like when they are seeing it.

But I'm sure that you will come back with the tired, "but that's not how the evil O's operate" response...

Petey Pablo's advice to O's: Dump Millwood.

Wow, another lousy first inning for Millwood. What a shock. He sure has been a great acquisition. That's quite an offseason: Atkins, Millwood, Tejada, Gonzalez. Could that be the worst offseason by a GM in history? Has to be close.

I'll be astounded if Millwood doesn't give up a couple more in the 2nd after the offense made Pavano throw a whopping 5 pitches.

This is absolutely amazing. Here are Millwood's first inning runs allowed in his last 10 starts:

3 - Was
3 - Tor
3 - NYY
2 - NYY
5 - NYM
3 - SD
2 - Fla
0 - Oak
5 - Det
3 - Min

Consider me astounded.

Who ever would have thought a couple of years ago that the O's would be subjected to patronizing/atta boy comments from the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays? Like someone else pointed out, what's Maddon going to say-gee I wish we could play these guys 30 times a year?
I guess this really illustrates how far the once-proud Orioles franchise has sunk-sympathy quotes from the biggest doormats in MLB. We have now become them!!
I suppose it's logical to try and compare Baltimore and Tampa Bay but as long as we have an incompetent GM, there is really no hope that we can become competitive any time soon. Couple that with a sordid history of bad drafts and it's hard to say when this team will turn things around.
Tampa Bay has established itself as a solid contender; the O's have become a pinata.

Not sure what level you worked on Chris, but that was so ridiculous that it's not worth commenting further on. Live in your fantasy world if you wish.

Hey Pete, Why don't you start with your How Great Millwood Has Been For The Young Staff now. Might as well get it out of the way. After all, he's done everything the Orioles asked of him. In fact, he's doing it again tonight.

But you can always write about how he's coming off his mysterious injury and we should give him a break.

Or, you could write the TRUTH. That the guy has been a miserable BUST with an era (after tonight) of 6. But no, that would be asking the impossible.

Don't cross Andy Pete. Careful!

An insult followed by "not worth commenting on"... the tried and true opinion of someone with nothing to say...

Pavano throwing 50/50 balls/strikes... this is where a team with any kind of patience would work counts and force the opposing pitcher into a high pitch count through a couple innings to get to middle relief.

Sadly, the O's are not one of those teams.

Alberto Callaspo dealt to the Halo's.

Missed opportunity for Andy.

Maybe Brandon Wood is available now....just kidding!

I'd take whatever San Diego is offering for Tejada while it's still on the table.

Seriously. I really don't wanna see him here after next week.

And I'm still hanging onto my hopeless dreams of getting a Kila at 1B.

I hear the Pad's are offering a LFer with pop.

Oscar Salazar anyone? j/k.

Maybe the O's can get Chris Young...

I think the O's were asking for Castro, which unless they get a kind of decent minor league arm with Tejada, the Pads would be stupid to give up.

ummm, Simon Castro. I'd rather Chase Headley...but that ain't gonna happen.

btw, Chris, either you noticed it first, or just jinxed him, but Markakis not doing well at the plate.

although, the last 3 games, he's been cheated on bad calls for Strike 2's in pretty key moments.

Yeah... nobody's get Headley.

Markakis' approach has changed, paulie. How many times have you seen him have a 2 pitch AB after the pitcher just got 2 quick outs on 3 pitches? This is where a good hitting instructor would take him aside, show him what he's doing now and get him to back to what he was doing when he was successful. Hopefully we hire Showalter and he brings that guy along with him.

Maddon is being very kind--overly kind, even--but I don't think that the recent underperformance from guys like Matusz, Tillman, and Arrieta means that other teams wouldn't love to have them. At some point, the complaints can't just be about how MacPhail has ruined this team--these guys have flat out been underperforming all year. Commenters on this blog have blamed Angelos, MacPhail, Trembley, Samuel, Crowley, Dempsey, Davis, Hunter, Palmer, Cito Gaston, Mohammed, and Jesus, but the guys on the field are the ones losing the games. What a lot of consistently poor play from guys who are capable of better work, even without a power bat in the lineup (though we'll take one now, Mr. MacPhail!).

I really, really hope that MacPhail makes some significant moves by the deadline. Wigginton, Tejada, and Millwood may as well ship out... maybe we could package two or even all three of them for one hot prospect. It would be a miracle if there were a team that had that kind of need, though....

P.S. tedb, get someone to change your diaper.

agreed on Markakis. not a good trend.

I dunno about the coaching. last year the O's were 4th in RISP, and one of the top offenses. Not that many parts changed "on paper" in April. Than like a Nick Markakis AB it was 1,2,3. I think this second half will speak volumes about the make up of all the personal. I'm sure everyone knows it's "play for your jobs" time for the coaching staff as bringing Buck in would probably/correctly mean lots of changes.

the Umps won't squeeze the O's tomorrow night because of tonight...right? maybe make up call friday...

paulie,

I wouldn't dare say they were one of the top offenses last year. They were high in BA (4th there, I think), but that's about it. They were below league average in runs, RPG and OBP. I'd rather be ahead on those than in BA.

Wow,

Can't everyone just get along? I was even accused of being someone else, even though I was in the warehouse having a burger and a beer. Goodness.

Tonight was a good effort by our O's. Milly pitched well. Only 5 runs in 6.1 innings. Most teams will take that any night.

Overall, our players got a little more experience tonight. Take Gonzo for example.... He only gave up one hit and one walk in 2/3rds of an inning. That's progress. That's moving in the right direction.

Pie and Moore went 0-7 but you have to look deeper. They both had good at bats, and that's what you're looking for from a couple players the O's will be counting on in the future. You think the Cubs aren't ticked off they let these two get away? Just a couple more 'steals' Andy was able to pull off.

The L doesn't matter. The shut out doesn't matter. All that maters is that the few fans that were out there tonight, yours truly included, were treated to the future. A glimpse of better days to come.

Keep the faith


The Plan Is In Place And On Pace

What, wayne... no mention of Wiggy going $h!thouse on the ump?

C'mon. Someone in the stands got something better than the regular old foul ball.

And why in the hell are you counting the walk when it was an IBB? I thought you were there?

'one of the top offenses'.

You really can't make this kind of stupidity up. It can't be done. Talk about schooling. Even CIH was able to make paulie look like a complete moron. Give us more paulie. Give us more.

Guess I'm almost lucky to live where I do and be an O's fan. What's it like to live in Baltimore and have to endure this joke of a franchise right in your own city?

Nope Chris,

Left in the 5th. Had been at the park since 5:30, and had to bolt. Saw some some good baseball by Minny though, but I unfortunately didn't get to see Gonzo mow em down. I read the box, but thanks for the info.

Was good to see some good at bats from some of our future stars, and good to see Milly doing his thing on the mound.

Things are coming together Chris... They really are. Yu need to get the a game this summer.


TPIIPAOP

In the essay posted, seems like miles above, there was a very interesting tidbit that I had never seen before.

It went something like, the Stockstills are only in their positions because they rescued someone from the inner Angelos circle (gee I wonder who that could be, Jr?) from a "situation" in the Dominican Republic.
And we have absolute zero, 0, nothing, ever out of our Dominican scouting base.

Pete, would you consider doing a story about this? Or is that the job of someone like Buster Olney if he deigns to do a story about the Oruoles?

When you add it all up, you have to wonder how he kept a job all these years. Although the exact story remains a close secret, multiple sources indicate that Stockstill and Bernhardt once got some people close to ownership out of some trouble in the Dominican and have job security due to this fact. Sources also indicate that Jim Duquette tried to fire Stockstill but was not allowed to by Angelos. Sources also indicate that Andy MacPhail wanted to get rid of him as well but was only able to move him out of the Player Development role into International Scouting

The fire is burning Andy. Been burning for a long time. Are you that far removed from the barn?

Wayne - where do you sit? I'm at lots of games myself. Would love to come have a beer with you one night.

I hate to sound encouraging, but that was just funny, Wayne. If I were a betting man, I would ask for my guys to go 0 for any night of the week. It's most definitely the learning lesson that counts at this point in time, considering the plan is in place and on pace.... Hopefully, in another 13 years we'll see evidence that it worked.

Hey Wayne,

You do realize that you're prolonging the agony by buying tickets and spending money at the games, right?

Hey Wayne,

You do realize that you're prolonging the agony by buying tickets and spending money at the games, right?

Would love to Kenny. Perhaps through Pete we can exchange emails.

Look, I'm actually getting tired of reading the same stuff on here night in and night out, and that's why I'm an off and on again poster. (I'm sure no one minds when I'm off.)

But one thing is becoming obviously clear to me. The Orioles will be BETTER OFF tanking fully the rest of the season. The worst thing that can happen is that they "turn it around" so to speak, for the rest of the year. Playing .500 ball (how unimaginable that might seem) for the rest of the year gives Angelos "hope" that this mess is working.

Nothing will change.

I hate to say it, and it would be hard to watch, but I think it might be the only thing that gets Angelos to change. I know most people on here will say that's ridiculous, because Angelos doesn't care about W-L, but he's becoming a national disgrace, and I think even he will have to respond to that.

Mike,

I'd kick myself if I gave up my seats only to have the Plan take this team to the Series next year.

No, instead..... I want to be on the bandwagon from the start.


TPIIPAOP

Kenny,

No, you're right on target.

Kenny, I agree with Mike. You're right on the money. However, PGA has already become a national disgrace hasn't he?

Here's a new topic:

Rate the Orioles' broadcasters from the following list: (I skipped the more rare appearances of several others (Viviano, Anderson, Murray) ...
Angel
Manfra
Thorne
Palmer
Flanagan
Hunter
Dempsey
Theoharis
Dave Johnson
Tom Davis

Here's my ranking of my favorite to least favorite:
1. Joe Angel (he's no Jon Miller, but he'll do - what a great era having Miller and Angel together in the late 80s)
2. Jim Palmer (the man flat out knows baseball and actually has a good on-air voice)
3. Thorne (makes some mistakes but has a fantastic play calling voice and a decent sense of humor)
4. Amber Theoharis (enjoy her while she's here - it won't be long til ESPN snatches her up ... smart and sharp on the sidelines, and she ain't hard to look at, either)

Here's where there's a serious drop in the rankings, as I don't care for any of the rest of the bunch ...

5. Jim Hunter (so-so at best)
6. Dave Johnson (bad on-air voice, but he actually makes some good points and is critical of the team when necessary)
7. Tom Davis (he's harmless, but wayyy too much of a homer to even take seriously)
8. Mike Flanagan (I literally cringe hearing his nasally, monotone drone on air. I also happen to think most of his points are obvious and cliche)
9. Rick Dempsey (he's also hard for me to listen to - what can I say? I just don't think he's a very smart man to paraphrase Forrest Gump)
10. Fred Manfra (I don't even know how this guy has had a job for this many years - while he has a nice voice, I've never heard such mistake-prone playcalling. It just seems he has no feel for the game)

Why isn't a guy like Matt Angle turned into a middle infielder? Is that even doable? I guess at his age, probably not. But what kind of future did that kid have a a CF?

He's actually hit all through the minors. Gets on base, great base-stealer. But he's only 5-10 with zero power. Not your prototypical CF, but could have been a good second baseman/SS.

He's still only 24 - is it possible for that type of change to occur?

I agree with Maddon and not with most of the above rants...
Maddon agrees with Wayne...this is really cool

"They just got (Luke) Scott back and he killed us,'' Maddon said. "They are about to get Roberts back and he's one of the best players in the league. They've got Wieters out. I don't take Baltimore lightly at all. They definitely have some interesting things going on. It's about patience, but of course, everybody's looking for results.

"My take on the thing: As those pitchers mature, heads up. Because they have got some other pieces."

Thanks for reprinting the piece smitty. Proves once again how Pete is a complete Shill who appeals to the lowest fan base possible.

You think Madden means it when he talks about when 'all those pitchers mature'? Did you happen to see the post from not brooks when he schooled your twin on the subject? Did you not get what not brooks was saying? Did you miss the age comparisons? How Oriole young guns don't come close to matching up to the TB young guns at the same age? Do you really miss stuff like that?

Interesting how Pete totally misses another pathetic outing by Millwood as well as the bats last night. Instead, you're treated to the irrelevant subject of the day.

Anyone ever seen the Philly commentators after a loss? Honest journalism without worrying about the advertising.

We can dream.

Kenny from Pikesvilles Broadcaster Item

Agree 95%.

Here's my 5% difference:

1) Davis is so "homer" he's worthless...and his ever-expanding presence is now annoying -- as is his awful rapid-fire "all access pregram show" nasal delivery. HELP!!!

2) Amber Theoharris is sharp and does a great job with prepared stuff. She is STRUGGLING with finding stuff to say in sharp organized manner during her new pre and post game show. Seems to be lack of experience - and I think she'll be great with increased experience. I couldn't listening to Theoharris ramble and Davis bluster yesterday and switched to RadioClassics do a '54 Johnny Dollar show. HELP!

Kenny from Pikesvilles Broadcaster Item

Agree 95%.

Here's my 5% difference:

1) Davis is so "homer" he's worthless...and his ever-expanding presence is now annoying -- as is his awful rapid-fire "all access pregram show" nasal delivery. HELP!!!

2) Amber Theoharris is sharp and does a great job with prepared stuff. She is STRUGGLING with finding stuff to say in sharp organized manner during her new pre and post game show. Seems to be lack of experience - and I think she'll be great with increased experience. I couldn't listening to Theoharris ramble and Davis bluster yesterday and switched to RadioClassics do a '54 Johnny Dollar show. HELP!

CaptiveFan:

Agree with you on Davis.

I'm not so familiar with Theoharis's pre/post-game shows. Haven't seen them.

I also happen to like Steve Davis. I think he does a nice job. And he's just angry enough to make him interesting.

Kenny,

I can see you're struggling - big time....

On which way to go with this club. On the one hand, I can see that you're loyal and true to the core. On the other though, you're throwing your hands up like many.

I feel your pain. I've been there so long that it actually hurts - even if it is just baseball.

I've even suggested what you have recently. In fact, I wrote that it was awful timing that the O's won some games leading into the All Star Break. It literally gave many (the organization, media and fans) a false sense of security, at just the wrong time.

Instead of truly looking inward at the problems, it's my opinion the owners, etc... took a breather. I believe they relaxed.

AM is a very relaxed guy. His 'barn isn't burning' line would have almost destroyed him if he were in politics. It was so contrary to how the fan base feels, that I believe many people (like me) finally just threw their hands up.

Gil and others have been saying it, but now it's reality. There is zero sense of urgency from the very top, and AM feeds the mentality.

Angelos suggesting the Nats winning was a good thing combined with AM's 'the barns not burning' speech is all one really has to know about the Baltimore Orioles.

Nothing will change Kenny. When AM leaves at some point, he will say either 1) The job was more difficult than he thought or, 2) (as he said after he left Chi-town) he simply failed.

Then we'll get a new head of baseball operations, who will have his own plan, and we'll try again.

So what I'm saying is.... it doesn't mater what you, I or anyone wishes. The future is 100% predictable. And it doesn't mean any of us who predict accurately, are geniuses. A grade school kid can see what's happening with this team.

tedB is harsh, even for my liking, but I agree that all we'll continue to see in the media are softball attempts at clarity. I also agree that there is a major conflict of interest between the local media and Oriole marketing. I guess it's the new age, considering the economic times. But that doesn't make it right.

For my thinking, I'll always get guys like Pete telling me to 'get a life', etc. But like someone else has said around here. I think Pete knows the score as well. I actually feel bad that his job must be a very difficult, having to cover this team. I don't mind when he criticizes me. Maybe it's good therapy for him to do so. Hope so.

So I'll just continue to feed the monster by buying my tickets, beer and grub, and will enjoy summer nights at the Yard as best I can.

Why?

Because it doesn't matter what you, I, nb, CIH, Gil, smitty, tedb, Meso, bob, paulie, jason, robert, sham, Pete, etc think. PA and AM will do things the way they want, oblivious to the fan base, oblivious to what's right.

All one has to do is simply listen to Andy speak. He's loud and clear....

and I'm just going to go along, because I know I don't matter.


The Plan Is In Place And On Pace.

Harvey @ 3:21 July 22 posted the best read here in a very long time. Questions that should be answered by those involved. The problem is, so far those involved are not listening or simply don't care. ^Thank you, good and caring Orioles fan

The best headline you will see in the Baltimore Sun will be announcing the Orioles are for sale till then I retain little hope that things will change for the organization or the on the field product.

Post a comment

Please enter the letter "i" 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