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February 23, 2011

Roberts: Sore neck raises eyebrows...(updated)

It's certainly reasonable to be on high alert after manager Buck Showalter revealed this morning that Brian Roberts woke up with some neck soreness and headed out of camp for an Xray about a half hour ago. However, this is one of those situations where there's no point in speculating about whether this is connected to the lower back problems that cut deeply into his availability last season.

It might be, but that will become apparent in its own time. What's more important is that the Orioles prepared pretty well for the possibility by bringing a bunch of reserve infielders into camp this spring.

Cesar Izturis took Roberts' place at second base in the first infield workout today. The O's also can work Robert Andino, Nick Green and Brendan Harris out there if necessary.

Instant update: Roberts returned and insisted that there's nothing seriously wrong with him. The X-rays showed no disk-related problem in Roberts' neck and Showalter says he's day-to-day. He could be back on the field as soon as tomorrow.

Intrasquad update: Showalter indicated today that Sunday's intrasquad game likely will be moved back to the main stadium field so that the players and staff can replicate a 1:05 exhibition start.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:13 AM | | Comments (127)
Categories: Just baseball


The aritcle says we are not supposed to speculate, so I didn't. And then, after two seconds, I did.

And this is what I came up with - WE'RE SCREWED!

Unfortunately, all of those guys are "reserve" infielders for a reason. None of them are major-league caliber starters.

Wow, I didn't realize the other field was in another time zone.

this is all mcfails fault. He's the worst manager in the history of MLB - nah, in the history of all sports - nah, in the history of the world - nah, in the history of the universe! yeah that's what he is, nice plan man!

Fang, you stole my thunder. X-rays for waking up with a sore neck? How about two tylenol and see how you feel after lunch. Somebody in the organization is speculating already, we don't have to.

I just hope he's not sulking because he got moved from left second base to right second base.

And there it is. After a rosey good feeling first week and a half the bad luck begins. As an Orioles fan my whole life my question is whats next? I would like to stay positive but the last 13 years have me conditioned to think that more issues/injuries are on the way.

We can replace Roberts at 2B easily enough, but -- if necessary -- it won't be so easy to replace him at the top of the lineup.

Hopefully this is just a muscle strain and he'll be back at full speed in a few days. Heck, I wake up with a strained neck sometimes. I shudder to think what aches and pains Schmuck must deal with when he climbs out of bed.

Not again, hate to say it, but Puss! I would play hurt for alot less than 10 mill!

1B - Bad thumb (really bad)
2B - Bad neck/back
SS - Bad (lots of stuff)
3B - Hole in his bat
DH - Can no longer run
CF - Can't finish a season on the field
SP - Bad elbow, hip
MINORS - Ranked #21, with no major league help anytime soon.
GM - Worse than previous regime....

I mean I could do this all day....


Seriously, who are you trying to kid? You DO do this all day...

"Not again, hate to say it, but Puss! I would play hurt for alot less than 10 mill!"
Unfortunately you have no talent!

lol wayne.

'hole in his bat'. Now that was funny. As for the rest of what you said. Damn, that's a pretty scary infield.

Sounds like a bit of overeaction to me. An X-Ray?? What I think the teamneeds is a good Chiropractor traveling with the team. Too many hamstrings, etc on this club. A good chiropractor (not a quack or doctor-wanna be) could keep a lot of these guys on the field. Now Pie..and his muscles pulling off the bone etc..THAT is another matter.

lol, Bobby.

Apparently, 12:15 PM Anonymous has never had a back/neck injury.

Not surprising, considering the language. I'm guessing he's no more than 13 or 14 years old.

I've got to agree with Fang and Gil here. An X-ray for a sore neck? Pete - Is that because of Brian's history of back issues or because he's in that much pain?

Apparently, 12:15 PM Anonymous has never had a back/neck injury.

Not surprising, considering the language. I'm guessing he's no more than 13 or 14 years old.

I've got to agree with Fang and Gil here. An X-ray for a sore neck? Pete - Is that because of Brian's history of back issues or because he's in that much pain?

For anyone who thinks the O's are screwed,

The O's are screwed with or without Brian Roberts. Brian is a valuable player, but let's face it. He hasn't been 100% for the past 3 seasons, and won't be 100% for the rest of his career. The time to find his replacement is overdue.

Someone do Meso a favor and find a top flight defensive second baseman and leadoff hitter who averages a .290/.367/.451 line while scoring 108 runs, hitting 54 doubles and swiping 35 bases.

That's all that Brian Roberts averaged in 2008 and 2009 and, apparently, that wasn't 100%.

While you're right that it's time to find his replacement, to say that Brian wasn't good enough in '08 and '09 is a load of garbage. Once again, Meso, there are plenty of things here to complain about here without making crap up.

Gonzalez- sore shoulder, really sore
Pedroia- broken foot
Scuttaro- trying to dump ASAP
Lowrie-broken wrist
Youklis- broken hand
Varitek/Saltalamacchia- stinks

Wow- scary.

You negative nelly's can go back in your cages again because he's back at camp and is fine.

Looks like the O's have their own version of Jared Gaither.

Roberts plus big contract equals CryBaby

Looks like the O's have their own version of Jared Gaither.

Roberts plus big contract equals CryBaby

Looks like the O's have their own version of Jared Gaither.

Roberts plus big contract equals CryBaby

O's now have their own version of Jared Gaither

Roberts plus big contract equals CryBaby

That wasn't funny the first time.

Xrays?!?! What the heck?!?
where the hell is the MRI order?!

Hey Jim66. Are you and smitty the same person? I know some of smits other names, but I didn't think you were one of them.

Anyway, while I love the city of Boston, I hate all Boston Sports, and their fans. Well maybe hate is too much, but I dislike them severely.

That said however, are you comparing Boston's troubles with the O's? You just lost a whole bunch of cred on the blog my man.

As for Brob everyone, I agree with both Meso and nb. While '08 and '09 were very solid seasons, we should be concerned moving forward.... And of course by moving forward, I mean someone in the minors.

We can't do that though... as we're in worse shape in the minors than in Beatti/Flanny's final year with the club.

And those of you with a bad back.. the kind of bad back Brob experienced...... you know the guy will never truly be the same. Just another truism for y'all.

Wayne, I was trying to make a joke, while at the same time pointing out that all teams have injured players coming back.
You know, where is the guarantee that Pedroia doesn't reinjure himself, or Gonzalez or Youklis are not hampered at some point by their injuries.Ellsbury sat out a bunch last year for what was thought to be a simple ribcage injury.

Why is it that people think that the orioles are the only team in the league where the players have injuries from which they will never recover? Even you have to find that a bit odd,,,

@not brooks,

There you go, once again. Thought you had something to blast me about. Chill for a second and see what I'm saying.

I said, he a valuable player. No where did I say he is underperforming. All I said is that he hasn't been 100%, and that means physically. If I'm the manager, I don't want to hold my breath every time B-Rob takes the field. Instead I would get me an insurance policy right now. Why wait? I didn't say cut him or bench him. But if his health won't hold, do something now.

And yes, the O's have been bad with or without B-Rob's numbers. That was my other point, that B-Rob doesn't make or break the O's. They're bad with him, and they are terrible without him. What's the difference?

wayne amd meso, I agree with you two to the extant that the Orioles should be getting a replacement ready. Like it or not, Roberts is 33, and at the end of his deal, he'll be 36. That's borrowed time for the type of player he is.

I do not agree with you, never have, that the system is in worse shape now that the previous regime. The Orioles have three legit prospects for 2B alone, and three more at SS. In three years, that's three more drafts, and who knows who many more prospects will be joining the organization.

Thanks jim66 for making that point. I have also been asking, and in fact posted this question on the other board, why is it that Orioles injuries are worse than others? The Red Sox, everyone's darlings, also have four key players coming back from injuries and everyone seems to think they'll be back with no issues. Yet no one will give the Orioles' guys the same consideration.

Why is that?

Meso -

Suggesting that Roberts wasn't 100% in 2008 or 2009 implies that if he had been 100%, he could have performed much better.

First off, tell me about Brian's health problems in '08 and '09. I don't remember anything off the top of my head, and I do know that he played in 155 and 159 games in those two seasons. But, please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Next, I'm right there with you that the O's should have acquired a suitable backup long ago. My solution would have been to sign Felipe Lopez as soon as Brian went down last spring, and then I would have spent the entire season looking for a healthy starting second baseman or a solid utility guy who could play second and short.

Finally, I generally don't take issue with your overall points, Meso. It's just the completely empty, and sometimes just plain incorrect, analysis that you make up.


You are very smart person, I have learned that over the years, so is Jim66. But I think you just asked a rhetorical question. Why are the Orioles injuries worse than the Red Sox, or many other teams? It is because the Orioles have been unable to overcome injuries and a lack of depth in the past, which has led to 13 losing seasons in a row. Other teams ahve been able to overcome them and win. The Orioles have no margin for error this year, either, if the team is to avoid 14 losing seasons in a row. Therefore if players start to go down, especially those with recent injury histories, the dominoes may start to fall.

This team has to stay almost completely healthy to have a chance, and when one of the key position players starts to have issues this early, it's hard to avoid thinking "here we go again." Now ken, I know you preach positive attitude, and that is admirable. But there is a difference sometimes between having a positive attitude with this team and whistling in the dark.

Excellent post, Gil.

That's probably the best overview of the 2011 team that we've seen so far.

No one doubts the talent of this collection of players. It's just the fact that we're counting on so many things to go right that scares me.

We're counting on Matusz, Arrieta and Bergesen, three sophomore pitchers, to carry the middle of the rotation.

We're counting on Lee and Vlad to stay healthy and productive enough.

We're counting on Reynolds to bounce back.

We're counting on Nick to be positively influenced by the new lineup, which can only be a positive influence if it stays healthy and doesn't continue to decline.

We're counting on Wieters and Jones to improve their approaches and hit better with less pressure on them in the lower third of the lineup.

We're counting on Hardy to stay healthy.

We're counting on so many other things...

And who are the backups if any of those guys go down?

Are we ready for another year of Izturis at short?

Do we have anyone who can play first if Lee goes down?

What about second base if Brian gets hurt again?

What about third if Reynolds can't hack it?

What about the rotation if/when Duchscherer goes down?

Really, the only place we have depth is in the outfield, and, in Pie and Reimold, even that depth is extremely fragile.

And what if Vlad gets hurt and Scott needs to DH and Pie becomes the starting left fielder? Then we have no one to back up Jones if he gets hurt again.

In a word, yikes.

There are just way too many question marks and too little depth to be anything more than cautiously optimistic about this team.

Why thank you, gil, that's very nice of you. I'm sure others will disagree, but that's OK.

But I do not think I'm whistling in the dark this time. Last year, oh yeah, I was just trying to keep myself from going crazy while trying to drive wayne crazier in the process.

This year, however, I really believe the Orioles are on to something. I do not believe they are without concerns and certainly Roberts is as big a concern as anyone. But just because he has to go for xrays due to a sore neck, I don't think that's cause for alarm. I agree that their margin for error might be less than other teams, but I'm hoping their solid lineup up be able to cover a hole or two if injuries do happen(and they will).

You and I probably wake up with sore necks more times than not, but we're not pro athletes making 10 big ones a year. What's more, I don't know about you, but unless I go to Patient First or some such place or decide to wait years in a hospital ER, I can't get same day xrays. Roberts has access to outstanding care, so why not take advantage of it?

And yea, the Orioles have made us all a little cynical, but the Orioles who wayne listed all played in more games last year than the Red Sox who come into the spring injured. I'm not talking about AGonz, but Youklis, Elsbury, and Pedroia. They all played less games than the newest Oriole who played in the fewest games, JJ Hardy. Even with their problems, Lee and Reynolds played in 145 games. Any rational person would have to think the Orioles' guys are in better shape.

Alas, the Orioles' history over the past decade has left very few rational people.

You are right, NB, lots of questions. If they are all answered correctly, we could have an excellent season. A failing grade, we're back in the tank.

A "C" grade on this test, we might smell break even. Frankly, we won't know until we get there.

All I can say is,

Keep the faith, my brothers and sisters.

Hey Jim66. Are you and smitty the same person?

I think smitty-of-the-multiple-handles has finally cracked wayne up.

To quote Kurt Cobain, "Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you."

Be afraid wayne. Be very afraid. We are all smitty. It's just you, me I mean smitty and Pete. And PAAM.

Jim is Andy's middle name. He thought it would be tacky to post as MacCommish-in-waiting. He added the 66 as his wink wink win average for his tenure.

As you already know, it's Peter Paulie Angelos. He thought Mesothelimillionaire would drive off the 50 fans left.

I'm praying for BROB to be healthy enough to come out everyday and help this team simply by doing what he does hard and with a heck of a lot of skill and tenacity.

BROB is arguably one of the best leadoff guys in baseball. Certainly BROB is one of the best I know. I got to see BROB play in minors before anyone knew of him and I knew he'd be great one day for the O's.

The only thing I ever regretted about BROB is that he never yet played for a winning O's team like the ones I knew growing up. I'm looking forward to seeing BROB percevering this year to be part of this new great team day in and day out. 100% or not, I will take BROB at 60% anyday because I know he will give 210% effort and still hit almost 300, over 50 doubles and quietly steal 30 - 50 bases.

I lift up my glass in support of BROB because he is everything I like to see in an Oriole ball player, especially a second baseman.

should I not wear my black Roberts Jersey now Friday in Sarasota?

or, should I so that Buck gives me a chance to walk-on to a utility role on the club?

First time long time. Live in NYC. Grew up at Memorial Stadium. Live and (mostly) die w/ the Birds. Lots of idiots on this site. If you haven't been paying attention, Showalter is all about being ready on Opening Day, not the third day of ST. In every case w/ a player returning from injury his approach is don't overdo it - you have nothing to prove. Showalter's a professional and he runs a professional dugout and he knows the dif between ST batting practice and the regular season. Why would ANYONE want BRob to be a tough guy hero in a ST workout???????? You really want him to play thru a neck strain and aggravate it into something more serious? Really? He needs to prove he's a tough buy to you bozos?

First time long time. Live in NYC. Grew up at Memorial Stadium. Live and (mostly) die w/ the Birds. Lots of idiots on this site. If you haven't been paying attention, Showalter is all about being ready on Opening Day, not the third day of ST. In every case w/ a player returning from injury his approach is don't overdo it - you have nothing to prove. Showalter's a professional and he runs a professional dugout and he knows the dif between ST batting practice and the regular season. Why would ANYONE want BRob to be a tough guy hero in a ST workout???????? You really want him to play thru a neck strain and aggravate it into something more serious? Really? He needs to prove he's a tough buy to you bozos?

sorry, didn't mean to run it thru twice...


The bigger picture concern here is who leads off if Roberts would be out for a while. Glad it's nothing more than spasms, but if he were to go out, who hits there? Jones? Hardy? Izturis? Pie?

I think for 2012, if we're going to take the next step up, Andy needs to figure a way to move BRob and find our new 2B and leadoff hitter. Maybe not the same person, but we need to address this quickly.

ppablo, are you insane?

"I think for 2012, if we're going to take the next step up, Andy needs to figure a way to move BRob and find our new 2B and leadoff hitter. Maybe not the same person, but we need to address this quickly."

We need to address this quickly? He has a sore neck and they are smart enough to take precautions so they order an x-ray and this makes you think that "we" need to dump one of our best players and do it "quickly"? Do any of you think before you hit "post" on your laptops?

Brian Roberts was injured in 2010. he tried to come back too soon and kept re-aggravating the injury. That, frankly, was Trembley's fault because Trembley had no control over his dugout. BRob comes back and plays as well or better than he has played his entire career - which is arguably one of the better lead off 2nd basemen in MLB. Then, because he is such a passionate ballplayer and requires so much effort from himself, he bangs himself (stupidly) on the noodle after striking out. Suffers a concussion. End of his season.

Now, he wakes up with a sore neck and is ordered to get a precautionary x-ray - because that's how Showalter runs his ship in ST - and suddenly, we have to replace BRob for 2012, and DO IT QUICKLY!!!??


Hey All,

Some out of the box thinking here.
Anyway, does anyone know if the impending divorce is final between Michael Young and the Rangers. Or is there hope of reconciliation? Because, if those two can reconcile (Young & Rangers) and if Roberts is really injured. Maybe the Orioles could trade for Kinsler and Young could play 2nd base (Rangers). That's who I would rather have, plus the fact he was a lead off hitter at one time. If we traded for Young, he is not a lead off hitter. Anyway, just wanted to see what the O's fans here thought.

Pete, Would David Eckstein or Christian Guzman be willing to take a minor league deal and come to camp as insurance for the Orioles? I see Randy Winn in a similar role. He is competing in a crowded outfield but auditioning for other clubs at the same time. Would one or the other be an upgrade as a back-up to Roberts rather than Itzturis? Was just checking the unsigned bunch and throwing it out there.


Put your red bull down and chill; NYC is not having a good effect on your social skills. Maybe if YOU don't get hung up on this minor neck issue YOU could see the big picture yourself. Since you can't, let me help you.

BRob is 33, will be 34 in October. He has maybe 3 good years left as a decent hitting leadoff batter with speed. You don't move forward with a young club of pitchers, C, SS, by holding onto a 36-year old leadoff hitter. His best value is mid-year, this year, while you still can deal him with the contract he has, and while he still could help another club. If you wait, you have an aging 2B who probably sees the DL more than he did earlier in his career. And securing a top 2B to go with Machado when he is ready would form a key middle infield for years.

I say all of this assuming the O's are out of contention by mid-year. BRob is a fan favorite, sure, but again see the big picture. He does not fit into our plans 3 years from now, which is when we will need a decent leadoff hitter.

Line up w/o Roberts:

Markakis RF
Jones CF
Lee 1B
Vlad DH
Scott LF
Reynolds 3B
Wieters C
Hardy SS
Izturis 2B

While it's not the optimal line-up possible, this is still much better than a lot of what we saw last year.

That's it. I'm rooting for the Orix Blue Wave.

Petey -

While we can't assume it's a major injury until Brian misses the next few days, we also can't assume it's a minor injury until he's on the field for the next few days.

Chris -

Any way you slice it, I absolutely hate Adam Jones in the two spot. But without Roberts, there really isn't anyone else who belongs there.

Actually not only is this the best lineup and rotation and bullpen we've had in 13 years but it is also the deepest we've been in 13 years.
Reimold adds depth
Fox adds depth
Winn adds depth
Hardy adds depth
Tillman adds depth
Britton adds depth
Vander......adds depth
Brian Roberts would be a huge loss but the above players with the exception of Britton were in the majors last year and will have a tough time making this club.
In past years all those guys would have been locks to make the club.

You see Uncle Andy has improved the 40 man in many many ways.

This talk of trading Roberts is ridiculous.
I actually thought Macxphail should have moved him back when he dealt Bedard etc.Yes, one of the few times I thought he didn't do what I thought should be done.
You know, the other clubs are just as aware of Roberts age and his back issues. No one is going to give real value for him. He has more value here because this team has no one to step in to the leadoff role. He is also one of the best in the game when healthy. The team will ride this thing out with him. We saw last year how important he was to the team. I think we could withstand his absence better this year, but it wouldn't be easy.
He also is a fan favorite and that is worth alot in this day to have players who stay for their whole careers. I would love to see him in this pennant race this year after all the bad clubs he's been on.

@nb re: Jones

I agree with you. I don't really want Jones in the 2 spot. If Nick was a threat to steal it would be a different story though as Jones would see more fastballs.

If not Jones, Hardy is a possibility.

If Roberts is hurt, Andino should get the shot to start at 2B.

Not a fan of Markakis at leadoff, but I'll admit he would probably be the best option. Which says a lot about all of this depth we have been building.

Sadly, this team is not going to be very good if Roberts misses much time. He's their most important player, given how good he is and how good (or not good) the "next man up" for him is.

It is just a stiff neck, all will be fine. I took a viagra and it got stuck in my throat,I had a stiff neck for days. Roberts is only 33 and he stays in great shape, lets not forfeit the season in February.

It is just a stiff neck, all will be fine. I took a viagra and it got stuck in my throat,I had a stiff neck for days. Roberts is only 33 and he stays in great shape, lets not forfeit the season in February.

smitty -

Unfortunately, all of the guys you mentioned haven't been reliable or haven't proven themselves, so none of them are sure things.

Reimold is still coming off the worst year of his life. Until he proves that he's healthy and ready to handle a big league roster spot, he's a question mark.

Fox is a nice piece, in that he can handle first base and catcher, but his bat puts a big hole in the lineup. The guy has absolutely zero plate discipline and he's not a good enough defender to make up for poor offense with his glove.

Winn is done. He's 37, he's got a .669 OPS over the past two seasons and he's never been much of a defender. I highly doubt he'll make the Opening Day roster.

Hardy isn't supposed to add depth. He's supposed to start. And he's the most injury prone player on the team. How does he add depth?

Tillman adds depth? Um... That hasn't worked out too well over the past two seasons.

Britton hasn't thrown a pitch in the majors. I wouldn't count on him to step into the rotation in April if the Duke gets hurt that early.

Vande[enhurk] actually does add depth. And I wouldn't mind seeing him as the first rotation reinforcement.

Andino might actually add some depth as well. I'm as big of an Andino hater as you'll find, but even I have to admit that he hit pretty well in the minors last year and handled his promotion to the bigs as well. That said, I wouldn't be at all happy with Andino as our starting anything.

PS - I've been working on the computer for a few hours and I've got a stiff neck. I'm going to get an X-ray now. I'll keep you all updated on how quickly I'll be getting back to computer-related activities.

Well, you pretty much proved my point. I didn't mean to have Hardy on there. The other fella from Minnesota is who I meant. I'm just saying that those guys are not supposed to make the club but have some experience and in past years we didn't have anyone like those guys to step in.
I agree with you on Andino. I think he will pass through waivers again and start at AAA.
But Tillman is someone who would have made the club easily in most of the past 13 seasons. I'm just pointing ot we have more depth. I think that's pretty accurate.

ken ken ken ken,

Like usual, you were thinking about what you wanted to say before actually reading the post.

Gil hit the ball out of the park. It's common sense, which is why warehousers can't find their way to look beyond their rose colored glasses.

At BEST, we can hope for somewhere in the middle, which you even agree means the team MAY reach 500. Then what ken?

With the obvious trade of Vlad and Lee at the deadline (if AM doesn't trade them, then they're not doing well - in which case, they were a bust), then we're back to having a weak middle of the order (again).... with no one in the minors any where near ready to make the jump.

The rest of the infield could EASILY end up being a 200 hitting strike out king at 3B, a SS who can't stay on the field for the 3rd year in a row, a 33 yr old 2B with a back issue, and a 1B scenario that reverts back to 2010.

That's real ken.... a very real scenario in fact. Only EXTREME optimism sees it any other way.

The problem is, as in last season when you made your bet with me (which you easily lost), you don't see such as extreme optimism. Instead, you see things as likely.

Maybe you and others will finally hit on it this season. Maybe everything will go right.... The law of averages after all, are certainly in your favor.

What you don't see with posters like Meso, Gil and I though is.... we wish you were right. ONE YEAR, we wish you were right.

That's what you and friends are missing.

Problem is though.... if you were correct, it would be one of the biggest story's in Oriole history.

And we know that's not likely.... don't we now


I agree that commons sense suggests the one year rentals won't be here next season, especially those at the end of their career. No GM in their right mind would want them past this year anyway. I'm talking about Guerrero and Lee. So where does that leave you? Back to the drawing board.

Does MacPhail really think this roster will compete with the Yankees and Redsox? Of course not. That would be crazy! He is not dumb. He knows it. But he also couldn't care less. He is done after this year. The joke is on Angelos. Or wait ... the joke is on the fans. Angelos is doing what he does best: raise hopes temporarily and buy time. Afterall, we are the suckers that follow a team on a 13 year skid.

not brooks;

You do a good job of listing the "ifs" concerning the O's and not one of them unfair. That said though, that's a game we can play with virtually any team at this time of year. How about Boston?

Can Ellsbury avoid the DL.

Ditto Pedroia.

Ditto Youkilis and Cameron.

Is there any residual effect from Gonzalez surgery to his shoulder.

How much gas is left in the tank for Ortiz who is in his mid 30s.

Ditto for Drew.

Can Saltalamaccia or Ramirez do it as cather and if not how much is left in Varitek's tank.

Can Beckett bounce back from an awful year.

Can Matsuzaka correct the tendency to get strafed 2nd time though the order.

Can Lackey produce more than a so-so year and justify what they're paying him.

Can Papelbon come back to his high standards.

If you really want to look at a team with question marks, what about TBay? They lost virtually their entire very good bullpen and don't look like they have come close to addressing the situation.

How much do Damon and Ramirez have left.

Can Upton have a good season which he really hasn't had in 2 years.

What about Jaso, Joyce, Rodriguez and Brignac. None of them have a lot of ABs that you can hang your hat on.

Can Zobrist bounce back from a poor season.

Are Johnson and Kotchman going to cover 1st adequately.

Is Hellickson going to be an adequate replacement for Garza.

Is Shields going to bounce back from an awful 2010.

Time will tell, but the 2 teams in the AL east that have the most question marks don't include the O's. I think it's Tampa and Toronto. So while we still have our share, it is perhaps a sign of progress that we don't have more than everybody else which is usually the case.

@dan qz,

If were a betting man, I would bet yes on all of your questions, and I would be 90% right. You know why? Because the Redsox organization knows how to win. They have proved it year after year. They're winners up and down. They have guys who step up.

The O's can't overcome adversities like injuries. We hear B-Rob has a stiff neck, and everyone stops breathing (and rightfully so).

Well said smitty.

Of all those you mentioned, I think it's Riemold that's the most intriguing. He comes up outta AAA in '09 to "fill in" for Pie being hurt. He then goes on to produce a ROY campaign outta no-where, demonstrating plate discipline, power, and speed, which is then cut short by injury.

Then in '10, with the team riddled with injuries and under performance, he's singled out and sent to AAA of during Andy's "no suicide pact" moment. Oh yeah, he's getting divorced too at 25 and watching his career go from brightest to darkest in a blink of an eye.

Now healthy, he could once again be what some professionals called "middle of the order" type of bat.

He might not.

Adjustments. It's about...

Not surprised. As is frequently the case with those who have used steroids in the past, your body begins to fail you in terms of chronic muscle aches, torn tendons, weakened bones, etc... Saw the same thing happen to more than a few former Phils back in the day.


Call me crazy, but I have faith in Reimold turning it around. I just hope he is still an Oriole when he does.

I'd like to think of him as another Jayson Werth, a late bloomer in a sense. If I'm not mistaken Werth wasn't all that until he turned 29 years old.

Not surprised. As is frequently the case with those who have used steroids in the past, your body begins to fail you in terms of chronic muscle aches, torn tendons, weakened bones, etc... Saw the same thing happen to more than a few former Phils back in the day.

Can't help but to picture Jerry Hairston Jr., reading all this angst about BROB's every little move-- while he slowly polishes his WS ring. I think I can hear him chuckle. Karma, man, karma.

can't wait for the season to start so we can see who has the better crystal ball.

wayne, can you wait to complain about 2012 until after 2011? i have to ask you, what do you get out of all of this?

Seriously, see if you can't find a few minutes to answer that question. and remember, answering a question with a question doesn't count.

@ dan qz,

You just killed me. That's exactly what I was going to point out to nb, that many teams have injury issues and question marks. I say, good show, ol' man. Pip-pip 'n all that.

@ Mes,

Whoa. Hold on. Wait. Really? We actually both kinda like something the same on the O's?

I'm just ribbin' yeah, not been sarcastic.

Funny, I was gonna mention the same thing about Jason. Good looking. Not a bad comparison, right?...


I can't find much fault with your reasoning. If I was making any bets I'd put my money on Boston too. I only mentioned them to make the point that even the likely best team in the AL this year has more than a few questions.

My main point is that I don't think the O's this year are the worst team in the AL east as far as "Ifs" are concerned which we have not been able to say for most if not all of the last 13 years. We'll see how much it adds up to but it's definately an improvement.

Take a look at Tampa. As if losing Garza, Crawford, Bartlett and Pena wasn't enough, they took an *ss kicking in their bullpen which I think is going to cost them a lot of games.

Look up the numbers from last year for Soriano, Benoit and Balfour. Their respective ERAs were 1.73, 1.34 and 2.28. Throw in Wheeler and Choate. I haven't seen the stats but if Tampa didn't have the best bullpen in baseball last year I'd be surprised. They don't any more.

Have a look at the link in BA Ray's post at February 23, 2011 9:31 PM. It doesn't surprise me at all to see TBay dead last in terms of Wins Above Replacement or that Toronto is ranked 25th. If we can be fortunate enough to just get our share of injuries and positive answers to questions, I have no trouble at all seeing the O's in 3rd place this year.

The rest of the infield could EASILY end up being a 200 hitting strike out king at 3B, a SS who can't stay on the field for the 3rd year in a row, a 33 yr old 2B with a back issue, and a 1B scenario that reverts back to 2010.

That's real ken.... a very real scenario in fact. Only EXTREME optimism sees it any other way. - wayne

Only EXTREME optimism sees it any other way than EVERYTHING going wrong? What you have is called clinical depression, wayne. did you forget to take your Zoloft?

Thanks Paulie. I honestly think that if we get our share of questions working out positively that the 13 year losing streak may be coming to an end.


See Gils post please..... You seriously don't understand? Really?


2012 is relevant because we have 'key' one year rentals with no one in the minors any where near ready to step in.

In other words, yes - the team may be 500 this year (barely - if everything goes right). Then what?



Thanks brother, for re-posting my post. Good form.....

QUESTION for those who love Reimy:

Who signed him?

I am so absolutely sick of this "who signed who" BS. You're the biggest offender here, wayne. Your arguments against Andy MacPhail have turned into a crazy personal vendetta - so crazy that you're hellbent on proving that Andy's worse than Flanagan and Beattie. Who cares about that? Both regimes are terrible!

Consider the fact that there are only two or three people left who still defend Andy. Do you really think you're going to turn them? As you would say, "Really, wayne? Really? Seriously? Really? Do you? Really?"


The Orioles we have now are Orioles now. And that is all that matters now.

And to those of you who say "every team has question marks and injuries", I would say that the Red Sox and Yankees have a history of being able to deal with question marks and injuries. The Orioles do not. And until they do, I'm nervous.

There are more than a few times over the last 13 years where starting the year we had one, two or three questionable performers in our batting order. When the inevitable injury or two happened we'd be short even more with only 5 or 6 decent hitters and way to many holes.

This difference this year is we shape up to have 9 decent to good hitters in our order off the start. If we get an injury, we'll still have 8 decent bats and a still largely functional batting order.

I think we're starting to show some depth right in our starting 9.

Most people don't need to get x-rays and MRI's for a sore neck. They put ice on it, or a heating pad, and within a day or two they're fine. Something tells me this is more than the average 'sore neck.' Regardless of all the off season acquisitions, BRob is still the catalyst and the key peg in the lineup.

not brooks-

I think their ability to overcome adversity relates directly to their willingness to get top flight players regardless of the cost. Players who don't have anything to prove or bounce back from.

Most of their players don't come in with question marks. It's a helluva lot easier to fix even three problems when your season isn't built on bounce-back-season hopes for 75% of your line-up.

Even thought the O's can't spend like them, why not sign LaRoche, Mr. Consistency for three years, instead of Lee coming off an injury? You don't neccesarily have to spend 150 million to have some consistent reliability.

I love Vlad, but he's good for this year, and that's not a lock. The case can be made that his numbers fell because of line-up protection, but it's just as easily said that he's done.

Duke...great if he can stay healthy and pitch to his previous form. Does the last three years make that a reliable probability?

Reynolds...great if he can raise his average 50 points and shave 50 strikeouts. I'd be really happy with .250/35/100 with 175 Ks along with the high OPB and above average defense.

Accardo...okay, I'm tired of it already.

So yeah, I agree about the nervousness. Smitty likes to say about building a foundation and going from there. That's a fine theory to go by, one I can sign off on.
But if you're building the bricks up without mortar, that's a recipe for disaster.

so, i guess from your answer that complaining about 2011 isn't quite enough for you.

By the way, you didn't answer my question. So I'll ask another one.

What would you consider a successful season for the Orioles?

along with the high OPB

or OBP if you prefer ha

Wayne, if that question is 1)too difficult to understand, or 2)doesn't fit one of your rants, you can tell me that. I'll try to rephrase it or dumb it down for you.

Machado is on his way and who is the other guy who plays 2B. He was drafted the year before in the 2nd round?

You guys are amazing.

This is paranoia run a Schmuck!!

BRob said it best, there is two feet between the back injury and the stiff neck.

If Buck and Andy didn't prepare for this then shame on them because that's what they get paid the big bucks for.

This is funny. The guy gets checked out and apparently is OK and the next 24 hours on this blog are spent alternating between celebrating the team or burying it. Until there's news, there's no news, so chill.

You know how HVAC guys are always busy in the early summer fixing air conditioners that weren't ready to fire back up after the long, cold winter? Maybe that's what's going on here? In other words, a few aches and pains are to be expected at the start of spring training?

By the way, about the X-rays, if you spent a ton of money dollars on a 30-something player with injuries last year, you might be extra-cautious as well. Sounds to me like, for today, all's good in the hood.

Successful Season:

a) At least one game better than .500
b) Emergence of Matusz, Britton and Wieters
c) Re-emergence of Markakis and Jones
d) Find our closer for the next few years on the roster
e) Solid, not necessarily spectacular, contributions from Guthrie, Lee, Hardy, Reynolds and Guerrero
f) Keep Machado on track


If Matusz, Britton and Weiters emerge, and Markakis and Jones re-emerge, this team better be a few games over .500, otherwise you've got some monumental failures in every other position.


"This is paranoia run a Schmuck!!"

Good line. I like it.


You're probably right.

The theme is a winning season, realization of the promise of our young players and effectiveness and health from our veterans (in other words, no friction against the forward momentum of the core younger players).

I would take it.

Imagine the different tone on this blog if we just get over .500 this year.

Vlad you "nailed it."

Laroche was the player they could have signed two years in a row. He is not coming off surgery, is not 36 years old, and his best years are probably not behind him. They could have signed him for several years and put the first base issue aside for awhile. What are the odds that Lee, Hardy, or Vlad will still be here in August, let alone next year. I sat it's 50/50 for August and ZERO for next year. Angelos is going to be left holding the bag, or Duke's arm if it falls off. Beltre is another player they could have and should have wrapped up, however that would have cost real money, and as Andy said, he was on a budget. As you mentioned in another blog, Andy is attempting to build a team shopping at Dollar General. He swindled the fans by planning to lose in 2008, 2009, 2010, and now goes out in his last year and signs a handful of one year contracts to players that have more questions than Meet The Press.

As far as the Orioles are concerned, the future is now.

More of the same... Andy should have this and Andy should have that... More conspiracies, i.e., "planning to lose".... You get it but not the rest of us....

The team is substantially better, you would think it impossible not to see it, but man I guess if you see the world through "crap" colored glasses, that's all you see.

A blend of youth and experience, flexibility in the roster for the future, all good things. Whatever, the negative nancys are just hopeless cases.


How is the stiiff neck that you developed typing on the computer? I hope the x rays were negative and that it muscle related. It sounds like you may be "day to day" until you are able to resume computer related activities. Your best years were probably prior to 2010 and I noticed you started to lose a lot of time on the computer last year. You could be one keystroke away from the DL, so play it safe and get a second opinion. It's not the next few weeks that matters, we need you when the bell rings.

the orioles have no more questions than many other teams

Do you believe that the Cardinals farm system is so poor that they have to go out and sign Kevin Millwood, who wasn't even signed by the Os, to take Wainwright's place?

(Relayed from not brooks and typed by a translator)

Gil -

The X-rays are negative and my tech support guy says I should be 100% by the end of the week. However, if it doesn't heal quickly, I might need a cortisone shot.

I'm not worried though. Other than the neck, I'm in the best shape of my life and I can't wait to get back behind the keyboard so I can put '09 and '10 behind me.

Blow a gasket there nb? I could see you hitting the keys so hard that your fingers either went numb or your keyboard crashed.

I absolutely believe it's important how the current team was constructed. It serves to educate people on how truly horrible a GM AM truly is.

Again, I'm sure he's a nice man. He's charming, speaks well, and his family name is well respected. As pertaining to the current day Baltimore Orioles however, his time here has been no better than the previous regime - who were destroyed in this town.

The longer people continue hide their heads in the sand about what is going on with this team, the longer the losing will continue.

At least before, people recognized how the front office wasn't getting the job done. With AM however, he gets one pass after another..... one big long pass actually.

People want to get all excited about the prospects of the first 500 record in 13 years. But what does it matter if two key players in the middle of the lineup won't be here next year, or ever after the trade deadline? That's progress?

People are hoping our new 3B will all of the sudden put the historic K's behind him, and they really believe bating 198 is ok as long as he hits 40 bombs.

People are hoping our new SS and SP will suddenly be healthy after missing practically all of the past two seasons.

All while the minor league system is void of sending any help anytime soon.

NB.... the face of the team is the manager.

The freaking manager........



Yes, you're question is too much for me to handle. It's as ridiculous as Pete asking for a prediction of their final record.

Knowing that the middle of the lineup will be gone, likely by August, with no one in the minors who will make an impact anytime soon, the question becomes somewhat hollow.

What will constitute 'success' for you Jimbo?

First of All to the LaRoche Fans

LaRoche Sucks! Forget about him. Even if you disagree with me (LaRoche Sucks), he didn't want to sign here. End of Story. Now, what the Orioles have to do here.

Andy MacPhail and Brian Roberts need to have a meeting. Reasons for this:

A.) They need to figure out if B Rob can physically get thru the season. We can't have one week of health and the next he has to rest. We just can't

B.) This meeting has to happen soon. I would really like to see Andy Mac be decisive here. We can't play around with this during spring training. It's going to be come a distraction and quite frankly its going to drive me nuts. And I am sure other fans nuts =P

C.) I know B Rob is a fan favorite and Mr Angelos likes him as well. The position B Rob is too important to play around here. He's our leadoff hitter and a + defender at second base. To be honest I don't care what anyone says we have no other lead off hitter in the wings here if B Rob goes down, we really don't.
Plus, I don't like the idea of Markakis, not even a little bit as a lead off hitter. He should be our #3.

D.) My answer to the situation trade for Ian Kinsler or at least inquire about him.
He's cheaper then Michael Young. I know he's been injury prone, so it's a bit of a gamble. However, I have always liked Kinsler and he was a lead off hitter at one time so it makes sense to me to at least try this. If the Rangers don't want to trade Kinsler, then give Andino a shot at 2nd base. The only question to me about Andino is why didn't the Orioles do this last year? Lugo sucked and Scott Moore was even worse, so as to why they didn't let Andino play there until September is beyond me.

That's my take any opinions?

I'm gonna gonna go out on limb here and say that if the Orioles draft well this year, their farm system could take a turn from where it is now in the upper levels.

The problem with the prior 2 draft years is the Orioles were drafting an overabundance of high school players. Jim McCallis of Baseball America commented that the current level of talent is "imbalanced" because there are more players in the lower levels with a higher ceiling than in the upper levels of the farm system. Couldn't that result from drafting too many high schoolers, who usually start in the lower levels and take longer to develop?

This years draft is saturated in college pitchers for the 1st 10 draft picks. The Orioles, I think, are projected to pick George Springer of UConn, who is a power hitting outfielder. After him, though, I'm not sure. All I'm saying is if the Orioles draft wisely and select more college players who are more polished, you could easily see a turn in the farm system going into next year.

Just a thought.

wayne -

The biggest thing here is that hardly anyone here is still "hiding their head in the sand". And those that still are have been doing so through three of the worst years in the history of this franchise. Why would repetitive rants from a few people on the internet make them change their minds?

You're not even an Oriole fan any more, wayne. You're just the guy who tries to convince people that Andy is terrible, and that's all you care about. And like I said, 99% of everyone here knows that Andy is terrible. And those that don't aren't going to be swayed by anything.

But whatever. I know nothing is going to sway you either, so why do I bother?

I'm just hoping for some cosmic justice some day. Maybe in 2013, in the second year of the tenure of Andy's replacement (David Forst, maybe? Fingers crossed...), the O's will win the AL East riding on the shoulders of Brian Matusz, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Mychal Givens and Dan Klein.

If that day comes, I would absolutely love to see a post from smitty (or whoever else) that ends with...

"Question for those who were wondering...

Who acquired Machado?"

And if that day comes, I hope you're here, wayne, so you can have a laugh about it.

Note the Wall Street Journal's take today that the Orioles had far and away the best offseason in baseball.

The Journal writers use a methodology, which they describe, in assembling their rankings but I am sure it pales in comparison to the cogent and thoughtful analysis of the prolific naysayers on this esteemed blog.

Who cares, right? They don't know about the conspiracies of the evil owner and hapless (yet deceptive and scheming) GM.

Or, could it be that the Plan is starting to come together? Nah, couldn't be.

So Wayne, your solution would have been,,,,

1. Fire Andy in offseason.
2. Make Buck the GM as well as manager.
3. Buck trades for AGon, long term deal.
4. Sign Beltre to play 3rd for next 7 years.
5. Sign Cliff Lee as #1.
6. Sign a younger, better SS to multi-year contract. Must have average of at least .275. (note - someone tell me who this FA is)
7. Avoid any FA over age of, say, 32.
8. Sign all FAs to multi-year deals.
9. And finally, fans MUST pull heads out of sand in offseason because that's the first step for the O's to stop losing!

Got it ;)

Wayne, your reply was pretty much what I expected out of you. Lots of people guessed at the win total. It wasn't that ridiculous a question, was it?

The point was not to discuss the merit of my question- it was simply to answer it. Instead I get a song-and-a-dance routine. You have an excuse for everything. And you did exactly what I knew you would do- throw it back on me in the form of a question.

Who am I to say the blog is humourless?

dave -

Here are the O's top ten, as ranked by...

Baseball America:
1. Manny Machado, ss *
2. Zach Britton, lhp
3. Xavier Avery, of *
4. L.J. Hoes, 2b *
5. Dan Klein, rhp
6. Wynn Pelzer, rhp
7. Mychal Givens, ss *
8. Ryan Adams, 2b/3b
9. Ryan Berry, rhp
10. Jonathan Schoop, ss *

John Sickels (Minor League Ball):
1) Manny Machado, SS *
2) Zach Britton, LHP
3) Dan Klein, RHP
4) Mycal Givens, SS *
5) Xavier Avery, OF *
6) L.J. Hoes, 2B *
7) Jonathan Schoop, SS *
8) Ryan Adams, INF
9) Ryan Berry, RHP
10) Wynn Pelzer, RHP

So that's five of your top ten from each publication that was drafted out of high school and is 21 or younger.

Sickels goes on to rank...

11) Joe Mahoney, 1B
12) Tyler Townsend, 1B
13) Matt Hobgood, RHP *
14) Brandon Cooney, RHP
15) Bobby Bundy, RHP *
16) Connor Narron, SS *
17) Brandon Waring, 3B
18) Eddie Gamboa, RHP
19) Jarrett Martin, LHP * (drafted from JuCo, I believe)
20) Trent Mummey, OF

So, while this doesn't forgive the lack of talent at higher levels, this is a young system, and guys like Givens, Schoop, Hoes, Avery and Machado could give the system a big boost this season.

As with all prospects, we'll see...

Not all PeteyPab, but #1 is solid, and too bad we missed out on #3.


Of course I'm an O's fan. Wouldn't be here if I weren't. You see, that's the problem.... can't be an O's fan if you rant on about the obvious problems in the front office. Oh well......

FS (and we know who you are, but that's ok),

Thanks for quoting that great sports periodical, the Wall Street Journal. You may in fact be the first person ever, to use them as a sports source for anything.

Good find.....

Roberts has been getting hurt so much lately that you have to wonder if the guy is on steroids.


Thanks, it is a good find. I did not expect you to appreciate the value of good writing backed by the thoughtful quantitative analysis for which the Journal's writers are well known...on any of their pages.

You strike me as more of a hyper-hysterical NY Post or Daily News man, but maybe even that is giving you too much credit. With all your conspiracy theories and free time, you might actually be more of a Soap Opera Digest guy.


Laroche is a sold if not spectacular major league baseball player who's numbers are remarkably consistent. He is younger and could have settled the first base issue for several years. As far as not wanting to come here, it doesnt sound like Vlad or Lee exactly did handstands when they signed. They fell to the Orioles because no other teams were seriously intererested. Pete said Vlad looked disinterested at the news conference and Lee hardly gushed when he signed. He left the motor running in his airport rental car outside the warehouse.

I think you have a very good point about Roberts. The Orioles need to know if they can count on him this year. He needs to sit down and have a frank conversation with management. I'm afraid his entire 2011 season will be frought with non related back issues that are back related.

I have always liked Kinsler. he would have to change his style a little to go back to being a leadoff hitter. I am intrigued by Andino and he could be a late bloomer. Those are good options that you have suggested.

wayne -

You can be an O's fan if you rant about the front office. I never said anything to the contrary.

The difference between someone who rants about the front office and you is that you do more than rant about the front office.

You've gone way past complaining about the moves Andy makes and how they affect the team. Your new thing is to try to prove that Andy is worse than Flanagan and Beattie were. And, a few days ago, you essentially agreed that doing so is entirely pointless, yet you keep up with it. Why?

You barely talk about the on field product any more, wayne. You've drilled it into your own head enough that the O's are terrible that you're basically rooting for them to be terrible in 2011. How many times have you said that it's a foregone conclusion that Lee and Vlad will be traded by August? You ignore the fact that those two really could be the two missing pieces to a really good offense. And if the O's have a really good offense, they might at least be an interesting team around the trade deadline.

That's what bothers me, wayne. You've bought too much into your own rhetoric. You've convinced yourself so much that Andy is so terrible that you have absolutely no hope for the O's to be anything other than terrible. And while it's not likely that they'll be particularly good in 2011, they at least have a better chance this year than any other year in the past 13. And you really can't see that, wayne. And, honestly, I feel sorry for you.

Now, I know you'll come back with some patronizing post filled with a bunch of "Reallys" and the rest of the typical wayne gobbledygook (hey, that's actually a word!), but go ahead. When it comes down to it, you're really just like the people you say have their heads in the sand. You see guys like smitty and paulie as blind warehousers who couldn't see the bad if it bit them in the ass, but what are you aside from a blind "hater" (for lack of a better word) who couldn't see the good if it bit you in the ass? And in the rare case that you get bit hard enough, it's "That guy was here before Andy got here"!

We trade for AGon and you'd be complaining about the players we gave up. Name one move over the past 3 years you agree with.....just one.

No way PA fires AM with a year left on his contract. Don't be so blinded by your dislike for the man that you become naive to the ways of business. He stays through year end, and if O's are above .500, PA re-signs him to a 2-year deal. Maybe Andy rebukes him and seeks a job within MLB. Under .500, I think you get your wish.

For once though, come up with viable solutions to your complaints. Solutions that are now or in future, not in the past. And real ones too, not simply writing check after check trying to buy a pennant. Anyone can come up with those solutions.

not brooks;

I have to confess that I'm more than a little surprised by your statement that, "99% of everyone here knows that Andy is terrible."

While you may well be right in your assessment of AM, to say that is an opinion shared by 99% of posters is the kind of breathless hyperbole that I'd expect from a few others on here, but not from you.

I would venture a guess that of all the various blogs here at the Sun, support and enthusiasm for what AM has done this offseason runs solidly in his favour.

That doesn't mean those people are right, just that it is off the wall to ignore their existence.

NB -

(Insert generic wayne comment)

Do you REALLY think this team has a CHANCE going into 2011.....,..

Here's a look at waht AM has DONE:

1B - Trying to put 2010 behind.....
2B - Trying to put 2010 behind.....
3B - 200+ K's and the MOST in HISTORY the 3 seasons. H-I-S-T-O-R-Y!!!
SS - Trying to put '09 and '10 behind.....
CF - Can't stay healthy past August......
RF - Has regressed
DH - One year rental
SP - Hasn't really pitched since '08
RP - Trying to put '08, '09 and '10 behind.

You see, NB, I am an O's fan, I just see it for what it really is.

Do you REALLY think AM has put together a product WORTH watching??

I know you see it, NB. I know you do.....

You can't make this stuff up.

W, are you going to answer my question or not?

There you go, wayne.

I just saved you 10 minutes of redundancy.

dan -

That 99% bit was way over the top. Sometimes wayne gets to me - I'm sure he'll be happy to read that.

dave -

That. Was. Perfect. Hah!

not brooks;

Thanks you've restored by considerable faith and respect.


I think you and I and many others suffer from expectations of exellence. Now, if anyone came to me and used O's and striving for exellence in the same sentence, I would call 911 and have that person arrested.

MLB is a flawed system. There are a ton of mediocre and downright horrible teams, and there are a handful of good teams.

The good teams have created a sustainable success methodology which relies on steady stream of cash being pumped into every aspect of their business. Teams that win consistently, spend big money consistently.

You have one hit wonders like the Diamondbacks and the Rays, but continuous success in MLB is directly correlated to how much money you're willing to part with.

This year Angelos has made some moves and spent some money, but considering how much money he has saved throughout the years, he hasn't done enough this year. Just a season or two ago, MacPhail cut the payroll by 30 million. So the smokescreens of spending money this year create an illusion of Angelos dedicated to spending and winning.

Based on my well founded theory that money buys you continuous success in MLB, I predict that the O's will never reach Yankees or Redsox status under Angelos' watch. They might have one year, if all the stars align, but it is very unlikely.

So I'd like to ask you all: What are you really hoping for, one good season or a dynasty?

I want to see a dynasty. I'm not satisfied with one good season. I know, that sounds dumb considering the reality of the past 13 years. And I also know that I will never see one as long as Angelos is alive.

not brooks,

you think so?

The over-punctuations I thought was good.

I just didn't give......myself enough pauses.......within my sentence strucuture.

I guess I need more season like Chris sham/smit would say.....


In many previous years I have posted MLB payrolls and how it related team's records. Except for a few one hit wonders and aberrations like the Mets who spent a lot and were awful, the better teams spent considerably more money. The bottom feeders, like the Royals, the Pirates and the Orioles spent the least amount of money. It is a flawed system, but the system nevertheless. I have no faith in Peter Angelos as a baseball owner and if anyone wants to argue that point can start with the number 13 and count backwards.

I am very interested to see how the current Oriole team is going to perform. If a lot of things go right, and some things better than hoped, they could be playing meaningful games in August, or even{gasp}September. That's why I say the future is now. Every year since he arrived on the scene and the Orioles began to flounder, Andy's supporters would always equivocate and say, "Wel, it was never about{ Fill in the blank year} anyhow."

I think it is about 2011 with the current group, many of whom will not be around next year.

You can't forget about exceptions like the Twins and A's, Gil.

Those two teams generally spent less than $65MM per year on payroll over the past decade and look at the results:

Twins: .500+ record in nine of the past ten seasons, six playoff appearances, success led to a beautiful new stadium

A's: .500+ record in nine of the past twelve seasons, five playoff appearances, probably the best regular season team in baseball from 2000-2003 (averaged 98 wins per, two 100+ win seasons, one 20-game winning streak) in that time

Success is possible without that huge revenue stream. And the teams that have the best front offices (Minnesota, Oakland, Tampa - yes, they'll keep winning) are the ones that can figure out how to win consistently without spending $100MM on payroll.

W, is it polite to just disappear when someone asks you a question?
I'll ask you again, very straightforward:
What would you consider a successful season for the Orioles?


No question that the organizations you mentioned know how to manage a revenue stream and have recovered quickly when they reduced their payrolls. A lot of it had to do with the farm system and the pipeline of players moving through wave after wave. The A's in particular amaze me with the way the continue to find pitchers. Sometime back I saw a piece somewhere on the net {I think by a person named, Jim Clark, or Bill Clark} in whch he had calculated a formula to compute "success to payroll expenditures" over the last 10 years.I think he based it on total average wins per year, and playoff appearances as it related to average payroll by year. The Orioles ranked last, which proves your point. When they spend money they don't win. When they don't spend money they don't win.

Nice post, Gil.

With the Orioles, talking about money doesn't make much sense, because even when they've spent over the past decade, they haven't spent wisely.

Previous regimes were all over the place, spending $40MM on three relievers on year and going almost all on with Tejada and almost Guerrero another.

Andy has gotten it right at times, but he's too inconsistent.

Last year, he spent a ridiculous amount of money on an injury prone reliever, which is about the most ridiculous plan of all time. This year, he's trying to build a bullpen the right way, with inexpensive contracts to under-the-radar, high-upside pitchers.

In previous years, he gambled and spent too much on so many chumps. This year, he finally acquired a couple of players, Vlad and Lee, with a real history of success who were coming of good seasons.

And, of course, there's the elephant in the room: the big contract for the "perfect storm" player. Teixeira and Holliday were the closest fits there, and we all know what happened with those two. Will Andy get another chance to go after Pujols and Fielder?

Of course I'm an O's fan. Wouldn't be here if I weren't.
Posted by: wayne | February 24, 2011 12:07 PM

Remember last summer.....

You said I don't go to the games to watch the Orioles. I don't care if they win. I go to watch good baseball, played by the other teams.

What a true fan.

As to why you're here. You're here to be an inciting troll. Lastest of many examples:

Blow a gasket there nb? I could see you hitting the keys so hard that your fingers either went numb or your keyboard crashed
Posted by: wayne | February 24, 2011 11:19 AM

You probably get wood when you type stuff like that.

You *think* you're getting to people and making them bash the keyboard+this makes you happy=you are a troll.

The fact that you think you can have that kind of effect on people is really pathetic. I mean really dude, it's sad. Seek help.

Wow, where to start....


You're spot on sir. The Orioles will never and can never spend like the Yanks and Sox.... but being one of the top financed medium market teams, they can and should spend more than they have.... much more.

The problem is, PA spent this year, out of desperation. He had to do something, because AM has failed....thus he shoots from the hip and buys past their prime, one year rentals.

Spending correctly, would have done whatever it took to sign Tex for 7 to 10 years, thus having a player you can not only market around, but someone you can stick in the four hole for years to come.

Then you can take chances on players like Reynolds, surrounded by players like Markakis, Matusz, Guthrie, Reimy, etc.... That's how high level mid markets can compete. They don't have NY type dollars, but they have more than many.

But PA has never understood such, and AM was the worst choice to help him to get a feel for what's needed in the modern game.


First off, I hope AM is let go by mid season. That would be a good start. Then I hope Vlad and Lee start off very well, so whoever replaces AM can get a few terrific prospects (not Bell types).

I hope Guthrie and Matzie turn into a great one/two punch, with hope that between Bergy, Arrieta and the list of others, we can find a very solid #3.

I hope that Markakis turns into the player we all hoped he would, with Weiters taking a giant step this season.

I'd love to see Reimy emerge, and I hope Jones learns a better approach at the plate.

Reynolds is who he is, but if the club goes out and spends BIG on a couple middle of the order guys (players that will be here for 4 years or more), then the club can hopefully work on the huge hole in his swing over the next couple years.

I'll leave the middle of the infield for another post, but it's obviously an issue looking forward. I expect nothing from JJ, considering the type of injury's he's sustained, and I see Brob as declining significantly the next couple years.

If those things (and more) happen, I'll consider the season successful.

If those things happen, and Buck is able to squeeze out 81 wins, then I'll feel better about this season, as well as next.


True.... for the past number of years, I've gone to the park to watch baseball, with the good play mainly coming from the opposing team. Doesn't mean I haven't worn my O's hat, and it doesn't mean I didn't want them to win. Problem is, they rarely did. And when you go to as many games as I, you become numb to the loses, and end up going to the park, 1) just to be at the ballyard on a warm summer evening, and 2) hoping that you see good ball, from whichever team is on the field.


That's fine. You're allowed to believe what you want. But you're wrong. I know that goes against your know it all style, but you don't have as good a handle on things as you may want to believe.

And I'll continue to make the case that the Beattie/Flanny regime was no worse than AM's, because I believe it's relevant. I believe it's the best case of all to send the guy packing.


Thanks for re-printing my post. It's good for people to see now and again. Good form.

Hater - Out....

Spending correctly, would have done whatever it took to sign Tex for 7 to 10 years, thus having a player you can not only market around, but someone you can stick in the four hole for years to come..... I would not want Tex... he's only playing for the money.. not the love of the game.
On to your other points:
First off, I hope AM is let go by mid season. I don't agree, Andy did his job this offseason. I wish he did a little more, like acquiring a true #1, but oh well. Our offense can match anyone in the division. My main concern is resolving the Brian Roberts situation. The Orioles need to figure out if he can play the whole season!

Also, Vlad and Lee are not going to be traded because, I fully expect the O's to be contending thru the All Star Break. Those two players will be a big part of that!

Beattie/Flanny regime, that regime was incompetent. AM really didn't have anything to work with here because no one wanted to sign here and I could type more, but I am tired and dizzy and really don't feel like arguing anymore.

Come on Wayne offer suggestions, not diatribes. The whole damn day here on this blog was devoted to you really. Even Dave from GB was yelling at you and to be honest I have never seen him yell at anyone till today. Now, I am gong to watch the rest of Family Guy and hopefully enjoy the rest of the evening.

Good Night!

Andy Mac, please resolve the Brian Roberts situation or at least address it to one of the Baltimore Sun writers then we can make pithy comments and have something to talk about besides Wayne =P


Your comment about Tex ruined anything you said afterwards. You have no idea what his love for the game is. Your statement was one of the most ignorant I've heard on the blob and presents the kind of closed minded, homer mentality that only exist in posters like yourself.


As for Beattie/Flanny.... tell me who they had to follow. Do you know? If you're going to make a statement comparing their regime to AM's, you may want to do a little homework my man..... just a little. You'll be surprised with what you see.

You serve as an example of how AM continues to receive an undeserved pass.

Losing, one year rentals past their prime, broken down players, a poorly rated minor league system..... things that just don't matter to folks like you.

Thanks for confirming what we already knew......

wayne -

Classic post.

"Believe what you want, but you're wrong" and then you call me a know-it-all! Hilarious!

I really hope you saw the humor in that.

Actually nb..... I do

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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