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Who was the Orioles' Least Valuable Player in the first half?

Before we get into today’s topic, I just want to point out that there actually was discussion in the bar Wednesday on the attractiveness of a British Prime Minister.

Now that is good reading. You don’t get that kind of perverse diversity at a place like “The Schmuck Stops Here.” I’m just saying.

We’re smaller, but we can kick it up a notch when needed.

OK, to real topics in a fake establishment.

Today is the day you have been waiting for: The Orioles’ Least Valuable Player of the First Half Award.

It would be easy to give it to the long departed Adam Eaton or Ryan Freel. That’s too easy. I am sure Felix Pie will get some votes, but the expectations shouldn’t have been high for the 24-year-old. He’s still trying to learn at the big-league level.

You can interpret a LVP anyway you want. But I look at it this way: Guys like Eaton and Freel weren’t really supposed to be particularly valuable. So they didn’t do well, but their failure delivered no shockwaves.

On the other hand, there is starter Jeremy Guthrie. He was the team’s best pitcher last year. He is the ace – by default, I understand, but still the ace.

In the first half he yielded 20 homers, among the most in the majors. His struggles are about as confounding as anything that’s happened this season. He was 6-8 with a 5.35 ERA in 18 starts – pretty much the epitome of mediocrity.

Keep in mind, several Oriole pitchers have worse numbers.

But honestly, more is expected out of Guthrie –by the front office, the media, the fans and most important, by Guthrie himself. I’m not sure he’d be offended to know he was considered the first half Least Valuable Oriole. He might bristle – the guy can bristle with the best of them – but deep down I think he gets that more is expected of him than a 5.35 ERA and a losing record.

And that’s why I say he’s the LVP of the first half. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up having a very solid second half. Because I can’t see Guthrie settling for mediocrity.

This, though, is about the first half only.

Daily Think Special: Who is the Orioles’ Least Valuable Player so far?


Does it have to be somebody still with the team? Guthrie's the most disappointing to me, but he doesn't rank with Walker or Ray in terms of LVO. Guthrie at least is tied for the team lead in wins and is second in innings pitched.

Walker was supposed to bounce back from his disappointing season last year when he was hurt but not complaining and fill the lefty specialist role. Turns out the team decided that not having a lefty specialist was better than having Jamie, no matter how much of a standup guy he was.

Remember the debates before the season started about who should be the closer and Ray got a lot of consideration from a lot of quarters? A 9.28 ERA and 2.30 WHIP are terrible under any circumstances. Ray gets a bit of a break because he is coming back from surgery two years ago, but for a guy who was considered a possible closer or at least setup man, he's been near useless to the team this year. Since he's still on the 40-man roster he gets my vote ahead of Walker, who has been released.

Adam Eaton

Chris Ray gets my vote as the least valuable Oriole in the 1st half. We really haven't seen enough of Pie to award the title to him. We know he did an o.k. job of filling in for Jones when necessary, and we know he's fast on the bases when he has been a pinch runner.

Has to be Felix Pie. Not just because of his numbers offensively, or his adventures on defense, but mainly because the 2-month experiment was clearly a waste and cost Reimold two full months with the team. They should have cast him off in May and let him be someone else's project, a la Daniel Cabrera.

I'll give Chris Ray a pass because of his surgery, and really, what could anyone expect from Freel?

Other than Pie, clearly it's Walker, who cost the O's bottom line dearly. Remember that Jeff Zrebiec wrote that eyebrows were raised around baseball when the O's signed him to that long-term deal, and apparently those people were right.

While I personally like the guy, I think serious consideration for LVO would need to go to Melvin Mora.

Alfredo Simon. Eaton had one good start

Has to be Melvin Mora. Can't hit, can't field, can't run the bases. Triple crown of futility.

That is easy, Melvin Mora. None of the other disappointments have really been in such a big position. The offensive production we are currently getting from Melvin is unacceptable from a 3B. That is only compounded by the fact our manager is afraid of bruising Melmo's ego so he doesn't bench him nearly as often as he should be.

There's a few. For fielders Pie and Mora. Pitchers Eaton, Walker, Ray. I thought Ray would have a decent season I don't think he gave up a run in Spring Training.

Richard Hill. Sure he has no problems when he goes through the opposing teams' batting order the first time around. But when those same batters come around the second time...BAM!...Hill's battleship is sunk and, unfortunately, so are the Orioles.

Has to be Mora in a landslide. Can't hit anymore, lousy fileder and makes more stupid baserunning mistakes than a little leaguer.
Switch Huff to third (his natural position) and bring up that 1st baseman from triple A or move Luke Scott to 1st.

For position player I will say Melvin Mora. I think he has done great for our city and the team, but he is at the end of his career. I hope he stays with us as a utility player if we dont trade him.

If I had to pick a pitcher I would go with Koji. He was a relief pitcher in Japan but was brought here as a starter. Clearly, he can't go the innings and needs extra rest. He has been on the DL for the majority of the season multiple times. When he is healthy, he is great. They need to move him to the bullpen so they can get better at long relief. He also would no longer be in the way of Chris Tillman or Jake Arrieta.

Oh my, no debate whatsoever. MELVIN MORA. Period. At least Guthrie has given us what he has. Sure, he's a disappointment alright, but where else would those 6 wins have come from? You know...given the fine starting rotation.

Clearly Mora. Only full-time player that I can't stand to watch play anymore. For a veteran, I have never seen a guy make more mental errors. Ray, Pie, Walker....all these guys were never going to be full-time starters. Mora is supposed to be the rock at 3rd base, but has been nothing but a decent fielder, below-average hitter, and absolutely horrific base-runner. I simply cringe when he is on first base with no outs. Somehow he will waste an out try to stretch into third or not tagging up, or some other costly blunder that has led to multiple missed opportunities for a big inning.

only applies to players on team the entire season
1. mora-- no power, inconsistent fielding, poor base running

2. guthrie seems to be going backwards. throws too many pitrches at the same speed

3. trembley over manages, doesn't handle pitching staff very well..worst thing is when on tv during the game he said he knew umpire made bad call when pedroia tagged jones at 2nd with glove and had the ball in his bare hand. trembley said he didn't argue because it wouldn't have done any good. weaver would still be arguing. he just doesn't have the instincts of a top flight manager.

Jay Gibbons. He's still being paid?

Melvin Mora,Rich Hill,Guthrie easy picking 123.

Rich Hill

There are quite a few valid candidates to choose from and everybody seems to be making a good case for their guy. I gotta go with Guthrie, though. He was supposed to be the ONE solid, dependable, decent guy in the rotation coming out of spring training. Though we all know he's not a true #1, he was supposed to stabilize the rotation --- be an example for the young guys. But instead, he's gotten rocked, he's walked too many guys, and always seems to give back runs when our offense scores. His ERA is over 5.00 and I just don't get it. He's a MAJOR disappointment. Thank the good Lord for Brad Bergesen!!!

I'm gonna go out on a limb and vote for Markakis, and hear me out on this one. He is supposed to be the biggest threat in the lineup and the veteran of sorts, he just signed an incredible extentsion, and he is probably the most well known player on the team. I don't think his performance has matched this. His power numbers are way down, and if it wasn't for his hot start, his overall numbers probably won't look very good. While I know he is close to the league lead in outfield assists, he has had several defensive misques, and save for a couple of instances, I don't think he has been a very clutch batter. Alot of people called Brian Boberts out a couple days ago, and I think the same needs to be done to Nick.

Melvin Mora, hands down winner. He must play every day and has no contenders for LVP. Who else must be in the lineup every day with soo little production? This organization could show some gnads by just flat out cutting him but they never will. They might even bring him back next year, who knows? If miracles happen and they have no intention of bringing him back then why in the world is he playing every day?

Chris Ray

Pie...hands down. Takes up a roster position.

If you can't make it by the time your options are is my patience.

hands down it's mora!

guthrie way overachieved last year...although he's should prolly be better than his performance this year, there's just no way he hould be held to "ace" standards.

Brian Roberts...
Big contract signing and career low numbers average .273
OBA .339
stolen bases 18
Average leadership qualities..
Not a sniff for all-star selection

jeremy guthrie by far. and to think he's our "ace" ...really? talk about a lack of dependability.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN AFTER PLAYING AAA BALL? The man has had 367 major league at bats! I have to vote for Pie! While I don't particularly what the O's to get rid of him, I do believe he is the most expendable.

Peter Schmuck.

I have to disagree with Pete's comment concerning Melvin Mora's defensive. Granted his hitting has really suffered this year, but I his defensive play has been very good. I can remember several great stops he made when I was at the park. My pick for LVO is a tie between Walker and Ray, with Guthrie a close second. At least I still have some hope for him.

Trembley gets my vote, he was supposed to make these guys respect the game and yet we see guys like Roberts and Markakis along with a few others not hustling and Trembley continues to accept this. Mora in my book although he does make some good plays at third is not a very intelligent player (bad base running, swinging at horrible pitches). Also someone needs to tell Jones he plays way too shallow in centerfield but yet no one corrects this.

Guthrie- He is not an ace. He isnt even an good #3 starter, he's just a good athlete.

Miguel Tejada

Chris Ray is a puddle.

Ryan "three teams in a year" Freel

There are too many candiates for least valuable on this team. Thats why they are in last place. Granted, we have some bright young talent, but we have too much deadwood.

Melvin Mora.....


Ryan"three teams in HALF a year" Freel

I know he was here for a brief time but there was no bigger dirtbag then him. Even though Adam Eaton was close.

izturis. dude lay off the HGH.

Guthrie, Mora, Uehara in that order.

Mike Flanigan

Guthrie BY FAR. Chris Ray? Really? The guy hadn't pitched in a year... how could he be a disappointment? Kind of hard to pin LVO on a guy who was coming back from a big injury after that kind of layoff. Mora? I think people's expectations were a little high. The guy is on the downslope.

It has to be Guthrie. He has completely wilted under the pressure of being an 'ace'. The guy flat out has not had a good outing yet. I mean, sure, he has some wins and a few games he has only given up a couple runs, but if you were watching those games... they were flukes. He gets hit hard every time out, has no control, and loses it mentally when he realizes he doesn't have it.
I watched him throw more balls than strikes in Seattle last week. That's Daniel Cabrera type stuff. That's how bad he's been.
HUGE vote for Guthrie.

Who is this guy Hans Down? I don't see him on the roster.

'Nother shot and a beer, please.

Mora, Guthrie, Markakis, Roberts, aren't playing to their potential, but that doesn't make them the least valuable player. The least valuable is someone who has has enough chances and has blown it, and that has to go to Pie.

Some really good comments so far, especially the one about Markakis. The guy just has not been very clutch so far this year - hopefully he'll have a good 2nd half. But that being said, I gotta give this "award" to Melvin Mora. As another writer said, I like Melvin as a person, but man, he is just not producing at the plate. That sweet swing we saw for a few years seems to have disappeared. And his baserunning - my God! Melvin, you ain't fast pal, not even a little bit, so quit trying to stretch things out - you're killing us!!

If we say most disappointing player, no doubt it's Ray or Guthrie so far- compared to what they could be doing.

Mora--he has been consistently inconsistent
Maybe we could trade Mora for a prospect or two and let Salazar finish the season at third and see if he can produce in a full time role in the big leagues
outfield looks good
infield - Mora
catcher looks good
need help with pitching still

Good luck telling an All-Star CF known for his glove that he doesn't play his position right.

Chris Ray is my answer

Can the whole team be LVP? I get Josh's Markakis vote and even the B-rob. A general lack of enthusiasm, we stunk last year but had a lot of comeback fight that I think a lot of teams feared. I think we lost that edge. The bums are gone, Walker, Freel, Eaton so we can't blame them and why beat a dead horse. Hill, Mora, Ray hopefully will be addressed by McPhail. Is the general malaise team oriented or is Trembley unable to coax anymore out of the team and a change in leadership is the answer? Despite success, is Crowley responsible for lack of a clutch performance? LVP???? Why pick one?????

Yes, unless he's really bad in the field, play Salazar at 3rd. That guy can really hit. Some people make a big deal about him being 31. Well Melvin's 36 or so, right? Maybe Oscar can give us four or 5 good years. Third base HAS to be productive spot in the lineup.

After reading the posts I have to change my vote from Pie to agree with Leo and vote for Trembley. The O's have committed far to many basic baseball mistakes to think that the coaching and field management is up to par. He may be a good minor league manager and i don't doubt a very nice guy but you remember what Leo said about nice guys and DT is proving true.

While he's not a player, I'm going to go with Trembley. I like him and hope he's able to get better results out of this team in the second half, but the Orioles have been hiring "rookie" MLB managers for quite a while now with predictable results and he's no exception.

Yes, we have some players who have seen better days and others who have failed to live up to their perceived potential, but there's no reason this team should be experiencing such wide-spread inability to execute the fundamentals. This failure falls on the manager.

I'm not expecting miracles from this team, but I do expect proven players to be able to play up to their abilities and to exhibit maximum effort.

It's hard to believe that the "Why Not?" season was 20 years ago.

Least Valuable Player: Jamie Walker

A good guy, but as a "Left-Handed Specialist" his specialty seemed to be giving up gopher balls...

Dishonorable Mentions (or Why I Didn't Pick These Guys):

Pie's been a decent late-inning baserunner... plus, he seems to have mastered the MelMo handjive! (as displayed after the sayonara HR the other day.)

Eaton did give the O's ONE good start!

Koji signed as a starter but looks gassed after few innings - but they are some pretty good innings!

The O's win more games that Hill starts than they lose (though those games tend to be won after he's pulled...).

MelMo seems to be able to focus just fine in the field. Now if he could just carry that focus over to the basepaths, the plate, etc.

Trembley drives me nuts with his in-game decisions, but he's not a Player so he can't be LVP. (The O's really need him to start managing with an eye towards winning games now rather than preparing players to win games later.)

Before this blog gets archived, I have to say that Melvin Mora is my biggest disappointment, followed by Guthrie. Melvin has made great contributions to this team but those days are in the past. Guthrie has some time to prove he belongs here. Unfortunately, Melvin needs to begin looking for a retirement home. There is a house next to mine here in Lehigh Acres, Florida that would be great. I would welcome him and his family. We could site by the pool sipping cold beverages and reminisce about when we were both young and productive members of society.

MELVIN MORA........... LOV for sure!This is what long term contracts get you! He's a great father and a hell of a citizen, but he is holding up progress in Crab Town! My kingdom for a power-hitting 3rd baseman!

Chris Ray. I cringe when he comes in to pitch. He's had some good outings, but he might have been playing hurt when his stuff wasn't there.


Like I always say, nothing personal, but...

#3 Jamie Walker was a left handed specialist who couldn't get lefties out anymore. We were paying him so much we had to give him another shot. You can only be an asset in the clubhouse if you're an asset on the field first. Thanks for a great 2007, Jamie, and good luck with whatever you are doing now.

#2 Ryan Freel was a utility guy who didn't want to be a utility guy on a team that already had more than enough candidates for utility guy. His whining -- and then getting what he whined for, a trade -- didn't make the front office look very good or set a good example for the young guys. I would would have rather had ramon backing up Wieters than trading him for Freel.

#1 Felix Pie -- for two months he wasted a space in the lineup (and is still taking up a spot on the roster) when others, Nolan and Lou, could have been learning and contributing. I'm not sold on him as a 4th outfielder. On the rare days Jones isn't in the lineup, any of the other outfielders could play centerfield. Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Don Buford and a host of others all played cemter at one time or another -- why not Nick?

I didn't consider Ray for LVP because he's hurt, nor Guthrie, because he's tied for the team lead in wins, nor eaton, because he at least won two games which is as many as Uehara and more than Simon, Berken, and others.

Benny Ayala

Guthrie for LVP. Pie is a better outfielder than either Reimold or Scott

Chris Ray.

I will stick to the players still on the active roster. So Uhera gets a pass.

I will have to go with Pie. He was a flop as a starter but he does have some value as a pinch runner. He has been hitting the ball much better so he gets kudos for that as well. But overall, his role with this team is the least valualbe.

I give Guthrie a pass because he can eat innings. Lets face it, we don't have any starters that are ready to pitch that are better. Berken and Hill will get demoted before Guthrie. Hernandez has been okay but not spectacular. Looks like Tillman will get called up soon but he won't take Guthrie's spot. Uhera might come back at some point but he won't take Guthrie's spot either. You need guys who can eat innings and Guthrie can do that. The way is stands today, I would say JGuth is the 2nd best starter we have on the roster. Some combination of our top shelf prospects may project better in the near future but based on results, JGuth is #2 right now. I also think he will have a better 2nd half. He needs to cut back on the long ball.

Has to be Trembley for not giving Salazar a chance to prove himself at 3rd. He continually tears it up a AAA a.ka. Reimold and he still doesn't play enough to see what he can do for us at a weak position being held up by Mora. I don't know if someone above Trembley is telling him to play Mora because of his contract, but at some point he has to step up to the plat and put him in the starting lineup to let us see what he can do on a regular bases. So Trembley gets my vote, even though he's a nice guy, we need production and to let Mora go, nothing personal.


Rick Dempsey , who dresses this guy for his "tv" show ? Some of the suits he wears come on now!

Chris Ray or Jamie Walker.

Chris Ray is coming off tommy john surgery. While he has stunk, I did not expect him to be valuable this year - so I cant deem him least valuable.

Similarly, we took a flier on Pie and it has not worked out. He was not a core guy or a "in the plan" guy. So, it is hard to call him the least valuable guy - though he too does in fact suck.

Jamie Walker did hurt us bad, but in my opinion, the team counted on Guthrie to be their ace this year and he has let us all down. I dont think anyone believes he is truly a #1 guy...but he has rarely performed like a #3 this year consistently.

So, I would vote for Guthrie as he was counted on to be a core guy and is in his physical prime and he is not even close to meeting expectations. Mora has been a real let down, but is an older guy at the end of his career. Contrary to what one poster said, his defense is still's just his power is gone - he is what he is.

Now if Trembley continues to fail to stack the lineup with right handed hitters against lefty pitching for the 2nd half of the season, I will make him the Least Valuable Player. Geez...Put Wigginton and Salazar in vs lefties.

Going by VORP, it's Adam Eaton. I think that's a fair way to answer the question because VORP measures value (Value Over Replacement Player).

Guthrie is a disappointment, but he's far from alone in that. Mora, Roberts, Huff and Markakis have all been disappointing. For some reason we're not really talking about them.

Melvin Mora, no question

Section 34, The reason Roberts, Huff and Markakis aren't being discussed that much is that despite being down in some statistics, each has provides some real value to the team: B-Rob is on pace to score over 100 runs, hit over 50 doubles and steal 30+ bases, while both Aubrey and Nick should each end up with more than 100 runs batted in

Disappointing in some ways, yes, but there's still enough value that none of them should be considered as having awful seasons.

Guthrie is definitely the most disappointing, since great things were expected of him and he's not least not yet (he still has half a season to pull things together).

But I can't agree with our barkeep as to Jeremy being the Least Valuable Oriole. While it's possible for a player to be both disappointing and the LVO, I don't believe Guthrie qualifies for the latter, because he's still won six games and there's value there.

Assuming the discussion just pertains to players currently on the roster, I'm inclined to say Berken for pitchers (though Hill has to be in the mix) and Pie an easy choice among position players (need proof? look at his lack of playing time).

LVO? There are many: Every single player who doesn't run out a batted ball (which includes just about every starter except Reimold and Andino) and every starting pitcher except Bergesen. Not hustling is inexcusable and if I were manager, any player who didn't run out a ball gets taken out of the game pronto. Hear that Roberts? Adam all star Jones? Nice lack of hustle on the shallow pop fly this evening. Even Palmer mentioned it. If fans deserve one thing its that ALL players hustle; something that is sorely lacking on the Orioles.

It's gotta be this fella "Others."

Look at the team stats. He is a lousy pitcher and is always listed last there.

And he isn't much better as a batter, either.

Ryan Freel.

Plenty enough bad players on this team to off simply because the team was better than he thought gives new meaning to the word 'selfish'.

Why are so many people saying Melvin Mora? I didn't expect much from him this year to begin with! Are you really that disappointed in him, hes 37 so he says. He needs to sit, put AB on third and bring up Brandon Synder or put TW on first. But I do expect Huff to be traded. LVP goes to Guthrie!!

Well I would have to say it would be someone still on the current roster. My vote would be Guthrie. To go from Ace to maybe third best on the team is tragic. I have Roberts and Weiters at 2 and 3

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