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A successful September or the No. 1 overall pick?

I am thinking about making another change to the bar.

I am considering offering up only topics about hate. Ones that really fuel your ire.

Because that’s what makes this place rock.

On Thursday I mentioned my slight irritation with the Tropicana Field cowbells and my deep-in-the-gut, wanna-retch disdain for the wave. (Thanks Gus. I did this at 1 a.m. But, hey, no excuses).

Many of you rode that whitecap of vitriol all the way in. Beautiful.

I probably could get away with doing a “Do you hate the wave?” topic, but that would be too easy.

And I can’t be lazy today, because I am closing the bar for a week. I need time to think on an all-hate décor (Post-modern Irsay, perhaps?)

Actually, I am going to the beach for a week with my family. Every now and then I have to act like an actual dad.

So the bar likely will be closed after this weekend – unless something HUGE happens in the world of Baltimore sports. But there will be other aisles to stroll down in the Toy Department. Or so I have been told.

We’ll get the place reopened by Sept. 1. I promise. And maybe in the meantime we’ll get rid of that rat problem once and for all.

Today’s topic should be a good one. It comes courtesy of my friend and Connolly Bar semi-regular Brian.

He’s torn and wants your opinion. And I think it’s a good one.

If the Orioles just maintain their crappy pace for the rest of the season, they will again lock up a Top Five pick in the amateur draft for the fourth consecutive year. But if they step up their September Swoon into overdrive, they could challenge the Nationals (and Royals, etc.) for the top pick.

And that could, perhaps, yield them 16-year-old Las Vegas slugging phenom Bryce Harper. Or whoever is considered the best amateur player next June.

So would you like to see the Orioles fall apart even more if it meant getting the No. 1 pick? Obviously, the Orioles’ players and management wouldn’t consider tanking the rest of the season for the No. 1 overall slot. That is wrong in so many ways.

But what you, as fans, wish for is a different story.
The dilemma is this: Losing at a clip that would produce the No. 1 pick would make this season even uglier. And that means the young players on the roster will be exposed to even more desperation and have even less hope to build on going into 2010.

So which would you rather have: A good final stretch to give the young players some positives or a terrible swoon that produces the top pick?

Which would make the future brighter?

Your choice. I am hitting the beach.

Daily Think Special: A successful September or the No. 1 draft pick?


Hands down tanking the rest of the season, I just tune out the O's (kinda) and watch the Ravens.

The only caveat would be if Angelos became discouraged fired Trembley and acted like a guy with deep pockets and short arms in the offseason.

I could live with a No. 1 overall draft pick and a veteran pitcher anchoring the staff next season..

I would rather see a good Sept than have the #1 pick. B-ball picks are too risky, even the #1 especially when you are talking about a 16 yr old kid. Having a decent Sept means that Matusz, Tillman, et al are pitching well and we can be optimistic about next year.

Dan: I guess I'm just a baseball purist and a moral absolutist, but I believe you play every game to win. That may not be the most pragmatic approach, but how could any self-respecting fan hope their teams loses just to get a higher draft pick? I'm not sure there's that much difference between a #1 pick and #5 anyway. They probably have about equal chance of making the big time, and that chance is probably less than 50% (anybody got stats on that?).

Enjoy the beach. Put a dent in the blue crab population for me. (Which gives me more fuel for my argument: Would you be going to the beach if the Os were in the heat of a pennant race? Probably not. So should you hope the Os lose every year so you can take a prime week off? I don't think you will.)

There is nothing to be gained this season by winning an extra amount of games in Sept. I would never tell a team to intentionally lose to get a better draft pick, but I am not going to be upset if they wind up losing most of the Sept games.

The irony of this situation was the year that Texieira was drafted in 2001, we missed out on drafting him because we swept Yankees to end the season in Sept 2000. If we hadn't done that we would have been ahead of Texas in the draft, and he might be an Oriole right now (If we were able to convince him to stay after his free agency year that is).

I'll take a successful September. That is a real rarity around here. This is not the NFL, the number one pick in the amateur baseball draft is not a guarantee of success. I know it is not a guarantee in the NFL either but the percentages are way higher in football than in baseball.

Top pick! Top pick! Top pick!

Let's go, boys. Keep finding new ways to lose! We want Bryce Harper.

.....whew, I'm back. Just spent the last week at the Ripken complex in Aberdeen watching the local boys from Harford County play some stand out baseball.

Personally, I want some momentum going into next year. Let's face it....we're gonna get another top 5 pick and I never want the #1 because it usually comes with Scott Boras attached. Let some of the young arms pitch well, let Wieters, Reimold, Jones, etc. finish strong and let someone from the farm (Snyder) get some AB's.

Enjoy the beach Dan.

I'll take a successful September. The no. 1 pick would mean there has been no appreciable improvement with the 5 (counting Brad Bergeson) young starting pitchers. I don't expect miracles, but I do look forward to seeing these guys compete in Spetember. The schedule is so tough that 10 wins in Sept. would be considered a solid finish. I doubt there will be the complete "hopelessness" Orioles fans have felt in many of the past 12 years.

If they were losing with the cast-offs they had at the beginning of the year and the young guns were dominating the minors, losing enough to get the #1 pick would be fine.

Losing that much with almost every top prospect already with the club puts the year into the disgusting, sickening failure column.

All I can do is hope that 5 players will perform an Adam-Jones-like huge step forward in their second season. In reality two will and two won't and one will get hurt - leaving use terribly undermanned next year no matter what draft choice we get.

So hopes of being competitive in 2010, turn to hopes of being close to .500 in a year before being competitive - enough to make me wish I was born in Minnesota.

The draft is a crap shoot. Can they sign the guy? Will he develop? Will he stay healthy? I would just like to see the young guys continue to develop. If the core of Jones, Markakis, Wieters and Reimold can finish on an upswing (winning games or not) and the young pitchers show signs of improvement each time out, that makes this a successful season and bodes well for the future. A top 5 pick will further enhance the farm and maybe the 16 year old phenom falls to you anyway.

No need to worry. With a minor league starting pitching staff and the Huff trade, along with there incredibly tough schedule of playoff teams the rest of the year, we have a strong chance at the top pick. Hopefully this is the last year we are in this position.

I believe the last time we had the top pick, we picked Ben McDonald. He ended up being a ok pitcher but no HOF. I think 1-5 are all the same. Some make it some don't. Learn to win
. Learn the Oriole way. Don't Tank.

In baseball, the #1 pick isn't quite the same as the NFL or NBA overall #1. I don't know who is projected to go #1 overall, but they don't always pan out and there's no guarantee the team will sign him. Sometimes the consensus top player slides in the draft simply because teams know he'll cost too much.

Since the O's will be in the top 5 anyway and will get a highly talented youngster, I think there is more value in trying their best for the remainder of the season. Let's try NOT to expose the young players on the roster "to even more desperation and even less hope" heading into 2010.

(If this was an OLD and crappy team that needed to be blown up, I would say scrap the season and go for the #1 pick, be damned the uncertainty of the pick. But this team has already been blown up, so they just need to bust ass and show what they are made of in the remaining weeks.)

Welcome back, Rob. It's been a little too quiet without your voice added to the din in this place.

I'd rather see the team build some more foundation through playing winning baseball. Moral victories (pitching a "quality start" in a losing effort, for instance) are nice but are really the province of losing teams. What the whole team needs to do is come to understand what they need to do to win and put forth that effort each and every time out. And it helps to have that reinforced with actual victories.

But the #1 overall pick would be a nice consolation prize when there's a Bryce Harper out there. Then the team would be stockpiling catchers to go along with all the pitchers in the system.

#1 pick! I hope we lose lots of 4-3 games with the kids pitching well, but Danys Baez blowing lots of leads that were provided by Reimold, Wieters, Markakis, Jones and Roberts.

We ain't passing the Nats, no matter how awful we play from here on out. Bryce Harper and Steve Strasburg will give those folks something to cheer about. There is plenty of other great talent out there, though. Jacksonville State Todd Cunningham, who just won the Cape Cod League's Pro Prospect Award (won in 2006 by a guy named Matt Wieters), would be a nice addition to the organization, and he could be had without a month of misery to close out the '09 season.

Your question implies that we have a choice, but the annual free fall is now underway. Just enjoy the ride!.

Is there a moral victory in finishing 3rd worst instead of dead last. I don't think so. Tank to get Harper. Given we have Wieters, trade him after one year (first pt eligible to trade) in return for top prospects on other teams. You want highest value don't draft based on positional need.

Gotta go for the W's. I was jumping like a little kid when Roberts went dingo last night!

Going for the #1 pick is lunacy. They need to show that they are finally on the upswing. It's important for the players, the fans, potential free agent and manager signings. How many years until this 16 year old has a chance of helping them anyway? After 12 losing seasons they need to be good much sooner than that.

Different sport, but let me quote Herm Edwards: "YOU PLAY. TO WIN. THE GAME."

WHO CARES!!! The only reason to even attend Camden Yards is for Boog's BBQ.... This team will never win again... They will be stuck in neutral forever.. You can't buy a great ole beautiful building that is loved by the "fans" and let it fall into disrepair like a slumlord. And then expect to ever make it a place anybody will care about again.

At the pace we're losing, we may not have to choose!

As many others have noted, the #1 pick may not be significantly better than the picks that immediately follow.

I have to agree with most people when talking about No. 1 picks in baseball. Any pick is in the baseball draft is a crap shoot, but every once in a while a great player comes along who is truly worth that No. 1 overall pick. The only two that come to mind for me are Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, A-Roid, and Joe Mauer. The chances are that this Bryce Harper kid won't be like those guys but who knows.

No team ever has enough young talent because of injuries or other mishaps. I say go for the #1 pick and let the kids learn in September.

Enjoy your family and the beach. The O's will be here (and still losing) when you get back. They are doing a good job of tanking on thier own. As long as we have Baez to blow off leads and Trembly to put out his own teams' fire things will not change. We will end up with one of the top five picks and spend several million less than on #1 with the same chance of success.

Successful September, hands down. The O's need to set an example among their young players by winning games with a winning attitude, and the rookies like Tillman, Matusz, and Weiters need to be optimistic going into next season. Plus, some top draft picks can be busts. *cough* Matt Hobgood *cough*

Tank it! Release Mora, trade Luke for cash, Start Pie and Riemold and win the Bryce Harper sweepstakes baby!!!

I'm fine with the third or fourth pick and Drew Pomerantz the lefthanded starter from Ole Miss.

i think you play your best lineup from now on in. don't change anything and let the chips fall where they may. it's a foregone conclusion we'll be in the top 4 picks anyway and whomever we get, Jordan will get us somebody good. We don't hafta TRY and lose, we've had a lot of experience since Davey Johnson left with losng. I taught my sons to do their best everyday and expect my baseball team of 53 years to do the same

The Nats had a 13 and one-half game lead on the O's at the All-Star break. It was down to five going into last night, now stands at six. If the Orioles continue their current pace of playing .250 ball since the break the team will have no problem(Kevin in MA) surpassing the Nats. This will hold especially true if the Nats continue to play at the .500 pace they have been at since the break. Also, when you consider that the Nats play in the NL and the O's have a very difficult schedule remaining there is no need for the O's to tank, just keep doing what they are doing and chances are pretty good we will get the first pick.

As for Harper signing. This kid didn't skip his final two years of high school not to sign and go back to college!

I'd prefer that the O's have a winning September for once. It'll build confidence in the young players and start some momentum for 2010.

I agree with a lot of the other posters- there isn't a significant difference between the #1 and #5 picks. One draft pick does not make you a considerably better team on the field in baseball as it does in basketball or even football. Look at where a lot of today's players were drafted, and the majority weren't even first round picks, yet they're still in the bigs.
Also, since MacPhail would probably go for a pitcher (wants to grow the arms), then consider this fun fact I heard on 105.7 a couple of weeks ago: the most successful pitcher ever drafted #1 overall in the history of the baseball draft is Dwight Gooden.
So, that ought to show you what a crapshoot the baseball draft is.

The number 1 pick is never a given. They are expensive and some don't live up to their expectations. I'd rather have a good September. I high first round pick is already in the bad. Remember, we should all be focused winning 2 or 3 seasons from now.

definitely the #1 pick. you would have to be crazy to not want the o's to get bryce harper. he's mainly a catcher, which they don't need, but his 2nd position is 3rd base, which they desperately need. if trembley keeps doing what he's been doing, the o's will have a really good shot at getting this kid. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...o, and oriolesfan122, i don't think you can call hobgood a bust after 5 minor league starts.

This team is youg, getting younger and needs to learn how to win and to build momentum going into the offseason.

Definitely a successful September would be nice for a change. I would like for the team to spoil the Red Sox and Rays' chances of making it into the playoffs, cause I'd rather see the Yankees play the Rangers and then the Angels if they make it that far.

I think we have been doing just fine with our top 5 picks the past few years. I'd like to see a college slugger taken though, instead of the inevitable pitcher.

"Do your best in all things, you cannot do more but you must not do less". Win every game you can it won't be many!. Draftr picks are crap shoot at beast, many later rounders are playing today while the same year's high drafts are home spending their money.

My hope would be that the team could finish strong in September but there's no indication that it will happen.

My hope is that the Orioles will at least make that creep towards .500 in 2010 but it's looking like that won't happen either.

My hope is that the team will actually sign a free agent or two that will make a positive impact on this team. Adrian Beltre is a possibility and is still young. One starting pitcher like John Lackey or Rich Harden wouldn't be a bad idea either to help shore up all the rookies. But, most likely it won't happen and the O's will still lie in the weeds with a payroll that's in the bottom third of the league. When is that MASN money going to be available anyway?

So that puts our sights on 2011.
So a #1 wouldn't so bad, I guess.

This town and it's fans have lost there minds. Never in all my years have i seen people that are satisfied with a team losing . It goes against everything that has been ingrained in all of us ever since we played little league. People actually hoping that your team loses so that you can get a better draft pick. Losing has become second fiddle to the players and the carry over has infected the fans of this once proud organization. It's amazing how things have changed. losing is never acceptable at this level and dan you shpuld be ashamed of yourself for even posting such a topic.

I think they should forfeit their remaining games and hold NASCAR, Mud Wreslting, and Bare Knuckle Boxing events at Camden Yards. Even a Barry Manilow concert would be more entertaining than watching them leave 14 men on base every night.

Then they could also get Bryce Harper.

Sorry, but the premise of this blog was so ridiculous that I thought it deserved a commensurate response.

Gotta go with a successful Sept. Personally I wouldn't want the #1 pick and winning late would be a nice change to finish out the year on a positive note as others have said.

Isn't Harper a catcher? And we have Wieters, so I think we're good there. I vote for a good September, because that would imply the O's start hitting again, and the young pitchers show that they really are promising, and don't suck. Finish strong, Orioles!

Too risky. Draft picks don't always pan out. How many times have we seen a #1 turn into cahier #13 at Wal-Mart. Let's finish strong and have these young pitchers progress through the end of the season. That said I contradict myself because I still want Bryce Harper. ; )

Sorry, I thought we already tanked...oh thats right, B-Rob finally got a big hit....I'm never one for throwing in the towel, not the American way. No guarantee of first rounders might as well play it out....what are the odds they won't qualify regardless. Its a longer ride home to Jersey when they lose on Sundays, so I opt for giving it a ride, hit the ball and touch 'em all.

As long as we have a new coaching staff next year, I could care less.

The O's are NOT having a winning September. Even if the kids pitch well, the lineup is pathetic enough to cause them to lose the majority of the games anyhow.

I'd be happy with the usual September collapse and the #1 pick (and the added bonus of Dave Trembley finally being shown the door)

I would rather see a good September. The O's are most likely going to end up with a top 5 pick regardless and a strong finish would be more likely to encourage any possible free agents to sign with the O's next year, feeling they are on the verge of turning the corner like the Rays did in 2008. If the O's tank and end up with the #1 pick nobody better than Ty Wiggington will sign with them.

1) Go for a successful September.

2) That way you'll be able to sleep conscience-free til Spring training since the O's are gonna maintain this "crappy" pace whether you want them to or not.

The O's are so bad...even Boog's tastes plain these days.
Recently heard the Phillies were touting they had the best ballpark food in some survey. Never been there so I'm not sure. However, would like to know how the ratings stacked up & who compiled them.
I do know that we here in the Charm City have the greatest Park but certainly the worst food. Even on Club Level it pretty much is crap.
According to an article on the kid in SI a few months back...even in Las Vegas he's still a freakin Yankee fan. Just win some games O''ll end up taking someone else at the last minute anyway that never makes it out of A ball.

I'd like a top pick. The season is lost in typical Orioles fashion, and I don't really buy into the fragile psyche argument. But the back of my mind says be careful what you wish for. The O's could collapse to great draft position and then leave talent on the table and pick for "signability" reasons. Would that surprise you?

Does anyone here actually believe that Angelos will shell out the ridiculous bonus money that will be needed to sign Bryce Harper if we do get the #1 pick?

If we get the first pick, and that's looking all the more possible every day, it will just serve as another opportunity to disappoint us when we pass up top talent to pick a signable, lesser prospect.

You want to "RETCH" Dan-o. You do not want to "WRETCH."

Big E -- You don't have to worry about Connolly's vacation next year. The Sun won't exist then. And, if it does, it will have one writer --for the whole paper -- covering everything from society to murders. Odds are, Connolly won't be that lucky guy.

I want to see some progress in September out of this team. It would be a good momentum boost going into the offseason. I don't want that top pick, just because that is such a roll of the dice. More top picks aren't going to make this team better next year, play on the field is what's going to.

Finishing in last place is temporary, being able to draft the best amateur in the land could last for a decade +. Does it really matter? We're last in the division, why not be last in MLB? Is there any pride in finishing 3rd to last? Call up everyone so long as it doesn't screw with service time. Cut Mora.

No. 1

I would prefer to have Bryce Harper.

IF you can get a higher pick - always go for IT! You guys with short memories - a few years back we swept the Yankees the last 4 games of the season and it made us slide down one slot in the draft - Texas moved one slot above us - guess who they took by moving ahead of us - does the name Mark Texira ring a bell?? Another year we were one or two slots above the White Sox - we were dying to take Gavin Floyd - gone!! Winning 3-6 MORE games here out means NOthing! IMAGINE the glee WE would be having introducing Strausburg vs Hobgoblin!! SIGGHH!! IMAGINE if you could get a Ken Griffey Jr. vs ????? Don't be peeny wise and pound foolish!

Play to win. Prepare all the young guys already on the team to be winners. And quit gripping ... we'll get there

Smith baltimore I agree with you but Gavin Floyd was drafted the same year Tex was but concept wise your right.

Great topic Dan. I have to admit, when I suggested this last night, I was thinking tank the season. But then, the O's hung on last night and won. And it felt good when B-Rob hit the slam and Nolan hit his dinger.And then I warch tonight and can't help but cheer another good game by Roberts. As much as I would like harper, I can't root for losses!

A successful September. It would be the first one in twelve years. This is a no brainer.

I'd prefer a successful September to send the club and fans out with a bit of optimism to build on. I think Andy Mac has done a great job...and I think DT has been the right guy for the job so far. (Can he take it to the next level...don't know: but he should get the chance. He's earned it.)

The O's will have a solidly high 1st round pick - no. 1 is not a must.

NOW...the future will depend on whether the major-league ready prospects are, indeed, major league...and whether Andy Mac can land a free agent or 2 with big bats.

2010-11: Time to Show Up Guys. If you do I will. If's off to Amtrak, BWI and ball parks beyond where competitive baseball is played.

Does it matter. We are professional sports most irrelevant team. It doesn't matter if we get the number 1 or we play well in September. Baltimore will never again compete for a division title with the economics of baseball the way they are. It's time to reevaluate team goals. Our world series is .500 baseball.

There's only ONE choice. Play to win ALWAYS even if you were to guarantee this 16 y.o. as being the next Puhols. This is more important to this crop of players. Winning will build confidence for the younger players, the veteren players and any would be FA's available this off season. Choosing to lose more games to get the 1st pick in the draft is for losing organizations and loser fans...period

This has got to be the easiest question to answer yet... If the Orioles can find I way to win in September, which they certainly can do with all the talent that’s finding its way into Baltimore these days (I'm not even being sarcastic, can you believe that?) then they have to play to win. Experience is the only thing that's going to get these kids to turn this franchise around; experience in winning, not just experience in playing 165 games a year. Furthermore, unless this Strasburg kid wins a World Series in Washington, people are going to be looking at the way the Nationals have handled his signing as nothing short of ridiculous. I would hate to see Baltimore become the next side show town for whatever would be "hall of famer" is available at number one next year. Let the Nationals or Royals deal with Scott Boras next year... I'd take a few more wins and a top five pick over that reality any day.

Please......... don't start with the 16-yr old phenom pitch. I'm 65, I can't wait for McPhail to put together another Wieters, Pie, Arrieta, Berken, Bass, Pauley, etc, etc., "just give us time" schtick. Move 'em back to St. Louis!

Definitely a successful September! I would like to see an 8-9 game winning streak and build a lot of momentum for next year with the young guys getting really excited! I think the franchise would benefit more from this kind of success with the young guys fighting off recent history of September woes and playing hard to the end!

I guarantee that a great September won't mean dip s__t next year or a couple years after but a knock your eyes out 1st round pick sure will. And how do you define a great Sept.? A .500 finish? Come on, if the O's finish Sept. @ .500 they may still get the 1st pick.

What are you guys infering, they HAVE to play to win. Do you mean that playing to win will give them a great finish? I thought they've been playing to win all year. They've got to play MIRACULOUS to have a winning Sept. not just play to win. Wake up!

I don't want the first pick in the NFL. But if an owner in the NBA or MLB yes I want that first pick. Those football players don't work out often enough. NFL owners tend to reach on those first picks.

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