Thursday, March 29, 2007

Realism and Perception: Where the Orioles Stand…

This morning, I was reading the Baltimore Sun and caught a piece by Sheil Kapadia titled What They’re Saying About the Orioles: A Roundup of National Press Coverage.

I decided to expand a little on the piece, add a few more quotes and give my opinion.

The Orioles did get a lot better; however, the team did not make the sexy moves like we here wanted. In light of it all, the Orioles will not be in cellar unless Tejada or one of the big bats ends up hurt for half the season.

I think a lot of these writers and so-called media experts have tunnel vision and have been looking way, way too much in the past.

Simply put, some of these people can not see the forest from the trees here. Over the past few years, the Orioles in the media have been burnt, toasted and burnt to a crisp thanks to some of the so-called experts in the media and on TV.

I am resigned to say we will not win the division, but the team is very much improved and a third place finish is not out of the realm of possibility.

Well, I am just going to put a few quotes that I got out of the piece by Sheil Kapadia, and then I going to add a few more I have found:

SI: Abandoning their usual offseason M.O. of falling for the biggest brand names in free agency (even if they're past their prime), the Orioles instead aggressively went after players who could fill actual needs. And this winter, as has been the case for the better part of a decade, they had more than a few of those.

When Baltimore was done spending, it had committed a reasonable $79 million to eight players who will give the Orioles a decent return on their investment -- even if, for the eighth time in the last nine years, the club doesn't escape the bottom half of the division. The front office fared so well, in fact, that its biggest critic, cranky shortstop Miguel Tejada, not only happily announced that he wanted to remain with the Orioles for the foreseeable future but also promised to show up for work on time from now on.

Quotes from Dayn Perry of Fox Sports: Long-suffering Baltimore fans should ready themselves for more suffering. The O's have some compelling arms in the rotation, and another year of Leo Mazzone could yield progress (although, they did give up almost 900 runs last season). There's also the deeply promising Nick Markakis in right. If things break their way, it's not inconceivable that they'll finish in third place. However, that's the absolute best-case scenario for this year's Orioles model. In reality, they're more likely to finish in last than ahead of the Blue Jays.

Unfortunately, the future isn't as bright for the Orioles as it is for the D-Rays. There's just not much in the farm system to inspire optimism. With the Yankees and Red Sox both possessed of better young talent and deeper coffers, the O's will probably be on this regrettable roll call for years to come. At least the stadium's cool.

Dayn, buddy, you make a few salient points, but you’re a little off-base.

Yet another point of brilliance from Mr. Perry…

The O's could get better this season (particularly if another year of Leo Mazzone improves last year's awful pitching staff), but they have no shot at contending. They've got a shot at third place, but the cellar is a more likely destination.

Here’s some more stuff:

Being that the owner remains Peter Angelos, you really shouldn't take this team seriously. Where the Orioles once stood for terrific fundamental baseball -- they and the Dodgers were models in the 1960s -- under Angelos they now stand for paralysis, little direction and dysfunction. Now, happy Opening Day. Hey, at least the bullpen should be better.

Sadly, this is reality. Things may improve if Angelos can let the front office do their jobs, but for right now, the perception of Angelos and his involvement with team is killing the organization in the press.

Any way you slice it, a rotation of Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera, Kris Benson, Jaret Wright and Adam Loewen cannot outpitch the rotations of the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays over the course of a season. And their lineup cannot outslug them. (Mike Chiappetta – NBC Sports)

This is another point I agree with (somewhat), but I think we match up with the Blue Jays well, and the writer forgets the Blue Jays took a huge step backwards!

Here’s what the Washington Times says about the Orioles:

The good news: They should be better and more competitive. The bad news: They're still not good enough to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, and maybe not even the Blue Jays. If the O's are going to have any chance, Bedard and Cabrera are going to have to develop into a pair of aces.

I am going to save Tom Boswell of the Washington Post for last. I have always respected him and his work over the years, but he’s now got a serious bone to pick with Peter Angelos and does not think much of the organization.

Here’s a little of what he says about the team.

“The Baltimore owner still vetoes major trades to keep his favorite players in town regardless of the preferences of the men he has running his team. He'll still blow up any deal, free agent signing or draft pick if he feels like it. And he'll do it for any reason that pleases him. For an owner who inherited a great franchise and turned it into a disaster with nine straight losing seasons, no confession is more damaging. All of baseball will read Angelos's latest words and shake its head in pity for the O's.”

Agreed. It’s the undeniable truth.

About the Roberts trade:

For a trial lawyer who is accustomed to speaking extemporaneously and being accountable for every word, this must be a career-worst summation to the jury. In the offseason, team executives Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette were considering a deal to "improve the ballclub." But Angelos squelched it because Roberts is a fan favorite who's great for the Orioles' image?

Ok, I think that Angelos is a meddler, but I think Roberts has many intangibles on and off the baseball field. Baltimore fans would have rioted (not me necessarily) if B-Rob was traded and I think that also plays into why he was kept around. However, I think the best move should have been done for the team, and I am 50-50 about this trade being nixed.


Jason McAdams said...

And Keith Olbermann picked them to finish second in the AL East today.

I keep looking at the Orioles team buddy and I like what I see more and more.

BTW, Dayn Perry is an idiot writing a column. I'm this close to taking out of my feedreader.

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

I love Keith. I don't think the O's will finish second, but I like his optimism...

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