On Thursday afternoon, Rick Dempsey and Jim Hunter joined fans at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore for the final afternoon Q&A/Autograph session of the year.
For the most part, he talked about the state of the team and of the minor leagues.
The event was emceed by Jim Hunter, and most of the questions directed towards him were about the development of the youngsters in the minor leagues.
Both Jim and Rick believe the key in rebuilding the team is not through free agency or high ticket signings, but through developing the minor leagues, finding talent and building a core.
The crowd was fairly small, well smaller than I have seen at the events throughout the year. Although there were not too many questions asked, Rick went deep into detail about the team's issues and what can be done to bring the Orioles back into prominence.
- Noted that the team must be rebuilt around Brian Roberts, and Nick Markakis.
- Added that Guthrie is been a diamond in the rough, plus the Orioles need to focus on signing Bedard and getting consistency out of the young arms
- Has the feeling the Orioles have a core of good young pitchers -- but consistency is the key.
- Says that Daniel Cabrera has an arm of gold, but that means nothing if he can't get the ball where he wants. Feels that he's still learning and at times his fundamentals are off.
- Feels that is also the case with Radhames Liz, and Francisco Cabrera.
- A member of the audience brought up MASN (Jim Hunter took the question) and if there's a chance they'd be imgrating to HD (high-definition TV). He said that MASN is working on the service; however, they need to get another channel and there are layers to the issue. As well, MASN must go through negotiations with the cable providers and lawyers. There was not a definitive answer to the question.
- Dempsey believes the young pitchers are being rushed -- however, only out of necessity as the Orioles has no one else in the pipeline. The brass felt that Liz was the best pitcher at the time to bring up to the major leagues. Feels that Liz and other youngsters have the tools, but they need to learn how to play in the majors.
- Noted that he's interviewed with the Orioles three times for a managerial position and was turned down. Well, attributed his lack of success due to timing and the situation at that given time.