Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yet Another Loss & Millar

Last night, we made another young pitcher look like Cy Young, and we lost again to Cleveland, 7-1. The Orioles only got three hits, and two Kelly Shoppach homers made the difference.

Ugh. I guess the march to the finish line is going to be painful.

Anyhow, the Orioles are obviously thinking about nine as of their callups have been placed in prominent roles, and one fellow who has made quite an impression in the heart of fans wants to return.

His name is Kevin Millar; however, do his numbers justify another contract with the Orioles and should he take up the spot of a youngster who could potentially help the team in the future, or a free agent with some pop in his bat?

His contributions to Boston's first World Series title team in 86 years will forever link him to Red Sox Nation. He has spent more time with the Florida Marlins than with any other club.

Yet Kevin Millar, the fun-loving, trash-talking, gear-grinding veteran first baseman, thinks of himself as an Oriole.

He has been one since 2006. And, despite facing free agency this offseason, he wants to be an Oriole again in 2009. Like everything with Millar, that's not a secret.

"Truthfully speaking, I want to be here," Millar said. "I feel like everything is going in the right direction."

His viewpoint hasn't changed even as the Orioles scuffle through another losing campaign.

"I enjoy the tough times when you are rebuilding, revamping," he said. "I enjoy those times because when you see a team turn the corner, it is pretty neat."

But will Millar, the only Orioles regular eligible for free agency, be around for better times in Baltimore? Will he even be here on Opening Day 2009?

It's a complicated scenario, and an answer won't be given before late December, perhaps not until January. The Orioles likely will study their options, analyze the trade and waiver markets and make a run at prize free agent and Mount St. Joseph alumnus Mark Teixeira before any decision on Millar is made.
As much as I love Millar, his positivity, and jovial nature, the Orioles would serve themselves well by seeing what's out there on the market and internally before tendering him another contract. You can't win with an entire team of guys under 30, but the organization must keep it's eye on the future and on the road ahead.

His 2008 numbers will end up being somewhat average, but respectable in the power department; however, does this team really need another player on the wrong side of 30?

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