Editor’s note: the following blog was meant to be a well thought out, extensively researched list of mid-season moves (trades, contract extensions, promotions, demotions, etc.) for the Orioles to make in order to improve the team. It was formulated after taking a difficult but realistic look at the team’s performance and reluctantly realizing that the best move for the franchise was to write this season off and build for the future. But after watching them barely put up a fight in being swept by St. Louis (it’s actually 9-5 in the 7th inning of game 3 but we all know how this is going to end so I’m just going to chalk it up for the Cardinals), it has instead turned into an irrational and nonsensical rant about how following this team is one step below eating a turd sandwich. Enjoy!
Orioles Magic – Making Fans Disappear
I’m spent. I had hoped to at least make it to the All Star break this year but I can’t take anymore. I let them do it to me again. I got sucked in by the strong finish to last year and the Showalter effect and the pointless big name off-season acquisitions. The hot start to the season and the stretches of impressive play (fine, periods of competent play) only made me blinder to the freight train of cruel reality that was speeding towards me to crush my vulnerable psyche like a 4-year-old crushes a Brian Matusz fastball.
Lets start with Matusz. He’s cooked. He either needs to go on the DL or to Triple A (He was actually optioned so fast I didn’t even make it half-way through this piece). He couldn’t get a fastball by Melvin Mora right now. Why does every promising young pitcher produced by this franchise completely crap out? If I’m Zach Britton, I lock myself in the equipment closet and hope they forget about me. I’m sure Jake Arrieta will be having Tommy John surgery any day now. How the hell do the Cardinals lose a 20 game winner (Adam Wainwright) for the season and the best player in baseball (Albert Pujols) for multiple weeks and not even miss a beat, but one injury sends this team into a tailspin? Probably because our pitching depth consists of a sinker ball pitcher whose ball doesn’t sink anymore (Brad Bergesen), a power righty who can’t hit 90 or find the plate (Chris Tillman), and a 35 year old with two bad hips (Justin Duchscherer).
The second base solution appears to be a platoon of Robert Andino and Blake Davis. Both are defensive minded, which is to say they couldn’t hit their way out of a wet paper bag. Davis looks like Chris Evans before they gave him the super soldier formula in Captain America. When he’s not letting balls roll through his legs, he’s getting death stares after bumping into Nick Markakis on pop ups, or taking ground balls up the middle away from J. J. Hardy. Hardy, by the way, needs to be re-signed like yesterday. He’s the only one on this team that can play defense - him and Derrek Lee. Mark Reynolds wouldn’t have a put-out this year if it wasn’t for Lee. I want to say trade Lee as soon as possible but I fear for the safety of every spectator sitting along the first base line. At least I know Ryan Adams can’t play defense. I don’t expect anything from him so I can only be pleasantly surprised when he doesn’t throw the ball away. And maybe he knocks in a few runs in the meantime. God knows this team could use some help with runners in scoring position.
Which brings me to my next point; can someone please get a hit with runners in scoring position? The Orioles were leading the league just a few weeks ago. Now, this team leaves more men behind than the Germans at the Battle of Stalingrad. It would be even more if they didn’t hit into so many double plays (4 more tonight). It’s really a team exercise in futility but I’m going to choose to heap most of the blame on Vladimir Guerrero, the default clean-up hitter, but only because Buck hasn’t even bothered to try anyone else there. Really he should be traded for a bag of balls or released (really he shouldn’t have been signed in the first place). That would let Luke Scott move back to his natural position of DH. The guy can’t take two steps without hurting himself. I guess felling an entire forest in the off-season doesn’t really prepare you to play left field everyday. It would be nice to see a real left fielder out there. Nolan Reimold hit a home run last night so I guess that “earned” him another start. All the guy does is hit home runs and hustle his ass off. Jim Palmer did a great job of pointing out just how impressive his shattered bat infield hit was. I want to see more of that.
That’s not even close to covering everything – hitting, pitching, defense, it all stinks – but like I said, I’m spent. Yeah, I guess Matt Wieters is good at throwing out runners. Woo hoo.