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Thoughts On Another Something

As I write, the Birds have…taken a lead in the bottom seventh on a two-out Jay Payton RBI double, then given it right back up…then done a bunch of other things that I don’t care to recount…finally ending up with Chris Ray failing us yet again.

Another horrible loss. There’s no getting around it. Yet I love the discussion in the comments on my last post. Everyone, including me, seems on the brink, wanting to believe and yet unwilling to ignore the obviously bad signs night after night. I’m right there with you. It’s a strange time to be a fan. Tonight’s game doesn’t make it any easier.

Still, I enjoy the ride, feeling the peaks and valleys. It’s fun to look at a Markakis or a Guthrie and take heart in their success. Likewise, there’s value in wondering why Melvin Mora isn’t performing and why Sam Perlozzo seems to lack leadership ability. Or why Ray can no longer do his job.

So to bring it back…all I ask of myself or anyone is this: just think. Be frustrated, be angry. Rejoice and cheer. If you call for Perlozzo’s head, tell everyone why. If you call for a Tejada trade, decide what you think would be good value in return. If you think that we’re underestimating the value of Kevin Millar, explain how.

Otherwise, where’s the fun?

That’s the crux of why I started this site. Maybe I’m weird, but I find it quite fun.

Nobody’s living or dying on the fortunes of the local baseball team. We just ride the waves, up and down as they go.

We’ve got, what, seven or eight dedicated commenters now? Fucking awesome. Each of you represents ten or twenty other folks who check in but don’t speak up. If we keep going, the numbers will only grow. It’s a solid group of folks who see sports as something valuable and worth our attention, but who also understand that when it comes to brass tacks we’re basically just having a beer and shooting the shit.

We’ve just dropped a series to the Nationals at home. Now what?

11 comments to Thoughts On Another Something

  • Ryan

    The team is in the cellar. It’s painful. It’s not easily explained. It’s true.

    And the worst road team in baseball put us there.

    Who’s responsible?

  • Mike L

    there is a number of things we could do to improve this team, but it comes down to just finding the right fit. i dont know. i mean for years and years we have dumped players and re-built, and no luck, and done it again. i dont know why players just cant perform when they get here. sammy sosa’s a perfect example. albert belle, and lets face it. did anyone actually expect more out of kevin millar. he never put up big numbers. he was just a rally monkey in boston. and the same for aubrey huff. never put up huge numbers. jay payton is another one. melvin mora had one fine year, and the list goes on. you spend money on half ass players you get half ass talent. baez was even a solid closer for tampa. what happended. cant some one else with a billion dollars out there buy the team? its cold down here in the basement.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Who’s responsible? Hmmm….

    We could blame Todd Williams, who seems to like proving that the old “use only Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford” strategy was not that bad a strategy.

    We could blame Chris Ray, who is just not very good, for no apparent reason at all.

    We could blame the offense for it’s uncanny ability to make Cy Young candidates out of people with names like Jesse Litsch and Matt Chico.

    We could blame the front office for giving us this offense that is juuuust a bit not good enough. What Mike said is true, we either get has-beens or almosts. What we needed was a fucking Carlos Lee, not Jay Payton, Aubrey Huff, and Kevin Millar (though I like all of these guys).

    We can blame the coaching staff (except Mazzone – who has actually done a terrific job with the pitchers. Anyone want to argue that point?) for not putting any sort of fire into the team – and yes that’s their job. Jim Leyland did it in Detroit, and Joe Girardi did it in Florida, and they both won Manager of the Year and their teams did real well last year, despite not being supposed to.

    What do we do now? The first thing is win tonight. We’ve got our boy on the hill, and if the players aren’t angry, then at least I sure am. I want to see us crush and destroy and fuck up the Nationals tonight, and then ride that into the Arizona series (we’ll need it). If we don’t…well, I’m not going to give up (of course not – I’m from Baltimore), but it’s hard to say this team is anything but underachievers, and I wouldn’t be too sad to see a sale this summer. We don’t need to have a fire …………..sale, but we gotta start getting rid of the spare parts, especially if they won’t be around for the actual winning.

    Players who I would be sad about going, but not sad enough to mind: Melvin Mora, Corey Patterson, Jay Gibbons, Kevin Millar, Daniel Cabrera, Chris Ray, Miguel Tejada, and maybe Steve Trachsel. That’s rough, that the list of guys playing mediocre is that long. To be fair, I think Trash Man and Millar are winners, but I don’t see Millar sticking around once the Teixeira era begins (oh please), and I’m mighty tempted to look at Trachsel as our new Bruce Chen.

    I’ll end on the bright note: According to one Mets fan I know, “Baltimore must be the best team, because look at how terrible they are, but they’ve still got lots and lots of fans.”

  • stink.

    stink stink stink stink stink stink stink stink stink stink stink stink.

    trade tejada to the moon. whatever. tejada came to baltimore because he’s a dimwit anyway. the rep was out there long before he left oakland for angelos. now he’s playing his only cards left: blatantly dog it, mail it in, lollygag, whatever, so much that team feels forced to trade him.

    wait till he’s on angels, or whereever. you’ll see the old tejada back.

    long as the doofus brigade runs team, they will stink.

    just enough free agency whores to provide false hope; just enough young talent to create the illusion the Os are on upswing; and just enough stink between the lines every year for the same outcome.

    stink.

  • S. Kay Parker

    I moved to Baltimore in ’01. I’ve never known the Orioles to be anything but a losing team.

    It seems difficult to believe that this team was once (for the most part) a perennial contender.

    For those who were around when the Orioles were winning, what was it like?

    Where there more people at the games? Was the crowd more enthusiastic? Was the local media more forgiving? Did the city take more collective pride in their baseball team?

    “Yes” is probably the invariable answer to all those questions, but for the people who were here and experienced it, I’d like their take on how things were different during the more prosperous years.

  • dan the man

    S. Kay – ‘Yes’ is indeed the answer, though I was just a bit too young to really remember those good years. Sometime in the mid-90′s we were decent and I sort of remember that. But then I stopped following baseball for awhile during this whole 10 year bad stretch and picked it up again around 2003-04. For some reason, I became the biggest O’s fan I have ever been in some of their worst years as a ballclub. It ain’t easy being an O’s fan, but here we all are still.

    Last night marked the night when lots and lots of O’s fans gave up on the season. It’s a different night every season, but it’s one that we have all become accustomed to experiencing. You can’t lose to the Nats. Not in Baltimore. Not after blowing two leads in one game. Not after losing twice to the Rockies at home. Not with the D-Backs and Padres coming up.

    The previous commenters are right. The O’s always do just enough to make you think they will be alright. But even guys with good track records seem to just bomb here. What’s the deal? Why can’t this team work right now?

    I am tired of Mora’s pouty face and slow bat. I am tired of Miguel Tejada being on top of every pitch – let’s get whatever we can for him and put someone who can dive for a ball in short. I’m tired of Daniel Cabrera and his “raw stuff” – it’s a phony cop-out at this point. I’m tired of half-assed performances from guys who should be great ball players.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    It is the most important time to be the true fan. Right now. We’re all greater fans for the suffering, and I actually think its best to be bleeding your colors when you’re terrible. And we’ll all of us be rewarded – just like the good days when the Yard sold out every game or before that when had those Miracles on 33rd Street.

    I don’t give up until we blow some September game to the Yankees myself. Then I don’t talk to anyone and cry myself to sleep, and then I’m fine until the next Spring Training, when we all get excited again…

    I’m not giving up on this season because our goals are not the playoffs or the World Series. I like the attitude that existed at some point that .500 ain’t enough, but .500 is what I want. I want to be able to sneer at people who say “10 years of losing…geez” and respond with “excuse Captain Knows-Everything-About-Baseball, we lost for 9 years. We ain’t the Pirates, Devil Rays, Royals, or your face.”. That’s what I want – a little respectability and a bright future (which we already kinda have). It would be nice if we could muster that X-Factor we’re missing:

    A WINNING MINDSET

  • dan the man

    Yep, .500 remains the ever-elusive goal. We will all be there until it finally happens, riding the peaks and valleys.

    Here’s my thing currently. This roster is obviously not working, so let’s make some changes already. The bullpen needs help. It desperately needs fresh arms. Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford are doing what they can here, but you almost feel like those are the only two arms in the ‘pen. Williams is what he is – good sometimes. I like him in the 7th. Williamson is underused and should be the 8th inning guy. Baez and Parrish are untrustworthy. Give these guys some new arms. Hoey, Bell, Doyne, somebody.

    Another issue: Why Castillo and not House? The offense is scuffling, this guy is a decent bat, give him a shot. This lineup can’t hack it right now and I guess it’s not quite time to make all these moves, but I think we can all agree that we’re at the point of just wanting to see new faces and new energy. The FO can’t just twiddle their thumbs forever. You can’t just let Gibbons fall to a .180 average and expect everyone to be ok with continuing to run him out there. Something is going to give very soon.

  • dan the man

    Wow, a scathing post on Camden Chat.

    What was it about the Mazzilli’s 2005 club that they could stay in first place for so long? Albeit, they then tanked. But that was arguably a worse team than this 2007 team. What was different?

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I think that about House v. Castillo, there are 2 things to strongly consider:
    1) Castillo was already on the 40 man roster (I think – if I’m wrong about that, then that’s a moot point)
    2) Castillo has to get sent down when Ramon comes back from his bruised groin (ouch) injury, and he’ll need to clear waivers. He’s got a much better chance of that than House, especially since neither is particularly great at catching.

    I’m still not sure why Freddie Bynum’s on the roster instead of Knott, Dubois, or House – whom we could use any of them as pinch hitters. I’m tired of watching Jay Gibbons and Corey Patterson pinch hit in close games. Let Knott pinch hit and Patterson pinch run if he’s not already in there. What does Bynum bring to this team that makes him so irreplacable?

    I won’t be surprised, especially if we continue to lose (and with actual tough opponents coming up) if we see Parrish go away, Bell come up, and one of those three come up to try and kick start us back into playing watchable baseball.

    Anyway, we got Rookie of the Year Jeremy Guthrie going tonight. Let’s go Orioles!

  • dan the man

    Andrew, excellent points regarding Castillo. I think you’re right about the 40-man roster thing and I hadn’t thought about the waiver thing, which makes Castillo the right choice for right now. I learn somethin new almost everyday on this blog.

    I agree about Bynum. If the guy isn’t even going to try to steal a base 50% of the time he’s used as a pinch runner, then let’s just use Gomez as a pinch runner for the REAL slow guys (Millar, Gibbons, Ramon) and have Knott/Dubois/whoever try to add some life into this lineup late in the game.