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Spring Notes 7

<a href=’http://www.thelosscolumn.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/oriolesvig.jpg’ target="blank" title=’baltimore orioles throwback logo 54 to 64′><img class="alignleft" src=’http://www.thelosscolumn.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/oriolesvig.jpg’ width="130" height="175" alt=’baltimore orioles throwback logo 54 to 64′ /></a>Crazy as it seems, we’re just under two weeks away from Opening Day. And as <b>Roch Kubatko</b> <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-orioles317,0,949783.story" target="blank">points out</a>, there are still plenty of decisions left to make.

As far as I can tell the only surprise of spring so far has been the demotion of <b>Hayden Penn</b> to the minor league camp. As surprises go, that’s fairly mild. Which means that the last two weeks of camp figure to be active as hell. I fully expect at least one waiver wire claim and at least one trade — though I <i>don’t</i> expect that trade to involve <b>Brian Roberts</b>. I still say he starts the season as our leadoff hitter, and I hope he stays that way into next spring.

I also have a hunch that <b>Brandon Fahey</b> will earn the initial nod at shortstop, with <b>Luis Hernandez</b> making the team as a reserve infielder. Poor <b>Freddie Bynum</b>.

Yes, I realize that’s basically the same as what Roch said.

<b>–</b> I find it kind of amusing that the solution to our spring training venue problems might end up being <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/wires/03/17/2010.ap.bbn.dodgertown.farewell.0902/" target="blank">the 60 year-old "Dodgertown" facility</a>. When moving into another team’s ancient castoff looks like a substantial upgrade you <i>know</i> the current situation is bad.

<b>–</b> If you’re wondering about <b>Sam Perlozzo</b>, <a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420ap_bba_mariners_perlozzo.html" target="blank">here’s a chance to catch up</a>. He would like another chance to manage, and I think he’ll get it somewhere. The game owes him at least that much.

I had also forgotten that he turned down an offer from <b>Peter Angelos</b> to remain with the organization this year. Interesting.

<b>–</b> According to BetUS.com, the Orioles are <a href="http://www.betus.com/sports-betting/Baseball_Betting_Biggest_Underdog_Sits_in_AL_East-9892.aspx" target="blank">baseball’s biggest underdogs</a>. It’s kind of a useless thing, because while the odds on the O’s and <strike>Devil</strike> Rays might be different it’s still a virtual certainty that neither of them will win the division.

<b>–</b> Catching up with another former Bird: <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/sports/articles/0317dbraines0317.html" target="blank"><b>Tim Raines, Jr.</b></a> I have a funny story about a sign I once took to the ballpark in celebration of Raines.

I’ve been loving the way these "Spring Notes" posts have taken on a life of their own in the comments. Keep it coming.

And by the way: take a look at that old logo up there. Anybody mad that, from ’54 to ’64, the official logo didn’t say "Baltimore"?

Sorry. I couldn’t help it.

39 comments to Spring Notes 7

  • Mike L

    Nah, not mad at all. The road uni’s still said baltimore though.

    Anyhow…Jim Hoey seems to have bicep tendenitis? Is it just me or is the injury bug going around alot the last year or so. And most notably in the pitchers. In the last year at one point or another we lost Loewen for the 07′ year, bedard toward the end, ray for all of the 08′ year, baez for 15 days in 07′ and at least 60 in 08′, trachsel for 15 days, Loewen again in the spring, and now Hoey.

    Maybe its just the nature of the game, i dont see that many injury reports like you do in football, but that seems like alot. Dare I even say that the trainers are not giving the guys the proper care needed prior to taking the field and after coming off, whether its practice, or a spring game, or in the middle of the regular season. I know Richie Bancells has been with the team for as long as I can remember, at least since he visited my elementary school one day back in 1990. Does a change to the training staff need to be made? Maybe find someone who might be a little more up to date with modern medicine, maybe knows what these guys need. Is bancells using the same procedures as he was 20 years ago.

    Am I way outta left field with this, and this is just a series of unfortunate events. I’m by know means asking for bancells head to take its place on the guillotine. I love the fact we have someone who has been with the team as long he has. Im just curious, why all the injuries.

  • df1570

    At least that bird in the 50′s logo is smiling…connecting the thought that baseball is fun.

    The current bird looks like it hasn’t had a meal since the last time the O’s had a winning season and appears on the verge of taking a dump (you can insert your own joke here).

    OUR current logo is the worst in baseball.

  • Greg

    Not that I’m particularly fond of it, but our current logo actually looks like a real Oriole bird. I do like that old halfway between real and cartoony bird at the top of this post though. Would like a hat with that guy on it.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I don’t think our current bird is the worst in baseball…at least we aren’t lazy and just use those stupid O’s hats all the time – those things are pretty terrible. Nah, I like having a picture instead of a letter like everyone else (except the Indians, but’s that a different story, and probably IS the worst logo in baseball) for a logo.

    Teams with logos worst than ours, because saying ours is the worst is just being lazy in your criticism: The Blue Jays, Indians, Brewers (when they do their current one, and not the fucking best logo ever throwbacks), Rangers, Rays, and I’m not especially fond of Colorado’s or San Diego’s.

    Com’on Drew, we know you have a ton of issues with the team, but the bird on the hat isn’t even close to the worst thing in baseball.

  • df1570

    There’s a difference between what’s on the hat and what the team’s “official logo” is. That is a sorry ass looking bird on the front of our hat, but that’s NOT the team’s official logo.

    I was referring to the team’s logo when I wrote “our current logo” is the worst in baseball.

  • dan the man

    Talkin bout the baseball diamond with the Orioles script over it, right? I believe that’s the official logo, and yes, it’s terribly boring and unoriginal. But hey, go O’s.

    Still riding the Brian Roberts won’t get traded wave, Neal? With the trade talks heating up over the last week or so, that’s officially going out on a limb. I think with all the nagging injuries to pitchers, Andy would love to grab the Cubs’ top 3 pitching prospects that have apparently been offered. Not saying I wouldn’t be extremely happy to be able to continue to watch Brob play baseball in Baltimore, though.

    I don’t know if I buy the Bancells angle because I’m not sure how much a trainer really has an effect on random arm injuries. Wouldn’t care one way or another if he was canned, though, except I’d miss that great ‘stache. Now, Crowley… there’s someone who doesn’t really need to stick around.

  • Joe the Guy

    Sorry to get off topic (not really)

    the HP move will give us more control of his contract because he’s not starting the year with the club – right? Anyone know more on how that works and if that was the real motivation for the move? (as he pitched pretty damn well before the demotion)

    also – The Rotation:

    Guthrie, DCab, Loewen, Trachsel

    Who’s your 5th starter? Longmen? (DT likes having 2)

    Right now Albers is my starter and Olson/Burres would be my long relievers.

    latest official O’s “Mailbag” defines the bullpen as below:

    Sherrill closing, Walker, Bradford, Sarfate, 2 long guys

    leaves one spot – they say a pick between Aquino/Bierd – thoughts?

    also – should Sarfate be your setup guy? (on the job training for closing in case Sherril shits the bed) ?

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I think we can all agree that the current Oriole logo/hat/uniform has a ton of problems (O’s hat, no cartoon bird, no Baltimore, uninspiring, and so on and so on). At least we didn’t play yesterday and put a green hat on with the orange O’s thing going on. I think I would’ve been sick.

    I don’t think there’s any way Bierd doesn’t make the team. He’s pitched well enough, we lose him entirely if he doesn’t make it, we’ve got nothing to lose if he sticks around. I can’t say I understand wanting two long guys, because you never know when one guy is gonna get work. If a week goes by with good starting pitching, the long guy gets rusty. Not that I think we can go a week with good starting pitching…

    Anyway, Burres is my long man and Olson is my fifth guy right now. Trash Can is the opening day pitcher. Let Penn, Albers, Aquino, Cormier, Leicester head south…they’ll be back soon enough anyway.

  • KonaBoy

    I agree with AiR about Randor Bierd being on the team, he’s too good (so far) of a Rule 5 to just let go back to Detroit … or his home solar system.

    I dislike a lot of the aspects of the Orioles’ unis/logos, but they’re thankfully not the worst. I actually like the “new” realistic oriole, the other one from the 90′s looked bizarre to me; either make it unrealistic (like the one with the hat from the 70′s or the little guy from the 50′s) or make it totally realistic like the current one. And yes, count me in on hating the “O’s” hats, does the FO really need to be told that with the apostrophe they’re NOT actually making it possessive? Might as well add a ? to the end so we can be the Fightin’ Oh it is?

    I like the idea of copying Detroit and Boston with the away uni having some sort of giant cursive or old-type style “B” over the heart. Or we could just go overboard and have the away unis spell “Baltimore” out phonetically in Baltimorese and have John Waters’ face on the hats.

  • Greg

    Maybe someone should draw up some plans for a badass flesh eating carnivore Oriole bird, and strike fear in the hearts of our opponents.

  • dan the man

    At least our logo isn’t a pair of socks. I mean… come on.

    Nat’s got a W. Sweet.

    NY has NY. Real original.

    Rockies have a CR in a baseball diamond.

    I really don’t mind our sickly bird. At least it’s something more than a letter and better than a fish. And the St. Louis Cardinal is just as sickly.

  • neal s

    The current hat bird is actually awesome. Step back from the fact that it’s associated with a losing era and you’ll see just how different and unique it is compared to every other team in the league. Trust me — with current trends in branding and design being what they are, you do not want them changing it.

    The script/diamond logo is just eh. I can take it or leave it.

    On another note, no surprise here: Sherril’s the guy in the ninth.

  • Joe the Guy

    God damn you Drew and your rubbish.

    I can’t get anyone to talk about pitchers because everyone’s consumed with pictures.

    Who cares? WHY?

    I’m VERY ready for the games to start.

    I’d like to see us stack the deck with Andy Mac’s guys in prominent roles right off the bat: Sherrill (closer) Sarfate (setup) Albers (5th starter)

    plus Scott & Jones in the outfield on a regular basis – I don’t want to see Jay Payton unless he is filling out the stat book like I used to do as a 4th outfielder on the freshman baseball team (I was an offensive liability because it’s hard to hit while stoned)

    Because I’m not accepting this “Rebuilding” phase they are selling us until they really do it

    Congrats, you made some good moves

    Now, let’s see what these guys can do and if it was really worth it

    My exception to this rant is the Trashman – if he can eat up innings and workhorse his way to the break so we can flip him YET AGAIN at the deadline it will be worth it for the comedy factor alone

  • neal s

    The thing for me, Joe, is that I’m having a hard time deciding which of the candidates for fifth starter should get the job. I’m leaning towards Olson for one reason only: he’s got some experience with the big club and has performed so well in the minors that I’m not sure he needs any more time there.

    Burres seems to me like a quintessential long reliever/spot-starter/injury fill-in. Albers looks like he could use a season in AAA.

    But, really, any of them could get the gig and I’d be fine with it.

    Bierd has to make the team. Has to.

  • random dude

    Sorry JtG,
    I need to touch on pictures. Some dude at my work just emailed me talking about the best and the worst logos, how random is that?

    Worst: Detroit Tigers 1927 – 1928: http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?id=7193

    Best: 49ers (I’m opening the logo talk to football as well) 1946 – 1967
    http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?id=6872

  • random dude

    Quick link to Orioles logos.
    http://www.sportslogos.net/team.php?id=52

    1965… what the hell

  • dan the man

    Olson optioned to AAA. Wow… must make Penn feel a little better. I don’t mind this move. Whatever. Albers has more MLB experience than Olson anyway, and frankly, Olson needs to get some confidence and remember how to throw strikes. His ERA was good this spring, but his control was terrible. Andy is showing that he values guys like Penn, Olson, and Liz by giving them innings in the minors and making sure they’re ready for a call-up. We’ve got an entire backup rotation in Norfolk: Olson, Penn, Johnson, Liz, and whoever else is the next guy to get sent down there. They’re all solid.

  • dan the man

    Although it’s worth mentioning Albers hasn’t shown control, either. 2 walks already in 2 innings so far today.

  • dan the man

    Well… Albers sucks. 2 run shot…

  • neal s

    Shows how much I know. Really, though, isn’t the Penn/Olson/Albers/Burres question pretty much a wash at this point? It matters less who starts the year with that job than who ends the year having proven he deserves it.

  • dan the man

    Yeah, exactly.

    Albers to me looks like he has some issues, but I like his K-rate and his ground ball rate. I dunno, should be an interesting next couple of games.

  • dan the man

    Of course, there’s the train of thought that says Albers will be sent to AAA as well, with Marquis being the #5 guy when we get him in a Roberts and Payton trade.

  • neal s

    I’m staying out here on my limb. I realize I’m the last person left who doesn’t think a Roberts trade will happen, but it’s still what I think. Something about the way these tea leaves line up just doesn’t feel right.

  • Chris

    That ’54-’64 logo doesn’t have the word “Baltimore” in it! Those charlatans!!!!!!

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Olson & Penn: I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. If we officially rebuilding, and our rotation this year is Steve Trachsel, Jeremy Guthrie, Adam Loewen, Daniel Cabrera, and Brian Burres…whereas last year at some point it was those guys – Loewen + Bedard…that isn’t how rebuilding works. Albers hasn’t impressed me. Penn impressed me. Olson…well, I guess I just like a guy with such impressive AAA numbers over Matt Albers and Brian Burres.

    Norfolk should have a real good rotation though. Look out, Rochester Red Wings!

    What really bothers me is that DT and MacPhail will talk about wanting Penn and Olson and Liz pitching every 5th day and getting seasoning and how they like having Burres up here now…like Brian Burres couldn’t stand to use a little more seasoning, like Brian Burres was lights out last year. He was not. His upside right now is Rodrigo Lopez. I don’t want another Rodrigo Lopez, although that one year he was in the bullpen, you know what, he was outstanding (but still a whiny little bitch).

    It’s just hard to get behind a rebuilding team with a rotation of old, never-gets-it, never-will, ???, and the Stormin’ Mormon…especially when it could have/ should have been ???, Stormin’, never-gets-it, Olson, and Penn.

    And as for this logo discussion that continues. The Orioles are not the worst anything in the league. They are just supremely dull, uninspiring, and forgettable. Except in the outfield and at second base.

  • df1570

    As far as the logo goes, it’s probably NOT a good idea to put the word “BALTIMORE” on anything…letterhead, uniforms, dugout roof, logo, etc.

    If the team started using “BALTIMORE” more, the people in Lancaster, Dover, Easton, Fairfax and Frederick might not come to the games anymore.

    That’s what the “experts” over there at the Warehouse have told me before when I’ve questioned them about it.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Drew, I’ve heard that before…I guess I understand, but that is just…ugh…

    I actually have a question for you. I heard the Not-So-Nasty Hour this morning and found it really enjoyable, not as ax-grinding as usual, but here’s my question. I don’t mean to open this can of worms back up, I just want clarification on your viewpoint.

    You said, “I don’t think the team will start to win until the fans come back” in response to the more general comment “The fans will return when the team starts to win”. How is that possible? I know you were talking about fan appreciation night in ’88 and all, but why would the team start to win if the stadium suddenly was sold out every game? The players still mostly suck and are old. The atmosphere would be better, and that might encourage the team to perform better, but these guys only have so high a ceiling of talent.

    Anyway, just wondering. Don’t start a war about it. And don’t feed me some rhetoric like that last post, even if it’s rhetoric in response to ridiculous rhetoric.

    Oh, I have a very interesting point of discussion about this logo and “Baltimore” business but I don’t think we can post images on the comments, can we? In that case, Neal, I best take a picture and e-mail you to post on the main page. I absolutely cannot find this thing I’ve got anywhere on the net and it is a …curiosity in this debate.

  • df1570

    I think the state of the franchise is such right now that it’s not just the team on the field losing, it’s the franchise that is losing. No one goes to the games anymore, general interest in the team is probably at an all time low (in terms of being “wide spread”) and the team stinks and has stunk for the last 10 years. I think the on-field product is headed in the right direction. I’ve been saying that since Andy MacPhail took over. I think the organization, marketing/PR/media relations, etc., is headed nowhere.

    Miguel Tejada said something to me once that REALLY stuck with me. It was the day of a Boston game and the Red Sox were taking batting practice and fooling around with one another, laughing, joking, etc. and Tejada said, “You know, they have so much fun when they’re here because they love playing for their people…it’s fun to play well when your people are here to see you. For us, it’s not much fun anymore because we don’t have many people here to watch us. Boston wins because the games are fun for them. We lose because the games aren’t fun.”

    If I could do a good Spanish twang, I’d write like he said it…”ju know…they hab soooo much fun when dey here…” But you get the tenor of the comment nonetheless.

    That really stuck with me.

    And that’s just one thing that one player said.

    I think the environment at OPACY lends itself to losing. I’ve been to Tampa to see the Devil Rays. The whole place lends itself to losing. No one goes to the games and The Heckler is more enjoyable than the action on the field. On those nights when 8,100 show up at OPACY, we don’t even have a Heckler to get us through the game. It’s dreadful in that place on those nights…and there are A LOT of them.

    When you have a 48,000 seat ballpark and 10,000 show up to watch you and your team’s not very good, you lose on the field and you lose your enthusiasm for enjoying the game.

    That’s why I say, contrary to what most people think, “The team won’t win until the fans come back.” And, that’s why I’ve been saying for the last 3-4 years, that if the club actually knew what they were doing, they’d optimize their marketing/PR efforts to get fans back NOW instead of mumbling to themselves…”when we start winning again, all those assholes who stopped coming to the games will come back…” That’s precisely how they think. “Those assholes will definitely all start streaming back in here when we win.”

    Fans WILL come out to see losing baseball as long as they think the club is still trying to be competitive and, during the times they aren’t, at least cognizant of the fact that the people paying money to see losing baseball should be rewarded, not shit on.

    I’m not trying to start a war. I know I’m right.

    I know the organization has dissasociated with Baltimore and I know people who have worked there who have told me (and in one case, showed me office memos) that personnel have been ordered NOT to refer to the club as the “BALTIMORE” Orioles or to market the team with the word BALTIMORE attached to it.

    I don’t think they can win until they get people to come back to the stadium, embrace the team and enjoy the games again. Win or lose.

    That shouldn’t start a war, because, ultimately, I want the same thing as all of you guys. I want the team to win again. I want the ballpark to be sold out again. I want those shit-breather NY and Boston fans to not be able to invade the stadium.

  • neal s

    Best comment you’ve left yet, Drew (if I may say so).

    We simply don’t see eye to eye on how to go about achieving that goal we all agree on. I say the best way is going to some games, enjoying ourselves, and supporting the players (and the local businesses) in spite of the team’s organizational shortcomings. You say the best way is fighting it from the outside with passionate rhetoric. That’s a fair, honest debate.

    We won’t know who’s right until the team starts winning. We’ll have to wait until the next time they’re still in the mix come August and see how the community responds.

    I’ll say this, though: when they were in contention in the first half of ’05 there was a dramatically different feeling about the team. The stands were fuller, the vibe was more lively and positive. Even you can’t deny that.

  • dan the man

    Drew, you won’t find a soul on this board that doesn’t agree that the O’s PR, marketing, and media relations are completely off track. It’s just that there’s not much any of us can do about it. Marching on the warehouse is too much to ask of fans of any sport in any town (after all, it’s just sports), so we wait and hope that journalists and general fan disapproval finally gets through to these guys.

    In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy watching my favorite baseball team.

    Andrew, I think you’re way wrong, dude. Trust in MacP. Rebuilding isn’t all about throwing out your kids. It’s about stockpiling those kids, protecting them, making sure their ready, and inserting them when it makes the most sense and when they have the best chance at success. You can be sure that MacPhail won’t be signing many veteran stopgaps – he wants the kids to play, but he isn’t going to let Olson pitch when he’s still hitting guys in simulated games. Penn pitched 40 innings at the beginning of last year. Liz needs to prove that his improved mechanics aren’t fleeting. These guys are the future, and the future isn’t right now. After all, this is the Lost Season. Hell, Penn and Olson might be up by the end of April for all we know – Andy is protecting these guys because they’re better than Burres and Albers. He wants to bring them up and have them stay. Like Neal said, I think that it doesn’t matter at all who’s on the roster at the start of the season, it’s who has forced their way up as we go along. I like have 4 or 5 guys in AAA all knowing they absolutely will be a regular major leaguer on this rebuilding club – now they just have to prove it to Andy, who is thankfully more discerning in who he lets pitch at the major league level.

  • dan the man

    Miguel Tejada, ST ’08: .216, 2 RBIs, 0 HR, 37 AB.

    Also, the Astros have Newhan and DeJean on their ST roster.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Thanks Drew. I totally agree with every single thing you said. Thank you.

    Bedard’s spring training line also sucks.

    I just hate the idea of the team thinking Burres is a capable fifth starter. He’s Julian Tavarez. He’s just…oh well. Prove me wrong, Nosebleeds, prove me wrong.

    Here’s the thing. Jamie Walker was talking about the Tigers, who I respect the most out of any team right now, I think, and he was talking about how they went through that rough patch and had “two or three” Rule V picks on the team all year, knowing they were gonna stink, but they liked the idea of learning in a no-pressure major league level – which is what we’ve got – and that developed a ton of good talent that got them into the World Series.

    I’ll stand quietly in the corner to protest this, but I fully expect to see both Hayden Penn and Garret Olson back very soon, and for one of them to be good. Of course, I fully expected Danny Boy to right himself years ago, but maybe this is the year!!!

  • dan the man

    Ouch… Adam Loewen walked 4 guys and allowed 3 runs in the 1st inning, including a Pujols 2-run shot. All 9 Cardinals got to the plate.

  • df1570

    Neal, the problem with your approach — here it is, from above —

    “I say the best way is going to some games, enjoying ourselves, and supporting the players (and the local businesses) in spite of the team’s organizational shortcomings.”

    is two fold: First, your approach might be best for your sanity as a loyal fan, but it clearly hasn’t made the team get off their duff and get their act together since 1998. As the years have gone on, apathy (or just being content to have a team to root for…whatever you want to call it) is precisely what the team wants from its fan base. They obviously DON’T want anyone questioning their efforts, methods or motives…when I did that, I got banned, essentially, from covering the team on a daily basis.

    Second — because they’ve lost for so long and shown so little interest in getting better, they’ve lost a lot of people like you. People who, six years ago, said, “I’ll just wait this thing out…they’ll get it back together soon enough.” Some of those people, well, most of those people, I think, packed it in around 2005 or 2006.

    That’s why I always say, that people like you, Dan, Andrew and anyone else still hanging on to their “Die-Hard O’s Fan” card deserves to throw out the first pitch at a home game. There are only a handful of you left.

    So, yes, you and I have two different approaches. You’re more than willing to wait around, watch some games and assume that some day it will get fixed. I’ve seen enough to say to myself, “Fuck it, I’ll take them to task for it and rattle their cage because I know I’m right.”

    I don’t think either approach is wrong. One demands action, the other demands results.

  • steve h.

    …and your approach has gotten NO WHERE forrester. It’s been what?, 4 years of you and nestor whining, complaining nonstop on the air?

    oh, it’s allowed you you bring people into your boss’s fued with Angelos and market your station. Thats it.

    But don’t assume your way of “voicing” your feeling about the team have done a damn thing. Because it hasnt.

    “Fuck it, I’ll take them to task for it and rattle their cage because I know I’m right.”…. you are an idiot.

  • df1570

    You’re probably right, Steve, challenging the team to do better CLEARLY hasn’t worked.

    That’s one reason why I suspended them last week. I’m tired of trying to help them.

    Nestor hasn’t been on the air for two years now, so he’s not doing much whining anymore.

    I’m doing most of it. Then again, if the team would win games and draw more than 12,000 fans to the bulk of the home games, I’d probably have to find something else to talk about, right?

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Drew…you’re acting all rational and stuff this week. Do you have the flu or something?

    I kid, of course, because I’ve been behind around 75% of the things you’ve said. So here’s my question back to you, who would gladly talk about other things besides the multiple failings of the club if they had a successful season – what, in 2008′s “Lost Season” where it’s cool if old pitchers and below average pitchers are the starters (not to mention shortstop), is successful? What would you hypothetically see from the team that would make you sit back and praise them…is that a results from games thing, or putting Baltimore back on the jerseys/logo, or a PR department flush out, or what?

    We’ve kind of been debating that stuff around here. What is this team’s success bar? My opinion has always been September record, because the off-field stuff they are still futzing around on suck but don’t really bother me. Of course, if the team sucks but they knock down that stupid hotel and put Balmer on the unis, I think we’ll call it even.

  • df1570

    I have ZERO expectations for the Orioles in 2008.

    I’m not setting myself up for any disappointments on the field because I’m fully prepared for them to stink.

    I guess it would be cool to see Adam Jones do something that justifies all the excitement about his acquisition, but in all fairness to him, how good can he be if the team winds up losing 100 games?

    I would like to see Guthrie emerge as a quasi-bonafide #1 starter and have an e.r.a. a half-run less than whatever the league average winds up being. I don’t really care about wins/losses that much (with him) because he might make 33 starts and go 12-13 but have a low WHIP and a 3.95 e.r.a. and that would be good enough for me.

    I’d like to see Daniel Cabrera either stop walking people or get traded. I have to admit, though, I keep a spare copy of Elton John’s “Daniel” at the station for the day he leaves. “I can see Daniel waving good-bye”…

    And, mainly because of the bush-league manner in which they handled his contract situation a few weeks back, I’d like to see Markakis hit 30 HR’s and knock in 125 runs. Arbitration eligible, baby.

    I’d also like to see Adam Loewen put together a full season and get double digits in wins and have an e.r.a. no higher than .25 above the league average. That would put him somewhere in the high 4′s, which will probably be highly acceptable on this year’s team for any starter.

    That’s most of the on field stuff.

    Oh, yeah, I’d like to see Aubrey Huff lead the league in strike outs, double play ground-outs and errors at 1st base.

    Off the field, we’ll see what happens in May when the deadline comes for filing the paperwork for ’09 uniform changes. I’m not saying a word about it on the air until the deadline comes and goes, like I promised. Once we see what direction they take for ’09, then I’ll talk about it.

    I would say that I’d also like to see them be more available to the media and provide the “non-business-partner” media entities with players and such, but I won’t allow any of their people on with me through December 31, so that’s a moot point – for me, anyway. It would be nice, though, to have the team make their players/execs available to Haynie, Long and the rest of the people in town who would like to help promote the team but are black-balled by their policies regarding “rightsholders rights”.

    In general, I’m hopeful that this is the true beginning of a “new beginning” for Orioles baseball. Like Ed Kowalcyzk sings in a song by “LIVE”…”sometimes you have to die, to be born again…” I’m hoping they’re born again.

    I have expressed great faith in Andy MacPhail since he took over last June and think he is absolutely the right guy for the job in Baltimore – if he doesn’t get fired first for being too good, which is always a possibility at The Warehouse.

  • df1570

    By the way, I meant to mention – but didn’t – that I like the O’s “Orange Carpet Program”. I don’t know a whole lot about it, other than what I’ve read in ads and such…and that’s one of the reasons why it’s always good to have access to club personnel – so you can actually have them on the air to talk about the new things they’re doing to reach out to the fans. Alas, the team doesn’t want the fans to know what they’re doing, so they make themselves unavailable (unless you’re paying them).

    But…I really DO like the looks of the program and the efforts they’re making to create rewards/incentives for people who buy ticket plans in ’08.

    If only we could all hear the front office people speak about it…