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Summer’s a Slow and Anxious Season

I know one thing for sure both from my own experience and from various conversations I’ve been having recently: there’s something strange happening right now. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but it’s there. No idea where it’s going, but it’s real.

One hope is that baseball can be, as it so often is, a salve. Because after all here we are deep into June and the Orioles haven’t folded yet. Getting swept by the Mets was no fun, of course, but things still look decent overall. It’s going to be a fun series against the Nationals this weekend with both teams playing relevant ball for the first time since…ever?

Over in my latest guest post at MASN I argue that if the O’s are still in contention at the trade deadline they must be buyers. Click on through for my whole argument but the gist of it is that I don’t want to see this opportunity wasted. The longer the strong performance lasts the more real it becomes. The more real it becomes the more I want to see it last. If a smart trade can help that along then it’s a move that has to be made.

Tomorrow’s a fun thing to think about but it’s never guaranteed. And broadly speaking I feel like we’re all doing a little bit too much waiting. For things to improve, for things to stabilize, for things to start to make more sense. Once upon a time that strategy might have worked, but I’m no longer convinced that it does. These days I favor action.

Everywhere I look I see doldrums. It’s getting old. Actually, no, fuck that. It’s old. We badly need progress, and progress means accepting risk. So be it.

6 comments to Summer’s a Slow and Anxious Season

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    the o’s of 2000-2011 win that game 0 out of 100 times. yes i include 2005.

  • sci

    @ Big Ben’s Motorcycle:
    Agreed. I’m amazed at how they keep pushing through these slumps, both hitting and starting pitching.

    Arrieta looks like he’s figured something out, which is awesome. If he’s going to pitch like this going forward, we’re in good shape with the top three. Then if Matusz can even give you decent games every other time out, and Britton replaces Hunter after the all star break, that’s really not bad overall.

    In other news, I feel really bad for Reimold. Just a completely snake-bitten career. I think the number 1 offseason priority has become signing a legit left fielder. We have zero organizational OF depth and no real help on the way — it’s kind of amazing.

  • sci

    Reading what I just wrote, I really wonder if they’ll try to pull the trigger on getting Garza and Soriano. Taking on that Soriano deal would make getting Garza a real possibility. All other things aside, if you look at Soriano’s numbers for this year, we’d kill for that production in LF. Truly…

  • dan the man

    There is a lot of waiting and wondering, but there’s also more interest. Despite the good crowds for the O’s/Nats series, it still seems like a quiet interest. Fans are engaged, but still wary.

    I agree that Duquette needs to pounce on this opportunity to improve the ballclub midseason. And I think he will, judging by his comments at the recent “state of the Orioles” shindig. Anyone not named Bundy or Machado is fair game, in my opinion, in terms of prospects.

    We still don’t have a feel for Duquette’s trading tendencies. Guthrie for Hammel/Lindstrom was widely panned, but it’s worked out better than anyone could have thought.

    I think maybe everyone’s just waiting for the All Star break… like just get there and take a breather and reassess this crazy season.

  • sci

    Last night’s game was not good. At all. Massive struggles again with RISP. Matusz was awful again. I’m beginning to lose faith that he’ll ever really figure it out.

    While we are 9 games above .500, which is awesome, there are massive weaknesses on this team — at 3B, LF, RF (at least until Markakis returns), outfield depth in general, and even 2B, where Roberts is nowhere near the player he used to be. On defense, where we are just atrocious. With overall team speed. And of course in the last two or three spots of the rotation.

    On the plus side, we have found two stalwarts in the rotation in Chen and Hammel, which is amazing, and our bullpen is incredible. Very curious to see how these next few weeks play out. Trying to stay positive about it all. It’s been a blast so far…

  • dan the man

    A half-season under his belt and Matusz is not looking like any kind of ace or #2 or #3. He’s literally a hot mess on the mound. Tipping pitches, recoiling on fastballs, no feel whatsoever. And seemingly no answers for how to fix the issue. And unlike Arrieta, he’s not a strikeout guy.

    At this point, I’d absolutely be fine with trading Matusz in a package for a consistent starting pitcher or sending him down to AAA to work with Rick Peterson.

    Equally troubling is Zach Britton’s mediocre starts at AAA. Duquette needs to make a move for a starting pitcher for sure if the O’s have any shot at legitimate contention.