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About deward

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  1. 1. My personal favorite was seeing Cal take one out to right-center in game 2129...only one I ever saw him hit in person. 2. I went to a game in the last season at Memorial Stadium as a kid and saw Kirk Gibson (one of my favorite non-Orioles) hit a ball that I'm not sure has landed yet. 3. In April '95 I saw Andy Van Slyke hit a towering home run to right...from our vantage point in the Left field club section, my friend and I thought it might have hit the warehouse. Turns out it bounced off the top of one of the brick pillars behind the flag court. I remember thinking that Van Slyke was going to have a big year for the O's after that...heh, not so much.
  2. Never argue with people who mangle famous quotes? Or who respond to reasonable points by bringing up arguments that no one has made? Hobgood's velocity has been all over the place this season, which could plausibly be indicative of a first-year pitcher dealing with conditioning/dead arm/minor injury issues. Would it be more satisfying to have someone closer to the majors like Minor or Leake right now? Sure. Would we be better off with one of them four years from now? Way too early to tell. I have concerns about Hobgood, and it would gratifying to see more progress, but high school pitchers are usually multi-year projects. If Hobgood can turn into a Derek Lowe-style innings eater, then the pick will have been well worth it.
  3. Which brings us back to assuming a failure occured in a situation where we have no proof either way. More power to you if that works for you, but it's not a philosophy that I agree with. I realize that this season has gone poorly enough to cost MacPhail most of whatever benefit of the doubt he might have had, but I'll still give him a little in a situation where a whole string of things would need to break right in order for team to see any benefit from it. Keep in mind that we're questioning MacPhail's effort to acquire a guy who has been a total disaster this season. Cheap, capable shortstops don't grow on trees, yet the Braves (a very smart organization) had grown so disenchanted with him that they dumped him for a package that would have seemed quite cheap a year ago. And I didn't notice any other shortstop-needy organzations (Houston, for one example) being willing to pay more than that for him. He'd be worth taking a flyer on, given how deep the hole is at short for the O's, but I'm not at all sure he'd be worth a substantial expenditure of player-capital, which makes it hard for me to get worked up over anything MacPhail may or may not have done to try and get him.
  4. Ok, if we assume that the Braves were more interested in right-handed power than getting back a better shortstop, then how did the O's match up with that? Wigginton? He hasn't provided any right-handed power since May and he's not a good defensive fit for the Braves (where would he play?). Surely you wouldn't give up Jones for someone who's played as poorly as Escobar has this season, right? Offer Reimold and convince the Braves to exchange problems? I'm sure the Braves would love to get Corey Hart, but Escobar is only good value for Guthrie if you're assuming that his 261 AB's this year are a fluke and not a trend. For that matter, does Guthrie make much sense for the Brewers, especially if they still have hope that they can convert Hart into Madison Bumgarner or something equivalent? My basic point here is that a whole bunch of assumptions have to be made to reach the conclusion that MacPhail either failed to get Escobar or that there was a good fit out there between the O's and Braves in this situation. Seems more useful to address the failures we know happened, rather than assume that other failures happened without any concrete evidence.
  5. Knowing that a player could be available and being aware that a specific deal is about to come together are two entirely different things. MacPhail could have been well aware that Escobar could be had for the right price and not have had any idea that the Braves and Jays were working on this trade if neither team was interested in involving him. If the Braves were specifically looking to move Escobar in return for an upgrade at his position, which appears to be the case, then they had no reason to talk to the O's. They just got a shortstop upgrade plus some change in return for a guy putting up a .618 OPS in his age-27 season and a pitcher with a career ERA of 6.40....I don't see where we can assume that there was any motivation on their part o make this trade any more complicated than it needed to be.
  6. I agree that it's incumbent on MacPhail to acquire a better shortstop for this team and I'll definitely count it as a failure on his part if he hasn't done something to address that between now and the start of next season. I'm just not willing to make all the assumptions necessary to jump to the conclusion (as some were doing) that Escobar being a Blue Jay today instead of an Oriole represets some sort of failure on MacPhail's end, that's all.
  7. Who says the Braves made any effort to notify MacPhail that this particular deal was in the works? GM's aren't obligated to notify all 29 of their counterparts that they're working on a move; for all we know Gonzalez was exactly who the Braves were targeting and they offered Escobar to Toronto specifically to get him without having any desire to talk to another team. Unless MacPhail admits in an interview that the Braves dangled Escobar to him and he passed, there's no reason to assume that he ever had the opportunity to involve himself in this deal. You're going to be in for a long string of disappointments if you're going to assume that MacPhail failed on some level every time another team acquires a player the O's could have used. There are enough things to be disappointed in around this team this season without inventing more out of thin air, IMO.
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