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melankfo

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About melankfo

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  • Birthday 5/10/1938
  1. I was asked by another poster in May to elaborate on my concern that Machado -- due to attitude issues -- will not have the good major league career we all expected when he was drafted . I've copied my May post below, as it may be relevant to the current discussion on M's performance: Sure. This is not based on a lot -- certainly not on any inside info from coaches,etc -- so I could certainly be wrong. But do you ever have a quick impression of a person, or a player, that's strong enough that you just can't dismiss it? I've seen him play in 3 games only -- last year and the year before -- but in one game particularly last year, he starts off making an error at shortstop, and the pattern continues throughout the game: he makes other errors and misplays not officially judged as such. What most struck me is that he didn't respond in a healthy way -- he didn't look at all bothered by any of his poor plays at the time, and even worse he didn't seem to be focusing more in future chances to get a different result. I've rarely seen these two "indifferent" responses together in a player. They mostly care about their performance, and you can see them being especially focused on approaching a ground ball in the right way this time when they just casualed it and let it run up their arm and hurt their team an inning ago. But from Machado no apparent chagrin or apparent attempt to remedy his problem in future chances. To me, that was a very bad sign, even in a very young player. Hope it's just an immaturity/entitlement issue that he'll outgrow, but I'm not counting on it, or him anymore.
  2. I assume former number one pick Mat Hobgood has retired from baseball? I don't find him listed on any minor league roster. Last year the O's dropped him down to Aberdeen to see if he could be successful there, and he put up an ERA of 10.46 and batting average against of .360 I believe. Surely one of the O's worst number one picks ever, though there's a lot of competition for that distinction.
  3. Amen. Either bench him for two or three days or drop him into number eight, the position for a good defensive catcher whom you don't expect to provide any offense. Move him back up in the order only when he merits it!
  4. Sure. This is not based on a lot -- certainly not on any inside info from coaches,etc -- so I could certainly be wrong. But do you ever have a quick impression of a person, or a player, that's strong enough that you just can't dismiss it? I've seen him play in 3 games only -- last year and the year before -- but in one game particularly last year, he starts off making an error at shortstop, and the pattern continues throughout the game: he makes other errors and misplays not officially judged as such. What most struck me is that he didn't respond in a healthy way -- he didn't look at all bothered by any of his poor plays at the time, and even worse he didn't seem to be focusing more in future chances to get a different result. I've rarely seen these two "indifferent" responses together in a player. They mostly care about their performance, and you can see them being especially focused on approaching a ground ball in the right way this time when they just casualed it and let it run up their arm and hurt their team an inning ago. But from Machado no apparent chagrin or apparent attempt to remedy his problem in future chances. To me, that was a very bad sign, even in a very young player.
  5. That's true and a valid consideration. His attitude could also be just an immaturity that will change. But I can't help comparing him with Bryce Harper whose intense focus and competitive attitude at the same age -- combined with his talent -- has already got him to the major leagues. At the moment Machado is an average player at double A.
  6. That's right. When they're moved down from the big club, they actually do worse. Instead of busting their butts to show that the demotion was a mistake and giving reason for a quick return, is it that they sulk and stop trying as hard? If so, perhaps that's part of the defeatest Oriole culture of recent years, which I hope Buck will change: no more promotions just because a certain player has been annointed as a future big leaguer. Back to a healthier, real world outlook where the player's performance at AAA demands a shot at MLB. However, I hate to say it -- and there can always be the sleeper and late bloomer who is overlooked -- but I don't see any impressive candidates for the big leagues in the Orioles minor league system other than Dylan Bundy. Machado has been much hyped, but I've seen him play and am not impressed, especially with his attitude and effort. Native talent is not enough. Take a look at his unimpressive numbers in the minor leagues so far. How long can the hypers go on explaining them away?
  7. I can see why many less meteorologically inclined fans are confused on this, because many of the broadcasters are confused and pass on bad information. Humidity doesn't help batted balls travel -- it slows them down. Think about it: You know a batted ball doesn't travel as well through rain or mist. Humidity is also moisture -- it just hasn't condensed into droplets. At the other extreme, you know a batted ball gets a big boost from dry air -- as in Arizona or Denver. I think where many have become confused is that HEAT does help balls travel -- heat rises, lifting flying baseballs with it. But heat and humidity are very different things. If you want to hit the ball out of the park, you want dry heat, not humidity! You don't get dry heat in the Eastern U.S. very often, but for normal summer weather around these parts, heat is the friend of the long ball but not humidity, which slows it down!
  8. That's where I am -- about to jump. I'm a lot closer to Camden Yards than Nationals Park, but for television games I began the switch to the Nationals last summer, and I expect to make the attendance switch this year. It's too far for me to go to the Nationals games often, but I can't imagine going to Camden Yards this year unless someone invites me on a free ticket. Like you, I would prefer to support the Orioles, my local team, but at this point the differential -- esp in EFFORT -- is just too great.
  9. I think this is very well said: "Pushing a player through the system based on proposed potential is cheating both the player and the organization." ] The confidence factor is big in baseball. It's such a difficult sport, you don't want to undermine it. Instead, try to develop momentum for a player as he comes up through the system. Another factor, often ignored -- which I've brought up repeatedly -- is that minor league players and coaches are not stupid: they catch on to a player's weaknesses eventually, but it may take a couple of months in the league. Therefore, if you promote the player before then, he may look more dominant at a certain level than he would turn out to be if given a longer trial. There are many examples of too rapid promotion making a player look more dominant than he is, but as prime consider Hayden Penn, who excelled at 3 levels in one season. This was too rapid promotion: he wasn't actually that good, and was in no way ready for the major leagues.
  10. They're already not only "set up" but guaranteed a post season run, because as first half winners of their division they're already in the playoffs.
  11. Absolutely. Despite current appearances, he's not superman. Or if he is, there is some Kryptonite somewhere. After the league has seen him a couple of times, they will start to notice where he seems most vulnerable at bat. Regular A level pitchers may often not have the command to exploit that, but at times they will. Then he'll come down to earth, at least a little. If you move him up to Frederick now, then he gets the same honeymoon period in the Carolina league in which no one knows how to pitch to him. It's important to see how he does once he's a known quantity.
  12. Right, But let's not stop at Penn and Cabrera. Let's remember some of our other "Can't miss/just a matter of time" future stars, the dear departed: SIdney Ponson, Garrett Olson, R. Liz and the kid who arrived at spring training with the "Golden Arm" license plate ... and so on all the way back to Rocky Coppinger! I guess fans of any team naturally fall into wishful thinking, but we Orioles fans seem to have made a science of it.
  13. You make your case well, and you could be right. I think most of us would agree that the goal is to build up the organization for the next several years, and if this just works to add 10 wins or so for 2011 and hurts the future -- for any of the reasons you mention -- it's a big mistake. But I think the argument that might justify their signings for 2011 is this: the organization has so much lacked credibility, even become almost a laughing stock, that action to build on lst year's season-ending success -- and the signs that its young pitching may be maturing -- have become necessary to change this perception and make Baltimore a place where better, long-term free agents might be willing to come after 2011. To get in on a rising team. The fact that Vlad's money and Lee's money, and I believe some others, is for this year only also means those dollars will be available to sign some better, long-term free agents for 2012. To put it negatively, if the team doesn't build on the "Buck effect" and the perception of rising young players by improving its record substantially this year, then the organization is dead in the water. Everyone will think, "Even with Showalter there, they couldn't do anything." Dead in the water.
  14. Brian's condition is certainly is a cause for concern, but the bolded statement above is for too draconian. In my own case I had chronic lower back pain in my twenties and into my early thirties. I spent long periods sleeping on the floor, sitting in nothing but straight chairs and taking prescription medications. Then I had one treatment (for $10) from an old man osteopath -- whom I'm convinced was an artist as much as a skilled practitioner of osteopathy -- which has fixed me for the last 50 years. I crawled into his office with assistance for the painful cramping, and after 45 mins of manipulations, he told me, "You're fine now. You can get up and walk out of here." He was absolutely right -- all cramping banished. I have had only slight symptoms a few times since, but doing pelvic tilts for a couple of days makes it all good again. So backs are tricky things -- no one can predict their future with certainly. Remind anyone of baseball?
  15. "Player Who Could Disappoint: Matt Wieters. While fandom still waits for the soon to be 25-year-old catcher to make good on his terrific minor-league numbers, PECOTA has stopped looking for a breakout, calling for a .268/.341/.419 season. Names like Ryan Doumit and Ryan Garko are starting to show up among his comparables, two too many mediocre Ryans for a future star." The "terrific minor league numbers" line seems to have gained official status, but it's not exactly true. Wieters did have great numbers in the season before he came to the majors -- for Frederick and Bowie. But like many others, he found that the biggest jump in the minors is to Triple A, which even some farm directors don't seem to recognize. Why wouldn't it be? It's the biggest jump in average age and experience of the players by far. Sure, there are guys there who will never be more than major league back-ups, but they have played in the majors -- they're more sophisticated, have seen a higher level of competition. So Wieters in his couple of months in Norfolk hit only around .280 UNTIL the last game before the O's called him up. In that game he was 4-5, as I recall, which pushed his average to just over .300, so all the reports said "He was hitting over .300 in Norfolk." Well, sort of. His home runs per AB were also down, and his Ks per AB were up significantly compared to the previous year. In short, he was a pretty average hitter there, not "tearing it up" by any stretch. THis is routinely not recognized, which is why I have some energy about it.
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