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Everything posted by ThomasTomasz

  1. I give it an A. Elias is doing things that we never thought possible as Orioles fans. He's investing in the minor leagues, international signings and player development, all things that Peter Angelos didn't want previous regimes doing. He would rather spend that investment money on the major league product in over-the-hill veterans like Chad Bradford and David Segui. Yes, it got is close to 80 wins, but the rot in the warehouse was extensive. It took Elias just under a year to clear it all out. Some people were gone immediately. Others appeared to have time to get with the program. I am a huge fan of the boost to the international operations. Koby Perez is a great hire, and they are giving him the resources that no one has had before. It takes time to make these inroads, though, and I don't think many people realize this. But this investment needed to happen because you need to recruit talent from all over, nothing should be ignored. I am also a huge fan of bringing in Matt Blood to head up player development, and the hiring of specific coaches to help the marriage between technology and coaching. The fact that these guys won't just be handing out the numbers sheet and will be in the trenches working with players and in the dugout is huge. The technology piece already has some early results. Someone mentioned that four of our affiliates led their leagues in ERA. We saw Cody Sedlock return from the prospect brink. Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall are shooting up the top 100 lists. Michael Baumann could break some top 100 lists if he continues his development on the same track. And of course, John Means generated fantastic results at the MLB level last year. Like international signings, the Orioles were woefully behind the rest of the teams, and now they are at least in the middle, but probably in the top third of the league as far as use and implementation. Again, nothing should be ignored from a talent and development perspective. I do think a few things are out of his hands, specifically big financial decisions. In my job, my boss wants to be consulted about two things- big people decisions and big financial decisions (and we have a number attached to that.) . Otherwise, I do what I want with the business as long as I can defend it to him. I think Chris Davis probably falls into the big financial decision category, and can't fault Elias for that, nor can I fault him with trying to cut payroll as much as possible. Part of this goes into the investments mentioned above. It costs money for technology, it costs money to hire new coaches and pay their benefits. They also need to start saving money now for extensions and contracts down the road when the team is competitive once again. There is also a disconnect with the fans that's not necessarily his fault. Orioles fans want to win. We have a proud history of being competitive. For example, from 1964-85, we had one losing season, with six World Series appearances and three wins. A lot of the current fans, especially the ones with capital for season tickets, comes from this group. Then, we had early success with Angelos taking over, followed by the Dark Ages, and a few years of winning under Showalter and Duquette. Now we are back to losing, but we also aren't spending any money. What I think these fans expect is that the Orioles focus on analytics should bear fruit immediately. We should have a team full of Charlie Morton's, Justin Turner's and JD Martinez's, where analytics have turned their careers around. Technology can turn around anyone. The team would be more fun to watch if we had a payroll of $160 million and could bring in major league talent. And this technology should be able to turn these prospects into decent major leaguers. There has been no expectations set for what we should be looking for and expecting specifically in this rebuild. These fans who don't follow MLB to the degree that many of us do who are posting on online forums get this for the most part (some don't, and I get it) but they should be doing a lot more to set Elias and Mejdal out in front of people to explain this process. At the end of the Duquette era, many prospect rankings had our system ranked near the bottom. At the end of this past season, many of them had the Orioles ranked in the top half-top third of the league, including Baseball America ranking us at the highest ever for the lifetime of their website. We're getting there. Rome wasn't built in a day. We added the beginning infrastructure to international scouting where there was no infrastructure. We took the smallest analytics department and grew it in one year by leaps and bounds. New coaching positions were added, and new coaches and scouts are being brought in who align around a singular vision. So yeah, I can't see how this is anything but an "A".
  2. Imagine back a few years ago, as a "black" season ticket holder (29 games) I was guaranteed my seats for OD, as well as the chance to buy the same number after the full-season ticket holders did the same. My first year was 2014, and I got similar seats in the field box for my friends. The next year, they were all down to the foul poles and stayed there for a few years until 2017/18. As an orange (13) member, you were guaranteed the number of tickets that you had, but not the same seat. It's a pretty sad state of affairs that OD tickets are part of a five game plan right now.
  3. My STH account representative said they had events planned for January with the theme of "The Orioles coming to your town." So I imagine they will take the Bird and maybe a handful of players and similar items to different hubs around the area. Otherwise, if you want player interaction and other stuff like that, you need to be a season ticket holder to use your points, or buy into the theme night packages when they are released.
  4. So he's got a bit of a Junior Fernandez vibe, no? I would take a chance on him.
  5. I believe it was ESPN that ran an article as a winter meeting primer, where they put one move for each team to make. The Orioles move was trading Mancini to the Athletics for AJ Puk and Franklyn Barreto. I could easily get behind a package similar to that- a top 50 overall prospect, and a former top prospect who may just need consistent playing time or a change of scenery. If we trade Mancini, I really want to see a quality piece- particularity a pitcher who is close- to headline the return.
  6. If this isn't an indictment over how teams view speed/defense players in today's MLB, I don't know what is. The Orioles, partly because of the money and also because of the strengths/weaknesses of the player, can't even get a top 30 prospect from a middling farm system for a 4 win player. Depending on the stat you use, he's slightly below average to slightly above average offensively, so let's say he's average. His OBP doesn't stick out, so it's really his value on the basepaths as well as defense (and the numbers last year at 2B were not promising for the future.) I can easily see teams looking at Villar and seeing further regression in his defense, and that this year offensively was an aberration. The Orioles were in a really tight spot here either way you look at it.
  7. Nothing prohibits her from letting the sons run the team. One of them needs to be selected as the ownership representative to MLB, however. Same thing is done with the Lerner family due to Ted's age.
  8. Right, but right now, it is more important for guys like Akin and Kremer to come up with an improved defense. Right now that should be the focus, giving those guys as much help for development. Also, I get what you are saying about Martin, but before the 2018 season, the Athletics gave him an eye exam and he turned in his best offensive year by far. So let's see what a year in AAA will do.
  9. If they replace Villar with an exemplary glove like Yolbert Sanchez, I can completely understand banking the rest of the money to help pay for the new development coaches, analytics, etc. As the top pitching prospects start getting here, the big thing is to improve the defense, and if they can add Sanchez and Iglesias at the MIF positions, then I'd consider that a win.
  10. There is no cutting costs with Davis. He signed a guaranteed contract, so even if he is released, the Orioles owe him all of the money that they owe him today. With Villar in arbitration, the Orioles don't owe him the money until they tender him a contract, which they won't be doing, which means they save the estimated amount of arbitration with him.
  11. As much as this sucks to say it, this is asset management plain and simple. We couldn't find a taker for Villar at the deadline, and the same could be said right now, likely due to the salary constraints that were set on him due to the estimated arbitration number. This probably speaks to the value of a guy who will be 29 next May, has a career .328 OBP, 97 wRC and whose biggest asset is speed and defense, which is probably least important right now (not to mention, they diminish with age, and defensive metrics were sour on Villar's performance at 2B last year.) So if we couldn't move him now with the $7-$10 million price tag, what are the chances of getting any sort of good return at the deadline for Villar? At that point, this is where we talk about asset management. Odds are high that we would still be paying most of his contract next year, and that the only pieces we would see in return constitute a lottery pick. Is that lottery pick worth potentially $10 million? Personally, I dont think so. I would rather invest that $10 million is the development coaches, expanding the analytics departments, international scouting departments, etc. A lot goes into that, and not just coach salaries. There are travel budgets (air fare, lodging), benefits (health insurance, vacation etc), and purchasing technology and upgrading facilities. I think that $10 million could be used across the board for those things better than a player on the field, who might only bring back a lottery pick. Plus, if we sign someone more defensively capable like Yolbert Sanchez, you improve the defense and hopefully that is a benefit to the pitchers on the mound. Again, that's just me. One player doesn't get me that upset, especially when I realize the cost of doing business, and what the cost of adding and upgrading to the infrastructure that we have. It sucks for Villar, because he became a fan favorite, did the right things and was a pleasure to chat with before games, but all of this is looking towards 2022 and beyond.
  12. Dunning is coming off TJ surgery, not sure I would want to take him at this point. Yolbert Sanchez may not have a home as they are looking to move him due to his lack of a bat, and adding top level defense will help out the pitchers that we already have. Nick Madrigal gets a lot of hype, but Steele Walker had the hit tool just a notch below his in the draft last year, and he shows the instincts to potentially stick in CF. Blake Rutherford is a former top 100 prospect, but really needs to cut down on his K's. Gavin Sheets (son of Larry) is an interesting prospect who might be blocked now that they are trying to work out a long-term deal with Abreu and have Vaughn in the fold. I'm thinking Bundy could get Sanchez and Sheets, while adding Givens could put them into territory to discuss Rutherford, Walker, Jonathan Steiver or Luis Alexander Basabe.
  13. Just wanted to provide an update that I heard from my season-ticket account representative. I actually asked specifically about STH appreciation day as well as Fanfest and he mentioned that the Orioles are close to announcing some sort of event at Camden Yards in December, and have events throughout the area planned for January (he essentially called it the Orioles coming to your town.) He also said that they added some more different experiences to the rewards program (selfie day, BP on the field) and there is no decision currently on a return of Social Media days.
  14. Tony, I am a long-time lurker, but I started posting a little bit last year or the year before, can't remember exactly though. I am also a long-time forum user and site owner/admin, going back to 2004 and the old days of CBS Sportsline. It's a medium that is slowly dying - I can attest having owned some of my own places, and I currently am a community manager for one of the biggest forums for sports still left. However, for something specialized that is not offered elsewhere- an Orioles fan forum, as well as the scouting reports- you are still positioned well to continue this success. I do think there are some things from my experience that could be done differently on the forum, but having this kind of community for any team, much less our Orioles, is a success. One of the things I have to think about is are you partnered with a web host who is offering the best level of support? When I was actively running my own sites, I knew the back-end of the software we had very well (vBulletin) but was not good with the technical aspects of it, such as the updates and patches, so I partnered with a host who specialized in forum hosting and they did all of that for me. I can't speak to the advertising pieces, but I always felt that, unless someone is getting porn links, redirected off the site, or something egregious like that, that they can put up with a few advertisements. I completely understand your frustrations towards the organization, and if those thoughts don't clear up, well, you've got to make the decision that is best for you. I hope you would reconsider, because you are offering something extremely unique that the other fan sites don't. If there is any way I can assist with the site, I'd love to help out as well, even if it's just some advice over PM or a meeting.
  15. Asked a couple questions of my rep, here are the responses: 1.) Friday and Saturday early access to seating bowl. Will not be renewed due to lack of participation 2.) Gate time for the 6:35 pm games. Gate times will remain 5:00 pm, so we miss out on the Orioles portion of BP, and on days when they leave early, the visiting team may have already started. For the 28 game package, we have four 6:35 pm games on it. 3.) Trading parking passes. Yes, this can be done. Recommended to trade weeks in advance for weekend games, and to work with the rep who can make it easier. 4.) Is there an event taking the place of STH appreciation day? Yes, be on the lookout for an announcement soon about at Camden yards in December. Also planning to do a series of events throughout Maryland in January 5.) Return of social media nights. There is no decision yet either way, but they mentioned a couple points-based system events that are similar- meeting with baseball ops, selfie day, BP on the field. I have to say, I am a bit bummed that the gate times aren't moving to 4:30. It's a real bummer not to see the Orioles for BP, and with the fact that they end early, if fans want to see guys like Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Mike Trout or other names, they could already have hit by the time we come in. Also this essentially confirms that STH appreciation day and FanFest are dead in the water.
  16. I got sticker shock in Texas, where the equivalent seats for the Orioles/Rangers game (and some other games while I was there) were 30-50 more than my seats. Then I looked and saw that the Orioles have one of the lowest season ticket costs in MLB, and have the best exchange if you can't make the games. The new benefits/points system looks good too. For years I thought we were behind on giveaways and a points-based rewards system, and they made the right tweaks after the first year to add some more items and give us rewards for coming to the games, etc.
  17. That's what he said, and I'll take it at face value. Same with Sid Mejdal. I find it odd that he was ready to leave baseball- before Elias got this job I think he knows more than we think. In any case, it sounds like Rosenbaum worked under Elias so he has someone he is familiar with in charge of something he is close to. Looks to be a good hire for me.
  18. I did find it odd that Mejdal essentially buried himself in the minor leagues as a coach/analyst while being assistant GM, and then was about ready to leave baseball completely until Elias got hired for our job. I would hope that they didn't know about any of it, but chances are they did, and they tried to put it in the back of their minds as much as possible. Mejdal doesn't seem to fit the "win at all costs" attitude that formed over there, and to be honest, neither does Elias.
  19. I've heard the Reds did it this past season.
  20. For me, I just don't get it. Every situation is going to be different, but in my community, the elementary school buses come through between 4-5 pm. That means to make a 6:35 start time during the school year, parents will need to get off work early to be home to get their kids off the bus and get them to the start of the game right in the middle of rush hour traffic. This also means that high school kids who play sports will be out of making games as well. This still works for me, as I have flexibility with work, and I am still planning on a 29 game package. What I really hate are the 4 pm Saturday games, since I work a majority of Saturdays. I usually ended up trading those games in, because I can't leave work much before 2:30-3 pm, and I like to get there for BP and be there for the entirety of things.
  21. Party deck in upper left field or right field? Perhaps ripping out all of the seats and putting in new ones that are bigger? 100% cupholders? Bullpen party area?
  22. It definitely won't be the rumble, and it would be too small for Wrestlemania......and too close to baseball season. That leaves Summerslam, and I really wonder if they would risk getting a 100% humidity day for that kind of show. I would be there for it for sure, I just see the region being a huge factor. Our area's best hope for that is if/when Dan Snyder gets a new stadium, because he wants a dome to host events like CFP games, Wrestlemania, Super Bowl, etc.
  23. Considering that the ushers at the STH gate let anyone in during early entrance on Fridays and Saturdays, the cost saved from buying second hand will make up any of the discounts from buying concessions.
  24. The experiences are catching on. The past couple years I've said that the Orioles need to add them, and they finally did. Before then, our STH program was in the stone age. I'm hoping that they add more to the list this year.
  25. I was able to attend that game last time- long story but it certainly does not involve things like going on Tinder and asking for tickets- and it was an awesome event that the Nationals put on. And it was not intended to ruffle the feathers of the Orioles if you will. It was more because of the partnership that the Nationals and the Navy had due to their proximity in Southeast DC. The Nationals actually put money into renovations for the field at the Naval Academy, and they brought all of the presidents and all of their excess giveaways for the midshipmen in attendance, as well as select servicemen. If the Orioles dont play any game there, they should be ashamed of themselves. Even playing their minor league all stars (since they are all local affiliates) would be better than nothing, and was something I mentioned earlier as an event that could replace FanFest.
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