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Tony-OH

Why you are feeling so down about the Orioles

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9 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

Feeling a little down about the Orioles? Maybe it's because they are 11-28 (.282) since September of last year.

But no worries, Buck will just talk about track records.

 

Normally I try to keep my posts somewhat positive. Lately though I see some things that in my opinion are negatively affecting the Orioles performance. First, Chris Davis looks like a lost ball in the high weeds. His bat speed is missing as well as his ability to even make contact with even mediocre pitches. Second, Chris Tillman, even though he has never had a lot of FB velocity, has even less pitch speed,and shows no command. Third, while I have been a big Buck supporter and consider him to be among the best managers, being loyal to past performance should only go so far. I have been a big fan of the two Chris's for years but it is time to admit they have lost "it". The ugly elephant in the room is obviously Davis's contract, and where do you hide someone whom you are obligated to pay that much money.Tillman is much easier, just release him. The way he is pitching right now he could not get out minor league hitters. Maybe he can sign with an independant league team and get himself straightened out. after all he is still relatively young. In Chris Davis' case we are stuck with him.

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5 minutes ago, Mountain Bird said:

Normally I try to keep my posts somewhat positive. Lately though I see some things that in my opinion are negatively affecting the Orioles performance. First, Chris Davis looks like a lost ball in the high weeds. His bat speed is missing as well as his ability to even make contact with even mediocre pitches. Second, Chris Tillman, even though he has never had a lot of FB velocity, has even less pitch speed,and shows no command. Third, while I have been a big Buck supporter and consider him to be among the best managers, being loyal to past performance should only go so far. I have been a big fan of the two Chris's for years but it is time to admit they have lost "it". The ugly elephant in the room is obviously Davis's contract, and where do you hide someone whom you are obligated to pay that much money.Tillman is much easier, just release him. The way he is pitching right now he could not get out minor league hitters. Maybe he can sign with an independant league team and get himself straightened out. after all he is still relatively young. In Chris Davis' case we are stuck with him.

I wonder at what point the roster spot is more valuable than his contract.  There has to be a point, but I don’t know when it is.

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We put the roster together wrong, and are being too slow to correct it, because of money and veteranosity.  Tillman, Rasmus, and Wright need to be released.  Davis should be released but it won't happen, at least bench him.  Sisco needs to be the regular catcher.  Feldman/Lackey/Vet and Hays need to be added... unless they really think Hess or someone in the org is ready to be a SP but I do not see that at all.  

It should be more like this, give or take:

SP - Bundy, Cobb, Gausman, Cashner, Vet

RP - Brach, DOD, Givens, Hart, Castro, Araujo, Bleier

C - Sisco, (Joseph)

OF - Jones, Hays, Santander, (Gentry - really should have added Jay)

IF - Machado, Schoop, Beckham, Mancini, (Davis)

DH - Valencia, Alvarez

DL - Britton, Trumbo

Shuttle - Scott, Harvey, Hess, and whomever else can help

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9 hours ago, Oriol3s said:

The hitting is the more alarming part of this year's team.  No consistent approach by O's hitters (except the ones you mention, and Alvarez & Sisco).  The batting coach and Buck must be held accountable for the hitting on this team.  They need to help players work on strategies, ESPECIALLY when they are in a "funk" (or whatever Davis, Beckham, Schoop, & Jones often suffer from).  If the players won't listen, then the GM needs to get players who are willing to do so.  I'm sick of all the swing and miss players this team has in its lineup day after day.

Why do you find the hitting situation alarming? It is exactly the same as it was at the end of last year, and nothing was done to change it.

Coaches, broadcasters and posters talk about how good our hitting is, but it hasn't been better than average in several years, despite all the home runs. And while pitching has changed, with there being far less reliance on the fastball, the O's are still stacked with fastball mistake hitters. By last September, the changes successful pitchers throughout the league  had made to their repertoires caught up with the Orioles, and we went from being a slightly below average offense to el stinko. But the O's just pretended it was a team-wide slump. One of those things.

The team-wide slump is because our hitters are, for the most part, not good hitters. They are sluggers who feast on fastball mistakes in an era when pitchers throw fewer fastballs (and therefore, fewer fastball mistakes). They are "home run hitters" - but all good hitters hit home runs these days.  

Coming into the season, there was no reason to expect this offense to perform any differently than it has. Sure, some guys might be down more than they will be over the course of the full season, but their incremental improvement over the course of the season won't change the results. This is just not a good hitting team.

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9 hours ago, Diehard_O's_Fan said:

So if you were in charge Tony, would you seriously not bring Buck back next year to manage? The Orioles were an absolute joke before Buck arrived. Therefore, I won't ever bash him or put him down.

And they are a joke again, averaging 11+ strikeouts a game, horrible outfield defense, missing cutoff men, veterans not running hard and getting thrown out on the bases. Total lack of team discipline, veterans do anything they dam well please. The game has passed Buck by.

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1 hour ago, webbrick2010 said:

And they are a joke again, averaging 11+ strikeouts a game, horrible outfield defense, missing cutoff men, veterans not running hard and getting thrown out on the bases. Total lack of team discipline, veterans do anything they dam well please. The game has passed Buck by.

Hitting cutoff men is a new thing? Hustling and discipline are new? Not one of the criticisms you leveled is indication of the game passing anyone by. If anything, the 11 strikeouts per game tell us that Buck et al. are on the bleeding edge of modern baseball.

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There is a bit of excitement leading into a new season. That has completely worn off.

I am sick and tired of the strikeouts, the inability to hit with runners on, Tillman getting lit up, poor defense, non hustle at times, Chris Davis looking like he wouldn't cut it in the KBO, it's gotten to the point I'm paying more attention to other teams (Mets, Angels etc) as I usually have two games on at once.

On paper, the O's lineup looks like a video game lineup. In reality, they have a bunch of guys who look to pull everything who have no awareness of a strike-zone despite being a veteran group. Other than Mancini and Machado, is anyone else looking to make a conscious effort at using the whole field?

Jones got off to a real good start but is back to expanding the zone.

While it's good the O's could sign a solid starter like Cobb, if they were in talks of a deal for a month why did it take so long for it go get finalized? It's not just the poor start to the season that has me feeling down regarding the O's. Not signing Cruz and Miller, the Parra for Davies trade, in reality not signing Cruz hurt the O's in many ways. They lost the production of a powerful bat and they lost Davies due to DD making that trade. It would help to get into the international draft/market soon as well.

Sorry, bit of a rant now, anyway, Cobb starts today, let's see what happens.

 

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On 4/14/2018 at 4:22 AM, Frobby said:

I’m not sure I buy the narrative now.   I don’t couple DD’s desire to go to Toronto with his decisions not to re-sign Cruz, Markakis and Miller.     And I think those were his decisions.    Certainly nobody’s going to tell me that Buck was pushing not to re-sign those guys.   That would be totally out of character.   

Seems to me that until the 2015-16 offseason, the O’s were trying to operate within a certain budget and made some tough decisions on some guys who had been contributors.    They had a big drop the next season and felt they couldn’t afford to let their window pass by, and tried to spend their way out of it.     In hindsight, they should have had their spending spree in the 2014-15 offseason and then jettisoned Davis, who cost more than Cruz, Markakis and Miller combined.    

 

On 4/14/2018 at 4:22 AM, Frobby said:

I’m not sure I buy the narrative now.   I don’t couple DD’s desire to go to Toronto with his decisions not to re-sign Cruz, Markakis and Miller.     And I think those were his decisions.    Certainly nobody’s going to tell me that Buck was pushing not to re-sign those guys.   That would be totally out of character.   

Seems to me that until the 2015-16 offseason, the O’s were trying to operate within a certain budget and made some tough decisions on some guys who had been contributors.    They had a big drop the next season and felt they couldn’t afford to let their window pass by, and tried to spend their way out of it.     In hindsight, they should have had their spending spree in the 2014-15 offseason and then jettisoned Davis, who cost more than Cruz, Markakis and Miller combined.    

You don't have to buy anything. It's the truth, but you don't have to buy it. You can live in a world where none of this happened. It's probably a happier place to live honestly. I wish I didn't know half the stuff I know and don't say.

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On 4/14/2018 at 8:05 AM, tntoriole said:

I agree with you very much.  An excellent summary.  You are right that the absolute pivotal timeframe to all of what we have now was the offseason after our best season since 1997. In that winter of 2014 came the situation with Toronto.  However, here is where I disagree just a bit.  You describe it as a “situation”  and seem to absolve Duquette from responsibility.  I believe Duquette is completely responsible for deciding to forgo his own relationship with ownership and the subsequent loss of his influence is due to this dalliance.  Now Toronto is at fault for it getting out into the media, but Duquette had to know that Angelos was not just going to say “Oh gosh, Dan, what a great opportunity for you and your family.  God go with you!”  Dan had to know that if he did not get the Toronto job and Angelos knew about it, that his working relationship would be damaged irreparably. 

Lord knows, I hate Angelos as much as anybody for his dysfunctional leadership.  But Angelos did not start this.  Toronto and Duquette did.   At a time when we had critical decisions to make in the offseason after our most successful season (created with considerable help from the rebuild done by the previous GM) as you describe in your excellent summary.  The true dysfunctional mistake of Angelos was keeping Duquette at that point.  Cutting off his nose to punish/control an underling is one of his leadership traits. Angelos should have fired him right then and pursued whatever remedies he might have had with MLB or by suing Toronto.   

Dan essentially became a lame duck at that point and the triumvarate decsion hydra was created just as you outline.  But Angelos is an owner who is like many other dictatorial CEOs or leaders...namely, loyalty outweighs competence.   And triumvarates never work...see Roman Empire.  

Time for a clean slate, I suppose.  Dan and Buck both need to go.  And if it were me, Brady would be on that ship too.  But instead it seems inevitable that Brady will be GM, God help us, and we are going to lose for a much longer time frame than just since last September, imho.   Unless the sons are truly willing to value competence than loyalty, it will be Brady’s team for long enough to really send us into another dark era.   

 

 

 

Let me ask you a question and please give me an honest answer.

Imagine being a major league GM, but in an organization where the manager, friend of the owner, owner, and his two sons all had part of the major decisions on personnel. Imagine not getting true budget to work with but have to make deals then take it to ownership and that decision crew for final decisions. 

Now despite this you take a team that hadn't even had a winning season in 14 years and in two years you have them in the AL Championship series.

Now imagine another team comes in and says, "We'll give you a raise, a longer guaranteed contract, and full autonomy to make the decisions within a known budget."

Are you telling me you wouldn't be interested? I don't see how Duquette is to blame here. The Orioles gave him a chance to get back into baseball and he worked his tail off under tough circumstances to make them successful, so why wouldn't he listen to an opportunity where he can make money and have more control? Who wouldn't?

I don't think Duquette is perfect as GM, but when he had pretty much full autonomy to make personnel moves the Orioles were pretty good. Once he was limited and others had more influence, the organization has taken a downturn.

I'll be honest, I know some people in the organization and there was once a time that some were pulling for me to get a position in the organization. I'm fairly certain Duquette was the guy who thought it wasn't a good idea because of my background with the Hangout (supposedly but who knows why really). I've reached out to Dan before and gotten no response. As far I'm concerned, the guy doesn't like me or doesn't think I'm worth even responding to.

So I literally have nothing to gain from supporting him in this situation. In fact, one of my pet peeves is people who don't even have the professionalism to respond back to me. I should be anti-Duquette if I was looking at this personally.

I'm not though. I've never made any evaluations of front office, managers, or players based off my personal opinions of them or how they treated me. I mean, I absolutely loved Dave Trembley as a person and baseball man, but I realized he probably wasn't a great fit as the Orioles manager. 

At the end of the day, there's a lot of smoke that Duquette lost a lot of influence over his consideration of the Blue Jays offer during the 2014 offseason. Duquette may not be perfect, but I believe when he was given full autonomy (or at least as full as anyone under Angelos) to make personnel moves the organization was much better.

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15 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

 

You don't have to buy anything. It's the truth, but you don't have to buy it. You can live in a world where none of this happened. It's probably a happier place to live honestly. I wish I didn't know half the stuff I know and don't say.

It is very difficult to tell when you are saying things based on what you’ve been told by organizational insiders and when you are just stating a theory or interpretation like the rest of us.    Not blaming you for that, just saying it’s hard for us (me, at least) to tell sometimes.

Just using this as an example, I know based on your many confirmations that you have sources telling you Buck was pushing for Davis.   Fine, I’m not disputing that.   But what isn’t clear to me is that we passed on Cruz, Markakis and Miller because Duquette was too busy playing footsie with Toronto.    I believe we passed on them because Duquette didn’t think it was in the Orioles’ interests to match the deals they were offered elsewhere.   

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On 4/13/2018 at 10:55 PM, Tony-OH said:

Buck picks his players. Buck said Tillman was better than last year and was part of the reason he was signed to a major league contract and given a spot in the rotation. He keeps pitching Chris Tillman.

He let Cortes make the team, (doesn't have an out pitch) and then put him in impossible situations. Buck has a lot of power on who ends up on his ball club. He helped put this club together including these horrid pitching staffs. He doesn't get a pass.

He asked for Davis to be resigned, appealed to the owner, and got him and now he keeps batting him in the middle of the order. He wanted Trumbo resigned.

How about his hitting and pitching coaches? Same crappy approaches at the plate from most hitters not named Mancini (Machado just has so much talent). Most of the pitchers have lost velocity this year and who is the last pitcher that looks like they have significantly improved?

Buck does a lot of things well. He's a very good in game manager (though his Ubaldo/Britton fiasco is one of the worse managerial moves in Orioles history) and he's class guy. 

Saying that, his fingers are all over the current situation. He doesn't get a pass like he's some 1940s manager who just gets players and has to just use them. He's part, a significant part of some very negative parts of the organization's situation. 

 

 

 

These are all fair points, but let's not pretend that Buck is making these player evaluation choices at the expense of choosing a guy like Tillman over someone like a young Clayton Kershaw.  

I don't believe we'd have a demonstrably better pitching staff if there was another manager.  I don't believe this team would be better with different pitching and hitting coaches.  Trumbo was a low OBP, high whiff guy when he got here.  

Sure, he does have a say-so in who's on the team but the pickings are slim to begin with.

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I can't really fault Dan or anyone in the O's organization for not giving 34 year old DH Nelson Cruz to  a 4 year deal.  It took him into age 38.  He had been suspended for drug use.   How does that really add up to a good bet no matter how nice a guy he is.  I know the deal has turned out well for  Mariners but that is something about that that hints enhancement. 

The O's offer Nick a 3 year 33m deal in spite of him needing spine surgery,   The O's had just been through Reimold's spine injury.      I can't blame the O's for that one either.   In hindsight he does fine withe Braves.  Little power but probably earns his money.   And the O's never really replaced Nick in right. 

Miller - In the 2014-2015 off season the only relievers getting 9m/yr where closers. (If I am remembering correctly.) The O's had Britton making 3.2m.   The O's increased their payroll by 10% without keeping Miller, Markakis or Cruz.  

The O's should probably have carried this logic over the  Davis signing,. 5 years maybe.  But 7 years to a guy that needs meds for ADD and has up and down years.    He would probably have signed with Detroit.  

Trumbo - Coming  off a career year.   3/37.5 for a DH.   Very questionable. 

Can't blame Dan for things the owner does.

 

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