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Keith Law hating on the Orioles big time.


DuffMan

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You're absolutely right. No one is really being blocked here. and if Vlad completely sucks and Nolan is tearing the cover off the ball - well AM ate more money cutting Gibbons in a similar situation.

The problem with this scenario is it will be August before AM eats the money with Vlad. After 2 poor months in 2010, Vlad had a nice September. If he starts slow, everyone will be saying he will turn it around, just like he did last year. If he is toast, it will take them a long time to come to the conclusion that he is toast because of what he has done before. Unless he gets injured, Vlad will not be questioned until late in the year, almost regardless of how he is playing. The Os brought into the baggage of this scenario when they signed this future HOFer. If he is toast, it could get ugly before they sit him down and release him.

Basically Anahiem and now Texas have decided that Vlad is toast (neither tried to sign him). You have to wonder why the teams he played for before just weren't very interested in him now.

I agree with Keith Law about Vlad and his impact, but little else.

I think the Reynolds aquistion was brilliant, a young to prime age player with a tremendous upside. In addition to Ks and HR he also walks alot and has sported a respectable OBP throughout his career.

SS and 1B we had huge holes and filled them well for 1 year without doing anything to hurt our future. SS might turn into a longer term solution.

We have a shot, a very long shot at the playoffs this year. Out of the cellar and around .500 about a 50-50 shot.

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Maybe, I'd just prefer not to risk going into next year and not having all the information we can possibly get. Also, this may be a philosophical difference, because I completely disagree with the statement that's bolded. I am of the belief that you build until you are ready to make a realistic run at the playoffs, then you make your push.

I have been on here for several years now saying the same thing as the bolded. Going into the 2010 season I wasn't necessarily upset with the approach that was taken during the offseason. I very much wanted to see what Reimold, Pie, Jones, Matusz, Wieters etc would do. Even when the "sky was falling" during the first half of 2010, I said lets see where are at the end of the year. I believe I have been very patient. But considering the push made in the second half and what appears to be some maturization of our pitching staff I saw no reason not to try to augment that with some hitters. I think they have done that without mortgaging the future.

I think they overpaid for Vlad. I didn't really care if we got him or not to be honest. But as long as it doesn't affect other areas of our organization (ie draft and scouting) and I have not seen any indication as of yet that it has then I am simply not going to get upset that we didn't hand over a roster spot to two guys that weren't able to get the job done last year when handed roster spots.

At the risk of sounding like JTrea, at some point you need to make some headway in the W/L columns in order to "make your push" easier and actually being able to land some of the FAs to put you over the top. I think we have seen that no one wants to come here. Any "premium" talent will have to be substantially overpaid to come here when we are winning 66 games a year. Maybe if we are .500 or better that equation changes.

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We're all pretty much in agreement that Law is way off-base about Reynolds.

As for his other issue, "blocking young players," it's been made clear that the only acquisition with this effect is that of Guerrero's. Five million dollars, with three million deferred (which, according to Zreibec, isn't even coming on the books until at least 3 years from now - he said 2012 and 2013 weren't part of the equation) for one-year of Guerrero following a season in which the alternatives (Pie and Reimold) were injured, inconsistent, and in Nolan's case, just flat-out bad, too. We're not talking about a surging Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, or Brian Matusz down in the minors - these are the guys with considerable haze surrounding their potential availability and performance.

Furthermore, as people have speculated, there is reason to believe Guerrero could be flipped for players at the deadline if this team is not in a position to contend, thus injecting the system with more talent. In a sense, then, under that scenario the money spent on Guerrero would partially in fact be going towards acquiring exactly that which Law covets - prospects.

Five million up front and three deferred for: three-to-four months of production from Guerrero + the return from a trade. If he's not traded, then I guess we're contending (which is the whole point of the sport anyway), because Guerrero is the first guy on this team that you would want to ship out. These things being taken into consideration, I don't see the need for much vitriol over the move. Vlad will be a commodity for the club either way, unless he falls off of a cliff entirely - that's the only real potential problem.

If the Orioles went over-budget for him, then the most logical conclusion is that it's coming directly out of ownership's pocket. Reallocating funds from player development for one-year of a veteran DH would be completely inconsistent with how things have been handled by MacPhail during his tenure. Odds are that Peter Angelos probably wanted to "win" by snagging a player he coveted years back that eluded him and ante'd up with a few million. Given the man's apparent mentality and past history with negotiations, isn't that a highly likely scenario?

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It all boils down to this to determine if these short term moves (Vlad, Lee, Gregg, etc) make sense:

The Orioles will have spent over well over $20 million to sign these players. If these players produce and help push the Orioles over .500, and they have value at the trade deadline, the signings may be positive moves. But even if these players do produce, and the $20 million spent means the Orioles have less money to invest in scouting, signing draft picks or making more international player signings, the $20 million spent for these players will be questionable investments.

I think you are seeing some of the experts say they would have rather the Orioles spent the $20+ million on other areas rather than signing these guys. The Orioles could have elected to spend the $20+ million in improving their scouting department, increasing their draft pick bonus pool money to help sign some overslot draftees, made some high profile international signings, and improving their player development system. If the team has enough money to do all of this and sign these guys, then there is less room for criticism of these moves.

Time will tell if the Orioles spend the money necessary to upgrade their scouting, provide more money for signing bonuses and improving their player development system that is in dire need of some upgrading. These areas certainly should be a priority for this team.

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"Adding Guerrero, Reynolds and other veterans might add five or six wins, but it's not going to get them to 90 wins or an inch closer to the playoffs."

...

"But is Nolan Reimold an average regular? You are not going to know if he doesn't get 400 or 500 at bats. Whatever young players you have available you have to make sure their path is clear to play every day in the big leagues when that is what they need to continue to develop."

So we shouldn't be adding veterans like Reynolds, so we can give that time to young guys like Reimold?

Mark Reynolds born August 3, 1983

Nolan Reimold born October 12, 1983

There must have been something really special about September 1983 that gave Reynolds all the veteranosity.

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So we shouldn't be adding veterans like Reynolds, so we can give that time to young guys like Reimold?

Mark Reynolds born August 3, 1983

Nolan Reimold born October 12, 1983

There must have been something really special about September 1983 that gave Reynolds all the veteranosity.

The facts never get in the way when one is exhibiting his vast baseball knowledge.

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...clear to play every day in the big leagues when that is what they need to continue to develop.
So we shouldn't be adding veterans like Reynolds, so we can give that time to young guys like Reimold?

Mark Reynolds born August 3, 1983

Nolan Reimold born October 12, 1983

There must have been something really special about September 1983 that gave Reynolds all the veteranosity.

What Law is glossing over in that quote is that both Reynolds and Reimold are at or near their peaks. For Nolan Reimold 2011 isn't so much about developing his raw talent so much as it is proving that he has the talent to contribute in the majors before his decline.

There's little or no evidence that a guy is going to peak late just because he was delayed in reaching the majors.

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So we shouldn't be adding veterans like Reynolds, so we can give that time to young guys like Reimold?

Mark Reynolds born August 3, 1983

Nolan Reimold born October 12, 1983

There must have been something really special about September 1983 that gave Reynolds all the veteranosity.

Well, for those of us old enough to remember, September 1983 was pretty special. We went 20-11 that month and clinched the division title!

And while we had a nice regular season win on Reynolds' birthday, we won a World Series game on Reimold's.

Nothing to do with your point, of course, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to re-live some pleasant memories.

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I asked 2 questions in Keith Law's chat today, and in each of them he claims the interview was significantly truncated...

Phil K (MD)

You seemed harsher than most about the Orioles' offseason, but I can understand each criticism. Would you like it more if the 1 year contract guys like Vlad/Lee etc were flipped at the deadline for prospects?

Klaw (1:12 PM)

Yes, and I made that exact point at length in an answer that wasn't included in the article

BD (Baltimore, MD)

Keith, re the Orioles interview you mentioned earlier: I never you to be one who cared about batter strikeouts, but you are critical of Mark Reynolds? Is it his generalcontact rate that scares you, or what?

Klaw (1:27 PM)

Again, the gist of the response was lost in the article. I don't care about strikeouts per se, but approach (bad) and contact rate (bad).

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I asked 2 questions in Keith Law's chat today, and in each of them he claims the interview was significantly truncated...

Phil K (MD)

You seemed harsher than most about the Orioles' offseason, but I can understand each criticism. Would you like it more if the 1 year contract guys like Vlad/Lee etc were flipped at the deadline for prospects?

Klaw (1:12 PM)

Yes, and I made that exact point at length in an answer that wasn't included in the article

BD (Baltimore, MD)

Keith, re the Orioles interview you mentioned earlier: I never you to be one who cared about batter strikeouts, but you are critical of Mark Reynolds? Is it his generalcontact rate that scares you, or what?

Klaw (1:27 PM)

Again, the gist of the response was lost in the article. I don't care about strikeouts per se, but approach (bad) and contact rate (bad).

I wonder why he would say his approach is bad when he's saw 4.30 pitches per plate appearance last year while the major league average was 3.81. He's certainly right about his contact rate being bad, and if he wants to talk about his two strike approach then I might agree, but it seems like a unfortunate simplification to say that Reynolds has a bad approach at the plate.

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I wonder why he would say his approach is bad when he's saw 4.30 pitches per plate appearance last year while the major league average was 3.81. He's certainly right about his contact rate being bad, and if he wants to talk about his two strike approach then I might agree, but it seems like a unfortunate simplification to say that Reynolds has a bad approach at the plate.

Maybe its just a matter of him rushing through the interview and not getting into a ton of detail.

Or maybe he did and Melewski didn't post it, as Law is saying he didn't with other aspects.

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I wonder why he was say his approach is bad when he's saw 4.30 pitches per plate appearance last year while the major league average was 3.81. He's certainly right about his contact rate being bad, and if he wants to talk about his two strike approach then I might agree, but it seems like a unfortunate simplification to say that Reynolds has a bad approach at the plate.

Well, it certainly sounds like he was the victim of some unfortunate simplification.

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I wonder why he was say his approach is bad when he's saw 4.30 pitches per plate appearance last year while the major league average was 3.81. He's certainly right about his contact rate being bad, and if he wants to talk about his two strike approach then I might agree, but it seems like a unfortunate simplification to say that Reynolds has a bad approach at the plate.

Here is what Brady said about Reynolds:

"He gets himself in a situation where he's late, he waits until the last second and swings as hard as he can. That's a mechanical flaw - not him being stubborn. When you're late and you don't have proper rhythm and timing, you chase high fastballs with two strikes, you check swing and strike out on sliders in the dirt..."

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/articles/2011/01/11/20110111brady-anderson-former-big-leaguer-what-wup-with.html?source=rss_teams_Arizona_Diamondbacks

Now, you could call that "approach," I suppose. In any event, that's what Reynolds has been working on with Brady this winter, in addition to his conditioning.

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Here is what Brady said about Reynolds:

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/articles/2011/01/11/20110111brady-anderson-former-big-leaguer-what-wup-with.html?source=rss_teams_Arizona_Diamondbacks

Now, you could call that "approach," I suppose. In any event, that's what Reynolds has been working on with Brady this winter, in addition to his conditioning.

But how is he supposed to improve if he's switching to the American League. I imagine he'll probably just strike out like 300 times this year due to the adjustment of the league. Let's not oversell approach here. It's all about adjustment to the league and what some guy read that some other guy wrote that some other guy repeated and misspoke about. People repeat what they read when other people say it, Law fell into that trap here IMO.

What I don't like is how Law is speaking on the O's like he's an authority. The overly educated O's fan (many on this site) is probably going to know a lot more about the team than Law.

Part of the reason law says some of the things he does about Reynolds:

a) Reynolds led the league in errors in the NL in 2008.

b) Law knows this and knows and has read about his K's, this compounds his fielding (see gold glove awards, and crazy logic like Jeter winning the gold glove)

c) Law doesn't do as much in depth analysis of O's players as fans here do.

I'll cut him a pass, but these guys need to not act like they are the authority on some of these things when this kind of stuff happens. And maybe people, including me, need to trust our own judgment more and stop caring so much about what guys like Law say.

(Unless it's Britton, he clearly ranked Britton higher than Hellickson :thumbsup1:)

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People that hold Law's belief are also looking at last year like we played consistently that poorly all year.

Last year I feel we VASTLY under-performed in the first half, and probably played a little over our heads in the second half.

But I sincerely disagree with using last year's record on its own as any kind of baseline to judge the potential of the 2011 Orioles.

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