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Dave Cameron: O's rank as worst organization in baseball


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This is the point. Why were they "legitimate"? And why did they fail? Where does "legitimacy" fall along a continuum of probabilities?

Exactly, and if Cameron or no one is good at predicting this, what's the point of doing this. I'm just saying...I don't like these kinds of rankings. They feel like they have a lot of bias and not a lot of effort goes into actually ranking them.

If there was a lot of buzz about the Chen/Matusz/Arrieta this spring, this ranking could have been different and that would have had zero to do with Cameron actually doing any of his own analysis on this team. I guess for people that don't want to read all the available info out there to them, this is a nice composite guide. But then again...are people that just want more general knowledge going to fangraphs to get it? And is that who they really want to be.

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This is the point. Why were they "legitimate"?

The last 2 months of 2010, Buck Showalter, a pretty decent 2011 offseason...

And why did they fail?

Mark Connor? Rick Adair? TTTP? Brian Matusz' attitude? Kevin Gregg? That they remembered they are the Orioles?

Where does "legitimacy" fall along a continuum of probabilities?

If the Orioles were a stock, their stock would have been pointing upwards at the end of the 2010 season. A lot of people would have been kicking themselves for not buying on August 2nd.

Fast forward to today, what would their stock be worth now, compared to back then?

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You don't think it was legit to be excited about guys like Britton and BMat heading into last year and now, the excitement level is lower?

Pretty obvious that it was legit.

Add Arrieta's injury and its not really all that hard to figure out the differences.

I might be overwhelmingly in the minority, but I'm still pretty excited about these guys. Arrieta was a injury that seems to have been worked out. Britton, I'm still quite excited about, even with a bit of an arm thing, it hopefully won't be a career set back. And I'm super positive BMat bounces back this year.

But it's not like Cameron actually went in and analyzed these guys. He just made a general snapshot assessment. That's fine...but IMO it makes his rankings more and more generic. Again, which is fine. Just not to my taste to put any stock in his rankings be it 30, or 6.

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Let's also not forget that a large part of this ranking comes from the division we play in and the quality of teams/organizations that are ahead of us in both terms of developing talent and spending in free agency and internationally.

It sounds like Cameron and a lot of people thought the 2011 Orioles could have been a lot like the 2008 Rays -- and a lot of people around here were making those comparisons too. They were apt comparisons, IMO.

They just didn't work out. So why would people base their predictions or rankings of the Orioles in the future based on what they did for 2 months in 2010?

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I might be overwhelmingly in the minority, but I'm still pretty excited about these guys. Arrieta was a injury that seems to have been worked out. Britton, I'm still quite excited about, even with a bit of an arm thing, it hopefully won't be a career set back. And I'm super positive BMat bounces back this year.

But it's not like Cameron actually went in and analyzed these guys. He just made a general snapshot assessment. That's fine...but IMO it makes his rankings more and more generic. Again, which is fine. Just not to my taste to put any stock in his rankings be it 30, or 6.

Thats fine. It's just one man's opinion. But picking Seattle as #6 doesn't make the Orioles at #30 wrong on principle.

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Headed into 2011 there were some legitimate signs for optimism, though. Now, there are hardly any.

Not to mention we're hoping for a rotation that is spitballed together to succeed, and that a GM who has been out of baseball for 10 years to right the ship. If those aren't longshots, they need to come up with a better expression.

I know the season will be here in 10 days and we're all giddy with excitement but let's not forget a little thing called reality.

I don't think the rotation is spitballed at all. I mean Matusz has looked very good this spring. Arrieta has looked great too. Hammel is expected by many to be at least Guthrie-like production. Chen has looked solid and there is little reason to expect him to be anything less than solid. Britton going down stinks, but the fifth spot should be made up of one of Wada/Hunter/Tillman and is you are really worried about it could be replaced by Tillman at the end of April/ mid may.

The last time I checked everyone seemed very happy with the structural changes DD has made to the organization. The Korea thing is a complete cluster.... and he deserves criticism for that but it seems to me that he has been working towards building the cohesive system-wide strategy that everyone has been clamoring for the last decade. I don't care if he has been out of baseball for 20 years, if what he does works then great.

If we had gotten Dipoto or some other young guy he would be just as unproven as DD is right now.

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I might be overwhelmingly in the minority, but I'm still pretty excited about these guys. Arrieta was a injury that seems to have been worked out. Britton, I'm still quite excited about, even with a bit of an arm thing, it hopefully won't be a career set back. And I'm super positive BMat bounces back this year.

But it's not like Cameron actually went in and analyzed these guys. He just made a general snapshot assessment. That's fine...but IMO it makes his rankings more and more generic. Again, which is fine. Just not to my taste to put any stock in his rankings be it 30, or 6.

I am actually relatively excited about them as well although Britton could be done.

But what you are asking for isn't what this article was about and really, it shouldn't be.

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It sounds like Cameron and a lot of people thought the 2011 Orioles could have been a lot like the 2008 Rays -- and a lot of people around here were making those comparisons too. They were apt comparisons, IMO.

They just didn't work out.

I'd expect some deeper analysis than this from a guy like Cameron, that's all. I feel like this is the conversation that went on:

Meh...look at their record they were bad. Gawd Matusz was terrible. That Arrieta guy got hurt. Well Wieters looks legit now, yeah let's right about that first. Oh oh oh, that Korea thing, gotta make sure we put that in there. Can you believe LaCava turned them down...what a joke of an organization. I bet Duquette will just be another Angelos puppet and not change anything...OK, let's bump them down to 30th.

Again...which is a fine assessment, I can just make these kind of generalities without fangraphs.

It'd be really great if Cameron went back and looked at the specific pieces that were supposed to be part of our "Tampa" like run. And assess if they improved, regressed, or just had to wait due to injuries etc. And articulated those in the article. That'd give me more faith in Cameron's analysis and IMO frankly make for a better read.

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I don't think the rotation is spitballed at all. I mean Matusz has looked very good this spring. Arrieta has looked great too. Hammel is expected by many to be at least Guthrie-like production. Chen has looked solid and there is little reason to expect him to be anything less than solid. Britton going down stinks, but the fifth spot should be made up of one of Wada/Hunter/Tillman and is you are really worried about it could be replaced by Tillman at the end of April/ mid may.

It's spitballed. Sometimes spitballs can hold together and can still work, but the rotation is the opposite of a sure thing right now. I don't care what happens in ST outside of Matusz.

The last time I checked everyone seemed very happy with the structural changes DD has made to the organization. The Korea thing is a complete cluster.... and he deserves criticism for that but it seems to me that he has been working towards building the cohesive system-wide strategy that everyone has been clamoring for the last decade. I don't care if he has been out of baseball for 20 years, if what he does works then great.

Who is everyone? Some Oriole fans on OH? What about Keith Law?

This sounds like Andy MacPhail syndrome all over again. Praising small moves that on the surface look good but are drops in the bucket when compared to what needs to be done to catch the Rays, Sox, Yanks and Blue Jays.

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Praising small moves that on the surface look good but are drops in the bucket when compared to what needs to be done to catch the Rays, Sox, Yanks and Blue Jays.

I think a lot of what Duquette has brought to this org is exactly the opposite. Bringing Brady in isn't a great move on the surface, it's literally the right move this org needed to make. You can question what they were doing before, but it's quite hard to argue this isn't substantial progress given where the O's were the last 3 years on issues like these.

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It's spitballed. Sometimes spitballs can hold together and can still work, but the rotation is the opposite of a sure thing right now. I don't care what happens in ST outside of Matusz.

Who is everyone? Some Oriole fans on OH? What about Keith Law?

This sounds like Andy MacPhail syndrome all over again. Praising small moves that on the surface look good but are drops in the bucket when compared to what needs to be done to catch the Rays, Sox, Yanks and Blue Jays.

So we didn't like the restucturing of the entire minor league system with a tilit towards complete system-wide cohesion? We don't like the idea of an emphasis of pitching development by bringing in ONE guy to be the guru for the org? We don't like the new-found focus on strength and conditioning by bringing in Anderson and making him second-in-command (for all intents and purposes)

You're right, these are small moves that may or may not have a direct impact on the field this year. But if Matusz and Arrieta are truly back - then that is a direct result of DD's/Anderson/Peterson's plan. And if they truly are back then those "small moves" can have a big impact on the immediate future of this team.

You're right, we didn't make a giant splash in FA nor trade away Jones, but DD obviously thinks that there are some real pieces here he can work with and turn into something great.

Again, I have NO argument with how the team's org is ranked right now. I'm just making the point that the players that are on this team right now could play to a level that changes that outlook drastically.

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You don't think it was legit to be excited about guys like Britton and BMat heading into last year and now, the excitement level is lower?

Pretty obvious that it was legit.

Add Arrieta's injury and its not really all that hard to figure out the differences.

Again, you're proving my point - we're not talking fan "excitement" here, we're talking about a quasi-empirical analysis that is supposed to establish a value for the organization. In other words, what are the resources (in talent, and in capital) possessed by the O's going forward?

Assigning a future value to the pitchers is only as "legitimate" as the certainty of your prediction. Britton, Matusz and Arrieta are the same exact commodity that they were last year - but the valuations have changed. Now, in the case of Britton, perhaps this change in valuation is substantive. In the case of Arrieta, Matusz (and others), less so. In other words, inherent in any player, but especially in young players and prospects, is a range of outcomes. So, just how much should we rely on one confluence of bad luck in assigning values? Let's note: any team would be "lucky" to get "two good pitchers" out of their prospects. The difference between the probability of this happening this year vis probability as of last year is...tough to decipher.

Let's also note another issue: the inconsistency of the underlying logic, and its failure to take into account the full spectrum of value moving forward. Cameron writes this about Jones:

Adam Jones is a solid piece, but he’s only under club control for two more seasons, and other clubs are already anticipating that he’ll be put on the block sooner than later.

So, Jones doesn't count as a significant asset in terms of our on-field value. But, in terms of organizational strength, Jones also isn't measured by his future trade value in this analysis either, because the minor league organization is viewed as static, as is, as of right now. In other words, two years of Jones - who possesses legitimate value on the field and likely significant value in trade - is essentially nulled-out. How does that work, exactly?

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I think a lot of what Duquette has brought to this org is exactly the opposite. Bringing Brady in isn't a great move on the surface, it's literally the right move this org needed to make. You can question what they were doing before, but it's quite hard to argue this isn't substantial progress given where the O's were the last 3 years on issues like these.

I love the Brady hiring and he's already produced some pretty great results.

But is that enough to change a team's ranking?

Let's also not forget that we once hired the best pitching coach that money could buy and he left mumbling to himself and has never returned to the MLB since.

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So, Jones doesn't count as a significant asset in terms of our on-field value. But, in terms of organizational strength, Jones also isn't measured by his future trade value in this analysis either. In other words, two years of Jones - who possesses legitimate value on the field and likely significant value in trade - is essentially nulled-out. How does that work, exactly?

You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Lucky Jim again.

I don't think SG has to defend Cameron's use of this here. I think he's just trying to point out that he thinks the ranking is right. But it seems others of us, while we may agree on Cameron's current ranking, we don't think he does enough to either (a) defend his current position or (b) do a good enough job showing the future value players with a range of outcomes.

I think this has more to do with Cameron not investing that much time into this project. In this case it doesn't make his current assessment of the Orioles wrong, but I do think it hurts his credibility with some people who might expect from his analysis.

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I love the Brady hiring and he's already produced some pretty great results.

But is that enough to change a team's ranking?

If it's enough to resurrect Matusz/Arrieta/Britton to form, how could you say it isn't? A lot of the stock that got the O's to 16 last year was those three guys. They weren't at the time considered flash in the pan guys.

Growth isn't always linear. Cameron's analysis, IMO, is based more around the idea that it is. He looks at two year trends, and then makes an assessment.

Otherwise before he made the O's 16 he'd looked at it and said....well the O's development and MiLB systems are terrible, those guys have less of a chance to make in the majors. But he didn't do that either...

As for Mazzone...Sigh...

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