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Any obligation to keep the team respectable?


Frobby

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This relates to SG's thread about why keep Walker or Bradford around if we are rebuilding?

On the one hand, if we are rebuilding, it makes sense to get as many veterans as possible out of here, including veteran middle relievers.

On the other hand, do you want your young players in an environment where they are terribly overmatched day after day? Those last 5-6 weeks of last season were pretty chastening for me. I would not want to watch that kind of baseball for 162 games, and I doubt the players would want to play in an environment like that, either.

I think there may be some minimum number of solid veterans you have to keep around to avoid having a complete debacle on your hands.

If so, who are they?

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This relates to SG's thread about why keep Walker or Bradford around if we are rebuilding?

On the one hand, if we are rebuilding, it makes sense to get as many veterans as possible out of here, including veteran middle relievers.

On the other hand, do you want your young players in an environment where they are terribly overmatched day after day? Those last 5-6 weeks of last season were pretty chastening for me. I would not want to watch that kind of baseball for 162 games, and I doubt the players would want to play in an environment like that, either.

I think there may be some minimum number of solid veterans you have to keep around to avoid having a complete debacle on your hands.

If so, who are they?

The reason that we keep Walker or Bradford is because historically you get more value for relievers at the trade deadlind rather then now when the market is flooded. I'll be surprised if we see them on the roster next year.

.........Keep Walker :D:D:D

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The veterans are the reason the team is a laughingstock. We'd be much better off replacing all of them with capable young players. Not Kurt Birkins and Luis Hernandez, but people who actually are talented baseball players.

I'd have no problems seeing a rotation including Penn, Liz, and Olson and a lineup containing almost all young, high ceiling players. That'd be much better than watching veteran players who aren't any better and have no room for growth.

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Especially in the bullpen, Walker and Bradford's expertise is invaluble to Hoey, Bierd, Novoa etc. that will be pitching the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th innings.

I still think the FO will go out and add another vet reliever at some point.

On the offensive side of things, I honestly think you have to keep Kevin Millar in the clubhouse. He's a vocal leader, and he can lighten up the young guys.

With Bedard/Tejeda/Roberts/Mora/Hernandez/Payton being dangled as trade bait, there's not much veteran leadership left in the clubhouse except for the three I've listed above. And you want to get rid of those guys too?

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I don't think respectability is the right word, because that makes it sounds like keeping guys like Bradford and Walker is only to win games at the expense of getting experience to younger guys.

I think the reason to keep them is to be consistent presences in an inconsistent staff. That way they help other pitchers gain confidence and become better themselves.

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The title of your thread suggests that we've been respectable in the past. Our record indicates otherwise. Is there a real difference between 24 games below .500 and 35-40 games below .500? This overconcern for present respectability is one of the reasons we never truly rebuilt.

I think there is a pretty big difference, from a fan's persepctive, between a team that plays .470 ball for 3/4 of the season and then collapses, and a team that plays sub-.400 ball from April 1 on.

But I think you are reading a bias in my thread title that I am not intending. The Detroit Tigers were abysmal in 2002 and 2003, but one could argue that was a necessary step for that franchise to do what it needed to do to rebuild. My thread was more intended to raise the question, than to provide the answer.

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I had a similar variation on this question.

It's easy to argue that of all the problems the O's had last year, none was bigger than the bullpen. And a lot of the snowball effect you saw last year was attributable to winnable games being turned into losses by a parade of overmatched and ineffective relievers coughing up runs by the bushel.

So my question is, is it at all plausible for MacPhail to make an already awful bullpen even worse, by trading guys like Bradford and Walker and replacing them with other young and/or cheap "upside" guys with major questionmarks?

The "blow it up" crowd will say, yes, and who cares how many games you lose in '08, etc.

But I'm not sure that is a plausible approach to running a ballclub, even a rebuilding one.

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This relates to SG's thread about why keep Walker or Bradford around if we are rebuilding?

On the one hand, if we are rebuilding, it makes sense to get as many veterans as possible out of here, including veteran middle relievers.

On the other hand, do you want your young players in an environment where they are terribly overmatched day after day? Those last 5-6 weeks of last season were pretty chastening for me. I would not want to watch that kind of baseball for 162 games, and I doubt the players would want to play in an environment like that, either.

I think there may be some minimum number of solid veterans you have to keep around to avoid having a complete debacle on your hands.

If so, who are they?

If you don't have any standards to live up to, then people don't have any reason to respect you for doing so, so yes, there has to be some attempt to field a team that is legitimately competitive at least on a good day. For the Orioles last year, above all else, pitching was the problem. MacPhail's stated desire to improve the bullpen is obligatory IMO.

Do you really think the Orioles will be that bad next year if MacPhail pulls off intelligent trades for Tejada, BRob and Bedard? Personally, I don't think we'd compete for the postseason, but I don't think we'd have anything to apologize for either.

Who to keep is a trickier question for me. What respect I had for Millar, Mora and Huff is pretty much gone now and I hope they're traded too. I'm having a hard time picking out any 'solid' veterans who would be left after trades, so I would hope that Markakis, Guthrie and a couple of the relievers might shoulder some of that responsibility even though they don't fully meet the definition of veteran that I think you have in mind.

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I had a similar variation on this question.

It's easy to argue that of all the problems the O's had last year, none was bigger than the bullpen. And a lot of the snowball effect you saw last year was attributable to winnable games being turned into losses by a parade of overmatched and ineffective relievers coughing up runs by the bushel.

So my question is, is it at all plausible for MacPhail to make an already awful bullpen even worse, by trading guys like Bradford and Walker and replacing them with other young and/or cheap "upside" guys with major questionmarks?

The "blow it up" crowd will say, yes, and who cares how many games you lose in '08, etc.

But I'm not sure that is a plausible approach to running a ballclub, even a rebuilding one.

I think you stated the issue better than I did.

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I had a similar variation on this question.

It's easy to argue that of all the problems the O's had last year, none was bigger than the bullpen. And a lot of the snowball effect you saw last year was attributable to winnable games being turned into losses by a parade of overmatched and ineffective relievers coughing up runs by the bushel.

So my question is, is it at all plausible for MacPhail to make an already awful bullpen even worse, by trading guys like Bradford and Walker and replacing them with other young and/or cheap "upside" guys with major questionmarks?

The "blow it up" crowd will say, yes, and who cares how many games you lose in '08, etc.

But I'm not sure that is a plausible approach to running a ballclub, even a rebuilding one.

For me, you need at least a couple guys in the pen you can rely on. Whether that's Bradford and Walker, doesn't matter. If you can prevent it, you can't start the season the way we ended it.

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This relates to SG's thread about why keep Walker or Bradford around if we are rebuilding?

On the one hand, if we are rebuilding, it makes sense to get as many veterans as possible out of here, including veteran middle relievers.

On the other hand, do you want your young players in an environment where they are terribly overmatched day after day? Those last 5-6 weeks of last season were pretty chastening for me. I would not want to watch that kind of baseball for 162 games, and I doubt the players would want to play in an environment like that, either.

I think there may be some minimum number of solid veterans you have to keep around to avoid having a complete debacle on your hands.

If so, who are they?

Getting rid of the veterans does not mean the entire season will play out like the last month of last season. The team played so poorly then due in part to the vets who were dialing the season in at that point. Also, you had a lot of injuries which forced AAAA guys to fill in a lot.

Trading the vets means that we'd get a lot of younger guys which would improve our depth. The team would be fresher, more driven, to do well. They wouldn't stop trying hard, like last year's team did at times, even when the season is lost.

I think we're forgetting how refreshing a younger team would be. Especially when a lot of those younger guys are top prospects from other teams, getting a shot at a starting job.

So no, they shouldn't be worried about keeping this team "respectable", whatever that means. This team hasn't been respectable for years, so why start now, in a rebuilding year?

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