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Schmuck: O's need a middle of the order bat


JTrea81

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You would be surprised at how many people really do believe that we don't need to make any improvements to the team.

The "average joe" fan is appalled, disgusted and furious at the direction of the team and would love to see a big splash signing. Even though the hardcore OH faithful might cry to the rafters, it would send a clear message throughout Birdland that the Orioles leadership is serious about contending and improvement.

Its really that simple.

MSK

The problem is there is no big splash signings out there in free agent land. The only way to make a big splash is to make a big trade, and at this stage i'm not sure it's a great idea to trade any of the young core either.

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I'm all for adding Harden, Johnson/Delgado, and Beltre/Glaus. However, I just don't see any good long-term options that will make sense for us at the price they will likely cost.

To be clear to certain people, that doesn't mean that I believe we will win with all homegrown guys and it doesn't mean that I would never support going after the big-time free agents.

BTW, Schmuck is totally wrong by saying we'd be conceding a 90-plus loss season without making the moves he's talking about. That shows a great lack of understading of the team imo.

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Ellsbury and Beckett didn't come onto losing teams. That sometimes makes a big difference in how a player develops.

Why do so many people here advocate for the Orioles to lose when there's no guarantee that these prospects will pan out ever? You have to DO something in order to get better and I am sure we don't have to give up draft picks if people do their jobs in the warehouse and have one group examine which guys we can pick up for the best money that also don't result in the loss of favorable draft choices.

Isn't that their job?

It seems like AM is still doing what Angelos has done -- preach improvement, but let all the other teams take all the good players first.

Show me one off season since 2003 where that hasn't been the case. And yes, I also include those where AM has been "in charge."

MSK

There is, at best, little to no evidence that suggests prospects need to be on a better team to develop. It's in them to compete at the ML level, or it is not in them. Matusz will do well if he can develop into the pitcher scouts have predicted, not because he is on the NYY or the Red Sox.

And did you just ignore most of my post? I asked where anyone is suggesting the O's lose? Unless there's proof of it, that's just silly to say. Truth is, for the first time in a while, this team is doing something to get better. A farm system, like the one Boston has created, Tampa has created, Texas has created, and the Dodgers as well, that can produce consistent talent. Talent that can be used at the ML level for this team or talent that can be traded for a need.

But hey, why waste time on that plan? Buy Holliday, Bay, and Lackey, trade for Halladay and MCab, gut the system, and do whatever it takes to compete in 2010? I don't see the dire need to back out of a plan that is just as risky as signing a bunch of overpriced FA that cost draft picks, can suffer from injuries, under perform, or just not put us over the edge.

We just lost 98 games this year, and adding Holliday and Lackey will not bring us anywhere nearer to our goal. Especially if this team still needs to let guys like Tillman, Reimold, Wieters, Bergesen, Pie, and Matusz have another year to adjust to the majors.

And I don't think it's even relevant to compare AM to previous GMs. For one, the current GM has argued that he's in control of the baseball operations, and he has delivered far more on his promises than past guys. Perhaps it's just my perception, but I can't recall Flanagan or the others being all that successful in acquiring talent. But because you and Trea don't agree with the plan, it's easy to say he's not doing enough. But I'm pretty sure he has not said anything you claim. A million times, grow the arms, buy the bats (when it's time). I guess, according to them, it's not yet that time.

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There is, at best, little to no evidence that suggests prospects need to be on a better team to develop. It's in them to compete at the ML level, or it is not in them. Matusz will do well if he can develop into the pitcher scouts have predicted, not because he is on the NYY or the Red Sox.

And did you just ignore most of my post? I asked where anyone is suggesting the O's lose? Unless there's proof of it, that's just silly to say. Truth is, for the first time in a while, this team is doing something to get better. A farm system, like the one Boston has created, Tampa has created, Texas has created, and the Dodgers as well, that can produce consistent talent. Talent that can be used at the ML level for this team or talent that can be traded for a need.

If you're suggesting that we don't add any talent or make any moves and only let the young guys play then you are voting for a loss if no improvement occurs.

But hey, why waste time on that plan? Buy Holliday, Bay, and Lackey, trade for Halladay and MCab, gut the system, and do whatever it takes to compete in 2010? I don't see the dire need to back out of a plan that is just as risky as signing a bunch of overpriced FA that cost draft picks, can suffer from injuries, under perform, or just not put us over the edge.

Where have I suggested gutting the system for short-term success? Maybe you should read this:

http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90410

We just lost 98 games this year, and adding Holliday and Lackey will not bring us anywhere nearer to our goal. Especially if this team still needs to let guys like Tillman, Reimold, Wieters, Bergesen, Pie, and Matusz have another year to adjust to the majors.

And I don't think it's even relevant to compare AM to previous GMs. For one, the current GM has argued that he's in control of the baseball operations, and he has delivered far more on his promises than past guys. Perhaps it's just my perception, but I can't recall Flanagan or the others being all that successful in acquiring talent. But because you and Trea don't agree with the plan, it's easy to say he's not doing enough. But I'm pretty sure he has not said anything you claim. A million times, grow the arms, buy the bats (when it's time). I guess, according to them, it's not yet that time.

So if not now, then when?

Seriously?

When are we going to do something, anything to get this team to a winning level other than just wait for the prospects to develop (or not) while the Red Sox and Yankees continue to become unstoppable?

Some of us continue to behave as if we're in the AL West were they can afford to make small time moves over a series of years to compete (i.e. Oakland). We can't afford to keep losing and losing and pretending that there's nothing wrong here.

Fans are leaving in droves. And its only going to get worse. Even if every member of the OH bought a ticket to every game, it still wouldn't be enough to keep this team around.

I'm not being selfish and only thinking of the die-hard fans that bring pencils and notebooks to baseball games and record every pitch. I am also thinking of the people who want to cheer for their hometown team when they make the playoffs but feel nothing but shame when the season is practically over by July 31st.

Keeping the fan base aware of the positive movements of the team can only really work when there is something positive to report. Right now, the casual fan knows that we finished in DEAD last and we aren't doing anything to correct that.

Well, other than tell them to suffer through another losing season in the hopes that a bunch of young guys will get good.

MSK

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When are we going to do something, anything to get this team to a winning level other than just wait for the prospects to develop (or not) while the Red Sox and Yankees continue to become unstoppable?

Continue...to become...unstoppable?

Continue...to become...unstoppable?

Continue...to become...unstoppable?

Leaving aside all questions I may have about how something continues to become unstoppable--and I do have them--I have to be so bold as to ask if you realize that with MLB and the AL East as they are currently construed the Yankee$ and Red $ox don't have to "continue to become unstoppable". They already are unstoppable: at least outside the craps hoot that is the playoffs. Unstoppable by anything other than injuries and/or age and/or any really, really bad decisions they happen to make.

I know that you and Trea (and certain others) are really, really really ready to buy drapes and you've been holding onto the paint samples for years now...but the damned house is barely framed!

Would I buy on a free agent who met the Orioles needs and was available for the right combination of years and dollars? Absolutely...and so would Andy MacPhail. And if he decides that free agent or agents isn't out there this year? I won't be happy, but I won't be sharpening my pitchfork and fueling my torch, either.

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[quote name=Mad Mark;1979029

Leaving aside all questions I may have about how something continues to become unstoppable--and I do have them--I have to be so bold as to ask if you realize that with MLB and the AL East as they are currently construed the Yankee$ and Red $ox don't have to "continue to become unstoppable". They already are unstoppable: at least outside the craps hoot that is the playoffs. Unstoppable by anything other than injuries and/or age and/or any really' date=' really bad decisions they happen to make.

I know that you and Trea (and certain others) are really, really really ready to buy drapes and you've been holding onto the paint samples for years now...but the damned house is barely framed!

Would I buy on a free agent who met the Orioles needs and was available for the right combination of years and dollars? Absolutely...and so would Andy MacPhail. And if he decides that free agent or agents isn't out there this year? I won't be happy, but I won't be sharpening my pitchfork and fueling my torch, either.

Okay Mr. Semantics, you know what I meant by the unstoppable line. To explain, they are making sure their current success is not hampered by the wages of age, injury, etc., and will continue into the foreseeable future.

As for the bolded part, you say Andy would sign the guy, somehow, I don't think so. When he does it I will happily concede I was wrong about him, but until he does more than sign people like Eaton or Hendrickson or Wigginton, I don't see him deviating from the path set by luminaries like Duquette or Flanagan.

Especially not under Angelos.

MSK

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No, we aren't because of the world class ineptitude of the ownership that I am not convinced has been alleviated by the arrival of AM.

We could have been adding the pieces for years as the Red Sox did from 1998-2001. They had Lowe and Veritek as trades into their farm system.

They signed Manny Ramirez in 2000 for 8/160.

They traded for Pedro 1997 but signed him for 6/75.

So with our resources, you're telling me the best we could do in terms of trades/free agency are Eaton, Huff, Jay Payton, Kris Benson, Jaret Wright, Traschel, Ramon Hernandez and Kevin Millar?

Either Angelos is the cheapest man alive or his "baseball" people were incompetent.

Now, AM is in the house and has done great work with the infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Yankees do everything in their power to remain powerhouses. This small town approach to big league baseball will not reward dividends in the AL East.

I am not the only one who realizes this.

MSK

Talk about cherry picking... Any names you see missing off that list? Maybe a SS or another catcher, that had some decent years here? At the time, did they not open up the wallets for Baez, Walker, and Bradford? Did we not get swindled by Jay Gibbons? What about the Erickson fellow? I think he was collecting a few bucks then. Wasn't that stuff going out and spending to improve big needs on the team? I love how people refer to Angelos as cheap. Why don't you go pay the players to be on the team? If they are in fact so cheap. I think you views are obviously skewed because of your dislike for the owner. To each their own, but at least lets put all the facts out there.

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Okay Mr. Semantics, you know what I meant by the unstoppable line. To explain, they are making sure their current success is not hampered by the wages of age, injury, etc., and will continue into the foreseeable future.

As for the bolded part, you say Andy would sign the guy, somehow, I don't think so. When he does it I will happily concede I was wrong about him, but until he does more than sign people like Eaton or Hendrickson or Wigginton, I don't see him deviating from the path set by luminaries like Duquette or Flanagan.

Especially not under Angelos.

MSK

If you can't see the difference between what he has done and what those guys did, you are really blind.

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Okay Mr. Semantics, you know what I meant by the unstoppable line. To explain, they are making sure their current success is not hampered by the wages of age, injury, etc., and will continue into the foreseeable future.

As for the bolded part, you say Andy would sign the guy, somehow, I don't think so. When he does it I will happily concede I was wrong about him, but until he does more than sign people like Eaton or Hendrickson or Wigginton, I don't see him deviating from the path set by luminaries like Duquette or Flanagan.

Especially not under Angelos.

MSK

When did either of those guys ever go down this path?

They never even sniffed this path!

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If you're suggesting that we don't add any talent or make any moves and only let the young guys play then you are voting for a loss if no improvement occurs.

Where have I suggested gutting the system for short-term success? Maybe you should read this:

http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90410

So if not now, then when?

Seriously?

When are we going to do something, anything to get this team to a winning level other than just wait for the prospects to develop (or not) while the Red Sox and Yankees continue to become unstoppable?

Some of us continue to behave as if we're in the AL West were they can afford to make small time moves over a series of years to compete (i.e. Oakland). We can't afford to keep losing and losing and pretending that there's nothing wrong here.

Fans are leaving in droves. And its only going to get worse. Even if every member of the OH bought a ticket to every game, it still wouldn't be enough to keep this team around.

I'm not being selfish and only thinking of the die-hard fans that bring pencils and notebooks to baseball games and record every pitch. I am also thinking of the people who want to cheer for their hometown team when they make the playoffs but feel nothing but shame when the season is practically over by July 31st.

Keeping the fan base aware of the positive movements of the team can only really work when there is something positive to report. Right now, the casual fan knows that we finished in DEAD last and we aren't doing anything to correct that.

Well, other than tell them to suffer through another losing season in the hopes that a bunch of young guys will get good.

MSK

To use your own logic... by going after big names, whether through trade or FA, this team will be gutting its minor league system. Draft picks count too, you know.

And I'm not suggesting we stop adding talent. Quite the opposite. During his tenure, AM has done nothing BUT add talent. That you do not distinguish AM's actions from past GMs is pretty revealing. Young, promising players such as Pie, Tillman, Mickolio, Jones, Waring, Turner (useful albeit with question marks), Bell, Uehara, extending BRob, and shedding bad contracts are just a few of the changes under AM. Oh, and he's established a presence in the Asian market, had to deal with horrible contracts from the previous regime, put stock back into the draft, thus yielding guys like Matusz, Britton, and a few others... must I continue?

You're cherry-picking the worst moments of the past decade to suit your argument. I'm not trying to be rude, but you are doing this.

Moreover, I'm not a nerd with a pencil and paper attending games. If the 'casual' fan chooses to ignore the organization as a whole, so be it. But I'm not going to associate with that line of thinking. It's myopic and shortsighted. I'm an average fan that chooses to see the whole picture, so why dumb down the message for someone just wanting a quick fix? We've been looking for a good GM, one with a plan that would be followed, and that is happening right now. I'm content to see what happens.

Again, I agree with you that we need to add talent from outside the organization. Guys like Delgado, Glaus, Vazquez, and even MCab (depending upon the deal), would be great additions. Weiters, Reimold, Markakis, Jones could become a great core of hitters in OPACY. But someone like Holliday will cost stupid money. Besides, OF is not our problem. The IF is. And Lackey, while a good pitcher, is really worth 100M? Not so sure about that. I'm okay with giving the prospects time to develop.

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This take by Schmuck just seems like a firm grasp of the obvious to me and I am just an average Joe Fan. Nothing earth shattering to this, same as nothing earth shattering to the poll that shows the majority of reponders feel a number one-two proven veteran starter is what this team needs most followed by a middle of the order proven bat. Everyone knows this and I believe AM is on the hot seat with the fan base to produce and produce now.

Maybe the thread title has thrown some folks off, but the "big bat" line is not really the point of his blog entry.

In general, I don't think he's trying to enlighten us about what we need. He's mostly taking the position that AM cannot make significant upgrades to this team without trading young players or spending top dollar. AM has said he won't do the former, and Schmuck is saying that AM may not do the latter.

Schmuck is basically saying right now, weeks before the winter meetings, that it would not surprise him if we ended up with no significant upgrades.

I think that's worth noting, honestly.

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AM's job pretty much requires that he thread the needle. He's gotta mainly rely on young guys but with the occasional well-focused and well-chosen addition from the outside. It is, by any reasonable judgment, a hard thing to do. He's gotta get the personnel right and the timing right. It's not like there's some easy bumper-sticker answer to the problem he's gotta solve. If it was easy to do, everybody would do it.

Meanwhile, Schmuck's job is to write something every day, even on days (like now) when there's nothing to write about. Which means there will be days when he writes a bumper-sticker kind of item, just to provide his required words for the day. And when he does that, the folks who believe in bumper-sticker answers will grab on to what he says and run with it like crazy. When Schmuck is bored but has to write something anyway, he's gonna sometimes fuel the beliefs of the JTrea's of the world. It gives him something to do.

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