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


JTrea81

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I am just throwing this theory out there for the people who are against getting Holliday or Bay. The "square peg in a round hole" thing doesn't really make sense to me. Both of those players are exactly what we hope our young OFs become. What are the chances they make it to this ceiling? There is a chance Reimold never hits 30 HRs in a full season. There is a chance he is always getting hurt, while you know what you get with Holliday/Bay (for the most part)

If you can get one of them without spending so much you can't make any other moves a year later or whatever, then it should be a no brainer.

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Sure, these posts can be found by looking up any thread that I have been a part of where there has been a suggestion to actually spend money on an elite free agent. I am tired of having that conversation.

There are some folks here that believe that our prospects will magically develop into an elite squad like this one (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Martinez, Youklis, Ortiz, Drew, Nady, Bucholz, Beckett, Wakefield, etc.) if we just sit back and wait.

Meanwhile, the Yankees (Jeter, ARod, Tex, Damon, Matsui, Posada, Sabathia, Burnett, etc.) just seem to be getting better and better and better and better and better while we do nothing.

This conclusion is based on precedent, not conjecture.

That list of free agents will not take us to the level we need to be at, and I never said that we needed to mortgage our future for short-term success (as people are constantly accused of believing if you make the simple suggestion that we spend money), but we definitely need to do SOMETHING as a show of faith for the ever-dwindling fanbase to show that we are serious about contending at some point in the future.

The OH is not representative of the average Orioles fan or Baltimore resident who might be moved to spend money on the team if they *gasp* started looking like a real baseball team once in a while.

If anyone believes that the Orioles can continue tanking seasons for the sake of waiting for the prospects to develop and expect to have fans in 3-5 years, you are going to be in for a big shock.

Angelos can afford for the Orioles to keep losing, but the integrity of the franchise can't wait much longer.

MSK

So, to be clear, you don't have any such posts? Good to know.

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Schmuck like many here, simply isn't dealing with the reality of the market. I would define a middle of the order bat as someone you could count on for 30+ HR, 100 RBI, and close to .900 OPS next season. The only FA who fit that description are Bay and Holliday. So unless you throw too much money at one of them, you will have to acquire that bat by trade. To do that you will have to give up young players who figure in our future. As much as fans might want a big splash this off season it makes no sense to do so this year.

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Ellsbury and Beckett didn't come onto losing teams.

MSK

Um, here are Beckett's statistics for his first years in Major League Baseball. The first two of these years he played on losing teams in FL. The third year he clinched a WS for them at Yankee Stadium.

Year Team Lg G/GS W-L ERA IP H R ER BB K

2001 FLA NL 4/4 2-2 1.50 24.0 14 9 4 11 24

2002 FLA NL 23/21 6-7 4.10 107.2 93 56 49 44 113

2003 FLA NL 24/23 9-8 3.04 142.0 132 54 48 56 152

In fact, Beckett did come into the ML on a losing team and he was intrumental in turning that team into a winning team.

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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

Again, no. A big splash signing would send a clear message throughout Birdland that the Orioles leadership is serious about spending money. Since one or even two 'big splash signings' would not put us in a 'contending' position, it is more clear that such signings would NOT send any message at all about the Orioles' leadership's seriousness about contending and improving. In fact, given the timing, it might send just the opposite message - that the front office was more intent on subterfuge and appearances in order to drum up ticket sales than it was in actually executing a plan which could produce a long-term winning team.

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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.

Why do you feel that way? We don't have the money to be more active in FA markey than "an occasional, well-focused" addition?

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Why do you feel that way? We don't have the money to be more active in FA markey than "an occasional, well-focused" addition?

I think any team southwest of NYC has to spend wisely if they hope to compete with the teams in the Bronx and Boston. Even if the O's payroll ceiling is more like $120M, they're still behind the Red Sox and waaaaaaay behind the Yanks. Make a couple of "hey, we care" signings of guys who kinda, sorta fit the team but really make the casual fans happy and you don't have much left over to pay the kids as they get expensive, or the well-focused free agents that you'll probably need to cover for the kids who get hurt and/or don't develop.

Do you really want MacPhail's job in 2013 or 2014 to be trying to find a taker for 33/34-year-old Matt Holliday, his .800 OPS (trending ever downward), and his backloaded $19M per annum contract that lasts through 2016 or 2017?

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Some great quotes from Schmuck in his latest blog post:

Schmuck is dead on here. MacPhail has said that next season is about wins and losses, so he has to acquire the talent to do that. Just because we have Bell and Snyder doesn't mean that we can't acquire a LT quality or premium CI solution. We aren't going anywhere next season with just retreads.

There seem to be quite a few options out there via trade other than the usual Fielder and Gonzalez talk. Swisher and even MCab might be on the block as well.

MacPhail's actions need to speak louder than his words this offseason.

This is best statement Schmuck has made about the Orioles in years. Way to finally be bold Pete.

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Sure, these posts can be found by looking up any thread that I have been a part of where there has been a suggestion to actually spend money on an elite free agent. I am tired of having that conversation.

There are some folks here that believe that our prospects will magically develop into an elite squad like this one (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Martinez, Youklis, Ortiz, Drew, Nady, Bucholz, Beckett, Wakefield, etc.) if we just sit back and wait.

Meanwhile, the Yankees (Jeter, ARod, Tex, Damon, Matsui, Posada, Sabathia, Burnett, etc.) just seem to be getting better and better and better and better and better while we do nothing.

This conclusion is based on precedent, not conjecture.

That list of free agents will not take us to the level we need to be at, and I never said that we needed to mortgage our future for short-term success (as people are constantly accused of believing if you make the simple suggestion that we spend money), but we definitely need to do SOMETHING as a show of faith for the ever-dwindling fanbase to show that we are serious about contending at some point in the future.

The OH is not representative of the average Orioles fan or Baltimore resident who might be moved to spend money on the team if they *gasp* started looking like a real baseball team once in a while.

If anyone believes that the Orioles can continue tanking seasons for the sake of waiting for the prospects to develop and expect to have fans in 3-5 years, you are going to be in for a big shock.

Angelos can afford for the Orioles to keep losing, but the integrity of the franchise can't wait much longer.

MSK

I couldn't have said it better. So I won't.

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I think any team southwest of NYC has to spend wisely if they hope to compete with the teams in the Bronx and Boston. Even if the O's payroll ceiling is more like $120M, they're still behind the Red Sox and waaaaaaay behind the Yanks. Make a couple of "hey, we care" signings of guys who kinda, sorta fit the team but really make the casual fans happy and you don't have much left over to pay the kids as they get expensive, or the well-focused free agents that you'll probably need to cover for the kids who get hurt and/or don't develop.

Do you really want MacPhail's job in 2013 or 2014 to be trying to find a taker for 33/34-year-old Matt Holliday, his .800 OPS (trending ever downward), and his backloaded $19M per annum contract that lasts through 2016 or 2017?

Great post. Have some rep. Holliday scares me to death because I don't trust his numbers.

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What is particularly frustrating about the crowd that perpetuates the "must sign a premium free agent" mantra is that if AM doesn't sign one of the big glitzy FAs, no matter what the Orioles accomplish next year, they won't be happy.

The Baby Birds could show sound improvements across the board and the team could end up playing .500 ball and they'd still sit there and wring their hands and say, "well if we had signed these three premium free agents, we'd be in the playoffs right now!" Nevermind the fact that Matusz and Tillman showed they could be the #1/2 punch for the next decade, that Reimold/Jones/Wieters continued to improve, and Bell/Snyder showed they were capable of handling their roles long term ... you STILL wouldn't be happy!

Now granted, I don't expect all of those things to happen and am fully aware that they will most likely not and that we will need to, at some point, sign a couple of FAs to bridge the gap. That being said, the stance that you all have taken, the stance of "Angelos is a cheap dirtbag and AM is his lackey ... and we are right until AM signs a big free agent and proves us wrong!" is mildly irritating to say the least.

If you refuse to acknowledge there are possibilities outside of trying to out-Yankee the Yankees and simply continue to beat your head against the brick wall of "more money is better!" then how can we have any sort of intelligent discourse about the possibilities of where this team could go? To sit there and blithely refute any sort of improvement brought about by AM's tenure is just mind-boggling.

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What makes you think the market is drying up for these three? I'm not disputing you, I just want to know what you are basing this statement on.

I just don't think we're in the market for Lackey. MacPhail pretty much said that today, and it's pretty clear he doesn't believe in spending huge dollars for pitchers due to the injury risk.

Holliday and Bay are interesting bats, but they really are kind of square pegs in a team with a couple of round holes. I don't have the sense that MacPhail is looking to do something like move a young outfielder to make room for one of these two. Of course, if the price is right, maybe his attitude changes.

Frobby, you're a smart man. You know a lot about baseball. Nevertheless, I would ask you (and those who share your opinion) to rethink your stance on adding Jason Bay.

I think that Jason Bay is a perfect fit for this team. He would bring us a feared right-handed power hitter to bat fourth in our lineup. Just check out his major league numbers:

2007 - 21 HR, 84 RBI, .746 OPS

2008 - 31 HR, 101 RBI, .895 OPS

2009 - 36 HR, 119 RBI, .921 OPS

That is an amazing trend upward in his numbers from year to year. There is nobody who is either in our organization or who we are likely to get as a FA in 2010 who would fit our offensive needs better.

What are you worried about?

Moving Reimold to DH? That's no big deal (he might end up there anyway if his achilles tendon continues to be a problem).

The price? It's reported by the Boston Globe that he wants a five year $85M contract. I'd offer him a five year $90M contract in a heartbeat. He's 31 years old. Plug him in as the number 4 hitter and that's taken care of until 2014.

The O's wouldn't need to trade anyone to get him, He doesn't block our prospects at 1B and 3B, and he's worth it.

IMO, there's just no reason for the O's to wait for someone better to come along later - that is unless the O's are too chintzy to ever compete in the AL East.

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