Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All-Star Game Musings

  • No matter how much the media bashes the All Star Game, it will still be fun to watch the game every year. I think for me, most the fun lies in hearing an Orioles' name broadcast over national television. Sadly, however, every time Brian Roberts came to bat last night, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were far more concerned about the pitcher.
  • Speaking of Roberts, was anyone more relieved when Francisco Rodriguez got Aaron Rowand to fly out to end the game? In case you missed it (and you probably did, since it happened as the sun rose), Roberts mishandled a ground ball with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, a play that could have ended the game. Alfonso Soriano promptly smacked the ball over the fence, and the NL was within one run. Three walks and a new pitcher later, Roberts breathed a huge sigh of relief that his mishandling (it wasn't ruled an error) did not cost the AL the game.
  • Roberts may not have cost the AL the game, but he definitely cost me 15 minutes of sleep.
  • Does the game have to be so long? A standard game lasts 3 hours. The All Star Game started at 8, went off at exactly 12, unless you watched Ichiro get his trophy. If you took out the Taco Bell "Hit the Ball Three Feet on National Television" Contest, the Willie Mays Played for the Giants Before They Sucked tribute, and the stopping of the game to put keyboards and a Grammy winning singer I've never heard of on the field for the 7th inning stretch, the game would have been the standard 3 hours.
  • Pundits wonder why people don't watch the All Star Game anymore. I point to all the pageantry crap listed above. We came to watch a baseball game, not an awards show interrupted by baseball.
  • Good God, is Ichiro fast.
  • Good God, is Jose Reyes fast.
  • Barry who, now?
  • Why does Fox think the managers want to be bothered during the game with a live interview. The whole time they talked to Jim Leyland, he kept trying to see what was actually going on on the field, as if trying to win a game.
  • Leyland clearly outmanaged Tony LaRussa, and the proof is in the Pujols. LaRussa decided to let Aaron Rowand end the game with a fly out instead of putting his own guy in there. Let me remind you that Pujols is a former NL MVP and one of he most dangerous hitters in baseball. Needless to say, he wasn't happy about being parked on the bench, and who can blame him? What the hell was LaRussa thinking?
  • It wouldn't be fair to call out Ken Griffey for his horrible playing of the ball during Ichiro's homerun, since Vlad Guererro made the same mistake on David Wright's triple.
  • Ichiro and Wright hit the ball to identical spots of the field, and had similar carems off the wall. Ichiro had a homerun, Wright had a triple. White man can't run.
  • Griffey gunned down A-Rod from right field to keep the NL ahead in the 4th inning. The throw beat A-Rod to the plate by about a month.
  • There's never been a more forced look of determination than Johnathan Papelbon's. He tries to have a Randy Johnson-esque stare into the catcher's mitt to evoke fear in the hitter. Instead, he looks like he's taking a crap on the mound.
  • The final score was 5-4 AL. Shew! That was a close one. For a second, I thought the Orioles weren't going to have home field advantage in the World Series.
  • Peace

Monday, July 9, 2007

Warning Track Derby?

Now that I am back from vacation, and more importantly, my readers are back from vacation, let us recommence the blogging...

I have a particular penchant for the Home Run Derby. I can remember many times throughout the years sitting in a box (box seat) in front of the television, watching the game's great sluggers do their best to muscle the ball over the fence. I've seen Oriole greats like Cal Ripken, B.J Surhoff, Miguel Tejada, and (removing the "great" label) Rafael Palmeiro hit the ball as hard as they could to win the coveted two golden bats crossed on a stand trophy. The derby is just a fun event, and it's a treat for the fans.

Unfortunately, in the past years, the derby has started to become a bit of a joke around All-Star time. More and more hitters are taking the night off instead of slugging it out, MLB introduces goofy new formats (remember that US vs. the World crap from a few years ago?), and Chris Berman gets less air time to chant "Back-back-back" as the ball soars. And this year, sadly, is no exception.

This year's derby field is comprised of Alex Rios of the Blue Jays, Vlad Guererro of the Angels, Magglio Ordonez of the Tigers, Justin Morneau of the Twins, Albert Pujols of the Cardinals, Ryan Howard of the Phillies, and Prince Fielder of the Brewers. The notable peculiarity of the field is that it's only 7 people as opposed to the traditional 8. That's because the Marlins' Miguel Cabrera withdrew yesterday due to a shoulder injury, and there are apparently no other people in AT&T Park who can hit homeruns (put up or shut up, Barry Lamar).

The second oddity in the derby lineup has to do with who is allowed to participate. Ryan Howard won the Home Run Derby last year in Pittsburgh. He is not part of the All-Star roster this year, but is still begin permitted to participate in the derby. He is being flown to San Francisco for the sole purpose of taking batting practice in front of the world. What a crock. If you aren't good enough to be an All-Star, why should you be allowed to sully the good name of the Home Run derby? How ridiculous would it be for the winner of All-Star week's most prestigious event to not even be an All-Star? Here's hoping Howard continues the fine tradition of not winning consecutive derby's.

The final anomaly in the lineup has to do with who isn't in the lineup. The 7 participants in tonight's derby rank 2, 3, 6, 13, 17, 37, and 57th in the league in homeruns. That's right folks, pay good money to go to AT&T Park and see Magglio Ordonez, the 57th best homerun hitter in all of baseball. Ordonez is behind such powerhouses as Hanley Ramirez, Jhonny Peralta (I didn't spell that wrong, either), Ian Kinsler, and Xavier Nady. Who wants to see that? Are they going to have to construct an artificial fence around the infield dirt just so tonight's competitors can hit homeruns? Are we going to allow ground rule doubles to count as homeruns? How about foul balls that travel far enough?

What's worse than the fact that All-Stars Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Torii Hunter, J.J Hardy, and Barry Lamar Bonds are not participating are the reasons they give for not participating. Quoth Bonds, "It's too much waiting. You can't do that." Says Rodriguez, "I've worked hard for my swing and I definitely don't want to let anything get in the way of that." Others cite the damage that can be done to your mechanics, or the fatigue that sets in from participating in the derby.

The most ridiculous excuse, however, deals with one of my all time favorite topics: curses! Some players think that the derby carries a mystique that can derail a player. They usually cite Bobby Abreu as evidence. Abreu won the derby in Detroit two years ago. Since then, he's been junk. Experts say his swing isn't the same because he developed too many bad habits trying to hit the ball out. Unfortunately for said experts, they also posted the first half and second half homerun totals for the top four finalists in each derby since 1998. Being a statistician in my off time, I took notice.

At first glance, it seems as though the derby may cause a little bit of fatigue that lasts into the second half of the season. On average, derby participants hit 6.5 fewer homeruns in the second half of the year than the first. However, 6.5 homeruns is NOT statistically significant. In order to be significant, the player would have to be somewhere around 24 fewer homeruns in the second half (don't ask me how I know, just know that it's right). That means that the drop in production among derby participants can be attributed to other things, like injury, fatigue from the season, or slumps. The lesson that needs to be learned here is that the derby does not do as much harm as the players want you to believe. The real reason they don't want to participate is because they are afraid of embarrassing themselves on the grand stage. There is not such thing as a "Home Run Derby Curse".

So am I going to watch the Home Run Derby tonight? Hell yeah! I'm saying Vladimir Guererro wins it all. But that does not take away from the fact that today's derby is just a watered down shadow of the great spectacle it used to be.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Bust Out the Brooms... Er, Mops

NFL Europa officially folded today. Darn...

It was a travesty. A sham. A mockery. I'd go as far to say it was a travashamockery. What happened during last night's rain postponed O's/ Yanks game is just further proof that I am not wrong when I say there is definite New York favoritism in all sports.

It was a balmy night in Baltimore. Two teams were battling back and forth. The O's managed to take a 6-4 lead, scoring four runs in the seventh inning, when the rain started. Brandon Fahey was at the plate, with an 0-2 count, and 2 outs. At that point, the umpires stopped the game. No big deal. The delay lasted 18 minutes.

After the delay, Fahey grounded out, and the Orioles' biggest inning of the night ended. The eighth came around, and the Yanks were returning the favor. Then the rain started falling harder than before. Chris Ray is taking his time before pitching to Derek Jeter, in hopes that the massive monsoon will delay the game. The umpires decide that play must continue. Big deal. Huge deal. Jeter singles up middle, two Yankees score, and then play in stopped again, this time with the Yankees ahead.

It all seems so innocent. The umpires didn't stop the game, and the Yankees capitalized. It was not innocent. It was calculated. It was premeditated. It was a friggin' conspiracy. And what's worse, the Orioles knew about it.

Quoth Melvin Mora: "He just tried to make Jeter hit so they can score one run and they can get out of here. That's what I think."

Quoth Chris Ray: "I've never pitched in rain like that before. I was just trying not to throw the ball to the backstop. When they called it in the seventh inning and we had something going and it wasn't raining nearly as hard, and then it's pouring down rain and we're just out there in terrible conditions."

Quoth Dave Trembley: "I think everyone here's smart enough to realize a little bit of what happened here tonight."

Naturally, all three of them are going to get fined (or worse), from the Commissioner's Office for exposing the truth. But now that we know the story and the conspiracy that makes this a story, let's look at the ramifications.

The game will be resumed July 27th, the next time the Yankees are in town. The last inning and a half will be played before the regularly scheduled game. The Orioles cannot use anybody removed from the game, but may use people who are not currently on the roster. Therefore, we are without the services of Daniel Cabrera, Paul Shuey, John Parrish, Kevin Millar, Jay Gibbons, Freddie Bynum, and Melvin Mora. Why no Mora? He was ejected for pointing out the obvious to the umps (he told the third base ump that he couldn't see the ball anymore because of the rain, and the ump went off on him and ejected him. You can read the full recounting of he tale on the Sun's website). So without our usual third baseman, the O's will probably shift Chris Gomez to the spot, and end up using Ramon Hernandez as the first baseman, since Aubrey Huff was already in the game as the DH. To say the least, we're going to be short staffed.

Naturally, all of this occurred after the O's lost the lead. Had the Yankees not been able to take the lead one batter before the game was stopped, it would not be a huge deal. But why was Fahey's at bat stopped mid-count, but Jeter's was allowed to continue? And why did it take so long to stop the game in a downpour when the ball could not be seen, but the game was stopped in a hurry when the rain first started and was still manageable? And why was the third base ump so quick to eject Melvin?

The answer is the conspiracy.

This conspiracy dates back to at least 1978. In the same situation in 1978, the Yanks were ahead at the rain delay, but when the game was called, the rules stated that the game be reverted back to the last completed half of an inning, which put the Orioles ahead. That prompted a rule change that took effect in 1980, since surely the Yankees cannot be given that injustice. The rule was changed to just freeze the game, and that was it. Now the rules mandate that the game be finished, even though that's just silly. Personally, I like the last completed half of an inning thing, but if that was still the case, Chris Ray would have had to pitch until the inning was over, because surely the Yankees would be allowed to finish their inning.

Fast forward to 1996, and the Yankee Conspiracy continued with Jeffrey Maier (that rat bastard). So here we are in 2007, the conspiracy lives on, and it seems like the Orioles will be denied to the opportunity to sweep the Yankees at home. Way to rob from the poor, Major League Baseball.

To be truthful, it wouldn't be that big a deal if it wasn't the Yankees. Seeing as the Evil Empire always gets preferential treatment, this story has the chance to explode. If it was Kansas City or Texas, I wouldn't care that much. But it's the Yankees, and those heartless soul-suckers are going to steal from us, yet again, and this time in our own yard.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Enough Already

How nice was it to ground the Rocket last night? That's all I have to say about that...

Enough already. Enough with the hype, the coverage, the blowing way out of proportion. I think I speak for everybody when I say we're all tired of it, and we'll all be very glad when the whole thing is over later tonight.

What I am talking about is the coverage, analysis, and general mania being created over the NBA Draft. This event is being way overhyped. I mean, didn't NBA season just end with my correct prediction of the Spurs? The draft, in most sports besides baseball, signals the official start of the next season, and here we are, champagne still drying on the Spurs' jerseys, and already they have to look to next year.

I don't fault the NBA for the overhyping of their draft. I fault the media (of course). The NBA is simply holding a formal ceremony to preserve the future of the league. It's the media that is making this event bigger than any single NBA game, regular or post season. Take, for example, last night at 11:00, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNews all had NBA draft coverage at the same time! Anybody looking for a little Baseball Tonight to see the highlights of their beloved and beleaguered home team take down the Evil Empire was out of luck (not that I know anybody like that).

So all of this analysis and speculation has led to high drama and suspense, right? Wrong. The Portland Trailblazers signed Greg Oden last night, making him the official first pick, Kevin Durant the official second pick to Seattle, and everybody else some irrelevant pick that will always be remembered for being picked after Oden and Durant.

The reason the NBA draft doesn't need this much coverage is that it is generally unspectacular. There are only two rounds, for starters. Some teams, like the Toronto Raptors, have no picks. And of all the high priced, high profile rookies, few of them actually perform their inaugural season. Take, for instance, last year's draft. High profilers Rudy Gay, Adam Morrison, and Shelden Williams all lost Rookie of the Year to Brandon Roy. Who the hell is Brandon Roy? The logic seems to say that if the top rookie can come from nowhere, then the draft and all it's coverage and analysis must be irrelevant.

I don't mean to pick on the NBA draft and it's overhyped-ness, though. Other sports have drafts that don't make sense, either, and yet still get plenty of coverage. The WNBA draft takes place about a week before play begins. Way to give the rookies a chance there, WNBA. The NHL draft took place maybe a week ago, and for the first time, two Americans went 1 and 2 overall. Quick, name either one, or what them they went to (OK, I know the real reason nobody can name the player or the team is because hockey is irrelevant. An irrelevant league, however, holds an irrelevant draft).

The MLB draft was televised for the first time this year, and quickly, we all found out why it took so long for the draft to reach the airwaves. First, players picked in this draft go through the minor leagues for so long that even die hard fans will forget about them by the time they reach the show. Second, the MLB draft could feasibly go on forever. The MLB will continue having rounds as long as one team wants to keep going. What a way to water down the talent in your league. Can you imagine the end of the draft, when Bud Selig staggers back up to the mic and says, "With the only pick in the 234,345,136,784,856th round of the 2007, now 2008 Major League Baseball draft, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays select Verne Troyer." I know, the prospect of drafting Mini-Me sounds ridiculous, but such is the MLB draft. Players don't declare for the MLB draft, so teams can take and make offers to literally anybody. Many college players and some high school players have been drafted, then returned to school after rejecting the team's offer. I, of course, am still patiently waiting by the phone, yearning for some team to draft a diamond in the rough in the very, very, very late rounds.

There is one league that does the draft right, and of course, it's the NFL (sometimes it's just unfair how much the NFL dominates other leagues). The draft, like all things NFL, is governed by a set of rules that are unflinchingly rigid. As such, the NFL draft is a spectacle in and of itself that trumps the other leagues in TV ratings during two days in April. The NFL requires players to declare for the draft, so teams know exactly who is available. The draft is held long enough after the Super Bowl that the champs have had time to celebrate, and the fans want some football. Players picked go right to work helping to improve their team, and the Rookie of the Year (a la Vince Young) is someone the fans have actually heard of. And even the late rounds are important, as superstars like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe, Tom Brady, and Adalius Thomas have all come from the late rounds. Every pick is important, entire franchises rest on single picks, the drama is excruciating, and it's so much fun to watch. Other leagues, take notice.

Hopefully, TV ratings for the NHL, MLB, and NBA drafts will be so low that networks will be reluctant to pick them up next year, and we can be relieved from draft mania that seemingly never ends. As for the NFL? This years draft was so popular, yet so long, that there are talks about moving the almighty first round to prime time television on Friday night. Long live the NFL.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eat Crow-ley

If you haven't read the comments for my last post, you absolutely must. Forget the mindless crap that Keith and I banter about, the real gem is the third post. During the same week that I was entertaining offers from other blog sites, I found out that my humble little blog has an international appeal. The third post is written in what I have determined to be Portuguese. After thorough inspection (and with the help of online translator Babel Fish), it has been determined that the third post says something to the effect of, "Oi, I found your blog for Google well interesting, and I liked this post. When you have time, my blog is on personalized t-shirts, showing step by step how to create a well personalized t-shirt. Until next time." I swear to you I am not making up the translation. If anybody wants to create a "well-personalized" t-shirt, check out Rodrigo's blog; he was even good enough to provide links. God knows how he stumbled upon my blog. On to the rant...

Well, after what seemed like a possible resurgence, the Orioles suck again (oh no!). I can't seem to bring myself to blame Dave Trembley, because he has the team playing hard, and the overall demeanor is definitely different. I can't blame Rockin' Leo, because the starters still pitch pretty well. I can only blame Petey the Greek so many times before he actually dies. That must mean it's old reliable, Terry Crowley.

Anyone who has ever heard my annual Terry Crowley Must Go rants know how this blog will end. This years rants started sometime around April 2nd, when the O's came up absolutely lame against Minnesota in the first game. You see, Crowley is the link, the constant, the mainstay for every year starting in October of 1998. The Orioles haven't had a winning season since 1997, the year before Crowley was brought on board. It's not just a coincidence.

If you may have seen a team under the tutelage of Terry Crowley, but aren't quite sure, ask yourself these questions: Did every player on the team swing at almost every first pitch? Did 90% of contact result in a fly ball out? Did anybody on the team make contact with an inside pitch? Did at least one player strike out swinging at a pitch that was eye level? Did any batter display any sort of patience or pre-meditated approach?

If your answers to the questions were Yes, Yes, No, Yes, and Good God No, then you may have witnessed a Crowley coached team. Seek help by watching other teams, just to see what hitting is really supposed to be like.

Some people have refuted my claims that Crowley is the reason the Oriole offense is consistently inconsistent, saying that it's the players. I again say that Crowley is the only coach with the team since 1998, and every year every hitter is wildly inconsistent. Players for the O's are among the most streaky hitters in baseball. We rarely have more than 3 players hit above .300, and we never know what kind of performance we are going to get on a nightly basis.

Even more, this is Crowley's second stint with the Orioles. When was his first? 1985-1988. Right around the time the team started spiralling into this Depression. Why did he get fired in '88? The team lost the first 21 games and finished with 107 losses. And yet, for some reason unbeknownst to anybody with half a brain, he was rehired ten years later. As my Portuguese readers would say, "porque, meu deus?".

Some credit Crowley with keeping old school traditions alive in the New Era, but it seems to me he is a dinosaur lost in the modern age. For example, Crowley keeps notes on every pitcher on a yellow legal pad. I'm sure if you looked at his files, you could find all you needed to know about Cy Young, Bob Fellar, and Sandy Koufax, but will have a hard time conjuring up any information about Daisuke Matsuzaka and the infamous "gyroball". The simple fact that Crowley can't transfer his records to a computer show that he is afraid to embrace technology and adapt with the times.

Crowley's methods are old and retired, and I wish the same could be said about Crowley. Hopefully, after this year's managerial housecleaning, all the trash will be removed, and Crowley can enjoy retirement. Good night, Portugal.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sosa What?

I think it's time to venture out of the Orioles world a little bit, and cover a national story. I can only write about how bad the O's are so many times in a week...

Sammy Sosa hit his 600th career homerun last night, joining Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and some other guy in the 600 homerun club. Please join me in letting out a collective "So what?"

Let's face it, 600 homeruns ain't what it used to be. I'm not saying that because Aaron's historic 755 is soon to be unjustly relegated to second best ever. I'm saying that because in the age of the steroid, any player who hits 600 homeruns can't be trusted.

The last two people to hit 600 homeruns are Sosa and that other guy. Sosa went on trial before Congress to defend himself against steroid accusations, and the other guy refused to. Sosa has been in the league 18 years, the other guy 21. Sosa, over his career, has averaged 33 homeruns a season, the other guy averages 35. Remarkably, both have done the bulk of their homerun hitting in their twilight years, and neither is deserving of the Hall of Fame.

I wish I could be excited for Sosa. He's a former Oriole, a generally likable guy, and was part of one of baseball's most fun seasons in 1998. Unfortunately, all of that is tainted. His season with the O's was disastrous, and we all know that Baltimore is a hotbed for steroid activity. His likability is limited when you have the thoughts of him taking illegal substances in the back of your mind. And we all know by now that the 1998 season (regarded as a season to save baseball) was a sham. McGwire was juicing, Sosa was juicing, and the whole homerun chase was about as legit as batting practice. Six-hundred homeruns isn't that big a deal when you're physically built to hit the ball 600 feet.

"But Sammy's never been caught using steroids. Why are we putting him on trial more than Bonds?" Well, anonymous question asker, I'm taking Sosa to trial for a plethora of reasons. First, he's in the headlines today. Second, he came back to the majors this year with the sole purpose of hitting his 600th homerun. That, to me, is playing for the wrong reason. It's a totally self centered motivation. He couldn't care how well the Rangers do (which is good, since the Rangers are one of the few teams worse than the O's), and now that his milestone is reached, we get to see him go into shutdown mode before ultimately retiring.

The biggest reason I'm taking Sosa to task today is because he is a known offender. Sure, he has never been caught with the 'roids, but he has been caught cheating. It wasn't too long ago that the headlines were ablaze with news that Sosa was caught with a corked bat. Sosa backpedaled so fast you would have thought he was playing cornerback in the NFL. First, he blamed the batboy. Then, he said it was a batting practice bat. I think in the end he just blamed George W. Bush, and we actually liked that one, so we stuck with it. That, however, does not excuse his use of an illegal bat. Since Sosa has been known to cheat before, how can we be sure that he has not been cheating the whole time.

Baseball is a very high pressure game. Players are called up and asked to perform to a certain standard, and more often than not, only get one shot at the bigs. As a result, players do whatever they can to make sure that the shot lasts as long as possible. For Sosa, it's been a long and rewarding ride. Unfortunately, he is going to end up in a separate annal of baseball lore, alongside "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, Mark McGwire, and ultimately, that other guy. He'll be remembered as one of those players that had the ability to make the Hall of Fame, but made the wrong decisions along the way. It's because of guys like McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds that we all say "So what?" when someone hits their 600th homerun.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I got an interesting email yesterday from the people at, asking me to write my blog on their website, instead of blogspot, claiming that they have increased visibility and more readership. After inspecting their website, and finding out that in order to comment you have to be a member of the website, I decided to stay on blogspot, so all ya'll can still comment anonymously if you so choose. On to the sports...

Now what? That's the question that the Orioles are faced with a day after axing Sammy Perlozzo. So we made a drastic change that has garnered unprecedented media coverage of the Orioles, and now we have to continue on. But what's the right course of action? What do we do now? Do we add, or subtract, or add by subtracting, or subtract by adding, in order to stop the division amongst the team and the fans? The situation is dire, and the organization is officially (and now very, very, very publicly) in shambles.

Last night on SportsCenter, the topic of Perlozzo's firing was sent to John Kruk for analysis. Said the Krukster, "The Baltimore Orioles are a mess!" To shine some light on that, Kruk is a former player who was notoriously overweight, smoked even as a professional athlete, and retired in the middle of a game. And he called us a mess. Oy. To paraphrase the rest of Kruk's comments, he said that if the Orioles called him and asked him to manage (which, he added, has never happened), there would be no amount of money that would entice him to do it. He said there needs to be full scale changes throughout the organization before any manager even has a chance to win with the team. And you know what? He's absolutely right.

In the spirit of John Kruk's expert analysis of the Orioles, I have compiled a list of people that need to go in order for the team to have a chance. Knowing that lead is a poisonous, lethal metal that serves no purpose other than as a weight, I present the 2007 Baltimore Orioles All-Lead Team:
  • Dave Trembley: Obviously, Trembley isn't long for the managerial position, and he will soon be jettisoned. I know that I'm not even giving him a chance, but let's face it, Trembley is not going to be the answer, so let's just nip this one in the bud.
  • Mike Flanagan/ Jim Duquette: The two-headed monster somehow only has half the baseball knowledge of an average fan. When deciding to spend $42 miiiiiiiiillion to overhaul the bullpen, these two clowns go out and sign Danys Baez. Baez was a castoff of the Devil Rays. Folks, when you're a pitcher, and the D-Rays don't want you, consider another career.
  • Danys Baez: The aforementioned Baez is the cause of probably half of teams 40 losses. With a delivery that resembles a T-rex trying to throw and the field presence of Hellen Keller, Baez has been nothing but a cancer on the mound, and that's a pretty telling sign on this team.
  • Jay Gibbons: After what seems like eternity with the team, I think it's about high time good ol' Clown Feet took his act to another circus. Unfortunately, the contract he signed two years ago has him being paid by the O's for another two years at least (I think), so we need to figure out if the cost he carries by being on the team outweighs the cost of not having him on the team.
  • The Bullpen: There's only one person in the 'pen worth keeping, but it's easier to get rid of all of them than to keep Jamie Walker by himself.
  • Daniel Cabrera: One of those high and mighty "Prospects". The problem is, you never know if you're gonna get Good Daniel or Bad Daniel, and that is very dangerous. Cabrera can throw in the high nineties, but can't see the strike zone, which is actually very dangerous, since his fastball could probably kill somebody. Plus, for all the potential he has, Dr. Jekyll could probably fetch some good talent in a trade.
  • Terry Crowley: The hitters can't hit. He's the hitting coach. He's actually one of the only constants on the team since 1998, which is the year that all this crap started. Nuff said.
  • Miguel Tejada: Once the savior, now he's just an old act who has fallen way out of favor with all the fans. Tejada can't field that well, barely runs out any groundball, and is not accepting the leadership role that he should be filling. Tejada can fetch some bones from a contender looking for a doubles hitter for the playoffs, so we can get some more young talent for him at the trade deadline, if it takes that long. It's sad to see Miggy go, because he played well for us for 4 years, but his time is up as an Oriole.
  • Peter Angelos: What, did you think the All-Lead team would not have it's anchor? Angelos is the root of all the problems, so the obvious solution is to get rid of Angelos. The problem is that he is the only person in the franchise that we can't just "get rid off". His time with the team will be decided by himself. Unless, of course, we can get a little Divine Intervention. Angelos is 77 years old, which anybody will tell you is no spring chicken. So when you hit your knees tonight, send one up for the Big Man to help us out a little bit and rid us of the problem.

So there you have it, the All-Lead team. That's a lot of holes to fill. I actually have a solution for two of the holes, as well (at no extra charge). To fill Dave Trembley's spot, I said yesterday that Joe Girardi would be a nice fit. To fill the hopefully soon gone-but-not-missed Angelos, I propose two people: Cal Ripken (obviously), or Steve Bisciotti. Think about it: Steve owns the O's and the Ravens. Both become benchmarks for their respective leagues, and Baltimore is the hub of the sports world yet again. Then we can Believe in Steve all year round, instead of just in the fall.

Unfortunately, unless God can answer all of Baltimore's collective prayers, the O's will continue in their downward spiral. Hopefully they can drop Petey the Greek in Hell on the way down, since we're going through it already. I know it seems hopeless, Baltimore, but just remember: it's T minus 40 days until training camp!