I do not need to post a poll or survey to know the answers to those two questions.
From being around Buck Showalter and by acknowledging the logic and thoughts behind the recent signing of J.J. Hardy, I think it’s pretty obvious that the Orioles will not be rebuilding anytime soon.
If MacPhail is not going to rebuild the team towards something special, then the obvious alternative is to “go for it” in 2012 and 2013.
In order for the organization to go for it, they are going to have to spend money. Guys like Prince Fielder and C.J. Wilson will need to be legitimate targets if the O’s are going to contend at any point in the next two seasons.
There is no track record to suggest that MacPhail will go out and spend top dollar for elite players. That is something else that really cannot be argued. He has a developed a history of low-balling top free agents and settling for cheaper, less risky options.
Now, I will say in an effort to be fair to Andy that thus far during his time with the Orioles, I do not believe he should have gone after high-priced free agents (aside from Mark Teixeira).
It is at least possible that the hypothetical time Buck referred to last year at his introductory presser when the spears would be released will come this offseason. It is within the realm of possibility that MacPhail will open up the checkbook and spend the money that he has saved the organization over his 4+ years with the team.
We’re basically down to one alternative: go for it in 2012…which means the Birds are going to need to spend money this offseason in a way that they haven’t spent since 2004.
If Peter Angelos, Andy MacPhail, and the rest of the decision makers in the organization do not bring in the necessary players to supplement the current core that the Orioles have clearly committed to long-term, I think we can go back to Beane’s theory and make a reasonable deduction about the Birds.
They’d be foolish. Incredibly foolish.