Let’s hope David Lough knows how to play “Crocodile Rock”

December 19, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Let’s hope David Lough knows how to play “Crocodile Rock”

Give Dan Duquette credit.

Prior to last week’s Winter Meetings in Florida, Duquette pledged he was on the look-out for several things, one of those being a left-handed bat.

He made good on that promise yesterday.

It wasn’t quite the Shin-Soo Choo holiday gift we were all hoping for; instead it was a guy who has 400 career at bats in the major leagues.

The acquisition of David Lough on Wednesday wasn’t a “horrible move”.  For starters, the departure of Danny Valencia isn’t going to cost the Orioles a half dozen wins or anything, but they will need to replace his bat against left handed pitching.  Valencia was virtually one dimensional.  He was bat only, although his glove could fill-in for a day or two if one of the infielders had to take a day or two off.

Lough is what the experts call a “plus defender”, which is usually a way of saying a guy is really, really good defensively — and that makes up for the fact he’s not all that good at the plate.

Here’s what David Lough is — and here’s why the move is a typical Orioles maneuver.

He’s basically a cheaper version of Nate McLouth.

McLouth might be a tad more effective with the lumber in his hands.  Lough has a better arm in the outfield and is a little more versatile positionally.  They both have decent speed.  McLouth probably hits a couple of more home runs per-season than Lough, and his plate discipline is better.

McLouth, though, makes $5 million per-year.

Lough makes $500,000.

Checkmate.

It’s basically a lateral move that saves the Orioles $4.5 million.

Now, please understand this:  If I thought the Orioles were taking that $4.5 million and doing “something” with it, I’d probably be much more excited about the move.

If they were working on a deal for, let’s say, David Price from Tampa Bay, and they were going to use that $4.5 million in part to pay him the $16-18 million he’s going to command in 2014, I’d be doing cartwheels.

David Price is a game changer.

They’re not getting David Price, of course.  The Orioles wouldn’t pay a pitcher $18 million if Walter Johnson came back from the dead and said, “I have three great years left, give me $54 million and let’s go beat the Yankees and Red Sox.”

If I thought the Orioles were taking that $4.5 million and putting it in a hedge fund somewhere along with all that MASN money they’ve been hoarding in an attempt to make a boatload of cash to hand over to Chris Davis sometime over the next 12 months, I’d say, “OK, you gotta give a little to get a lot…I understand that way of thinking.”

But, that’s not what they’re doing.  If Chris Davis puts up something in the neighborhood of 50 HR, 120 RBI again, he’ll be on the verge of becoming one of those $150 million/7 year baseball players and that immediately takes him OUT of Baltimore and in either Boston, New York, Detroit or Seattle.

If they were spending some of that $4.5 million they were saving on the likes of a “real” left-handed hitter like Shin-Soo Choo and making Lough their 4th outfielder – a la Chris Dickerson, say – I’d be very comfortable with that kind of move.

Instead, here’s what happens to that $4.5 million they saved on McLouth:  They’ll take that money they saved by flipping McLouth for Lough – in essence – and simply say, “That’s how you build a good team in a limited market.”

I hope David Lough works out.

As it stands now, it would appear the Orioles have four left-fielder types, none of which are even close to being “a sure thing”.  Nolan Reimold=suspect. Francisco Peguero=suspect.  Steve Pearce=suspect.  Lough=suspect.

They need Lough to come through, since I think we all know the chances of any of the other three breaking through with some sort of magical, career year are relatively slim.

Then again, this is what Duquette does best.  He plucks piano movers away from teams, hands them the notes to Elton John’s Greatest Hits, and effectively says, “I know you’ve only moved pianos your whole life.  But I was hoping you might be able to play Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.”

Duquette tries to make piano movers into piano players.

The great teams simply hire piano players to do that.

 

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9 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    I hear at the Orioles Christmas party you have to BYOB and a food of your choice.

  2. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Drew, I agree with your lateral move theory, anything to save money ! What I don’t understand is why did Jones sign long term here, he’s got to see what’s going on with the team & lack of meaningful players being added. I think he was told a lot of Bull S. & took the bait & signed long term, same goes with Buck !!!

  3. lakerboy Says:

    The Orioles are the baseball equivalent of Jack Luskin. For those of you not old enough to remember Jack Luskin, for many years he billed himself as the “Cheapest Guy In Town”. Well, Peter Angelos and his front office would give ole Jack a run for his money. The Oriole organization never met a penny they couldn’t pinch. What’s so sad about this current situation is that MLB just renegotiated the television deal, giving each team an additional 26 million dollars in their coffers.
    It’s no wonder that Ollie’s advertises with the Orioles. They know “bargain basement” when they see it:-)

  4. BmoreB Says:

    @unitastoberry… you forgot to mention that instead of hiring strippers they asked that everyone bring their favorite copy of Playboy

  5. Mike Paskoff Says:

    Drew,
    What is the meaning or point to your comment “They both have decent speed – for a ‘white guy’”? It seems a bit racist to me.

    It’s not the same as saying “Russell Martin runs well for a catcher”.

    Turn it around and try getting away with saying “David Price and C.C. Sabathia have decent command or their pitches for a black guy”

    Doesn’t sound as funny that way does it?
    Mike Paskoff

    (DF: Really? You took 2 minutes out of your life to write that? C’mon man…)

  6. Jason Manelli Says:

    Agreed Drew, another offseason with the Extreme couponing crowd over at the Warehouse.

  7. Mike Paskoff Says:

    Drew,
    I’m looking out for you in my role as omnbudsman. LOL.
    Just don’t want to see you lose listeners or readers or be perceived as a “racist” commentator. You know how sensitive folks can be. Even an attempt at humor can be misunderstood these days.
    You have a nice role at Calvert Hall and are also in a position of leadership there and you shouldn’t risk that by trying to be “cute” “clever” or “off the cuff”.
    I’m sure you wouldn’t want a reporter or commentator to someday say that one of your golfers at CHC was pretty good for a “black” kid, would you? Even if they were trying to be funny?
    And yes, it is well worth the few minutes of my time to comment just as it’s often worth a few minutes of my time to listen to your show or read your commentaries.
    MP

    (DF: “You know how sensitive folks can be.” Apparently, some of you – ahem – are more sensitive than others. I removed the phrase. Thanks for the note.)

  8. unitastoberry Says:

    @BmoreB Another good example of making chicken soup out of the other chicken stuff.

  9. Ralph Says:

    Well I for one believe that Drew doesn’t want to be like that Duck Dynasty fellow because for one Drew is clean shaven. Aww, I’m joking. But in reality lets put an end to the “hate Orioles”stuff. My uncle and father grew up on the Orioles and I love them and the Orioles very much. We say “trust in Ozzie” and “In God We Trust” but no one says “In Duquette We Trust” even though the New Yorker said Camdem Yards was the “most influential ballpark” in modern Baseball. So let’s take a well-deserved leap of faith with the Orioles before we pull a Judas on the “boys of Summer”. BTW the New Yorker was quoted accurately as per “research”:)

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